Rather, the Democrats’ discussion with evangelicals has to get beyond linguistic “reframing” to substantive areas where the Democrats and evangelicals can find common ground: poverty, the environment, Darfur. ~Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post

I can just see Democrats preaching the “prosperity gospel” along with Joel Osteen (”Discover the Champion in You” the Lakewood Church website proclaims in Gatorade ad-like fashion), can’t you? Really, a Pelosi-Osteen alliance would be genius. It’s a win-win situation for all involved: God wants you to be wealthy, so that you can pay more in taxes to help bomb Sudan! If Democrats felt left out by not having their own batch of pro-war evangelicals, they shouldn’t worry–Marcus advises the Democrats to get together with evangelicals on intervening in Sudan. Before everyone gets carried away with exciting new excuses to meddle in other people’s affairs, do the rest of us really want the alternative foreign policy driven by liberal humanitarianism mixed with a saccharine, Christian pornography of compassion?

There will be a big problem, however, with any hoped-for Pelosi-Osteen axis, and not along the predictable fault lines of social and moral issues. Here is Amy Welborn’s response to Osteenism that points to the problem:

But I just don’t know what to say to those who have come to understand the Christian life as being about what naming what you really want so God can give it to you. I just don’t.

If the Democrats renew their interest in talking about the “common good,” however misleading their use of that phrase may be, as some liberals have suggested, it will make an unusually bad mix with a kind of Osteenian Christianity whose social dimension seems anemic at best and whose main mission is cast in a sort of “self-affirming” language aimed at self-satisfaction with God’s help.