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Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival

August 2008 Archives

Palin and the Ex-Catholic Factor

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Steve Waldman just posted some new news – at least for me.  That Governer Palin was a Roman Catholic before she was an Evangelical.  He writes: Have we ever had an ex-Catholic on a major presidential ticket? I can’t think of […]

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Notes from the Old Empire (by Sara Miles)

posted by Sara Miles

    “Of course,” Patricia told me, leaning in close, “of course English people don’t even like the Scottish.” Patricia, the funny, perceptive, activist wife of a progressive Church of England vicar, made a face. ” I have no idea if […]

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Jon Stewart on Sarah Palin: All you need to know!

posted by David Gibson

This is why newspapers are withering and “The Daily Show” is flourishing. It’s not the fault of journalism–my chosen profession–but because in a world where John McCain picks Sarah Palin to be “a heartbeat away from the presidency,” sometimes only […]

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Palin as VP – A Great Day

posted by Ray Flynn

I guess I’m what you would call an old fashioned, Irish Catholic politician from Boston.  I’ve seen American politics at its best and (unfortunately) at its worst.  But I never gave up on it.  On Friday, I was amazed at […]

Governer Palin and the Religious Right

posted by Burns Strider

Senator McCain‘s Vice Presidential selection of Alaskan Governer Sarah Palin really has the talking heads, pundits and bloggers going at it today. The focus has been on various issues such as her experience and ability to win over Clinton women. […]

Picking Palin: McCain’s Folly, or “crazy like a fox”?

posted by David Gibson

John McCain has certainly revived his maverick label by picking–or plucking from obscurity–freshman Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. (WaPo coverage here, and NYT coverage here.) Like every candidate, there are pluses and minuses with her. On the plus side, […]

Karma and the Christian Right: Will Gustav delay the GOP convention?

posted by David Gibson

Earlier this month Stuart Shepard, correspondent for the Focus on the Family network (you know, that OTHER religious gathering in Colorado), had a segment in which he less than half-jokingly asked prayers for torrential rains to inundate Invesco Field during last night’s […]

45 Years Later: Still Holding Our Applause

posted by Renita Weems

Talk about an improbable historic coincidence:  that Barack Obama’s acceptance of the Democratic Party’s nomination for president comes 45 years to the day after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.   But thank goodness […]

The Race for Pastor-in-Chief

posted by Welton Gaddy

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Democratic National Convention to share my concerns about the misuse of religion during this election – from both parties. The following is remarks I shared at a Faith Caucus meeting just […]

Fannie Lou Hamer’s “Is This America?” Question, 44 Years Later (by Burns Strider)

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The Democratic National Convention in Denver has been soaring, stressful, emotional. The Clintons have rocked the house and taken great steps in uniting the Party. Joe Biden (and his mom) has reminded us that little boys in working class Catholic […]

Beyond Roe? New study shows abortion rates lowered by public policy

posted by David Gibson

In a new study that could recast the seemingly endless debates over abortion and Roe v. Wade, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good yesterday released a new study that, according to the news release, is the first study of its kind to look at the […]

The High Priests Gathered to Praise the Dems-but the Prophets Were Missing

posted by Michael Lerner

For all the media chatter about how far we’ve come since the Democratic Convention in  Chicago,1968, or the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr‘s. “I Have A Dream Speech,” if you were expecting that the words of the prophets had […]

Voices Crying in the Wilderness

posted by Paul Raushenbush

    You are (you are) not aloneYou dont have to do this on your ownOne Love Agape One Love Agape Solo(w) it can feel like were coming apartTogether were much more than the sum of our partsOne Love Agape […]

The Greatest Show on Earth?

In the interest of full disclosure, as they say, I will admit my collusion with showmanship at the very beginning of this article: The fact is that I watched the opening night of the Democratic Convention from 6:00pm to midnight. […]

Michelle Obama: A Wife We Can Believe In

posted by Renita Weems

Wives of politicans are supposed to cast light on a different side of their husbands.  In the tough and tumble world of politics where candidates are expected to be tough and unblinking, voters (according to conventional wisdom) want to be assured that the candidate has […]

The Current of History Meets a New Tide of Hope

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Michele Obama made a beautiful speech tonight.  Her life story was new to me and equally moving to the now more familiar story of Barack Obama.  She was so intelligent, passionate and attractive that it made me wonder for a […]

