Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival

Defining Progressive Archives

When Generosity, Love, and Kindness are Public Policy, the Violence We Saw in Arizona will Dramatically Diminish

posted by Michael Lerner

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 […]


The Spiritual Messages of Chanukah and Christmas — and Their Downsides

posted by Michael Lerner

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 […]


Values or Partisanship? TV Ad calls out Graham for caving on climate

posted by Eric Sapp

by Keely Brewster It was disappointing that Lindsey Graham changed his mind, values, and opinions surrounding climate legislation. Lindsey Graham was right when he discussed the need to decrease our dependence on foreign oil for reasons of national security, economic […]


FOX NEWS Funds Research to Discredit Progressive Pastors

posted by Eric Sapp

There is a great post by Burns Strider today on Huffington about how Glenn Beck is using Fox News staff and resources to run his smear campaign against Rev. Jim Wallis.  I’d encourage you to read the entire thing, but […]

We Tried to Warn Obama…But He Wouldn’t Listen

posted by Michael Lerner

The defeat of the Democrats choice to succeed Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate is being treated as though there is a decided shift of mass opinion to the Right in the U.S.  But it is the Obama Administration, not […]

Emily Dickinson, Happy Birthday to the Patron Saint of Doubt

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Emily Dickinson, the poet of exquisite doubt, was born today in 1830. Progressive faith makes room for doubt.  In many ways, Dickinson should be considered the patron saint of ambiguous Christianity.  She grew up in revivalist New England, where she […]

Obama’s Declining Popularity

posted by Michael Lerner

While Obama is still hailed around the world in almost messianic tones, recent polls indicate his approval rate is below 50% in the U.S. How could a man who aroused so much hope be losing support so dramatically? And what […]

Slow Words

posted by Diana Butler Bass

People often ask me why I don’t blog more often in the crucible of the news cycle when an issue is “hot.”  My friends and editors are always trying to get me to speed up–as I tend to be slow […]

The Real Decline of Churches

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Three news stories in recent days point to significant change in the landscape of North American religion.  For decades now, the conventional wisdom about church growth has been that only conservative churches–those that take the Bible literally and embrace conservative […]

47 National Religious Leaders (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) Call for Urgent Priority to Health Care Reform–and why I signed

posted by Michael Lerner

Explanatory Note from Rabbi Lerner: Why I Signed This Very Weak Statement         On the one hand, I wanted the Network of Spiritual Progressives to be included in a list of some of the most important religious forces in the […]

No Moral Relativism Here

posted by Diana Butler Bass

With yesterday’s shooting at the Holocaust museum, I was reminded of a story told to me several years ago by a professor of when he had been a doctoral student.  An eminent post-modern theologian had come to his university to […]

Dueling Visions of American Renewal

posted by Diana Butler Bass

In 2004, a little book appeared that made quite a splash among dispirited Democrats:  George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant.  In it, Lakoff argued that Republicans and Democrats worked out of two different “framing” stories–frames are “mental structures that […]

Liberty U Revokes College Dem Charter

posted by Eric Sapp

There is a great post over on faithfuldemocrats about the unfortunately decision by Liberty University to revoke the charter for it’s college Democrats b/c the Democratic platform was unChristian.  Check it out, and then join the facebook petition to reinstate […]

Faith/Military Leaders Put $$$ Behind Call for Moral Climate Bill

posted by Eric Sapp

Last week, Rep. Shuler and Perriello headlined a press conference hosted by Faith in Public Life featuring a who’s who of the faith community and rolling out the largest paid media campaign ever by progressives targeting faith voters with an […]

To Boldly Go Where Progressives Forgot to Go….

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Last Friday, my family went to see the new Star Trek movie.  We really enjoyed the renewed adventures of Captain Kirk and the starship Enterprise.  We weren’t alone.  The audience in the nearly full theater loved the film.  And it […]

Happy Progressive Mother’s Day!

