Beliefnet
Progressive Revival

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 and feud later? Are we so overstaffed in the fight for fundamental change that none but the perfect need apply? Are conservative purity tests so alluring that we’ve got to have a piece of that action? Must  we play the secular version of “is he Catholic enough?’  And what, you wanna send the progressive answer to Monica Goodling over here to ask us a couple of questions? (You know, like when we first knew Obama was the one, and why.)

 

Growing up in a very conservative family in a very conservative area of the country, one of the many things I never got or signed off on was how it could be that one side was right about absolutely everything while the other – the “damnDemocrats” – were more like poor old Goofus in Highlights for Kids, who never managed a smooth move in his life. This did not make sense to me then, so why would I want to flip the labels and carry on that same way now? A nice liberal lady I interviewed for a story once told me about how she’d grown up in a Right-thinking milieu, and when I said yeah, same here, she said, “But from the time you were little, you knew that wasn’t you, didn’t you?”  Her theory was that “same as you’re born gay or straight, you’re born liberal or conservative.” I wouldn’t swear to that, though it was true enough in my case to make me laugh. But whatever we call ourselves and however we got here, aren’t labels a luxury we can’t afford?

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