Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Politics of "Spiritual But Not Religious"

The Politics of "Spiritual But Not Religious"

My sense is that this understanding of religion is becoming increasingly more visible. In all varieties of culture from film to literature to politics, it seems people are becoming more comfortable acknowledging that they are, in fact, religious, even if they are unsure as to exactly what this means. This flies in the face of the "spiritual, but not religious," trend that, I think, served as a way station on the way to a more comprehensive understanding of the ways in which we are all religious. "Spiritual, but not religious" is a religion itself.

Progressive Christians have an amazing opportunity here to step to the fore and model what this kind of understanding of religion looks like. We can be united in both religious expression and belief, and we can show how, rather than being dogmatic, rigid, and, ultimately incompatible with political discourse, an open acceptance of our own religious views can lead to more dialogue and more opinions being voiced in the square.
My read on Progressives Christians is they'll fumble the opportunity as pretty rigid (and a think skinned) lot themselves e.g. when Budgets become Moral Documents, someone in the Budget talks gets slammed the immoral one. No way to make a win win outcome when morality gets dragged in that way.

It's going to take a real change of frames from paleo-progressivism too flexible pragmatism before Progressive Christians can play effectively here.

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