Comments about ‘The religious left exists, but not as a political movement’

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Published: Wednesday, Aug. 21 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
Beverly Hills, CA

I am a proud member of the Religious Left. I am proud to be LDS. I serve God and country. I try to do as Jesus taught by trying to aid the poor, the sick, the needy and have a good attitude about it. I try to be a good neighbor and good example. I take care and pay for my kids. I also have a 100% Home Teaching attendance record. No right winger can say I am the unethical and unreligious liberal they love to despise. There are many more like me in the LDS Church, we just don't fee; the need to go on the attack about it.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"These terms (like "religious progressive") are really shallow because they don’t actually describe anybody,"

I think it describes the growing number of people who believe in a higher power but are increasingly getting turned off by the power, money and control of organized religion.

FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

The absence of a religious left is very much restricted to the US. If we look across South America and Africa, the Catholic church, Liberation Theology, and others have a much further left paradigm than anything in America. Our "religious right" in America is considered to be intolerably cruel (especially with regards to the poor) and uncaring by most international standards. Every religious person I have personally met in Utah has supported torture at Guantanamo Bay, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, eliminating social programs for the poor and elderly, and had outright contempt for the homeless.

raybies
Layton, UT

A person who believes in a higher power, but does not attempt to do anything about it, imo, isn't religious. They're spiritual, but not religious. Religious involves a religion.

That said, a large faction of the Left despises Religion in all forms, seeing it as weakness and evidence of weak-minded thinking. They mock it continually, as clearly evident by reading the material they put out to activate their political base... goto the Huffington Post for a good dose of religious cynicism.

Further, in many of these "thinkers" minds (which you will discover as you peruse the messageboards of their followers), they view religion as the cause of all the major conflicts in the world, the source of global attrocities, and guilty of all sorts of human rights abuses. They naively imagine up a world where religion is abolished, and all men and women magically get along, living blissfully in a socialist utopia.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Religion is a very broad term! Jesus' enemies were very religious (Pharisees). Democracy's enemies are very religious in fact they want to kill (jihad) us and have succeeded many times and will again. The "religious left" is a meaningless term. Aren't they the same people who think its their "right" to kill unborn? Religious?

esodije
ALBUQUERQUE, NM

I'm reminded of the "guide" to dealing with conservative Christians that some Democrat operative/consultant put out before the 2012 election. It was reported to have said something like: "The key to understanding conservative Christians is that they actually, literally, believe in God." I'm not saying there aren't progressives who believe in God, but it seems clear that most expressions of religious faith on the left are done with a wink or two.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

If one wishes to be a follower of Jesus then they will need to be a liberal because Jesus was the ultimate liberal.

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

JJJHS: Thank you for your dedication and willingness to show that good can be found in all political parties, and also show that 'political parties' are made up of people, and that good and bad people can be found on all both sides of this 'coin'.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I lean toward more to the ole saying If Momma ain't happy no one is. So, what is acceptable and tolerated by her is the rule. Ya didn't want ta hear her say just weight till your dad get's home.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

"That said, a large faction of the Left despises Religion in all forms, seeing it as weakness and evidence of weak-minded thinking."

And what percentage of the left is this group that despises religion? Are you equally willing to say that because there is a very vocal ultra conservative fraction, that they represent the majority of conservatives?

" Aren't they the same people who think its their "right" to kill unborn? Religious?"

According to a Pew Research study, over 60% of those that consider themselves liberal don't support abortion. These sweeping generalities applied to literally millions of people, pretending they all believe and act alike is absurd... and simplistic at best.

Just one look at the chart included in the article proves that these fringe groups - particularly on the right, are a shrinking crowd. Even Chaney, the most despised many to "liberals", supports gay rights because of his daughter. If Chaney can have multifaceted views of policies, surely average people could as well.

But boy isn't the world a lot simpler if you can nicely divide everyone into good guys and bad guys.. Problem is that only works for cartoons, story books, and those feeling superior to others.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Geez, I wonder if I should identify myself as religious progressive?

The Old Testament talks a lot about social justice. "Be kind to the stranger, you were strangers in the land of Israel." "Do justice to the oppressed, feed the widow, care for the orphan." In Matt. 25, Christ lays out that those who fed the hungry, the poor, visited the prisoner, etc enter heaven.

A lot of people who self-identify as conservatives live these principles so are they religious progressives even though they say they are conservative.? The term liberal and conservative doesn't mean what it used to. It means now, which team you belong to, whether than a set of principles. I read the article about the Becket fund and Hobby Lobby and I thought, "Great, there are still some real liberals out there." Are the people in the Becket fund going to be part of the religious progressives?

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"They naively imagine up a world where religion is abolished, and all men and women magically get along, living blissfully in a socialist utopia." I am a lifetime socialist, and I have never met anyone you describe.

riverofsun
St.George, Utah

It can be so very simple.
Nature is my church.
Kindness and humility is my religion.
Understanding and tolerance is my daily duty.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

The moral of the story - it is easier to corral and guide sheep.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

I suspect it's because they recognise that religion is personal, not a political movement.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Jesus was most definitely a progressive.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
Beverly Hills, CA

I am a proud member of the Religious Left. I am proud to be LDS. I serve God and country. I try to do as Jesus taught by trying to aid the poor, the sick, the needy and have a good attitude about it. I try to be a good neighbor and good example. I take care and pay for my kids. I also have a 100% Home Teaching attendance record. No right winger can say I am the unethical and unreligious liberal they love to despise. There are many more like me in the LDS Church, we just don't feel the need to go on the attack about it.
5:22 a.m. Aug. 21, 2013

=========

Amen, and Amen!

I'm with you BROTHER.

Veteran, return Missionary, Married and Temple worthy for 40+ years straight.

I follow the Savior and his Prophets.
If that makes me LEFT, then so be it.

Satan and his plan was far-right-wing.
[Forced Righteousness, Not one soul lost, self-reward and self-Glory, and finally kicked out for REBELLION.]

I stay as far away that as possible!

GK Willington
Salt Lake City, UT

to UtahBlueDevil

"But boy isn't the world a lot simpler if you can nicely divide everyone into good guys and bad guys.. Problem is that only works for cartoons, story books, and those feeling superior to others."

Agreed. Except the last "category" s/b those who need to label because of an inferiority complex.

patriot vet
Cedar City, UT

I'm with JJJHS and LDS Liberal...I'm sure my conservaticve religious beliefs (LDS) and experiences (Veteran, conservative upbringing, remnant Depression-era habits) don't match well with my tolerant social philosophy.

Studying the Prophet Joseph Smith and the 14 Prophets after him shows me that all of them were quite "liberal" in their dealings with other people. They may not have been as Apostles, but once they were called as Prophet and President of the Church, they became like Paul, King Benjamin, St.Francis of Assisi and other powerfully religious, but Christ-like humans.

I think American politics still has great sway on the Church. Democrat or Republican, Right-wing or Left-wing. That kind of thinking is far too narrow for followers of Christ, members of the Church and emulators of our Prophet.

Sorry Charlie!
SLC, UT

you got to love the conservative posters and their straw men.

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