Taking action, Part 1, winning elections & the next generation
IseFire printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Feb 07, 2006 at 09:10:52 AM EST
Promised at the end of this post were suggestions for ways to counter the Religious Right. I'm going to making some of those suggestions today, beginning with actions you can take in two vitally important arenas.

If you're on this website, you probably don't need to be convinced that the Religious Right is a strong political movement that needs to be checked. But, context matters, so here's a bit of that in the form of a quick, two-part refresher:

Point 1 of 2: The Religious Right's influence is big. Others involved with Talk To Action have written about the Religious Right's successes in redefining debates and winning victories legislative or cultural related to a host of issues: women's reproduction freedom and health, the media, civil and human rights for gay Americans, and many other issues of interest to them . . . and hopefully to us all. What is more, the Religious Right's influence relative to these issues is increasingly global, making the need for action all the greater.

Point 2 of 2: The Religious Right's mechanisms are legion. The Religious Right didn't get its present stature without allies and clear strategies and goals. The movement's rise is both a cause and a consequence of the ascendancy, beginning 30 years ago, of modern American conservatism itself. And the rise of each utilized mechanisms such as think tanks, media, young conservatives programs, and electoral politics.

I divided the above summary into two realms: that of issues (the "what") and that of the mechanisms (the "how"). I propose that such a division is helpful in any consideration of how to counter the Religious Right. And the next step can be disaggregating each realm into discrete arenas in which you can defend our Constitution's principles against the Religious Right by means of very specific actions.

So, let's break down the second realm, the "how" realm, and look at just two of its arena, leaving the realm of issues alone for today. The list of ways to counter the Religious Right has to begin somewhere, and personally I believe it begins with two arenas of foundational importance, two upon which later victories are based.

ARENA: ELECTORAL POLITICS. Every arena I will ever itemize on Talk to Action is at least indirectly connected to every other one; but, there is a single one to which I believe all the rest are directly connected. That area is simply electoral politics--yes, political parties, candidates, and voting.

The Religious Right came to power largely by organizing politically. And without their electoral victories, their issues would remain just that: issues. All talk; no action; no results. The largest single aspect of that political organizing was becoming indispensable to the Republican Party.

Something you can do in this arena: First, if you're not registered to vote, register now.

Something else you can do: Get involved in electoral politics locally. Here there ought to be a link to an online master directory of official Republican and Democratic clubs in the nation. Neither the Republican National Committee nor the Democratic National Committee offer such. But you can go here (RNC) or here (DNC) to get contact information to party headquarters in your state and ask them for ways to get involved locally. They may point you to a club, or in states or areas of a state where there is no club system, they might point you to the party's county committee, or other party-related groups.

Of course, one can enter into electoral politics without going through the parties. There are dozens of local organizations or national organizations with local chapters that are options, which endorse candidates and work to get out the vote for them.

The key is to find opportunities to spread the word about the Religious Right within and eventually, perhaps, beyond the local organization, and where it's necessary to push candidates and party activists to take action relative to the Religious Right. There are many ways to do this, and you need to look at the situation you're in and see what you can do.

An example: I joined a local partisan political club, and after becoming the Editor-in-Chief of its newsletter, used my monthly column as a way to raise awareness about the Religious Right. My local candidates didn't need to be pushed to act because the Religious Right is virtually non-existent as a political force in my urban neighborhood, but they and members of the club often had simple, two-dimensional views of the Religious Right, and needed to be encouraged to join the larger discussion, reach out to their friends or families in other states, and if possible contribute time or money to organizations that oppose the Religious Right.

Another suggestion might be to familiarize yourself with Theocracy Watch's presentation, "Are We Becoming a Theocracy?" and volunteer to present it to your local club or county committee.

ARENA: TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION. The Religious Right's churches and student groups, as well private conservative Christian schools and evangelical and fundamentalist parents who home school, train young minds in conservative ideology. Consider the case of Patrick Henry College.

Something you can do in this arena: Tell a budding progressive, whether your own child, cousin, niece, or nephew or whoever about progressive scholarships, like this one from Blogging for Progress. In doing so, it may be a great opportunity to make sure they're connected to ideas for outreach and networks of other young progressives who can inspire them.

