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?)




Display:
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
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


Real Religious Liberty is Not Oppression
This is a reposting of an op-ed I recently published at LGBTQ Nation -- FC Real Religious Liberty is not Oppression FREDERICK CLARKSON Senior......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Houston Mayor Ignites Fervor of Religious Right
The best take on Houston Mayor Annise Parker vs. the churches in her city is the story written by Marv Knox in the Baptist......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Four Stories
LGBTQ Nation   In my first bi-weekly column on religious liberty, I discuss how  "Religious liberty is a progressive and liberatory value, over which......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Christian Right Voter Mobilization -- The Season Finale
One of the secrets of the success of the Christian Right over the years has been that opponents have taken the movement with insufficient......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Sins Of Omission: When Religious Right Leaders Speak, The Whole Truth Is Often Left Behind
When an individual doesn't feel like being absolutely truthful, there are a couple of things he or she can do. One is to simply......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Bishop Finn Under Vatican Investigation
Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has long been a symbol of the ongoing institutional intransigence in addressing......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
"The $1-Billion-a-Year [Religious] Right-Wing Conspiracy You Haven't Heard Of"
In honor of the 2014 incarnation of the event known as The Gathering, I've given an interview with Jay Michaelson, writing for the Daily......
By Bruce Wilson (5 comments)
(Un)Fantastic Five: A Remembrance Of Values Voter Summits Past
The Religious Right's annual "Values Voter Summit" (VVS) takes place this weekend. Americans United staffers Simon Brown, Sarah Jones and I will be there.......
By Rob Boston (7 comments)
The Christian Right's Voter Mobilization Strategy for 2014
My latest post at Political Research Associates is about how this weekend's Values Voter Summit fits into the Christian Right's wider electoral strategy for......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
NYT's David Brooks to Speak at Antigay Luncheon of Billionaires Who Fund Racist Preacher
Recently, government-encouraged outbreaks of mob violence against LGBT persons in countries from Uganda to Russia, and draconian new anti-gay legislation in those countries too,......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
D'Souza's Downfall: Religious Right Favorite Sentenced For Campaign Donation Violations
Yesterday conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza was sentenced to five years of probation and a term of community service for violating federal campaign laws. He......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Short Takes -- Taking Action Edition
Banned Books Week is being celebrated this year from Sept. 21-27.  Yes its time for the annual celebration of the Freedom to Read, sponsored......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Archbishop Schnurr Throws Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been an outstanding success in raising both awareness and research money needed to find a cure for Amyotrophic lateral......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)
The Secret Antigay U.S. Money Behind The WCF and the Global Evangelical War on LGBT Rights
[note to readers: this is an excerpt from my first installment in a Twocare.org/Center Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties -......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Race as Religion
Reading Edith Beer's book, The Nazi Officer's Wife, I ran across an interesting account of her fake marriage license.  She married a Nazi officer......
By wilkyjr (2 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 (1 comment)
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 (2 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 (3 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 (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 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.