Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival

January 1970 Archives

The Bible and Budget: Applying Scripture in a Pluralistic Society

posted by Eric Sapp

(Conclusion of “The Primer on Scripture and the Budget for 2009“)   A faithful and true use of religious beliefs to guide policy in our constitutional system of government is very difficult.  Even those with the best intentions will often […]


Ending US Torture: A Time for Hope and Healthy Skepticism

posted by Paul Raushenbush

George Hunsinger is the McCord Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the founder of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Among his recent books is Torture Is a Moral Issue: Christians, Jews, Muslims and People of Conscience Speak Out (Eerdmans, […]


Budget and Bible: The Sin of Helping the Rich at the Expense of the Poor

posted by Eric Sapp

[Part 5 of “The Primer on Scripture and the Budget for 2009” being released and discussed at]   Democrats must not get into the business of throwing stones, but neither should we allow Republicans to continue to portray us as […]


Charity with A Catch: No Religion, No Food.

posted by Paul Raushenbush

There is a church in Indiana which requires people taking advantage of the food kitchen and homeless shelter to also participate in the life of the church.  In short hand – no religion, no food. Just to be clear, the church […]

The President’s Economic Message to America: Yes, We Can!

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The build up to President Obama’s speech was more moving than I expected.  To see the energy in the house chamber as the new cabinet, and the first lady entered provided the reminder I needed that we have a new administration caring […]

Scripture on the Budget: What the Bible Says About National Priorities

posted by Eric Sapp

We all know that as soon as we start talking about budget and taxes, the Republicans put away their Bibles and turn to Darwinian social and economic theories to support their policy positions.   The problem is that Democrats and progressives […]

Stephen Colbert gets Religion in Hard Times

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Religous leaders seen on TV during this ecoomic downturn generally make me shudder,with their undercurrent of opportunism, and the selling of crazy snake oil magical Jesus to make things better.   But Father Jim Martin is impressive with Colbert.    The Colbert ReportMon […]

The Poverty Forum: Pragmatism or Selling Out?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Jim Wallis reported on these three things that Christians from across ideological and political divides agreed upon at the Poverty Forum We all found three substantial things on which we could agree.  First, the moral test of any society is its treatment […]

Slumdog Millionaire: An Oscar for Hope in the Face of Hopelessness

posted by guestblogger

Vineet Chander is the Coordinator for Hindu LIfe at Princeton University and communicartions director for ISkCON.  Even as the world celebrates the eight Oscars that “Slumdog Millionaire” took home tonight – including the coveted Best Picture and props to A.R. […]

Contraception: The Practical Pro-Life Approach

posted by Paul Raushenbush

William Saletan writes a great article in the New York Times which will either inspire or provoke everyone involved in the current culture wars.  His argument is for basic practicality to prevail in approaches to both gay marriage and abortion.  […]

Will the Real Loser Please Stand Up?

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Yesterday morning CNBC anchor Rick Santelli exploded in a rant on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange against President Obama’s housing proposal.  He attacked the “losers” who got suckered into bad mortgages, shouted that the proposal rewarded “bad behavior,” […]

Avigdor Lieberman: A Threat to Israeli Democracy

posted by guestblogger

Matthew Weiner is the Program Director at the Interfaith Center of New York. He is writing a book about interfaith and civil society.    What does it take to get a secular Israeli Harvard Mathematician who has never engaged in […]

The Poverty Forum: Deferential Option to the Rich

posted by guestblogger

Peter Laarman is executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting, a network of activist individuals and congregations headquartered in Los Angeles.  The Poverty Forum’s supposedly cross-the-spectrum plan to reduce poverty runs the gamut–from A to B. While it is perpetually depressing […]

The Right Name for the Religious Right

posted by Randall Balmer

According to a recent article on the Christianity Today Web site, leaders of the Religious Right are taking exception to the nomenclature that others use to describe them. “There is an ongoing battle for the vocabulary of our debate,” Gary Bauer, a leader of […]

Can a Prayer be Gay?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Oklahoma lawmakers voted on whether to include a prayer in the official record, largely because the minister praying was gay.  As David Waters at the Washington Post reported: Oklahoma legislators demonstrated the divisive power of state-sponsored prayer last week when […]

Sharia Law in Pakistan: The Despair of Religious Totalitarianism

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Pakistan has instituted Sharia law in the Swat Valley.  As this BBC article explains, the move has serious implications for the religious and personal freedom:   “The head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Afrasiab Khattak, says the move […]