The Struggle for Common Ideals

THE STRUGGLE FOR COMMON IDEALS As many of the present blogs indicate, religious leaders from every tradition, both Christian and not, are beginning to gather together–as distinct from the usual denominational gatherings of religious leaders common to most election seasons […]

Progressive (but not the religious kind) makes a Revival at the DNC

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Having spent most of my time so far in religious events I decided to go to a “secular” event to see if the excitement that religious based activist are feeling here in Denver is translating into the general conversation.     The answer, in short, […]

Cautious Hopefulness from the Faith Vote Panel at the DNC

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Video to come   There’s a shift happening among religious voters but the panelist at the Faith Vote Panel here at the DNC convention hedged on where or to whom it is shifting.  The panel consisted of Moderator Amy Sullivan, […]

Abortion, Augustine and…Nancy Pelosi?

posted by David Gibson

And Aristotle, Aquinas, Archbishop Chaput and various Bishops, and Brokaw…All weigh in on the House Speaker’s response to Brokaw on Sunday morning’s “Meet the Press” (scroll to the end) in which he raised–yet again–the age-old question, “When does life begin?” Pelosi’s […]

Religion at the DNC – Potent and Dangerous

posted by Paul Raushenbush

On first glance, the DNC’s Interfaith Gathering at the Wells Fargo Theatre in the Convention Center in Denver was underwhelming.  Clumps of churchy looking people wafted towards the entrance, and by the designated starting time of 2pm the large theatre […]

One more protestor

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Another protester, speaking somewhat more softly said that he “believed in the constitution” apparently objecting to the DNC opening its convention with reilgion.

DNC Interfaith Gathering Interupted by Anti-Abortion Protesters

posted by Paul Raushenbush

4pm Denver, As the choir sang “walk together children and don’t you get weary” one protester and then another interupted the opening of the first ever DNC Interfaith Gathering.  The three men each started yelling that Obama was a baby killer, […]

A Statement on Joe Biden by Catholics United

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Washington, D.C. – Catholics United executive director Chris Korzen issued the following statement today in response to Catholic senator Joe Biden’s addition to the Democratic presidential ticket.  “Catholics United believes Senator Biden’s selection as vice presidential candidate is a positive […]

Joe Biden and the Catholic Challenge

posted by David Gibson

By choosing the longtime senator insider and foreign policy expert, Joe Biden, as his running mate, Barack Obama got a well-respected congressional insider to help his prospective legislative agenda as well as sharp-spoken (too much, at times–but good for a veep) campaigner […]

AP: Obama Chooses Biden

posted by Mara Vanderslice

I think Biden is a great choice for the Obama campaign!  His working class roots in Scranton, PA, foreign policy bona fides and deep Catholic faith- that you can just tell is in his bones- will be a great addition to […]

Senator Obama: Don’t Lose Your Ethical Vision

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The following is an open letter to Senator Obama from 150 Clergy people including several who blog for Progressive Revival such as Sister Joan Chittister and Michael Lerner. Dear Senator Obama, As strong supporters of your campaign to become President […]

McCain and the Eye of a Needle

posted by Paul Raushenbush

  We have heard a lot in the past years about Evangelicals being more concerned about issues such as climate change, AIDS, and, especially, poverty.  So it was jarring that there was so little concern from Evangelicals about Senator McCain’s […]

Why Obama Should be a Buddhist

posted by Lama Surya Das

  I was a guest on The Colbert Report tv show on Comedy Central channel, and Stephen Colbert asked me why Obama should become a Buddhist now that he’s left his church. There are actually TWELVE OFFICIAL REASONS WHY OBAMA SHOULD […]

Obama Wins at Saddleback!

posted by mhenneberger

The McCain campaign sent out an email yesterday touting their guy’s performance with Pastor Rick: “The reviews are in from Saturday’s Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency, moderated by Pastor Rick Warren. The critics agree – John McCain’s straight talk […]

Sister Helen Prejean, the Death Penalty, and the DNCC

posted by Chloe Breyer

Advance applause goes to the Democratic National Convention Committee for its decision to include Sister Helen Prejean author of Dead Man Walking in the historic interfaith service opening the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver on August 24th.    Whatever you […]

Denver Archbishop Should be Invited to the Convention!

posted by Ray Flynn

Tuesday’s Washington Times article (Denver archbishop not among Democrats’ invited clerics) once again focuses attention on a matter of deep concern to pro-life Democrats like myself.  Chaput is one of the most respected leaders of the Catholic Church in America and his […]

