Doing good works?

Some friends recently told me that the ministers at their liberal church had decided the only way to oppose the religious right is by “doing good works.” They reasoned that to say the religious right was bigoted and a perversion of Christianity would be judging them. Thus, you’d then be no better than them. So the only way to oppose them would be to set a good example by doing good deeds.

This well-meaning but misguided approach is naive to the point of stupidity. It cedes the territory to the right without a fight. It guarantees inaction in the mistaken idea that things should never be judged, and thus never confronted. The religious right is neither. These wolves in Lamb of God clothing in Frank Zappa’s memorable phrase want to move America “toward a fascist theocracy – and he said that in 1986. Things are worse now. They really do have their hands on the levers of power.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. ” Edmund Burke

The right can and will be defeated. But not by a vague promise to do good works. It will be defeated by people organizing, getting in the streets, mobilizing, by confronting the right and then swinging the populace to our point of view. this is a war. The left has already won the cultural war, the right is winning the political war. We can and must win both.

Are these dark times? Maybe. But others have seen much darker times, and eventually they triumphed.

Edmund Burke also said

“Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.”


“No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”