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Old 05-20-2006, 10:22 PM   #1
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"Religious Liberals Gain New Visibility" - The Washington Post

This is a fascinating article.

Quote:
A Different List Of Moral Issues

By Caryle Murphy and Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, May 20, 2006; Page A01

The religious left is back.

Long overshadowed by the Christian right, religious liberals across a wide swath of denominations are engaged today in their most intensive bout of political organizing and alliance-building since the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements of the 1960s, according to scholars, politicians and clergy members.

In large part, the revival of the religious left is a reaction against conservatives' success in the 2004 elections in equating moral values with opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

Religious liberals say their faith compels them to emphasize such issues as poverty, affordable health care and global warming. Disillusionment with the war in Iraq and opposition to Bush administration policies on secret prisons and torture have also fueled the movement.
For the full article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...051901813.html




Finally someone gets the message that not all Christians are Bush-loving gay-hating bigots.
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:28 PM   #2
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"Religious liberals say their faith compels them to emphasize such issues as poverty, affordable health care and global warming."


Okay, I can see poverty and affordable health care, but what does faith have to do with global warming?
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:30 PM   #3
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The environment, theologically speaking caring for God's earth and creatures.
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:03 PM   #4
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So nice for people to recognize that you can be both liberal and Christian.
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:06 PM   #5
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Too little too late.
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Old 05-21-2006, 12:30 AM   #6
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"Finally someone gets the message that not all Christians are Bush-loving gay-hating bigots."

Only a truly hateful ignoramus would believe such a thing.


That article is a bit misleading, I think.

Religious "liberals" (ie. those who favor the Democratic Party) tend to be Jewish and African-American (and now, possibly, Muslim, but not because of poverty, abortion rights and gay marriage arguments, obviously).

African-Americans and Jews have been voting Democratic in huge numbers since at least the early 60's.

"Religious liberals" sound like a cool, new untapped constituency, but, in fact, they have been here all along. Some clever marketing genius just decided to slap a name on them.

As for Roman Catholic Latinos: Latinos vote in very, very low numbers (except for the highly organized Florida Cuban-American community), so activating them would be a huge plus for Democrats in states like Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

The problem, though, is that Democrats can't appeal to Latinos on the two central "religious" issues that rile people up, since the majority of Latino Catholics are against abortion and gay marriage. Therefore, Democrats must appeal to them in ways other than through religious speeches. Talking about the Darfur genocide is noble and right, but I don't think millions, or even hundreds of voters will choose a Democrat over a Republican because that candidate "cares about poor black Muslims in Africa", even if this is the most important "religious" topic of the day, in my opinion.

Our media sometimes enjoys putting people and groups into neat, tidy little boxes. Last time around, it was the great, unwashed "Soccer Moms" who swayed the election toward Bush, according to the pundits. This simplification supposedly helps everyone understand the varied complexities of life and culture in this country, perhaps.

Unfortunately, many people take such pigeon-holing at face value and never bother to look beyond the attractive catch-phrase or the eye-poppingly complicated (and biased) political polling that occurs during election season.

The article does point out, halfway down, that the numbers of these so-called "religious liberals" are not necessarily growing, but rather, that they are perhaps becoming more politically organized. Based on the examples given in the article itself, the evidence of that is anecdotal at best.

Hilary always makes it a point to reach out to religious voters, though, so it appears that the DNC has targeted this varied group in certain key swing states (Ohio, etc.), hence that WP puff piece.

http://www.democrats.org/a/communiti...s_communities/
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Old 05-21-2006, 08:59 AM   #7
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Here's another one I like

My Problem with Christianism
A believer spells out the difference between faith and a political agenda
By ANDREW SULLIVAN

Are you a Christian who doesn't feel represented by the religious right? I know the feeling. When the discourse about faith is dominated by political fundamentalists and social conservatives, many others begin to feel as if their religion has been taken away from them.

The number of Christians misrepresented by the Christian right is many. There are evangelical Protestants who believe strongly that Christianity should not get too close to the corrupting allure of government power. There are lay Catholics who, while personally devout, are socially liberal on issues like contraception, gay rights, women's equality and a multi-faith society. There are very orthodox believers who nonetheless respect the freedom and conscience of others as part of their core understanding of what being a Christian is. They have no problem living next to an atheist or a gay couple or a single mother or people whose views on the meaning of life are utterly alien to them--and respecting their neighbors' choices. That doesn't threaten their faith. Sometimes the contrast helps them understand their own faith better.

