In a recent article in World Magazine, Marvin Olasky interviewed the leftist Ronald Sider, and proclaimed him an ally of conservatives in the area of limited government. Sider expresses a preference for "social justice" to be enacted by the private sector. Presumably, since Sider is willing to allow the Churches to take the lead in pursuing his left-wing agenda this is progress.
As a student at Covenant College in 1978-79, I was there when Sider's opus, "Rich Christians in An Age of Hunger" came out. Many in the student body caught in a frenzy of late counter-culture radicalism and guilty white middle class liberalism swallowed it whole. Sider generally follows the leftist and Marxist analysis. If one person has wealth, it is de-facto at the expense of someone who is poor. Sider believes that the solution to poverty is not wealth creation but massive redistribution.
He carries this fallacy to the global level, believing that if you made the West give massive transfers of its wealth and lower it's standard of living that the transferred wealth will raise the standard of living in the 3rd world. Well we know how that has worked. In Siders eyes the cultural causes of 3rd world poverty are irrelevant, the only problem is distribution.
This sort of thing is raw meat to the guilty white liberal. Most of whom have never had a great deal of living among the poor, much less being poor themselves. As one who has I can assure you that most of the causes of poverty are due to personal irresponsibility and culture. The welfare dependency created by the mountains of money spent in the great society era have done little or nothing to benefit the poor. The food stamp program of course is the most glaring example.
A window into Siders mind is a quote he made regarding education reform where he said, "Whatever works better for minorities and poor folk, let’s do that. I do have a hunch that vouchers would work better, but I don’t know enough to say we should go that way. " Of course the best approach to education would be the one that benefits everyone, not just minorities and poor folk. The scriptures say “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.
Leviticus 19:15 and and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit. Exodus 23:3. Of course, Sider is very selective in regards to his Bible quotations. His Theology is shaped by his liberalism and not vice versa.
I would argue that with an "ally" like Sider, one does not need and enemy.