Speaking at Netroots Nation
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:45:14 PM EST
The annual gathering of progressive political bloggers, Netroots Nation is coming up August 1316 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Conference organizers are beginning to post the agenda.

I have agreed to appear on a panel. But I do not agree with the premises of the panel, "A New Progressive Vision of Church and State, as described. As a matter of fact, that is why I am going.

A New Progressive Vision for Church and State
date and time TBA

The old liberal vision of a total separation of religion from politics has been discredited. Despite growing secularization, a secular progressive majority is still impossible, and a new two-part approach is needed--one that first admits that there is no political wall of separation. Voters must be allowed, without criticism, to propose policies based on religious belief. But, when government speaks and acts, messages must be universal. The burden is on religious believers, therefore, to explain public references like "under God" in universal terms. For example, the word "God" can refer to the ceaseless creativity of the universe and the objective validity of human rights. Promoting and accepting religious images as universal will help heal culture-war divisions and promote the formation of a broad-based progressive coalition.

I expect that I will have more to say about this before and after the conference. But in the meantime, here it is for your consideration.




Display:
Well, you have your work cut out for you.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 08:08:16 PM EST

What a wholesale crock of b*s*

Who in their right mind came up with that one?

by RevDeb on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:59:11 PM EST


I, too, wonder who the "progressives" that came up with this are. It sounds more like an insidious kind of hijacking to me. Once you let a "universal" God into politics, the majority God will quickly take over, leaving us with the God of the religious right. Damn, but this is really scary! Give 'em hell, Fred...

by phatkhat on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:48:32 AM EST

The very premise "a new two-part approach is needed--one that first admits that there is no political wall of separation. Voters must be allowed, without criticism, to propose policies based on religious belief"is so dumb it is not to be believed.

Certainly EVERYONE should be allowed to express their beliefs/ideas/visions, that is what the First Amendment is for. However, once one expresses a religious belief in the political arena it becomes a political idea not a religious one. It is open to criticism and the believer can not hide behind the notion their religion is being attacked when the proposed religious idea is criticized.

Should one be allowed to express their religious belief that homosexuals should be stoned to death and work in the political arena toward that goal and that idea not be severely criticized for advancing such a legal remedy for homosexuals even though it is their sincerely held religious belief?

Separation of Church and State should be absolute. Government should remain neutral in the matter of religion.

And people of faith should not try to get their religious beliefs made into laws.  Look what a mess people of faith got us into with Prohibition.

Look how long it took women to obtain the vote because most religions of the day taught a woman's place was in the home and she could not understand politics.

Religion brought about the Hayes Commission which censored what we could see in movies.

Religion through law kept our businesses closed on Sundays even though Sunday was not a "holy" day for a minority of Americans who possibly wanted to conduct business on Sunday.

The list of "sins" religion has tried to correct in society through law should be a new book for Fred or Rob to write.

If the idea of total separation has been discredited it is because of the lies told by the Right about America being a Christian nation from its founding and because most liberals (read Democrats) have been too cowed to refute these lies.

by JerrySloan on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:49:20 AM EST


There seems to be no end to historical revisionism. Given that the political class concentrates on controlling the electorate rather than representing it, it's not surprising they would latch on to religion to further their duplicitousness. dci
off
by lackawack on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 02:19:45 PM EST

This description is very odd, I'm not even sure I know what this panel is going to be about.

The old liberal vision of a total separation of religion from politics has been discredited.

I'm not sure anyone has ever advocated total separation of religion and politics, just church and state.  Most liberals still identify as theists, so I assume that some religious beliefs inform their politics.

Despite growing secularization, a secular progressive majority is still impossible, and a new two-part approach is needed--one that first admits that there is no political wall of separation.

America is becoming more secular, with fewer people saying they belong to any particular religious group and slightly lower church attendance.  A secular progessive majority is not possible because most people in America are not liberals/leftists or secular.  I'm not sure what a "political wall of separation" means.

Voters must be allowed, without criticism, to propose policies based on religious belief. But, when government speaks and acts, messages must be universal.

I'm not sure what "without criticism" modifies in the first sentence: the fact that voters shouldn't be criticize for proposing policies based on religious beliefs, or that the policies based on religous beliefs themselves shouldn't be criticized.  In a pluralist democracy, one can propose policies based on their religious beliefs, but one would hope those proposals could be criticized.  One would also hope that when the government speaks or acts, it would do so in a religiously nuetral way.

