A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Friday, August 06, 2004

As I feared, the right was successful in forcing the resignation of Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson, a Disciples of Christ minister, from her position as the religious outreach director for the Democratic Nat'l Committee.

"The whirlwind was more than I could just about stand. It was amazing," Peterson said yesterday. The problem is: any person who does not represent religious conservatives in this capacity will face the same whirlwind. They've successfuly knocked out two religious advisors, declaring them out of the mainstream. They've so successfully set the terms of what constitutes religion in the public sphere, that any mainline protestant voice will not be allowed to enter into the nat'l discussion, which is why if the DNC chooses someone to replace Rev. Peterson, the right will try to knock them out as well.

As far as I can see, the only way to stop that cycle, is either a.pick someone on the right who finds nothing to agree with Kerry on or b.pick a religious progressive and then stick by your guns, assume the right will launch a campaign and try to weather the storm they'll produce. If they can forever keep progressive religious voices out of the public arena, one might as well pack up, forget about reaching out via religion, just not even broach the subject of religion. The right would be satisified with that route as well.

3 Comments:

At 6:45 PM , Blogger jj said...

I'm very disappointed that the Democrats didn't vigorously defend Peterson. I just think it means that they don't believe it's possible to articulate a progressive religious vision that will both resonate with mainstream religious people and that is powerful enough to challenge the religious right. I obviously think they're wrong in that regard. They've miscalculated. Democrats should keep pointing out how policies which help the rich rather than the poor are immoral. The need to keep pointing out how this is anti-thetical to Jesus' message. There's much more in the Bible about poverty than there is about abortion and homosexuality. And Evangelicals believe in the Bible. (I think?) The Republicans are vulnerable on religion, and the Democrats have got to learn to stick by their guns.

 
At 10:21 AM , Blogger Joe G. said...

This incident seems to illustrate that the Democrats are very concerned about getting "middle" America and the "undecided" vote. Polls demonstrate over and over again how close the race is between Kerry and President Bush. Unfortunately, it inadvertently reinforces the ntion that being "religious" in America = being a right-wing, conservative Christian. Perhaps the Democrats might go with someone with a similar religious faith as President Carter: an evangelical background with progressive leanings. The person probably would come under attack, too, but at least the Democrats might not be too skittish about those attacks. It also seems that whomever they chose to replace Reverend Bartella Peterson should be prepared for the likely onslaught of public and right-wing scrutiny.

 
At 9:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Chris from Protestant Polyglot--sorry I'm not logging in, but I didn't want to register just yet.

From the first link: "The website even provides a link to an anti-Catholic site, Chuck Currie..."

Since when was Chuck's blog an anti-Catholic site? The whole piece is really reaching. Whatever happened to not bearing false witness against one's neighbor?

 

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