DNC’s platform and Abortion – A Pro-Choice point of View

As a pro-choice Dem,  I am pleased by the DNC’s plank on abortion. It reaffirms Roe…AND it also show party’s  respect for pro-life Dems.  Most smartlly, it challenges the Republican party to connect its rhetoric to results.  For years, Rs have simply […]

Bloggingheads Debate: Richard Land v Brian McLaren

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Two of Time Magazine’s 25 most influential Evangelicals: Richard Land from the Southern Baptist Convention and Brian McLaren, from Progressive Revival debate the issues facing Chrstians today on Bloggingheads TV. See the whole debate here:   Political Parties trolling in […]

On Evil and the Election

posted by Robert P. Jones

In one of the most explicitly theological questions of Saturday night’s “Saddleback Civil Forum,” Pastor Rick Warren asked both candidates, “Does evil exist in the world today? If so, what should we do about it?” While both Obama and McCain […]

Cross Drawn in the Dirt – Gate

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Steve Waldman has been covering the Cross Draw in Sand-Gate scandal that is heating up.  It was the first time I had heard the story and found it moving. It would be absolutely nuts if it turns out to be some […]

Baptism by Politics: Sacraments and “The Saddleback Confession”

posted by David Gibson

In his quest to prune the overgrowth of Christianity to reveal to root of the faith, Martin Luther famously reduced the number of sacraments from seven to three, discarding Holy Orders, Last Rites (now known as the Anointing of the Sick), […]

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

posted by Welton Gaddy

The following is cross-posted at On Faith. I approached Rick Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum with much anticipation, but without a clear idea of how he would handle the sensitive issues at the intersection of religion and politics.  I believe Pastor […]

The Christian Candidates and the Question of Evil

posted by Paul Raushenbush

  The language spoken at the Civil Forum at Saddleback was not the loaded tongue of Evangelical churches across America sometimes referred to as “Christianese.” Aside from one inquiry about the candidate’s personal faith in Jesus Christ, the values based political […]

Barack Obama and the (surprise!) Mainline Vote

posted by Paul Raushenbush

A new poll by the Barna group finds that Obama is leading in 18 of 19 different religious faith communities defined by the survey’s strict standards. McCain leads in only one–evangelicals. This is good news for Senator Obama and should […]

The Language of Relgion

posted by Leonard Fein

[According to the Jewish tradition, all of us – the living, the dead, the as yet unborn, were present at the revelation at Sinai.] I had a student once, years ago, who was a hippy.  He took a year off […]

A Primer on Platforms

posted by David Gibson

The New Republic has posted “ Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about party platforms–and then some,” also titled, aptly, “The Corncob Pipe of Politics.” It’s very good, comprehensive, on the current platforms and debates, and also the history of […]

“Voice of Palestine” passes away

posted by Omid Safi

Mahmud Darwish, the incomparable Palestinian poet and visionary, and the foremost representative of the hopes and dreams of Palestinians since Edward Said, has passed away on August 9th. When the news of Darwish’s passing came out, it was front-page news […]

The Casey Milestone: Moving Beyond the Abortion Quagmire?

posted by Alexia Kelley

News broke yesterday that Senator Robert Casey Jr. will address the Democratic Convention in Denver later this month. For many Catholics, this is an important symbol and step towards healing the bitter disappointment that so many of us experienced in […]

Dear Rick: Would you ask Barack and John about…

posted by David Gibson

This weekend’s main event, outside of the Beijing Olympics, will be the Saturday sit-down between superpastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback megachurch and Barack Obama and John McCain–and event being called “the Saddleback Civil Forum.” Rick will have an hour […]

Will the Dems’ Abortion Shift Attract Votes?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Steve Waldman doubts it: All in all, I’d say that this platform does NOT do what was necessary to win substantial numbers of Catholics or moderate evangelicals. What do the other Revivalists think? What do readers think? Will the Democrats’ […]

Draft of New Democratic Platform Language on Abortion

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Draft language for the 2008 Democratic Party platform on abortion: The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any […]

Dems, abortion, and the Wisdom of Solomon

posted by David Gibson

CBN’s David Brody has the proposed language for the Democrats platform plank on abortion, and contrary to some expectations, it appears the voices for “change”–such as Democrats for Life and Feminists for Life–have made important headway. TNR had a good piece […]