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Most people think of Mother’s Day as a quaint and conservative holiday honoring 1950s values, a sort of historical throw back to traditional notions of hearth and home. Let’s correct that impression by saying:  Happy Progressive Mother’s Day. In May […]

A Room of Our Own

posted by Diana Butler Bass

My family lives in a typical 1960s house in the Washington DC suburbs, and I work at home.  “Typical 1960s house” equals small and no closets.  As a result, my books were taking over and there wasn’t much space to […]

Specter’s switch

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is what it took to forget about swine flu – Arlen Specter joining the Democrats. I have a complete transcript of his official statement over at City of Brass. All the speculation about the political consequences and shakeup is […]

Columbine and Original Sin

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Ten years ago today, I was in San Francisco leading a retreat for Episcopal clergy from the western United States.  During the afternoon break, someone handed me a slip of paper saying that there had been a shooting at a […]

A Close Reading of the Text – The Progressive Approach to the Bible

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Common wisdom holds that the people who take the Bible most seriously in America are those from the conservative traditions who claim a literalist interpretation of the “The Bible says it and I believe it” variety. But try telling these same people that there are two […]

The Post 01/20/09 World

posted by Diana Butler Bass

For four years, I’ve been driving around with one of those “01/20/09″ stickers on the back of my car.   However, with the exception of election night and the inauguration, I haven’t really, truly believed that there has been a change […]

President’s Faith-Based Advisory Council Taps Four Progressive Leaders Featured in Recent Book, Progressive & Religious

posted by Robert P. Jones

President Obama’s newly unveiled Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships taps four progressive religious leaders featured in my recent book, Progressive & Religious: How Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist Leaders are Moving Beyond the Culture Wars and Transforming American […]

A Passover Seder Haggadah Supplement

posted by Michael Lerner

For Ethically Sensitive Jews and our non-Jewish allies. This text is not meant to be a replacement for but a supplement to the traditional Haggadah. Feel free to make copies of this to use at any seder you attend, or […]

Will Faith Based Programs Go Sour on Obama?

posted by tcampolo

From the beginning, there have been some religious leaders who greeted the funding of faith-based social services by government with ambivalence. On the one hand, they believed that these religiously grounded programs needed extra funding and were pleased that the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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?   […]

The Pope’s historical revisions

posted by David Gibson

Benedict XVI continues to take heat on two fronts since last weekend’s reinstatement of four far-right, schismatic bishops: from Catholics anywhere to the left of Franco are upset at the implicit repudiation of Vatican II, and from Jews who are […]

Barack Obama, Race and the Power of Progress!

posted by Paul Raushenbush

There have been many, (many!) Barack Obama t-shirts that appeared over the long months of the presidential election, but my favorite was the multi-colored portrait of the candidate boldly underlined with the word “Progress.”  Progress was promised in the policies […]

A New President, MLK, Mother Parks, a Congressman, My Boys and Me

posted by Burns Strider

Bedtime Stories   Last night’s bedtime story for my two little boys was about Mother Rosa Parks. A few nights ago we read and talked about Dr. King.   On Monday morning, MLK Day, I will do what I have […]

Will Israel Split America’s Religious Left?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Steve Waldman asks the question whether the current crisis will split the religious left.  He predicts: “Most likely what will happen next is that an over-reaction from the Protestant left will prompt American Jews into an uncomfortable (but familiar) defensive […]

Tim Kaine and the DNC’s Faith Initiative

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Obama’s pick of Tim Kaine for the DNC Chair means a continuation or expansion of the DNC’s Faith Outreach.  Dan Gilgoff explains on his blog God and Country “Barack Obama’s decision to tap Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine to be the next Democratic […]

Barack Obama and the (progressive) Religious Revival

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Barack Obama’s transition team is ringing in the New Year with a series of meetings with religious groups reports Dan Gilgoff at US News.  It is striking that the names that dominate the list are the very ones that some […]

Warren, Cizik, Obama, left, right, pro, anti, etc.

posted by Brian McLaren

What a fascinating time to be alive. Here we are … about to celebrate the 2008th anniversary of Jesus’ birth, and a whole bunch of us are still squabbling like cats and dogs about what it means to be a […]


