Over at GetReligion, Mollie dissects a WaPo story on the new Religious Left…um…er…the religious “progressives.”
Progressive? Is this the best descriptor for
religious groups who advocate for liberal political aims? I have used
the term regularly in the past and can argue for its use. But I’ve
heard from people all across the spectrum who don’t like it. Some on
the right say that it implies people who don’t share a belief in, say,
higher taxes are regressive or oppressive. Some on the left think that
it denigrates the theological basis and grounding for their views. What
do you think? Is that the best term out there or what would you prefer?
It is somewhat funny that religious groups on the right are frequently
called the religious right or Christian conservatives but we don’t see
much use of the terms religious left or liberal Christians. So maybe I
should ask what are some better terms for all the varied religious
groups that engage in the public square.
Then she tackles Social Justice…oops…
This is a good example of why I refrain from using the term social
justice. Basically, I have no idea what it means. I understand what it
means in terms of Catholic social teaching.
But the foundational principle of Catholic social teaching is the
sanctity of all human life and the inherent dignity of every human
person. But I don’t think protecting all human’s right to life is what
is meant in this story’s use of the term social justice. Does it mean equal allocation of society’s benefits
– another definition of social justice? Or what? I just don’t know what
that term means and see no reason against being very specific about
what it does mean in an article like this.
I tend to use the term “progressive.” In fact, I used it several times with a WaPo reporter yesterday. But is it the best? What say you?