The burden is on religious believers, therefore, to explain public references like "under God" in universal terms. For example, the word "God" can refer to the ceaseless creativity of the universe and the objective validity of human rights.

This is weird.  "Under God" can't be put into universal terms, since belief in "God" isn't even universal among religious believers (for example, Hindus and most Buddhists).  Most theist who believe in God can't agree amongst themselves on what God really is or wants.  The second second sentence seems to refer to God in a pantheist sense, but I'm not sure.  I don't know if this is some stab at ceremonial deism or civic religion.

Promoting and accepting religious images as universal will help heal culture-war divisions and promote the formation of a broad-based progressive coalition.

I have no idea what this means.  Religious images healing divisions caused by the culture wars?  Are they serious?

Good luck to you, Fred.  You've got your work cut out for you with this panel...

-------------
"I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair" - JFK, Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
by hardindr on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 08:06:26 PM EST

This is just the panel description of course. The presentation by Professor Ledewitz is supposed to go for 20 minutes, with the rest of us offering critiques.

In the time I have, I imagine that I will be able to make and develop no more than two or three points.

by Frederick Clarkson on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:00:10 AM EST
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


The President's Faith: A Matter Of Choice, Not Compulsion
Today President Barack Obama, who is the world's worst Muslim - he drinks alcohol and eats bacon - will do something many Muslims do......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Voting For Jesus?: Candidates Seek To Outdo One Another With Religiosity
The Iowa caucuses are today, and, despite what you may have heard, Jesus Christ is not appearing on the ballot.Several of his close friends......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Conventional Wisdom Watch: Getting it Wrong about the Religious Right
It is a case of the more things change the more things stay the same. I wrote a short post in 2008 about how......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Club Fight: Tenn. Residents Complain About High School's Gay-Straight Alliance
At public schools around the country, students, mostly high schoolers, are forming Gay-Straight Alliance clubs. Fundamentalist Christians often freak out over the existence of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Zionism and Eschatology
The church I attend just had a member place a display at the back of a Sunday morning Bible class.  The display called for......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Save The Day: Celebrating Real Religious Freedom
Saturday is Religious Freedom Day. While it's not one of our most well-known or popular holidays, Religious Freedom Day shouldn't be overlooked. Our country......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Warning of Theocratic Zones of Control
This week, I published a report -- months in the making --  titled, When Exemption is the Rule: The Religious Freedom Strategy of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Moore Grandstanding: Ala. Chief Justice Tries Again To Block Marriage Equality
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore last week tried, once again, to block marriage equality in that state.There is no case pending before......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Maureen Mullarkey Share the 2015 Coughlin Award!
Yes, folks it's that time of the year again. It's time for the presentation of the annual Coughlin Award. As it is every......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
All Quiet on the War on Christmas Front
It is time for my annual response to the preposterous-but-malevolent claims broadcast on Fox News and elsewhere that there is a War on Christmas.......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Christian Right: Inviting Cruz or Trump to Tea?
With Republican candidate Ben Carson dropping like a stone in a pool of confusion, who gets invited to the tea party? Tea Party activists......
By Chip Berlet (2 comments)
A Plethora Of Pulpit Politicking Problems?: Far-Right Pastors Prepare For Electoral Bids
The state of Tennessee used to have a law that banned members of the clergy from running for public office. The U.S. Supreme Court......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Trump: An Apocalyptic Messenger for the Christian Right
We stand in the overflow crowd of some 300 in the small town of Tyngsborough near the New Hampshire border. Several thousand people are......
By Chip Berlet (3 comments)
Trump's Demagoguery Threatens Democracy Itself
Now is the time for blunt talk. Donald Trump is a dangerous demagogue generating "scripted violence." Trumpism threatens not just the First Amendment but......
By Chip Berlet (3 comments)
Irony Implosion: Pat Robertson Opposes Politics Masquerading As Religion
TV preacher Pat Robertson and I go way back. In 1996, I wrote a book about him, and I've followed his career since.I long......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)

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 (3 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 (4 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 (1 comment)
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 (6 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.