What's All This Talk about Action?
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Mar 13, 2006 at 10:38:48 PM EST
As obvious as it might seem to some of us -- that there are lots of kinds of actions to be taken in response to the religious right -- getting to the point where people can actually get down to talking about it can be more difficult than it might seem. That's why one of the first things we needed to do was to establish this site. We then needed to begin to learn how to write effectively in this medium; learn to talk with each other effectively; and begin to see what can and cannot be done here.

As we have seen, some actions have to do with self-education or the education of others. Some things have to do with considering our language, and that there are different terms and different ways of saying things that fit different occasions. Other actions have to do with reorienting our priorities in light of our new understandings of the religious right and deprogramming ourselves from inadequate or incorrect, or outdated assumptions. I have written a great deal about these things recently.

Here is a discussion of some recent posts that involve different elements of the development of appropriate tactics as we develop a wider strategy for contending with the religious right in our time.

Diarist Silver, deftly critiques the Kansas City Star for utterly missing the significance of their own report:

To say that the Kansas City Star missed the story is an understatement. The newspaper reported Thursday on a supposedly modest news conference about what appears to be, oh say, a handful of people who were upset by a teeny governmental thingie. The paper somehow failed to note the most important fact: For the first time in the history of Kansas and Missouri, mainstream clergy and people of faith have come together to battle the religious right.

Media criticism is important in the form of blog posts, letters to the editor, meetings with reporters and editors, and more.

Carlos has found a fascinating Christian right magazine article which seeks to answer the question: How are the Democrats doing copying the winning "religious" formula of the Republican party?

There is much to be learned from thoughtful critics from the right.

JoelP reports on the seminar he hosted in connection with a showing of his painting, American Fundamentalists at church in Detroit.

Showings of American Fundamentalists offers opportunities for people to seriously consider the implications of the many aspects of the religious right.

Isefire continues his series on what to do about the religious right:

Recently, I've suggested specific actions to counter the Religious Right in the arena of Electoral Politics, Training the Next Generation and The Judiciary.

Now a fourth arena: science education. Don't be fooled.The Religious Right in America has been for nearly a century trying different assaults on science education-the most recent one being their attempt to force teachers to articulate "Intelligent Design" concepts in the classroom-hoping that they will breach the wall of separation between church and state. That's why defending science education is not secondarily important but fundamentally important to countering the Religious Right.

Jonathan Hutson highlights DefCon's advertising and media campaign on the Abramoff skeleton in the religious right's closet.

This festering scandal promises to be one of the most important ever to hit the religious right. Will Democrats and anti-religious right activists seize the opportunity, or stick to business as usual?

There is much, much more, of course.

But it is useful from time-to-time, to take stock of some of the thinking we are doing about action.  It takes time for people to settle down and get accustomed to working in an authentically coalitional environment, in which highly parochial languages are set aside so we can actually talk with one another about the things that matter. There is also no need for hype here; we already have each other's attention.

There will also always need to be a balance to be struck between writing for a more advanced audience and for people who are newer to the subject.  The more our readership and active pool of participants grows, the more challenging this balance is likely to become. But it is up to those of us who are here now to be considering this as we write and think together, and prepare to incorporate others.

We have come a long way in a short time and we are ready to more profoundly inform the dynamic new movements gathering to revitalize democracy in America.

In my post Writing the History of the Future, I wrote:
Let us first, not be paralyzed by ignorance and fear. And let us not spread ignorance and fear to others. Let us offer no support and encouragement to those who engage in these practices.  Let's not allow our concerns about threats to  democracy and democratic institutions, to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Let's imagine and create movements of hope and strength.  The vast majority of Americans do not want a theocracy, or anything like a theocracy. But in order to reach them, we need to do a much better job of understanding the theocratic factions; persuading people of the nature of the threat to their interests; and organzing effective counter movements.

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Mar 13, 2006 at 11:15:50 PM EST

this is a great look back at a string of posts that in time could be distilled into an Action Center on the site (or date I suggest, Talk To Action's first book!).

by IseFire on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 08:34:58 AM EST

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