Being the Change, So Change Can Happen

A basic metaphysical truth holds that for everything happening on the outer plane, an inner phenomenon preceded it. From the notion of Platonic ideals to Jesus’s admonition that “As a man thinketh, so he is,” we are informed by religious […]

Evangelicals Beware!

posted by Brian McLaren

Over the last few weeks, Mara Vanderslice and Amy Sullivan and others have drawn needed attention to some more and less subliminal messages coming from the McCain campaign. These TV ads, they explain, seem to target Evangelical Christians in profoundly […]

Obama and the Kevin Bacon Game of Persecuting Muslims

posted by Omid Safi

The Obama Campaign, at it’s best, has not been about Obama. It’s been about a mass movement, a coming together of long time activists and newcomers, who have dared to restore hope to politics, to dream that there is a […]

Pavlovian Premillennialism

posted by Randall Balmer

I suppose you’ve got to give the Republicans of the Rove era credit for their inventiveness, if not their chutzpah. In 2004 their nominee, who had essentially been a draft dodger, was pitted against a genuine Vietnam War hero (a […]

More on Evangelicals and Abortion

posted by Ed Kilgore

I did a post here a week ago raising a number of questions, theological and cultural, about the much higher tendency of white evangelicals to hold strong anti-abortion views, as compared to Catholics.  It took a while, but I’m glad to […]

Obama as Anti-Christ Theory Gathers Steam

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The story that began here on Progressive Revival last week when Revivalist Mara Vanderslice noted that John McCain’s The One Ad could be interpreted as portraying Barack Obama as the Anti-Christ has made it into the pages of TIME magazine, which reports that […]

Pro-Life Democrats: Oxy-Morons?

posted by David Gibson

Not according to this piece today on The New Republic site about the Dems platform battle over abortion language, and the efforts of Democrats for Life, a small organization (need it be said?) founded in 1999 with chapters in over […]

Abortion and the Catholic voter

posted by David Gibson

The New York Times has a piece today about Obama and the Dems and their efforts to appeal to Catholic voters who may be turned off by the party’s pro-choice dogmatism. It includes comments from the much-pilloried pro-life, yet pro-Obama, […]

Religion, the Election, and the Media

posted by Welton Gaddy

The Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life have published a report that confirms my suspicions about the use of religion on the campaign trail. The study found that we are […]

Text Messengers: Get Out And Vote!

posted by Lama Surya Das

To all Text Messengers: Help get out the vote in the upcoming presidential election. In Korea, text messages sent to millions of cell phones significantly influenced a national election; Switzerland too is experimenting with direct communication to the Thumb Generation. […]

Detailing The Anti-Christ Imagery in the Obama Ad

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The Elaison Group has written a detailed memo going through the imagery in the McCain ad designed, they argue, to intentionally imply that Obama is the anti-Christ

Class Discrimination

posted by Ray Flynn

The mere mention of being accused of playing the “race card” is the third rail of American politics.  Your campaign can come to a screeching halt if it is even implied that a candidate is invoking race.   However, the […]

Obama’s Muslim Outreach Coordinator Resigns

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Obama’s new Muslim outreach coordinator is already gone.  According to the Wall Street Journal, he had served for a few months on the board  of a Muslim investment fund with ties to fundamentalist Islam and an indirect connection (through a board […]

Zero tolerance for Muslim participation in politics?

posted by Shahed Amanullah

If you want to understand just how difficult it can be for Muslims to participate in public service, look no further than my friend Mazen Asbahi.  An accomplished attorney and long-time Democratic volunteer, he took on the position of Sen. […]

Tim Russert: Not a Catholic…

posted by David Gibson

Who knew?! Luckily, Hadley Arkes is here to straighten us out. In an essay at “The Catholic Thing,” Arkes bravely ventures back onto the hallowed ground surrounding Russert’s passing in June, when he first wrote (read “Tim Russert: The Story […]

Reading Heschel on the Sabbath

posted by Rabbi Or N. Rose

On Saturday afternoon, after putting my children down for a nap, I took the opportunity to reread selections from Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath.  First published in 1951, this poetic gem has been read by countless spiritual seekers–Jewish and non-Jewish–throughout […]

More high jinks from those jokesters on the Religious Right…

posted by David Gibson

This time the hilarity is from Stuart Shepard, correspondent for the Focus on the Family network (that’s run by that guy, whatsiname, who said he’d never ever endorse McCain–ecxept he might), who muses on bothering God about prayers for some […]

