<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d9619367\x26blogName\x3dTalkingDonkeys\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://talkingdonkeys.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://talkingdonkeys.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d3978450256514867916', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

"Our Faith is Offended..."

This is from last April 2005, but I just came accross it and like it a lot. It's from a Pew Research Center: Faith, Politics & Progressives: A Conversation with John Podesta who is the CEO, Center for American Progress; and former Chief of Staff to President Clinton... Here are exceprts:

John Podesta:

"It's tempting to look at that and believe, as I think many opinion leaders do, that whatever common ground there is between the walls of faith and politics, it's generally on the right. I think that enhanced the belief that American politics is polarized into two warring factions: a religious right that promotes government intervention in all areas of private life, so long as it doesn't interfere with the free market, and a secular left, which would be content to do the opposite. I think that's a simplistic assessment and it may explain why it's so widely held, because it is so simplistic. But obviously, I think, as particularly people here know, the reality of this is far more complex...

Historically, whether we're talking about Frederick Douglass or Dorothy Day or Rabbi Heschel or Dr. Martin Luther King, or the millions they helped to lead, there's an America that expressed its faith by fighting for abolition and for women's suffrage, by walking picket lines, by marching for civil rights, by protesting the war in Vietnam. The progressive religious tradition not only predates the Dobsons and the Robertsons, it certainly continues to this day and I think – and this is my plea to you today – that it is something that is highly under-reported in the coverage of religion in public life today.

But we do see it in local campaigns to win a living wage for low-income workers. The Center was involved with ACORN – and a broad religious coalition – in trying to raise the minimum wage in Florida, the ballot initiative that was successful in the 2004 election. We see it in efforts to protect voting rights, we see it in the campaigns to provide debt relief to the most impoverished countries on earth, we see it in the movement to promote peaceful conflict resolution both at home and abroad. But I would argue that where we need to see much more of this and much more of this conversation is right here in this city – in the media and in every forum where the spiritual dimension of public policy is considered...

We began last June when we brought together more than 400 clergy, advocates and scholars who attended our first faith and policy conference. It was dedicated to a faith agenda aimed at bringing people together, not stigmatizing them, not dividing them. It crossed sectarian lines because our faith is offended. And people from all those traditions, I think, shared this.

Our faith is offended when our nation allows 1 in 6 children to live in poverty – we're 45 million Americans; 19 million lack health insurance – when disease, hunger, poverty and war ravage 2 billion people on the planet, when our leaders deny the damage that their policies are plainly doing to God's earth and our own society.

I don't think we had all the answers at that conference, but we started with the belief that whether you're a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or a Buddhist, you loved your neighbor and you recognized your responsibility to your community and to the nation. The people who came together, I think, truly believed that progressive governance is not only more fair and effective, but it is the right thing to do in a profoundly moral sense.

Another important thing that we did was we didn't try to teach politicians how to talk the Bible, but we did try to bring the voices of the progressive religious community into the public debate. One of the people who attended our conference and who has become quite prominent in the media these days was Jim Wallis. We had Jim Forbes, Bob Edgar, Sue Thislewaite; we had a range of religious voices that we tried to lift up, to give them the support that they needed....

We obviously need to do more than just remind people of the history of progressive social change. We have to provide a forum for a new generation of religious activists. So people sometimes ask if what we want to achieve on the left is what religious conservatives have already created on the right. I think we can probably do better than Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, Tom DeLay and the others. What we're about, I think, is renewing and restoring a progressive religious tradition that for most of our history helped make ours a more benevolent, a more compassionate, a more caring society.

I'm Catholic, as I said earlier. I attend Mass, I take communion. It's a source of strength for me. I think it's really what makes me a progressive. And while – and I'll close with this – like many Catholics, there are issues where I disagree with my church, I could not help but be touched by what I think really all Americans experienced recently – the life and works of John Paul II.

He once observed that America today has what he called a heightened responsibility to be for the world an example of the genuinely free, democratic, just and humane society. That is as clear and precise a statement of what faith has to say to politics, I think, as anything I could come up with.

Those moral values not only help define me as a Catholic and as an American; they're the reason why in this time of conservative power, and particularly at a time when I see a conservative abuse of power, I'm standing my ground as a progressive and I am willing to get engaged in this fight and this debate for the direction of our country.
"
« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

» Post a Comment Permalink