And there are those who simply believe that, by definition, God is unknowable to our limited, fallible human minds and souls. If God is ultimately unknowable, then how can we be so certain of what God's real position is on, say, the fate of Terri Schiavo? Or the morality of contraception? Or the role of women? Or the love of a gay couple? Also, faith for many of us is interwoven with doubt, a doubt that can strengthen faith and give it perspective and shadow. That doubt means having great humility in the face of God and an enormous reluctance to impose one's beliefs, through civil law, on anyone else.

I would say a clear majority of Christians in the U.S. fall into one or many of those camps. Yet the term "people of faith" has been co-opted almost entirely in our discourse by those who see Christianity as compatible with only one political party, the Republicans, and believe that their religious doctrines should determine public policy for everyone. "Sides are being chosen," Tom DeLay recently told his supporters, "and the future of man hangs in the balance! The enemies of virtue may be on the march, but they have not won, and if we put our trust in Christ, they never will." So Christ is a conservative Republican?

Rush Limbaugh recently called the Democrats the "party of death" because of many Democrats' view that some moral decisions, like the choice to have a first-trimester abortion, should be left to the individual, not the cops. Ann Coulter, with her usual subtlety, simply calls her political opponents "godless," the title of her new book. And the largely nonreligious media have taken the bait. The "Christian" vote has become shorthand in journalism for the Republican base.

What to do about it? The worst response, I think, would be to construct something called the religious left. Many of us who are Christians and not supportive of the religious right are not on the left either. In fact, we are opposed to any politicization of the Gospels by any party, Democratic or Republican, by partisan black churches or partisan white ones. "My kingdom is not of this world," Jesus insisted. What part of that do we not understand?

So let me suggest that we take back the word Christian while giving the religious right a new adjective: Christianist. Christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. Christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. The distinction between Christian and Christianist echoes the distinction we make between Muslim and Islamist. Muslims are those who follow Islam. Islamists are those who want to wield Islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque. Not all Islamists are violent. Only a tiny few are terrorists. And I should underline that the term Christianist is in no way designed to label people on the religious right as favoring any violence at all. I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.

That's what I dissent from, and I dissent from it as a Christian. I dissent from the political pollution of sincere, personal faith. I dissent most strongly from the attempt to argue that one party represents God and that the other doesn't. I dissent from having my faith co-opted and wielded by people whose politics I do not share and whose intolerance I abhor. The word Christian belongs to no political party. It's time the quiet majority of believers took it back.
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Old 05-21-2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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It's never too late to start a movement. There are the 2006 elections coming up. But I've always thought activist politics is stronger stuff than electoral politics. The civil rights movement made its gains with activist political activity that put the pressure on the politicians to abolish segregation and give African-Americans the vote. The politicians didn't just do this out of the goodness of their hearts, it was pressure.
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:43 AM   #9
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nice to see someone harnessing the potential for actual liberation imbedded within any sort of religious system.

and thank you for the article, Mrs. S. i particularly enjoyed how it spells out a very good definition of "Christianism." many posters in FYM use that term, along with "Islamism/ist," in order to make critical distinctions between some of the very thoughtful, informed Christians here in FYM and the intolerant, hateful, paranoid Christian voices in the media. unfortunately, it seems as if some have misunderstood the term and objected to it without pausing to examine what it really means. so i am delighted that someone has spelled it out more eloquently than i could have:

[q]The distinction between Christian and Christianist echoes the distinction we make between Muslim and Islamist. Muslims are those who follow Islam. Islamists are those who want to wield Islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque. Not all Islamists are violent. Only a tiny few are terrorists. And I should underline that the term Christianist is in no way designed to label people on the religious right as favoring any violence at all. I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.
[/q]
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Old 05-21-2006, 12:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by 4U2Play
[B]"Finally someone gets the message that not all Christians are Bush-loving gay-hating bigots."

Only a truly hateful ignoramus would believe such a thing.
Unfortunately there are plenty out there.
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Old 05-21-2006, 03:26 PM   #11
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nice article.
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Old 05-21-2006, 04:46 PM   #12
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I love God more than you do.
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Old 05-21-2006, 06:46 PM   #13
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Old 05-21-2006, 09:57 PM   #14
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I wonder which channel those guys are watching
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Old 05-21-2006, 10:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511


nice to see someone harnessing the potential for actual liberation imbedded within any sort of religious system.[/q]
Is Theocracy Watch a principle, or a political statement?
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