Saturday, August 12, 2006
Catching a lie, but where is an alternative?
The folks over here repeat a report from the Center for American Progress on the workings of various groups of conservative Christians. They act like Capt. Renault in Casablanca, "shocked, shocked" that politicized Christian groups would lie to further certain political ends. They mourn the lack of integrity, what they call "sloppy research" (in fact, it was "research" only in the sense that the groups involved spent time ripping words out of context to further their own agendas), and other shenanigans. What they do not do is accept the fact that politicizing the Christian faith, whether for conservative or progressive purposes, leads to results such as this. The religious right has a quarter-century head start on the left, but give it time. That is not a cynical view, but simply an acceptance of the way things work in the world.
My main problem with the post is not the myopia or the earnest breast-beating at the sins of Focus on the Family, but rather the lack of any serious alternative to the tactics and policy position of conservative Christian groups. There are serious religious questions to be raised concerning a variety of developing bio-technologies; to echo secular liberal positions does nothing to give the budding progressive Christian movement a separate identity. It is all well and good to be progressive. It is just as important to pay attention to the fact that they are also Christian, and have a duty to be true to that as well. Standing around, pointing, shouting "Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!" is no substitute for serious thought, for developing a policy alternative to the Christian right.
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