1. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    35529
    20 Jan '17 10:241 edit
    In an article Brian D. McLaren did for the Religion News Service, he outlines why Progressive Christianity is a valid position in this modern world seemingly dominated by evangelical, conservative Christians.

    He lays out 10 reasons why Progressive Christianity is a more preferred position for him, as a Christian, but this list particularly resonates with me, and I probably could not have written this any better myself, about myself. Many Christians here have asked me rather point-blank, "Why are you a Liberal, and not Conservative?" As if Conservatism is somehow a default position for Christians to take. I've always said that Jesus would never be a Conservative, at least not the way it has become known today. Compassion is my main reason. We are expected to follow Jesus, to be like Jesus. Love is the basis for Christianity, and I do not see much in modern conservatism that has anything at all to do with love or compassion.

    So here goes:

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1. I want to associate with people who are respectful and treat others, even their opponents, with basic human decency and civility.

    Too many conservative leaders have become increasingly disrespectful to the point of being rude, crude and mean-spirited. It’s become impossible to ignore — from Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouting “You lie!” during the president’s State of the Union address to Donald Trump reaching historic lows with name-calling, crude insults, genital braggadocio, and violent rhetoric.

    2. I can’t support regressive thinking that longs for a time when life was worse for nearly everybody except people like me.

    Whether you like President Barack Obama or not, former religious right activist Frank Schaeffer told the ugly truth about contemporary conservatism: It has carried out a vicious “slow motion lynching” of our first African-American president. Today’s conservatives have been undermining voting rights for minorities, vilifying immigrants, scapegoating LGBTQ people, and resurrecting white privilege and white supremacy to maintain systemic injustice. One simple word in Trump’s campaign slogan — “again” – harkens back to a time of deep discrimination against everyone who doesn’t look like or pray like me.

    3. I won’t be pandered to or manipulated based on religious self-interest or bigotry.

    Today’s conservatives support a frightening array of proposals that go against our Constitution’s call for “equal protection”: banning people from entering the country based on religion, mass surveillance of communities based on religion and creating registries of people based on religion.

    4. I am drawn to policies that support conquering poverty, not perpetuating it.

    When I began to understand the complex causes and conditions that trap people in poverty, I better understood the need for quality education, nutrition, health care, child care, occupational safety, fair pay, racial equity, and public transportation. I became increasingly drawn to leaders who work to reduce poverty by reducing teen pregnancy, addiction, family breakdown, domestic violence, gangs, mass incarceration, and untreated mental illnesses. In short, the more I became committed to poverty reduction, the more I saw how conservatism keeps people trapped in poverty.

    5. I cannot support the massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich.

    Conservatives often complain that liberals want to transfer wealth, but the fact is, for decades conservatives have supported a massive transfer of wealth to those who need it least. They have long promised that if we just help the rich through tax cuts, deregulation, and undermining worker rights, the benefits would “trickle down” to the rest of us. When I was younger, I was naive enough to believe this kind of voodoo economics, but with age I’ve come to see that all that actually trickles down is a toxic slurry of pollution, unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and economic inequality that is pummeling Americans, regardless of race or religion.

    6. I have grown so tired of being misinformed and manipulated about abortion.

    Here are the facts: Abortion rates went up under former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, then down under Bill Clinton, remained level during George W. Bush and have fallen about 13 percent during the Obama administration. There were 29 abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44 in the Reagan years, and the number has dropped to 16 today. As evangelical-born writer Rachel Held Evans has said, criminalizing abortion only reduces its safety, not its incidence.

    The conservative culture war on abortion has failed. Its “baby-killer/women-hater” rhetoric has polarized and paralyzed us for decades. If we want to reduce abortion, we must focus on policies that have been proven to do so: better education, health care, and wages — which, it turns out, are policies that also improve women’s lives and strengthen families.

    7. I care about the health of the earth.

    My faith leads me to support environmental policies that build a cleaner, more sustainable and ultimately more profitable future. When I hear conservative candidates talk about shutting down the Environmental Protection Agency and getting rid of government regulations that protect the environment, I wonder how many more Flint-style water crises there will be, how many more Gulf oil spill disasters there will be, how many more inches (or feet!) the sea will rise, and how much national and global instability will result. I’m no fan of big government, but conservatives argue for shrinking government to a size that it can no longer hold big business accountable as it plunders our one and only beautiful planet earth for short-term profit and long-term disaster.

    8. I won’t feed terrorism.

    Too few conservatives seem to understand the simple strategy of terrorism: use inexpensive, unpredictable, and highly visible attacks to instill fear among rich and powerful nations to entice them to bankrupt themselves financially and morally through endless and unwinnable wars. When conservatives advocate for “bomb the hell out of them,” “waterboarding” and “carpet-bombing” strategies to beat terrorism, they are foolishly marching us right into the trap the terrorists have set.

