Many left-liberal groups ignore the Pentagon’s swollen budget even as it devours resources that could be put to much better use. Sadly, a bipartisan majority in Congress gave [Trump] all he asked for [and] then some. Beyond spending sufficient to provide reasonable defense, military expenditures provide no benefit; they fail utterly to improve our quality of life. The growth in so-called “Islamist terror groups” was largely blowback — the result of and reaction to U.S. intervention in the region. The citizenry would be far better off if our nation abandoned the role of global hegemon, led the world into multilateral disarmament negotiations and redirected billions into investments in our people and infrastructure.—Mark Haim
Mark Haim is a longtime advocate for peace, justice, sustainability and climate action. He serves as director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, a grassroots activist group.
Source: $700 Billion For What? | The Indypendent
Trump and his core supporters see any criticism as betrayal. When the president is thin-skinned and lacks core convictions, there are Christians who are concerned that criticism will cause Trump to dump their issues. An enormous number of Christians — especially Christians in politics — suffer from a lack of faith [and] view the Left as presenting an existential threat to Christian faith. Trump has done a remarkable job at convincing conservative Christians that he’s the lesser evil compared to his enemies in the media and on the radical Left so they’ll find ways to rationalize their support for Trump.
Source: Understanding Conservative Christian Silence on Donald Trump’s Porngate | National Review
In [Rush] Limbaugh’s view, there is only zero-sum competition between tribes, the left and right. Only one’s own tribe can be trusted. Over time, the right’s base has become increasingly homogeneous and like-minded. Under a steady diet of radicalizing media and tribal epistemology, their traditionalism has hardened into tribalism. The right’s view that the institutions lean liberal is hyperbolic, but not without foundation. Science, academia, and journalism do tend to draw their personnel from left-leaning demographics. But the right has not sought greater fairness in mainstream institutions; it has defected to create its own. The right sees the game itself, its institutions and norms, as the enemy. What the right wants is not better, fairer, more scrupulous information referees. It wants tribal information. Right-wing media took an audience already inclined to traditionalism and deliberately played on its fears and anxieties, pushing it further and further into tribalism, reinforcing the shared worldview of readers and shielding them from journalism that challenge[s] it.”
Source: Donald Trump and the rise of tribal epistemology – Vox
America is undergoing a religious polarization. Today’s America is losing much of the general religious ethos that dominated the U.S. for hundreds of years. Historically, Christians have survived — and thrived — as a passionate and convictional minority. In the first century, Christians didn’t gain influence by protesting the Roman government’s “War on Christmas.” They faithfully followed Christ, at times in the face of persecution, while rescuing discarded infants, comforting the sick left to die alone and sharing the gospel to a not-always-receptive world. Our mission [is] not to moralize the unconverted, but to reach the broken and hurting.
Source: Nominal Christians are becoming more secular, and that’s creating a startling change for the U.S. – The Washington Post
“If the poor are to become a “new and unsettling force” with real political might, we must first achieve the unity of the poor.”
Source: Why Real Political Power Will Not Come From a Revived Religious Left | Religion Dispatches
Rather than fully aligning our movements with preexisting political categories, there is strength in poaching from across the left-right political spectrum. We must position our movements as protest parties — anti-party parties — whose ascension will be the death of established parties.
Source: Occupy and Black Lives Matter failed. We can either win wars or win elections | Micah White | Opinion | The Guardian
“Democrats need to become more religiously literate and faith-friendly. We religious progressives often feel ignored and abandoned by a Democratic Party that seems indifferent to our religious traditions. As an evangelical advocate for social justice, I have fought right-wing religious fundamentalism my whole life. But the secular fundamentalism of the left is not much better — and it certainly does not help garner votes at election time. The utmost respect for ‘the other’ is required now, especially with a strong commitment to defend each other’s faith and to protect others’ lives that are now under attack in the United States — partly inspired by the rhetoric of President Trump.” — Jim Wallis
Source: Bernie Sanders got Christian theology wrong | TheRecord.com
Jim Wallis is a Christian writer and political activist. He is best known as the founder and editor of Sojourners magazine and as the founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Christian community of the same name.
