Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Jesus Will Wreck Your Life

Tony Campolo, nationally known left-leaning evangelical talking to the Star Tribune today (he is speaking in the Twin Cities) about right-wing Christian suburbanite youngsters being exposed to poverty at service camps run by his son:

Most kids who come to Mission Year arrive as right-wing Republicans and leave as left-leaning Democrats because they find out how different life is for poor people. For instance, they discover that police in inner-city Philadelphia don't act the same as those in suburban Minneapolis. Life is grittier there, and less fair.

One of my students [at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa., where Campolo is professor emeritus of sociology] who's becoming rather famous, Shane Claiborne, talks about how life-changing that experience is in his book "The Irresistible Revolution" and a new one called "How Jesus Wrecked My Life." The stereotype is that a poor person finds Jesus, then happiness and ease. Claiborne writes about being a privileged suburban kid who found Jesus and suddenly was exposed to poverty and tough challenges in inner-city Philadelphia. Poof! The good life is gone, but real life is richer.

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