Voter Mobilization by Religious Progressives
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 06:53:06 PM EST
There was a time, not so long ago, that religious progressives were told by Beltway Insiders to, well, shut-up about matters of sexual and reproductive justice.  A faux religious left had been manufactured that would handle this, thank you very much.  But as it turned out, many of us would not be silenced.  Time went on, and progressives at the historic Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) began to find their voices for reproductive justice as never before, focusing less on Washington-based "God talk" and more on living out their values via organizing and empowerment in the great tradition of religious social justice that was so integral to progressive advances in the 20th century.

The Christian Right has, of course, been very effective in the electoral arena for decades. And this year is unlikely to be an exception.  It is long past time that religious progressives who support reproductive rights, LGTB civil rights, and separation of church and state get better organized. This was one of the main arguments of my 2008 book, Dispatches from the Religious Left.  

And now it seems it is starting to happen.

I can't speak to everything that RCRC is doing, but voter participation has clearly been integrated into their organizing capacity. One result this election eve, is a new short video featuring progressive religious leaders you may never have heard of -- who but deserve a hearing.

all of the hateful rhetoric and shrill denunciations of freedom coming from "Religious" people, this was a refreshing and encouraging thing to view.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that there ARE other liberal Christians - people who wouldn't force their view on anyone, who respected the rights and person of the Other, and who reject proselytizing.  People who care more about how people are treated than about what they believe and think about their responsibility to others (to help, not to take away freedom).

I'm glad you put this up.

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 08:25:56 PM EST

and I'm sure you'll be glad to know that Angela Ferrell-Zabala the RCRC field director who is in the video, is in Florida doing her thing.

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 08:41:02 PM EST

As one who has stood on the street and in policy arenas as a progressive Christian for all kinds of values including LGBT and reproductive rights, I am about fed up with the reception. Yes - I can get legislation passed. No I cannot get the media to give a damn, give us a hearing, print an Op-Ed, or even interview us in momentous situations. Right now the issue - THE issue - is indeed religious freedom under assault over birth control. But it is OUR freedom, not the religious conservatives' freedom, that is under attack. The institutions providing the coverage are TAX supported. They come under Civil Rights laws of equal accommodation. They want to be exempt so that their non or differently religious employees have only labor market relationships - the right to quit - not moral ones or even basic democratic ones. And they still want our tax dollars. Well. No. The Catholic Bishops are now the new George Wallace. You cannot have federal money and then discriminate against those who provide it. I don't care WHAT you believe - you have no right to use religion as the cover for depriving rights any more than you did depriving people of color of theirs. I am not and never have been silent on these issues, but it is the tree falling in the woods with no one there. If you cannot get heard beyond your immediate circle of friends, then you are not heard. Period. So if we are going to be heard, we must do so by acting together in ways that cannot be ignored. We who believe contraception and abortion are positive moral values have to stand together - sign on letters, demonstrations, Editorial Board meetings - whatever it takes - to make people understand WE ARE THE MAJORITY, and we will NOT take subordinate roles in our democracy.

by Churchlady on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 12:46:54 PM EST
They threaten the freedom of every person here... women's issues are important but no more important than, for instance, LGBT issues or those of the pagan or atheist communities (or minority issues or disabled issues or...).

Whenever we put one issue above all others, we reduce our effectiveness and in essence tell the others that the persecution and harassment they face isn't as important.

Nobody should have a subordinate role in this democracy.  We have de facto second and third class citizens, and yes, some are de jure (the laws against gay marriage for instance).  There should be no "class" in a democracy.

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:14:04 AM EST

There is a need for individual issue reporting and lobbying, but I have noticed that there is increasing cooperation between progressive "single issue" organizations, to reflect the individual progressive person's tendency to hold progressive opinions on a wide range of issues. Intersectionality, to use the buzz word of the post-2000 progressive lingo.

It is worth pointing out that reproductive issues affect a huge percentage of  the population, women much more so than men due to the bodily autonomy aspect and the historical responsibility of women for any contraceptive effort. Men with common sense and respect for women also "get" reproductive issues. Publicising the difference between parties on this issue had a large effect on election outcome.

by NancyP on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:02:29 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.