PFBC – Faith and Politics, A Path to Engagement

Thurman (Xpatriated Texan), Mik (JSpot), Bruce (Talk2Action)

Thurman: we have a separation between church and state. not in constitution. [makes my favorite argument about the establishment clause and the free expression clause.] term comes from Thomas Jefferson. History of religion and the Founding Fathers of the US. Wedged between religious right and the secular left. Presidents used the idea of God frequently until JFK who had to renounce his religion. marks turning point in American Left. Really good historical introduction. Couldn’t capture it all, he had me enthralled.

Mik: Referencing Obama speech. It was fantastic. Second look made him think about how good it was. Amazed at religious right’s ability to always play martyr when they control all aspects of political power. People of faith feel like a minority in progressive politics. Obama speech a good example of elected official bringing faith back to the Left. By the same token, an atheist cannot be elected to the Presidency in this country. Referencing Obama’s speech, how do we take the particularities of our faiths and turn them into something universal.

Bruce: Religious Right is against the Religious Left and Secular Left, who oppose each other. Indian River incident: A Jewish family was driven out of town b/c of promotion of Christianity in Indian River Schools (Delaware). We haven’t paid enough attention to the Religious Right, which is why we are in the situation we are in today. Mainline groups under attack, often surreptitiously, but the Right. Size and scope of Religious Right is still not appreciated. Goes through a website. [I am afraid.]

Q: can we use religious language without alienating secularists?

Mik: secularists afraid we will mimic the right. need to understand we all dislike the right. Obama talks about trying to get God out of pledge. Secularists wonder where this came from. No organized movement to get rid of it. Secularists felt it was gratuitous, and Obama was pandering to the Right.

Thurman: my friends are always amazed that as a Christian I am more left than they are. Secularists argue against religion b/c it is conflated with Religious Right. Flag is a canard. Finds forcing kids to say pledge offensive. Vet who swore to uphold and protect Constitution. It’s not the flag, it’s what it stands for.

See here for author who has new book on martyr mentality/language of the Right. Post on same.

[I’m deciding a lousy scribe. I’m having too much fun listening to the conversations. I’ll keep posting key points, but nothing too detailed.]

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