Fight fire with fire

By Owen Paine on Sunday May 21, 2006 08:52 PM

Got a faith gap? Then wheel out your own God squad.

Credo according to the Washpost:

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.
Whoopee, light a candle for me, fellahs.

But hey, seriously now -- making sounds and burning incense worthy of the late Rev William Sloan Coffin -- is that really gonna get Jethro and Jolene to shift from their right ass cheek to their left?

So what's really up here? The gist of it seems to be  simple -- it's cosmetic, not cosmic. The  big time donks  have noticed their hee-haw secular nakedness, and now want a faith leaf to cover their liberal loins, when they walk in the eyes of their people.

That wild and crazy guy St Paul would have been ashamed of them -- doesn't he say somewhere that charity trumps faith, or words to that effect? And I gather that when he says "charity" he's not talking about the International Red Cross, though I'll leave it to The Rev. Smith to gloss the Greek for us.

Comments (4)

J. Alva Scruggs:

Part of the problem is they think they're supposed to market themselves as taking protestations of faith to be part of a coherent values system, when at its best in the US it's a commitment to a New Age self-improvement program or a revenge/wish fulfillment fantasy. They should be able to get both, what with all their management training and career experience. But maybe having done the same thing as the hierarchies of organized religions, and purged from their ranks everyone who does have a coherent values system, there's no way for them to see.

Religious liberals have the same problem that secular liberals have--attachment to the Democratic Party. The key is to get those who are energized by the noblest parts of their faith--the messages of social justice, equality, and peace--and channel their belief productively into something other than support for the Democrats. The Socialist Party USA, for example, has a "Faith and Socialism" commission--so it is actually possible. It doesn't matter whether you are religious or secular, the point still remains--if you believe in social justice, you gotta dump the Democrats.

Tim D:

You know, I was raised Catholic, so I love to talk politics with conservative practicing Catholics, since I have done something most of them haven't, which is read the Faithful Citizen reports from the Conference of U.S. Catholic Bishops - a fairly progressive document (putting aside their position on gay-marriage and abortion) A small flavor:

As we approach the elections of 2004, we renew our call for a new kind of politics--focused on moral principles not on the latest polls, on the needs of the poor and vulnerable not the contributions of the rich and powerful, and on the pursuit of the common good not the demands of special interests.

And how bout this line:

Each person also has a right to the conditions for living a decent life—faith and family life, food and shelter, education and employment, health care and housing. We also have a duty to secure and respect these rights not only for ourselves, but for others, and to fulfill our responsibilities to our families, to each other, and to the larger society.

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