Bristol Palin: “Abstinence is Not Realistic”

posted by Paul Raushenbush

 “The best option is abstinence, the teen said, but added that she didn’t think that was “realistic.”  Bristol Palin dropped this bombshell in an interview with Fox News about teenage pregnancy.  I agree with her. Sexual abstinence as a teenage […]

Faith Based Office by the Numbers

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Our friends over at Faith in Public Life compiled this detailed list of 15 of the members of President Obama’s Faith Based Advisory Council.   The representation break down goes like this:  3 represent secular organizations 1 religious lobbyist  4 women 1 out […]

In Praise of Big (and Smart) Government

posted by Paul Raushenbush

President Obama got his stimulus package passed, Now the real work begins. The next months and years will be a new opportunity to prove the effectiveness of government to create jobs, keep people in their homes and make life better […]

God In a Box: Dissenting Thoughts On Obama’s Faith-Based Office

posted by Ed Kilgore

As it happens, I am a huge and consistent supporter of President Barack Obama and his agenda.  I’ve spent a lot of time explaining and defending his approach to “bipartisanship,” which doesn’t have many friends, left or right, these days.  And moreover, […]

12 Steps to Economic Recovery

posted by Brian McLaren

I watched President Obama’s Indiana speech and town hall meeting from my hotel room in San Diego. I was watching on MSNBC, with Chris Matthews hosting and Pat Buchanan commenting. Pat (predictably) panned the speech, saying that people in Elkhart […]

Evangelicals at a Crossroads (by Lisa Sharon Harper)

posted by guestblogger

Lisa Sharon Harper is co-founder and executive director of New York Faith & Justice and author of Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…or Democrat. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) is standing at a crossroad. It faces an opportunity to learn from the past […]

A cry from the political wilderness about stimulus

posted by Eric Sapp

(Cross-posted from FaithfulDemocrats)   When examining the morality of a society or government, most people would probably argue that the most important thing to look at is how it acted.  I would argue, however, that it is at least as […]

Milk: Best Spiritual Film of the Year

posted by Paul Raushenbush

  Belierfnet has nominated five fine films for best spiritual film of the year.  But the list leaves out the winner:  Milk. The movie tells the story of Harvey Milk, the gay San Francisco superintendent who died a martyr for the cause […]

14 Kids and No Income – Mother Accepts Visa and Mastercard

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The mother of octuplets through fertalization treatments recieved when she already had six children is now accepting donations online.  In a recent interview the mother said: “I’m providing myself to my children,” Nadya Suleman told NBC in her first interview. “I’m loving […]

Darwin at 200! May Science and Religion Kiss

posted by Sally Steenland

Today is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth–and this year is also the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s “On the Origin of the Species.”  Even though Darwin’s discoveries are over a century old, they are still revolutionary to […]

Phelps, Drugs, and Why I am Boycotting Kellog’s (by Rabbi Daniel S. Brenner)

posted by guestblogger

I love Special K cereal – it was my mom’s preferred brand when I was growing up (dad liked Shredded Wheat) and I continue to eat it and buy it for my kids. Two of them love it. But daddy isn’t buying it […]

House Stimulus (good) vs. Senate Stimulus (bad)

posted by Paul Raushenbush

I got this impassioned plea in my in-box from Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center to support the house stimulus package instead of the senate. From the standpoint of all our religious and ethical traditions and communities, what the […]

A Pagan View on the Bible and Abortion

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Abortion is not condemned in the Bible is the conclusion that Pagan blogger Gus diZerega reaches to his own surprise: Scripture mentions human life being in the womb at some point, but it NEVER mentions that conception is where Biblically […]

The Stimulus Package: A View from The Pew (by Rev. Donna Schaper)

posted by guestblogger

The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper is Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church in New York City and author of GRASS ROOTS GARDENING: RITUALS TO SUSTAIN ACTIVISM. My people are shovel ready: they are ready to shovel the manure out of […]

God in the White House – Randall Balmer talks to Jon Stewart

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Progressive Revival blogger Randall Balmer talks to Jon Stewart about Obama, faith and the White House.  The Daily Show With Jon StewartM – Th 11p / 10c Randall Balmer Daily Show Full EpisodesImportant Things With Demetri Martin Funny Political NewsJoke […]

Faith Based Discrimination?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

David Waters in his Under God blog asks these good questions about President Obama’s decision to defer a final decision on the non-discrimination hiring policy for groups getting federal money though the new White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood […]

