Skip to comments.Religious Progressivesí Future
Posted on 05/05/2014 8:30:59 AM PDT by Academiadotorg
At the Brookings Institute, a center-left think tank, Washington Post contributor E.J. Dionne, theological professor Gary Dorrien, and Columbia University professor Dorian Warren discussed the future of religious progressives in American society and how it could influence community organizing.
The Romney coalition is actually made up, a religious make-up that is even more white and Christian of Americans over 65 years old while the Obama coalition [has] more religiously unaffiliated [voters] [a] higher proportion of non-white Christians much closer to the younger cohort. He claimed, The Obama coalition is much more diverse.
Yet, Dionne admitted, Only 13% of Democrats are religious conservatives compared to the relatively homogenous Republicans, when 56% of Republicans, by our reckoning are religious conservatives. And, he found, 28% of Democrats and 5% of Republicans are religious progressives, which Dionne believed has a lot of implications for our politics today.
He then addressed the topic of Pope Francis, whose teachings on the poor are a new optic for Catholics. Dionne said, What Pope Francis has done is not change church doctrine. He has restored a concern for social justice for the least among us, the preferential option for the poor, back to center stage. He believed that previous teachings of Pope Benedict on economics were quite progressive because he was meeting with someone well to President Obamas Left during Obamas trip to the Vatican during his papal service. Dionne felt that Pope Benedict was a kind of progressive Christian Democrat in his views, which Pope Francis has echoed during his papal service.
This focus on the poor is a unifying force within the religious community, and even after his earlier report on comparing religious conservatives and progressives, Dionne said, It is a mistake of looking at the religious community in terms of red and blue. With the young peoples concern for the poor, those concerns are starting to bleed over into domestic concerns in politics and religion. Dionne did not hesitate to point out, It is for Christians, it is quite clear that Jesus cared quite a lot about the poor and talked quite a lot about the poor. Based on his research, Dionne felt, economic justice may be the fertile ground for this years electoral cycle. He also believed that the environmental movement is an important piece of the religious progressive movement.
He claimed that a community organizing group Gamaliel is funded by the Roman Catholic Church. Gamaliel, said Dionne, employed someone important in our lives named Barack Obama, with funding by the Roman Catholic Church. Community organizing is another important aspect of religious progressivism, and Dionne said, There is work to do in this area, and Im not talking about academic work but actual political work. He went on to say, I always do think that Wall Street has had a role in the Democratic Party. Another interesting point was when Dionne observed that there was a rise of a more conservative religious movement that paralleled rising secularism in the American society.
Dorrien, the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, spoke on community organizing and said it is tremendously important. professor dorrien brookings
He felt, The gold standard of community organizing, inter-faith is IEF but there are parts of the country where its taking some dinosaur characteristics. As Dionne referred to earlier, Gamaliel is another noteworthy example of a good religious-ased community organizing black American church in Chicago. Also, Dorrien noted the efforts of DART, a Florida-based community organizing group.
He illustrated the importance of community organizing with the liberal Protestant churches and their decline in attendance. Their decline, said Dorrien, was partly because the liberal Protestant churches didnt even replace themselves demographically by replacing their core ethnic groups with others.
Going on the topic of economic justice, Dorrien warned the audience:
I want to say emphatically that I dont believe that there is any kind of economic justice organizing to go on in the next any number of years that doesnt somehow get its arms around the environmental crisis everyone gets that crisis we just need to show it and these two things will rise together. And the same is true of racial justice and dealing with peoples racial and sexual identities.
Dorian Warren, an associate professor of political science and public affairs at Columbia University, felt that this discussion comes at the right time, at a moment of high levels of inequality the fact that we live in an oligarchy, and both a decline of unions and religious institutions. Dionnes report, said Warren, comes at the right political moment.
He claimed, Besides churches, the labor movement is the other independent movement that is serving poor and working class Americans even with a decrease in religious progressive institutions. Warren said, Unions and churches are self-financed and that makes a huge difference on the type of politics we might imagine and see out of those institutions. He continued, Both unions and churches are schools of democracy. Thats where people learn the skills of politics and learn how to engage in politics.
Coupled with unions and churches, Warren saw the rise of professionalized advocacy organizations where were in a different civic moment where we have a proliferation of professionally staffed organizations, progressive organizations at the time of the decline of unions and the Religious Left. He called it an exciting organizing happening in faith-based community organizing.
He referred to Saul Alinsky and said, Saul Alinsky, who is considered the founder of community organizing, the model was based on a mix of the Catholic Church and the union and a community organization and that was how IEF was born in the stockyards of Chicago. This movement, started by Alinsky, led to the rise of the worker-centered movement of low wage workers outside of unions. Warren pointed out that there are Over 300 and these organizations of low wage workers back pay wage theft, which is a growing epidemic of employers not paying what theyve earned tied closely to churches and have a faith-based foundation.
He next dove into the topic of the black American church. Warren saw the contradictions of the black church with conservative and progressive sides of their institution, where they are theologically much more conservative than other Americans, but politically, much more progressive. One of his observations was, Its very interesting to me how both racial and economic justice for black churchgoers always trumps social issues.
Warren noted, We can dive deeper into this
about the Holy Trinity. I think for especially black Protestants, race and class have been so intertwined in American history that black voters almost always vote their economic and racial justice interest over social issues, unlike white Americans, which is an interesting finding to me. He said, blacks overwhelmingly in favor of government intervention, believe that inequality is a problem and suggested, There is this nagging issue within the black church about sexuality and sexual identity. Continuing on this topic, Warren said, There is still a lot of work to be done within black churches on the issue of sexual identity.
You might want to check if there's something stuck in your random-name generator.
I’m also wondering what the definition of the “center” is supposed to be, here.
I am certain that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they consider their affiliation with the Democrat party more important than their affiliation with the Son of Man...
The black church going Obama coalition is ANTI-homosexual and many are also ANTI-abortion. Some black churches are also against the Islamic war on Christianity in Africa.
They support Obama because he lies to them about his positions on these issues in addition to lying about his being “Christian”.
Nope. They USED to be. The Messiah has changed their tune.
That many? I'd rephrase it:
13% of Democrats have procrastinated about changing their voter registration to Independent or Republican.
At least 13% of Democrats are complete religious illiterates.
They haven't bought the Democrat/Progressive lie just yet.
Democrats like Obama are on record telling the gheys that he has to lie to the Democrat base in flyover country (and the hood) who still cling to God and guns.
A) Separation of church and state must be absolute!
C) Progressives must infiltrate all religions so they can force government to be America's conscience towards the the unmotived, women wanting to kill their babies, sex addicts, earth-worshippers and universalists. Salvation is political!
Where is B) in all this? How does the left propose to get from A) to C)?
1) Identifying as a black church before identifying as a Christian church.
2. Segregating themselves and not participating in outreach with all types of residents and churches in the region.
I say this as a white person who attended a mostly black church for almost three years, during which time I attempted on 10 occasions to schedule a meeting with the pastor to discuss the state delegates who were fighting against gay marriage in our state (they lost, due to a radical judge's dictate). Because the delegates fighting the issue were Republicans, he would not meet with me. He also broke up the small group I attended at the church, throwing aside even the black leader of that group, who had led the group for 10 years and was also a registered Republican.
They have a huge problem, All their efforts are based on relying on the government, which is not supported by any religion.
B) Steal underpants.
That’s one way....
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