I find it encouraging and comforting to see groups like Faith in Public Life, the Poor People’s Campaign, and Moral Monday forming, working, and getting attention. I am relieved to see that these groups stand against the Christian right, and stand for immigrant rights, universal health care, LGBTQ rights, and racial justice. I am glad that they work with other liberal religious groups and denominations to achieve our mutual goals, and am hopeful that they will make progress in these areas.
Their increasing prominence doesn’t mean that these folks have clear sailing, though.
A major disadvantage for any faith-based movement on the left is that it draws on a smaller base. Surveys show that liberals are less religious than conservatives by such measures as belief in God, church attendance or the importance of faith in their lives. Fewer than a third of liberals say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in organized religion. Nearly half of liberals under 30 have no religious affiliation. (From NPR.)
I believe that all of us on the left must join hands, regardless of faith or nonfaith, and work to make the changes we all know are necessary. Tolerance and open-mindedness need to be adopted on all sides if we are to succeed, because petty dogmatic divisions will be our undoing. Those who hesitate at working with Christians must open their minds just as much as those who hesitate at working with Pagans. Although it may be uncomfortable for some, this is necessary if we are to prevail against the Orange Peril and all those who side with him for gain and power.
If we really do stand for diversity, then let us stand together, as diverse and real as we really are, for there our power lies.
Copyright © 2019 Teresa Chupp. All rights reserved.