Somebody needs to explain this to me, because I must be dumb: Rick Warren was somehow an inclusive choice to deliver the Invocation at the Inauguration?     Let’s look for a moment at what an invocation is. It’s that moment when […]

Rich and Rick: A Post-Partisan Parable

posted by Diana Butler Bass

This week’s two major religion stories revolved around Rich and Rick–Rich Cizik and Rick Warren–and point out the uncomfortable but spiritually challenging direction President-elect Obama may be pushing religious communities with his post-partisan vision for America. For more than a […]

Cizik & Civil Unions: Evangelical leader ousted over supportive comments

posted by David Gibson

An earthquake is rocking the Evangelical world as the longtime spokesman and Washington leader of the National Association of Evangelicals has resigned over comments he made to NPR revealing that he voted for Barack Obama (heresy) and he could support […]

The future of Catholic politics? (Again)

posted by David Gibson

I, among others, have posed the question (here and here) of what the future of Catholic politics might look like–if it has any future–in light of the great splits between and among Catholic voters and leaders during the recent presidential […]

How Does a President Chose a Church?

posted by Eric Sapp

My good friend Amy Sullivan is a very hard act to follow in any writing assignment, and she covered this topic very well for Time last week.  But in an attempt to help provide a little perspective for our good […]

Bob Jones University is Right

posted by Eric Sapp

(cross-posted on Thereis a danger in our polarized society of loudly critiquing missteps by ourpolitical or ideological opponents and remaining silent when they do the rightthing.   Today,Bob Jones Universityjust did the right thing and showed humility and Christian repentance […]

Battle of the Bishops

posted by David Gibson

It continues…Memphis Bishop Terry Steib this week called on Catholics not to be “one-issue” voters, in contrast to Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput (whose latest comments in a talk titled “Little Murders” were especially strong) and some others. Steib, in this NCR piece, […]

Just When You Thought You Were an American… Conservatives Say Not So Fast.

posted by Burns Strider

Governor Palin and her brand of Republicanism are about to overcook my grits.   She and those who drink from the same mug have decided that you are not a real American, maybe you are even anti-American, if you either […]

Who is the real heir to Teddy Roosevelt?

posted by David Gibson

John McCain says he is the new TR. And Barack Obama is a socialist who wants to “share the wealth,” as he told the now (in)famous Joe the Plumber (or whatever). But check out Teddy’s “New Nationalism” speech of 1910, […]

Gambling with Politics

posted by Eric Sapp

Tabitha Knerr at just posted a great piece on all the many ties between Republicans and the gambling industry that are starting to pop up in races around the country.  I commented recently on the effect Sheldon Adelson–the GOP […]

Sarah Palin: Religionless Christian?

posted by David Gibson

Who’s afraid of Sarah Palin? And her faith? I’m one of those who thinks all the hand-wringing about her supposedly ideological right-wing faith is way overblown. Could she be a right-wing religious ideologue if in office? Perhaps she’d follow the script […]

Catholic Bishops offer a Five-Point Bailout Plan

posted by David Gibson

A strong statement from the head of the U.S. bishops domestic justice committee offers five conditions to guide any rescue/bailout package. In the Sept. 26 statement (it didn’t get much press; I just found it now via ZENIT), Bishop William […]

Eugenics lives! Lousiana lawmaker wants to sterilize the poor

posted by David Gibson

Rep. John LaBruzzo, a Republican from Metarie (David Duke’s old haunts) wants to pay poor women $1,000 to get sterilized. Why? Because people receiving food and housing assistance “are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated residents.” The […]

Politically Speaking, Everything is a Value for a Values Voter… Like the Economy

posted by Burns Strider

How is it that many, from left to right, who believe and argue that “values” and religion play a primary role in driving voting choices don’t equate “economic” issues and concerns as values-driven?   How is it that those who are […]

“When does life begin?” Interesting question. But it doesn’t stop there…

posted by David Gibson

For all the wilful disparaging of the MSM by the GOP and its allies on the Christian right, there is a good argument to be made that the “media” (whatever that is, today) is reading straight out of the McCain […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 ...

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 ...

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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