Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Respectfully Religious

This morning, Faithful Progessive posted an open letter to liberal bloggers regarding his concern about the negative impact of "liberal anti-religious bias" on the religious progressive community. In his commentary, he rightfully notes that faithful progressives (& many moderates) are among the staunchest defenders of civil rights, peace and justice, that they support these things because of their religious beliefs, and that they have no interest in leveraging their support as a way to impose their particular religious beliefs on those who do not share them.

Many of my own views have been attacked as "SSSSSSSEC-u-lar-ist" by the religious right and their conservative bretheren because I have nothing but disdain for those who do seek to impose Christianity [in accordance with their particular understanding] on the rest of the country. The knee-jerk reaction those who are not religious have to the mention of religion/religious devotion have is primarily due to a conditioned response to almost any discussion in which Christian religious doctrine is even remotely mentioned. Additionally, many of us who are perceived as secular because we don't appear overtly devout or observant are on the receiving end of snide remarks about being secular (not that there's anything wrong with that), not being appropriately religious and/or not have an accurate understanding of our religion. To make matters worse, those of us who are not Christian have had to endure some less than appropriate comments from not only the conservative media, but neighbors, co-workers & even friends as they carp about "those people" who make a big deal about something as "innocent" as a creche, Christmas Carols or Easter Pageants in the public schools. We, supposedly, are "religiophobes" who are trying to remove all vestige of Christianity from the public arena.

Despite my response, in which I place the onus of changing the perception non-Christian left has when religion is referenced (even indirectly) on the religious left, I fully appreciate how disheartening it can be to have someone be so openly disrespectful by referring to any religious belief or association with religion as stupid, backward, or worse. I'm equally horrified to read posts that are derisive to any/all religious belief in progressive forums as I am to read words expected from the religious right in progressive forums. We also hear that many of those who are progressive/moderate and religious voted in a manner diametrically opposed to the majority of their stated views solely due to their stated scripturally based disgust at the possibility that gay folks might get the right to marry. Needless to say, many on the liberal left have been exposed to many who are progressive except on social issues in which their religious views dictate they start quoting scripture in protest; these actions start to make many on the religious left sound more like Scalia, who always seems to have some threat behind any reference to religion or morality.

Of course, I know better. I'm fully aware of the wonderful progressive Christians who are at the forefront of making this country a better place. Anyone working on the misconception all of who are among the Christian faithful are hypocritical, humorless bastards out to impose their religion on the rest of us need to check out the following folks:



Faithful Progressive

Father Jake

Tim Simpson

the folks at Faith Forward & Progressive Pilgrim (who were very nice about my confusion about Borg Christians and religious Trekkies).

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