More scholarships, internships, and fellowships are listed here. Have a budding progressive (or two or three) in mind who is a junior or senior in high school? Think. Come on. Okay, now e-mail them relevant links, such as the ones above, with the subject line "money for college." . Trust me, they'll read the e-mail.

Something else you can do: Actually help fund a program for young progressives, like Young People For, or the Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund. Maybe you don't have children of your own, or they have already graduated from college. If you feel you can spare some money to help improve the future prospects of a young individual who could be a future progressive leader, give some money now.

Obviously, there are other things you can do in these arenas. But, I hope to raise awareness about just a few options at a time. Otherwise, it can become overwhelming, and we want to turn talk to action on this site, not paralysis!

(Oh, and . . . have you e-mailed that young progressive yet?)

You convinced me that I need to send an e-mail about this blog to a couple young progressives that I know.

It would help if we put a link to something that will make it easy for people to send e-mails linking to the articles on this website.

Meanwhile, I'll do it by cut and paste and ordinary e-mail.

by Mainstream Baptist on Tue Feb 07, 2006 at 04:51:21 PM EST

wow, that great! I'm glad you're going to do that

As far as a link for e-mailing, do you mean of those "E-mail this article" links? Not a bad idea.

by IseFire on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 02:06:43 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Progressives Are Taking Up Religious Freedom Day
In the heat of our political moment, we sometimes don't see how our future connects deeply to our past. But the Christian Right does......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Freedom vs. Fear: Restricting Religious Liberty Isn't The Answer To Terrorism
Last week, a community meeting was held in Spotsylvania County, Va., to discuss plans by a group of Muslims who want to relocate and......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Christian Right Electoral Hegemony, Rising in the States
This is a revised, updated and retitled post I did on the long term trend of significant political progress of the Christian Right and......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Who's Been Naughty, Who's Been Nice?: The AFA Explains It All For You
If you're like me, you've been sitting around anxiously awaiting the release of the American Family Association's "Naughty or Nice" list of retailers for......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
U.S. Department Of Judeo-Christian Values?: Kasich Proposes New Religious Propaganda Arm
According to some polls, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who believes that ancient Egyptians built......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
Scripture Stories: Religious Right Claims About The `Aitken Bible' Don't Hold Up
Tomorrow several conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives plan to hold a public reading of the Aitken Bible on the East Front......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
The Tallest Statue in the Nation of an Individual
Many a day I drove on I 45 past the statue of Sam Houston.  The monument to the statesman is the largest in the......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Honoring Everyone Who Served: A Veterans Day Reflection
In 1952, a private group sought permission from government officials to erect a large cross atop Mt. Soledad near San Diego. They did it......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
One Million Maniacs?: AFA Attacks Magazine For Highlighting Family Headed By Same-Sex Couple
I have a daughter named Claire who is 21 years old and working her first job in journalism since graduating from college. I'm awfully......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
What Catholic Neo-Confederates Don't Want You To Know About Secession
During the summer of 2013 I wrote several posts about Catholic Neo-Confederates. My purpose was to explain the activities of libertarians such as Tom......
By Frank Cocozzelli (10 comments)
Sex And Common Sense: Texas Public School Reconsiders `Chastity' Speaker
A self-appointed expert on sex and relationships won't speak at an El Paso, Texas, high school - for now.Jason Evert runs an outfit called......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Two Trials that Impacted American Religion
Silent movie, Birth of a Nation, became the first blockbuster screen phenomena.  Civil Rights groups deplored the production and sought to ban it.  It......
By wilkyjr (3 comments)
The Francis Trajectory.
The recent dust-up over the meeting between Pope Francis and culture warrior Kim Davis has caused the Pontiff's stock to fall somewhat among liberals.......
By Frank Cocozzelli (11 comments)
Taking Care Of Business: Religious Right Group Plans `Religious Liberty' Ratings For Companies
My inbox this morning contained a press release from the American Family Association (AFA). The Tupelo, Miss.-based Religious Right group has exciting news: It......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Quest for Utopia
Surfing through old videos on youtube I found some interesting tapes of H. L. Hunt.  Certainly one of the original founders of the modern......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (2 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.