Saturday, July 20, 2013

Religious Progressives Will Soon Outnumber Conservatives, Yet They Remain Largely Silent

One of the things that I find maddening is the way in which the Christofascists have been allowed to define the image of Christianity in the minds of much of society even as their over all numbers shrink and the number of religious progressives and so-called "Nones" grows.  The result is that to many, especially, among the younger generations, religion is something ugly and abhorrent and best defined by hate and bigotry.  Much of the phenomenon, in my view, is the fault of two forces;(i) the Republican Party's continued prostitution of itself to the ugliest elements of the Christian Right (a similar thing is happening with racists and white supremacists in the GOP base) and (ii) the laziness of the main stream media which gives foul individuals like Tony Perkins a platform and almost never challenges their lies and dishonesty.  A piece in Think Progress looks at the rise of the numbers of progressives who maddeningly too often fail to challenge the hate filled Christofascists.  Here are excerpts:

One-in-five Americans are religious progressives, according to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. Using a religious orientation scale that “combines theological, economic, and social outlooks,” researchers argue that while the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans continues to rise, a growing coalition of young, diverse, and politically-active Americans are connecting their faith with progressive values.

“Our new research shows a complex religious landscape, with religious conservatives holding an advantage over religious progressives in terms of size and homogeneity,” Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, said in a press release. “However, the percentage of religious conservatives shrinks in each successive generation, with religious progressives outnumbering religious conservatives in the Millennial generation.” 

According to the survey, 23 percent of people aged 18 to 33 are religious progressives, while 22 percent are nonreligious and 17 percent are religious conservatives. By contrast, only 12 percent of those aged 66 to 88 are religious progressives, whereas 47 percent are said to be religious conservatives.

Religious progressives are also more ethnically diverse than religious conservatives, a fact that bodes well for the Democratic party as the country becomes more racially varied. And when it comes to economic issues, religious progressives are actually more passionate than other liberals about eradicating income inequality; the study found that 88 percent of religious progressives said that the government should do more to help the poor, more than any other group polled.

While it’s too soon to know whether the survey signals a groundswell of faith-based progressivism, the findings echo the recent rise of an increasingly vocal—and increasingly influential—”religious left.” For example, progressive religious leaders are heading up the ongoing “Moral Monday” protests in North Carolina, citing their faith as they decry the draconian policies of the state’s Republican-dominated legislature.

[T]he study found that although religious liberals are passionate about progressive causes, they aren’t interested in imposing their beliefs on others: only 29 percent of religious progressives believe a person has to believe in God to live a moral life, as compared to 74 percent of religious conservatives.

These moderates and progressives need to get off their asses and forcefully confront the Christofascists.  Otherwise the Christofascists will continue to force their beliefs on all and kill the Christian brand in the long run.   Like others I know, when I hear someone say they are "saved" or a devout Christian, my immediate assumption is that they are not nice people and probably major league liars and hypocrites.

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