Religion and politics

The Green Knight tracks a food-fight about religion and politics across the blogosphere in a great post. He starts at Amy Sullivan, whose comment regarding Senator Brownbeck seemed to start the latest round.

Finally, a religious candidate who actually deserves the scorn of the knee-jerk left.
Notes the Knight:

It was a fairly dopey quip made in passing, but it prompted a very good response from Digby, who pointed out that in fact, there are plenty of religious people whom the left have supported politically. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a non-religious person whom the left has supported.
From there, he takes us by way of Steve Waldman, Atrios, and Avedon Carol, Faithful Progressive, and back to Atrios again. If, by now, your head is spinning, fear not. The Knight is about to ground us all again.

I too have made the mistake of thinking that there is hostility in the establishment left to religious people. It is indeed a mistake to think that, as Shakes, Digby, Avedon, and others have pointed out again and again. Mea culpa. It just isn't true…

So who's actually to blame? Well, I'm pretty sure that it's actually the right-wing corporate media. I can't help thinking about the way in which the networks refused to run those United Church of Christ ads about tolerance and neighborly love, even while cozying up continually to people like James Dobson and Pat Robertson… And, how much attention does a group like the Christian Alliance for Progress get compared to the cretins at Justice Sunday? You do the math.
The Knight goes on to point out that some lefty bloggers charge the religious left with not being aggressive enough with their counterspin, but finds, quite rightly, that religious progressives don’t fit the media script, so carelessly constructed by years of buying into the nonsensical (and flatly untrue) rightwing insistence that they’ve got the market cornered on religion. Like many progressive voices, religious lefties face a real struggle to get past the media gatekeepers, who don’t know where to put them in their well-rehearsed script that casts conservatives exclusively in religious roles.

Clearly, progressives are not hostile to religion. It would be difficult to find a major party ticket not rife with religiosity anywhere in America. When Democrats don't win, it isn't because lefties are staying home pouting about the lack of atheists to vote for. Progressives, instead, are hostile to the authoritarian and oppressive elements of the particular brand of religion that the media and much of the GOP regards as not only the only religion in America, but as the singular source of morality. And on the occasions when progressives are hostile to religious Dems, it's because they have tried to out-god the GOP by playing the same game, rather than changing the rules.

It's the same old tired moral values issue, and the Dems can't win that game, because it's fixed. I longingly wait for a Democrat to respond to a god-wielding Republican by saying, flatly and plainly, "Your religion is not the singular genesis of morality. There are people who look at the same holy book you do and take away from it a much different set of values--caring for the poor, peacefulness, and equality for all, for a start. There are people who look at different holy books and come away with divergent ideas of morality. There are people who turn to philosophy, or science, or the rule of law for their moral inspiration. Most people derive their morality from a combination of these things, and I refuse to acknowledge your premise that your preferred source is the only source. Many of us consider granting marriage equality to gays moral. Many of us consider extending reproductive choice to all women moral. Many of us consider a social safety net moral. And lots of us who believe those things are Christians. Those who aren't have no less claim to their set of moral values than do you."

If a Democrat actually said something like this during a debate, instead of trying to out-god a Republican, I would faint where I stood from applause exhaustion.

(Crossposted at AlterNet PEEK.)

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