    9. I am sincerely concerned about Trump’s base.

    A good friend of mine, a Trump supporter, said this to me the other day: “Whatever you think of Trump, white men like me feel like we’ve lost a lot. We’re everybody’s whipping boy. We’re tired of being disrespected. Trump gets that.” I think there are millions of Americans, many of them white and working class, who feel like my friend. Their jobs were shipped overseas. They’ve been hurt by an economy that aggregates wealth at the very top. They’ve fallen between the cracks of a dysfunctional Congress so divided that it gets next to nothing done. Sadly, beyond stirring them up with angry speeches, once Trump gets what he wants from them — their vote — he’ll leave them even worse off and therefore angrier. We need actual policies that will help them build a better future, not vain promises about returning to the past.

    10. I believe in the power of love, not the love of power.

    I understand that millions of Americans are pumped up by Trump’s talk about being tough, his “punch him in the face” bluster, his disgust with a free press, and his glib praise of dictators and torture. But my faith leads me to see true greatness in service and true power in love, self-control, and neighborliness — not domination, reactivity, and revenge. Trump’s love of power may have served him well in business and entertainment, but in political leadership, it will be his Achilles’ heel, and his reactivity and lack of humility will make him chaotic and dangerous.

    Not only that, but supporting a crude, angry, unaccountable and self-indulgent leader sets a terrible example for our children and grandchildren. And if conservatives reward Trump with a victory, can you imagine what the next generation of conservative politicians will be like?

    Listen, I don’t always agree with everything that goes under the label of progressive, and progressives need to be way more effective at communicating and implementing their best ideas. But I cannot support any party or candidate — local, state, federal or presidential — characterized by mean-spiritedness, bigotry, unfairness, carelessness toward the poor, funneling wealth to the richest, undermining abortion reduction, destroying our fragile planet, playing into the hands of terrorists, exploiting the anger of suffering people, and being driven more by the love of power than the power of love.

    Any one or two of these reasons would have been sufficient to lead me away from voting conservative. All of them together make me a consistent and passionate progressive voter in this election, win or lose… not in spite of my Christian faith, but because of it.

    To all who come from the conservative evangelical heritage, I would say this: Your pastors, parents, or radio/TV preachers may not grant you permission to break up with conservatism, but you have it anyway.

    Permission is granted by your conscience.

    -- Brian D. McLaren, September 21, 2016, excerpted from an article on the RNS website
  2. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    20 Jan '17 10:35
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    In an article Brian D. McLaren did for the Religion News Service, he outlines why Progressive Christianity is a valid position in this modern world seemingly dominated by evangelical, conservative Christians.
    What "left wing" policies that have been implemented around the world in various countries at various times in the last 100 years or so do you think Jesus would have disapproved of? What "conservative" principles would he have endorsed?
  3. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    20 Jan '17 11:24
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    In an article Brian D. McLaren did for the Religion News Service, he outlines why Progressive Christianity is a valid position in this modern world seemingly dominated by evangelical, conservative Christians.

    He lays out 10 reasons why Progressive Christianity is a more preferred position for him, as a Christian, but this list particularly resonates with ...[text shortened]... cience.

    -- Brian D. McLaren, September 21, 2016, excerpted from an article on the RNS website
    Christianity is neither progressive or political. Remember "separation of church and state"? Marrying your faith to a political agenda is merely wearing it on your sleeve.

    When "progressive Christianity" abhors the wholesale slaughter of innocent babies, then maybe I'll be impressed. When "progressive Christianity" takes its lead from God's Word and not from a political ideology, then maybe it will be something to look at.

    Conservatism is rooted in Biblical values that are lost on both political parties.
  4. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    20 Jan '17 11:26
    Originally posted by FMF
    What "left wing" policies that have been implemented around the world in various countries at various times in the last 100 years or so do you think Jesus would have disapproved of? What "conservative" principles would he have endorsed?
    Why are you trying to put Jesus in a political box? Why are you trying to humanize Jesus? Jesus is King of kings.
  5. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Cosmopolis
    Joined
    27 Oct '04
    Moves
    78550
    20 Jan '17 11:451 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    Why are you trying to put Jesus in a political box? Why are you trying to humanize Jesus? Jesus is King of kings.
    If Jesus was not human but purely divine then the sacrifice on the cross seems to me to be empty. Is it not the case that you need an at least partly human Jesus for Christianity to make sense?
  6. Standard memberRajk999
    Enjoying
    On the Beach
    Joined
    04 Apr '04
    Moves
    170571
    20 Jan '17 11:472 edits
    Originally posted by josephw
    Christianity is neither progressive or political. Remember "separation of church and state"? Marrying your faith to a political agenda is merely wearing it on your sleeve.

