May 10, 2005
The Rockridge Institute and the People for the American Way Foundation are collaborating to present an online "conference" called
It's an impressively interfaith venture, co-coordinated by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Christian Alliance for Progress, Muslim Peace Fellowship and Tikkun. Here's how they describe the conference:
After 30 years of sustained effort by leaders like Rev. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Dr. James Dobson to merge evangelical Christianity with a conservative political agenda, spiritual progressives are convening in this online dialogue to discuss how to offer a viable and meaningful alternative for millions of spiritual progressives of all faiths who are turned off by the current face of religion in American public policy.
The success of the religious right in appropriating the language of Christianity has led many progressives to become wary of religion in the public sphere. Because of this, fundamental religious values like compassion, justice and peace are largely absent from our political discussion, and progressive people of faith do not see their concerns addressed. To counter this trend, a group of leading progressive organizations has joined together in this online event to discuss how left-of-center values and spirituality can be combined to create a political movement by learning how to frame ideas in the context of the greater American experience.
The conference is taking the form of several threaded discussion boards (I'm particularly enjoying the one which asks Can religion and politics find common ground?) and anyone is welcome to participate. It's fascinating stuff; if you're so inclined, come join the conversation! It's running through May 20th, and registration is quick and easy -- you can do it from their main page.
In a serendipitous twist, Chris at Progressive Protestant is currently engaging in a dialogue with a conservative Christian blogger; each is defending his way of thinking, firmly but respectfully. I particularly recommend Chris' most recent post, Defending Liberalism: Scripture. It's grounded in Christian theology and a Christian sense of Scripture, naturally, but I think Chris' assertions make sense to those of us who think in terms of Torah -- and I suspect it's an interesting thread even if you're not involved with a Torah/Bible/Scripture-based tradition at all.