I've noticed a number of news items where refusal to share communion is being used as a means express disagreement with others. We have conservative priests refusing to share communion with their liberal bishop in the UK. The anglican primates upset about the US and Canadian church's stance open stance on gay and lesbians refuse to share communion with them. And those who actively support glbt inclusion in the Catholic church are to be denied communion.
Frank Griswold claims that "communion is a gift from God and not something we simply create, communion is about deep relationship created by God." The above examples have reversed this, thinking that human agreement creates this relationship...but I'm not sure how to make sense of a sacrament if they are right. If it actually testifies to a reality beyond itself then the reality is not governed by what we do, recognize, or regulate but is rather dependent on God's work in the world. The only question is whether we'll celebrate this work.
Joe Conason argues that the religious right's backing of Bush, even when he attacks poverty programs is born out some vindictive theolory which seeks to punish the poor. I'm apt to disagree. I think there's a compartmentalization of issues, since Bush is tackling the big issues of abortion, gays, and the courts other issues are simply not important. The result for the poor is the same unfortunately. Thankfully the mainline is challenging Bush's priorities.
Amy Sullivan looks to apathy in explaining why the religious left is not a key factor in today's public arena. Could be, but ignoring the decline in mainline membership and the internal fights in these churches misses something important in this story. Daily Kos has a piece on some of the GOP connected groups and individuals who are funding these fights. They recognize that a silenced mainline is key if religion is not to challenge them.