    When "progressive Christianity" abhors the wholesale slaughter of innocent babies, then maybe I'll be impressed. When "progressive Christianity" takes its lead from God's Word and not ...[text shortened]... o look at.

    Conservatism is rooted in Biblical values that are lost on both political parties.
    Jesus Christ and politics are not compatible.
    Christians and politics are... [good examples are those like the opening poster, and Eladar]

    Reason? Jesus [and his sheep] is not of this world neither is his Kingdom to come.
    Many Christians are still of this world and cannot divorce themselves from it.
  7. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    20 Jan '17 12:06
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    If Jesus was not human but purely divine then the sacrifice on the cross seems to me to be empty. Is it not the case that you need an at least partly human Jesus for Christianity to make sense?
    Of course. I meant "humanize" in the sense of relating to what Jesus would do in the case of "left wing" policies as FMF tried to get Suzianne to answer.

    And by the way, Jesus wasn't just "partly" human as I'm sure you're aware.
  8. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    20 Jan '17 12:081 edit
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Jesus Christ and politics are not compatible.
    Christians and politics are... [good examples are those like the opening poster, and Eladar]

    Reason? Jesus [and his sheep] is not of this world neither is his Kingdom to come.
    Many Christians are still of this world and cannot divorce themselves from it.
    I get your point.
  9. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    20 Jan '17 12:14
    Originally posted by josephw
    Why are you trying to put Jesus in a political box? Why are you trying to humanize Jesus? Jesus is King of kings.
    My questions were in response to the content of the OP.
  10. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    20 Jan '17 12:24
    Originally posted by FMF
    My questions were in response to the content of the OP.
    Well, then which Jesus are you referring to?
  11. Joined
    22 Sep '07
    Moves
    44172
    20 Jan '17 12:36
    Originally posted by josephw
    Christianity is neither progressive or political. Remember "separation of church and state"? Marrying your faith to a political agenda is merely wearing it on your sleeve.

    When "progressive Christianity" abhors the wholesale slaughter of innocent babies, then maybe I'll be impressed. When "progressive Christianity" takes its lead from God's Word and not ...[text shortened]... o look at.

    Conservatism is rooted in Biblical values that are lost on both political parties.
    How would you define politics?
  12. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    20 Jan '17 12:42
    Originally posted by josephw
    Well, then which Jesus are you referring to?
    I was referring to the Jesus who was mentioned by name three times in the OP.
  13. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
    USA
    Joined
    24 May '04
    Moves
    148450
    20 Jan '17 17:58
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    In an article Brian D. McLaren did for the Religion News Service, he outlines why Progressive Christianity is a valid position in this modern world seemingly dominated by evangelical, conservative Christians.

    He lays out 10 reasons why Progressive Christianity is a more preferred position for him, as a Christian, but this list particularly resonates with ...[text shortened]... cience.

    -- Brian D. McLaren, September 21, 2016, excerpted from an article on the RNS website
    I dislike assuming people are going to be (good/bad) by a single stance they take on any given topic. Labeling ourselves and others quickly draws lines that may or may not be accurate. At times it also runs the risk of shutting down discussions that could lead to a change of views.
  14. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    20 Jan '17 19:33
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I dislike assuming people are going to be (good/bad) by a single stance they take on any given topic. Labeling ourselves and others quickly draws lines that may or may not be accurate. At times it also runs the risk of shutting down discussions that could lead to a change of views.
    I think some discussions need to be shut down.

    I mean, do Christians really believe that the unborn are human beings and it is really murder? If so, Progs are comparable to the average Nazi. What is there then to talk about?
  15. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    20 Jan '17 19:382 edits
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Jesus Christ and politics are not compatible.
    Christians and politics are... [good examples are those like the opening poster, and Eladar]

    Reason? Jesus [and his sheep] is not of this world neither is his Kingdom to come.
    Many Christians are still of this world and cannot divorce themselves from it.
    Jesus said that his kingdom was not of this world. Those that mingle God the politics of sinful man only do so for their own political objectives.

    Most have heard of the "religious right" but I'm not sure many are as familiar with the religious left since most seem to be atheists and agnostics. The movement called Black Liberation Theology teaches that we need to accomplish God's work through the help of the state and their social programs. Obama came from a church that preached Black Liberation Theology.

    For most on the left though, they only believe in "collective salvation", that is, social justice through the club of the state.
Back to Top