“Secularism is making America’s partisan clashes more brutal. As Americans have left organized religion, they haven’t stopped viewing politics as a struggle between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways. The worse Americans fare in their own lives, the darker their view of the country. But non-churchgoing conservatives didn’t flock to Trump only because he articulated their despair. He also articulated their resentments. For decades, liberals have called the Christian right intolerant. When cultural conservatives disengage from organized religion, they tend to redraw the boundaries of identity, de-emphasizing morality and religion and emphasizing race and nation. Trump is both a beneficiary and a driver of that shift. Secularization is transforming the left, too. Secularization isn’t easing political conflict. It’s making American politics even more convulsive and zero-sum. For years, political commentators dreamed that the culture war over religious morality that began in the 1960s and ’70s would fade. It has. And the more secular, more ferociously national and racial culture war that has followed is worse.”
Source: America’s Empty-Church Problem – The Atlantic
“The religious leaders who most readily endorsed Trump were representatives of two of the Christian ‘heresies’ overtaking traditional Christianity in America: the Prosperity Gospel and the religion of American nationalism. All over Europe, and increasingly America, we see the post-Christian right turning into a nationalist, or even ethno-nationalist, movement. A secularized America is going to have a much more extreme right wing, but also a much more extreme left wing, and fewer ways for them to interact and talk.” — Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
Source: If you didn’t like the Christian right, you’ll really hate the post-Christian right
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry is a writer and fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He writes about religion, culture, politics, economics, business and technology. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/pegobry.
“Atheists and religious progressives have far more in common than either group does with the Christian Right.” — Hemant Mehta
Source: A Powerful Religious Left is Emerging, But They’ll Fail Without Secular Support
Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast.
“The far right of the evangelical movement in the United States has a highly organized campaign to impose biblical law on every aspect of American society. As the church becomes more aggressive and militant in its political cause, this may precipitate a seizing of religious freedom. Jesus had very little to say about the political power of His day. “Legislating morality” was not a platform for Jesus or the apostles in their ministry in the good news of Christ.” — Paul Vieira
See: Jesus Has Left the Building
“What has muzzled liberal Protestants is their own commitment to inclusion and opposition to discrimination. Their aim is to serve society as a whole, rather than their own narrow confessional self-interest. The problem is not that they lack conviction, but that their convictions make it intensely difficult for them to assert their faith.” — Alec Ryrie
See: The weakness of the religious left: How progressive evangelicals ceded moral authority to the right wing: Liberal Protestants could be a politically powerful force in America, if they allowed themselves to be
Alec Ryrie is the author of “Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World”. He is professor of the history of Christianity at Durham University in England and a licensed minister in his local church.
“If you can create a coalition that includes the religious left but also those moderates in the middle and also secularists, then you would have an incredibly strong coalition.” — Marie Griffith
Marie Griffith is the director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.
See: High Noon for the Religious Left
“It’s one of the dirty little secrets of American politics that there has been a religious left all along and it just hasn’t done a good job of organizing. It has taken a crisis, or perceived crisis, like Trump’s election to cause folks on the religious left to really own their religion in the public square.” — J. Patrick Hornbeck II
J. Patrick Hornbeck II is chairman of the theology department at Fordham University, a Jesuit school in New York.
See: ‘Religious left’ emerging as U.S. political force in Trump era
“As Americans have left organized religion, they haven’t stopped viewing politics as a struggle between “us” and “them.” Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways.” — Peter Beinart
See: Breaking Faith: The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.
Peter Beinart is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and an associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York.
“No movement or political revolution will ever be built within the confines of the Democratic Party. And the repeated failure of the American left to grasp the duplicitous game being played by the political elites has effectively neutered it as a political force. The Democrats, like the Republicans, have no interest in genuine reform. They are wedded to corporate power.” — Chris Hedges
Christopher Lynn Hedges is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, professor at Princeton University, author of several New York Times best-sellers, and Presbyterian minister. See: Bernie Sanders’ Phantom Movement
Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/chrislynnhedges
“When the Left speaks to people with a condescending tone, creates a culture of suspicion toward men and whites, and projects an intense religiophobia and contempt for a large swath of the American public, it ensures that it will never have the political power to implement a progressive agenda.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner
Rabbi Michael Lerner is an American political activist and the editor of Tikkun, a progressive Jewish interfaith magazine.
See: Overcoming Trump-ism: A New Strategy for Progressives
Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/rabbilerner
“The unholy alliance of the Political Right and the Religious Right threatens to destroy the America we love. It also threatens to generate a revulsion against God and religion by identifying them with militarism, ecological irresponsibility, fundamentalist antagonism to science and rational thought, and insensitivity to the needs of the poor and the powerless.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner
The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right is a 2006 book by Rabbi Michael Lerner. Rabbi Michael Lerner is an American political activist and the editor of Tikkun, a progressive Jewish interfaith magazine.
Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/rabbilerner