Millard Fuller: Service, Justice and the kingdom of God

posted by Paul Raushenbush

A couple of years ago a group of Princeton students went on a Habitat trip to Mexico. They learned about Mexican culture, relished being away from the pressure of the Princeton bubble and, of course, built houses.  One of the […]

Brandeis, Banks, and Other People’s Money

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Brandeis scholar Melvin I. Urofsky compares the financial crisis of a century ago to the one today in an op-ed in the New York Times.  Prof. Urofsky’s reflection on Louis D. Brandeis’ seminal book “Other People’s Money” reminds us to be […]

Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the Catholic Church

The single mother of six who lives with her parents and then has more eight children seems to have missed the class on good parenting. Simply put, this is too many children.  They can’t each get the care and attention […]

Andrew Card and Other Silly, Dangerous People

posted by Paul Raushenbush

“I’m disappointed to see the casual, laissez faire, short sleeves, no shirt and tie, no jacket, kind of locker-room experience that seems to be taking place in this White House and the Oval Office,” Card told talk show host Michael […]

Judging Religion

posted by Paul Raushenbush

(The Golden Rule)  is an ancient rule; a simple rule; but also one of the most challenging. For it asks each of us to take some measure of responsibility for the well-being of people we may not know or worship […]

Support President Obama (and support the Stimulus Plan)

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Just over three months ago the American people elected Barack Obama as our president because we believed he was uniquely equipped with the vision to lead in this time of economic and global crisis.  America –  let Obama lead.  Our government can and […]

Postpartisan, not Bipartisan

posted by Diana Butler Bass

One of the most intriguing aspects of the current debate on the economic recovery act is the strange way the terms “postpartisan” and “bipartisan” are being thrown around by both politicians and the media. President Obama campaigned as a postpartisan […]

Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast

posted by Paul Raushenbush

These are President Barack Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast: Good morning. I want to thank the Co-Chairs of this breakfast, Representatives Heath Shuler and Vernon Ehlers. I’d also like to thank Tony Blair for coming today, as well […]

Faith Based Office 2.0

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The Washington Post writes about President Obama’s new Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  It looks like a diverse group of advisors will be assembled from different religious traditions and politics perspectives.  And  a closer look will be given […]

Shovel Ready Jobs Needed in Washington

posted by Burns Strider

Cross Posted at   Pungent piles of Republican nay-saying to the American jobs and stimulus package are getting so deep in Washington that shovel-ready jobs are needed to shovel it all to the dump. Could this be the Republican job creation package?   […]

Justice on Wall Street – Capping Executive Pay

posted by Paul Raushenbush

My post God Damn Wall Street stirred up quite a response.  One reader named T wrote: “It’s those on Wall Street who are saying “God damn to everyone else, I’m making sure I’m taken care of because it’s going to […]

The Fight for SCHIP is Won

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Obama signed legislation expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program today that will provide health care coverage for the 9 million uninsured American children.  A faith based community organization coalition called PICO National Network gets much of the credit for moving beyond partisanship and getting […]

Pushing Obama Towards Justice and Peace (by Mark Johnson)

posted by guestblogger

Mark Johnson is the Executive Director of The Fellowship of Reconciliation These are difficult times in which to discern the truth, to know what to believe. The language has shifted, the rhetoric softened; but behavior, actions are still troubling. President Obama and Secretary […]

Ted Haggard, The Trials of a Gay Evangelical

posted by Paul Raushenbush

HBO will be airing a new documentary about Ted Haggard, the evangelical pastor and former President of the National Association of Evangelicals who fell from prominance when it was discovered that he was having extra-marital gay sex with a male […]

Secular is Better in Iraq

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The New York Times reports that secularist parties gained in recent regional elections in Iraq.  The relative success of the secular parties may be a sign that a significant number of Iraqis are disillusioned with the religious parties that have […]

Compassion for a Heart So Wounded

posted by Brian McLaren

cross posted from  I got this email message today …  Get away from earth with your godless emergent church, McLaren, perhaps to hell? Could you do it a little bit faster?!! It would help the rightious christians around the […]

Taking Back the Night

posted by Leonard Fein

Cross posted from The Forward It is still much too early to start singingdayenu, that wonderful song that celebrates each element of the Exodus and that says, bluntly, that each alone would have been sufficient. But the first building blocks […]

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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 ...

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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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


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