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One More Thought On Religious Progressives

I think one problem with the way the religious progressives question is discussed is that it's usually framed (and Obama did this in a classic fashion) as an argument against the secular left. Any talk about religious progressives has to start by bashing secular progressives, accusing them -- sometimes fairly, sometimes not -- of being unwilling to accept religious progressives. The problem is that this kind of opening gambit, while seemingly useful as a way to show you share religious swing voters' concerns, frames the whole discussion as an attack on secular progressives. But this is a battle that religious people, not secular ones, are responsible for fighting.

All progressives can talk about specific policies, and how to those policies are linked to the shared core of progressive values. The question in the religion debate, however, is how to dig deeper and link those progressive values to fundamental worldviews. Secular people can't be asked to make arguments linking progressive values to a religious worldview, and in fact they must be free not only to assert the secular basis of their commitment to progressive values, but also to advocate for the superiority of a secular worldview over a religious one. All they can be asked to do is accept the political comradeship of others who accept the same progressive values on whatever basis -- and a corresponding demand is made of religious people.

The real culprit who should be blamed here is religious progressives, who have failed to articulate (or perhaps even to have) the link between their religious worldview and their progressive values.


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