Log in

No account? Create an account

Fri, Nov. 5th, 2004, 01:44 am
tosei: third options for dealing with the third rail

We need to find new ways to talk to people about social issues. Ways that don't involve papier mache phalluses or pressure groups or smug superiority. We need to take a third position; the republican position is wrong and the democratic position doesn't work. I'm convinced that this is primarily a failure of communication. The republicans are better at doing this than we are, and we need to catch up.

1. Instead of talking about seperation of church and state, perhaps we should talk about keeping the government out of your church...do you want uncle sam telling you how to worship? sure, it's just faith based initiatives now, but how long until they want something back? How much worldly participation can religion take before it becomes as tainted as politics? Do you want to put your soul in the hands of Trent Lott? Do you want the state telling your kid how to pray?

2. Why should the state have anything to do with marraige in the first place? Isn't that a religious matter? If civil marraige were abolished, then your church could deny marriage to whoever they want. Besides, why should people get a tax break just for being in a stable relationship, or rather, why shouldn't everyone get that tax break?

3. Isn't the best way to prevent abortion by educating people? Why are Republicans against sex education in the schools when it could concievably reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies?

4. How would Jesus want convicts to be treated? Where is the mercy in our justice system?

5. Your family has lived here for generations. It's beautiful and you love it here. Do you want your kids to be able to enjoy it too? Do you think it's right that Republicans think that if a corporation wanted to use the land next to it to store millions of gallons of pig waste that they should be able to do that without any oversight? Do you want to fish in a lake that's been poisoned or hunt in a forest that's been turned into a toxic waste dump?

and, crucially, we need to make poverty and health care MORAL ISSUES. We need to argue that no nation that allows children to starve to death or people with treatable illnesses to die because they can't afford insurance can truly call itself a christian nation or a moral nation.

Thoughts, anyone?

Thu, Nov. 4th, 2004 11:16 pm (UTC)

On Civil Marriage - Currently, CAN the government force you to let people get married in your church? I was under the impression that the decision of who gets married in your church is strictly up to the church itself. It doesn't make any sense the other way; you have a right to a civil marriage, but you don't have the right to be married in a church. THAT would be interfering with the church.


Mon, Jul. 18th, 2005 02:51 pm (UTC)

No, it can't. But everyone likes to bring out the "slippery slope", and make people fear for the stabilising influences in their lives. It's harder to suggest that it'd be a bad idea if Uncle Sam told you how to worship when you think you'd agree with how he would do so. Mind you, the history of the protestant churches would definitely help on that score -- if it were made an active narrative in people's minds, escaping religious authority based on temporal power.

Mon, Jul. 18th, 2005 02:48 pm (UTC)

Have any idea how to find out what Christian democrats and the Christian socialists in Europe draw their inspiration from? It'd take some digging, and a bit of liberation theology, but anything that'd furnish ways to make progressive causes into moral/ethical issues would help, I hope.

This might be slightly off topic, but here's:

About being an engaged intellectual. Really, I think it's more about being engaged in general. If we can find ways to engage people, similarly, in social issues, in their everyday lives, we'd be doing good work.
[Good for people who want to be teachers or profs someday, lol.]

Surely this has to do with how moral issues become -moral- issues.
If you've tried to practice, or even acquaint yourself with a few religious traditions, one eventually gets an idea of how hard it is to take on moral authority without the appropriate clothing. I'm not engaged nearly enough, since I never got the hang of sophomore ego, lol, but, as usual, have to say that the first step is to get people to do their religion outside their churches.

Oh, you might want to look into Anglican preachers on social justice issues. They're freer to be -relatively- progressive during sermons.

In the end, "mores" are just "how things are done" -- and to most people from stable homes, the alternatives have been painted as "moralism or anarchy". Which is about as bad as "socialism or barbarism".

[Sidenote: Cornelius Castoriadis wrote a bit about being an engaged intellectual. Now, sure, he was as left wing as Western leftism gets, but he does go into it a good deal. You have to start with yourself, after all.
When -you- can engage with just about anyone, and get knocked back a few times by moralism, it'll become easier to see it coming, and avoid it, the next time.]


[And I entirely agree. I'm nominally Catholic, but tend to look at the mystic tradition in Catholicism, and see the early church [pre-Paul] as a more Buddhistic enterprise than anything, really. Wishful thinking, but perhaps much of deification is.]

Mon, Jul. 18th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC)

Surely there are progressive priests out there -- see if they've an organisation, and at the very least, a discussion board, lol.

They are supposed to be the experts.