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.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Another item I've noticed in the campaign aftermath. There is this tendency for those on the right to give the democrats electoral advice. And not surprising this advice boils down to: copy the GOP's program, especially its social conservativism. One example is John Leo from US News who accuses the democrats of contempt for religious folks. Why is disagreement always called contempt? And what of us religious voters who are on the liberal end of things?

In this piece Leo pretends we don't exist even though a few weeks earlier he was showing his own version of contempt for mainline protestant churches:

Efforts of the woeful mainline churches are better seen as classic knee-jerk leftism, an expression of hard-core loathing for the United States. The mainline churches believe they still stand for high moral purpose in politics. They don't

Leo, if you'd take your own advice and show some level of respect for religious denominations, perhaps you'd have more standing to make your claim. But you don't respect religious voters. You respect those religious who agree with you and share a certain conservative politics. Which is all fine, but please don't claim to speak for all religion.

Diane Knippers at the Institute of Religion and Democracy does a similar move but within one piece. She counsels the democrats on how they need to be a big tent party which includes religious voters. And then a paragraph later she tells us not to pay attention to mainline protestants. So if one is mainline, not evangelical, one automatically becomes a religious voter that doesn't count as one. Which is odd, because if the mainline was so irrelevant why does the IRD spend so much time trying to silence liberals and certain groups within these denominations?

On a side note, Chuck Currie recounts an interesting experience with an IRD representative. Liberal Christian groups look at the electoral results and discover that not all value voters were folks on the religious right. And for some alarming news Presbyterian Church USA congregations and their headquarters have recently been threatened with arson attacks.

And this weekend I didn't have a chance to post. Instead I gave a paper at Building Bridges, a philosophy conference held at my college. It sought to draw from the work of George Herbert Mead in tackling how religious communities could allow for increasing diversity and the development of a particular openness to the other. Given the times we live in, this might be appear to be an impossible ideal.


At 12:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You refer to mainliners and evangelicals as "either/or" rather than "both/and". There are plenty of evangelicals in mainline denominations. It's not "us vs. them".

Thanks for the insight. Your blog is one I read daily and link on my blog.

Shane Raynor


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