Senator McCain: Take Down this Ad

posted by Mara Vanderslice

Thank you everyone for your emails and response to my earlier blog post on McCain’s “The One” ad.  The McCain campaign has said that they meant the ad to be humorous.  But make no mistake about it: this ad is […]

What Rick Warren Should Ask Obama & McCain On Abortion (Guest Post by Eric McFadden)

posted by Paul Raushenbush

On August 16th, Saddleback Church is sponsoring Senators Obama and McCain for their first joint event of the campaign, the Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion. Some on the far right have expressed concern that the Pastor of Saddleback […]

Dog Whistles, Hypocrisy, and “Traditional” Christianity

posted by Ed Kilgore

I’m less certain than Mara Vanderslice that John McCain’s recent pattern of decrying Barack Obama’s “messianism” is a deliberate effort to label him as the Antichrist.  It’s not that I consider Team McCain incapable of “dog whistle” appeals to the Christian Right; their candidate has […]

The Supposed Fraudulence of Liberal Christianity

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Former Senator Rick Santorum described Obama’s faith as “phony” and went on to challenge the authenticity of liberal Christianity in general: “When you take a salvation story and turn it into a liberation story you’ve abandoned Christiandom and I don’t […]

McCain Pulling Ahead?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

While one new poll has Obama beating McCain among white working class voters (remember, the ones Obama was supposedly unable to attract), another poll has McCain pulling ahead nationally. From TalkingPointsMemo.com: In short, the recent mudslinging in the campaign may […]

New McCain Ad Implies Obama is the Anti-Christ?

posted by Mara Vanderslice

I don’t know about you- but I found this McCain campaign ad “The One” to be one of the most offensive ads we have seen in American politics to date.     At best, this ad implies that those who […]

President Hu Jintao’s mutual respect for Tibet and the Dalai Lama

posted by Robert Thurman

This week, after coming under fire for censorship, the Chinese government lifted blocks on some websites banned to foreign journalists in Beijing covering the Olympics. As reported in Xinhua, President Hu Jintao participated in a rare joint interview with the […]

Reclaiming the “L-word”

posted by Randall Balmer

I suppose we can blame Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity and the other hit-and-run talk-show hosts on the far right – hey, why not? – for the denigration of the term “liberal.” You can hear the sneer in their […]

Evangelicals and Abortion

posted by Ed Kilgore

There’s been a lot of talk in the chattering classes lately about the political impact of the two major political parties’ exact positioning on abortion policy among Catholic voters.  Michael Sean Winters argues in the New Republic, for example, that Kathleen […]

Progressive Purity Tests

posted by mhenneberger

Wow, that was quick; we’re barely open for business and already we’ve been tagged as insufficiently progressive – not based on anything we’ve written, mind you, but on what we might write. Only, can we really not work together first […]

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More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Progressive Revival. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!  

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Why Jews Around the World are Praying for the Victory of the Egyptian Uprising
Originally appeared on Tikkun Daily BlogEver since the victory over the dictator of Tunisia and the subsequent uprising in Egypt, my email has been flooded with messages from Jews around the world hoping and praying for the victory of the Egyptian people over their cruel Mubarak regime.&nb

posted 1:48:39pm Feb. 01, 2011 | read full post »

When Generosity, Love, and Kindness are Public Policy, the Violence We Saw in Arizona will Dramatically Diminish
The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords and the murder of so many others in Arizona has elicited a number of policy suggestions, from gun control to private protection for elected officials, to banning incitement to violence on websites either directly or more subtly (e.g., Sarah Palin

posted 2:44:04pm Jan. 19, 2011 | read full post »

The Spiritual Messages of Chanukah and Christmas -- and Their Downsides
Christmas and Chanukah share a spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope in a world of darkness, oppression and despair. But whereas Christmas focuses on the birth of a single individual whose life and mission was itself supposed to bring liberation, Chanukah is about a national

posted 12:59:53pm Dec. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Obama (and Biden) Have No Clue About What's Bothering Their Political Base
Shortly before the California Democratic primary in 2008, the San Fransisco Chronicle invited me to write a short article explaining why I, chair of the interfaithNetwork of Spiritual Progressives, was supporting Barack Obama. Like most other progressive activists, I understood that a pres

posted 1:44:11pm Sep. 30, 2010 | read full post »

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