Progressive Revival

The current criticism of Progressive Revival by Street Prophets at Daily Kos highlights the tension in both religion and politics over who is “progressive enough” in this campaign season. They write that the Revivalists are not “an expression of the Religious left….Tthe people I recognize are really political centrists, and if you count social issues, some of them wind up being on the right of center.”

“Certainly they’re not progressives as I understand the term’s meaning today. It’s great that people oppose the war or want more spending on poverty. But to be really progressive requires a willingness to confront the creeping authoritarianism of the conservative movement and an understanding that the American political and media systems are in dire need of reform. It’s really not enough to say “we should all get along and do the right thing.”
“We’ve got to do something different, in other words, not just the same thing only better. That involves being able to step outside the system to critique people like Steve Waldman’s new boss Rupert Murdoch. It also involves the ability to critique even allies who aren’t stepping up to the plate on needed reforms. Somehow, I don’t see this roster having the heart to do the latter, and I’m pretty sure they won’t be encouraged to do the former.
“Which means that the outer edge of allowable discourse from religious progressives will be fixed well before the point that would produce any meaningful change. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe they’ll all surprise me. But at the moment, I’m thinking this is a problem.”

It was intentional that we invited a mix of voices on Progressive Revival. One of the things I most deplore about President Bush is his self-satisfaction and his narrow circle of advisors that insist on the “God given” righteousness of their actions. I say widen the circle so that the tax collectors, the Pharisees, the sinners and the poor all come together at one table and are inspired to create new solutions so that God’s kingdom might be formed on earth, deliberately, and progressively. That is not moving to the center — that is creating a new center where we are.

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