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Christian Alliance for Progress takes on Religious Reich

You knew that the behavior of the AmTaliban would eventually stir the sleeping religious Left. A Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll last November found that 63 percent of people who attend services more than once a week vote Republican, while 37 percent of regular attendees vote Democrat. That’s a big gulf and it’s worthwhile to examine how to close that gap without sacrificing principles, the separation of church and state, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. (AFP):

Christians dismayed by the political power of America’s “religious right” on issues like gay marriage and abortion launched a new grassroots movement to reclaim their faith.

“We are here because we can no longer stand by and watch people speak hatred, division, war and greed in the name of our faith,” said Patrick Mrotek, founder of the Christian Alliance for Progress.

The movement, which aims to work as a catalyst for progressive Christians in US churches, seeks to balance the influence of conservative religious leaders on hot-button social issues like abortion and stem cell research. “We are here because Christianity is being used by some leaders on the religious right to marginalize gay and lesbian people, to criminalize desperate pregnant women,” said Mrotek. “We are here because the language spoken by the religious right is Christian — this requires a uniquely Christian response.”

The religious “left” movement was galvanized by polls which suggested that “values voters” may have swung last year’s presidential election to George W. Bush over his challenger John Kerry. Leaders were also alarmed by polls which suggest that a majority of people who regularly worship in the churches of America tend to vote Republican.

President George W. Bush is accused by opponents of pandering to the religious right on issues like gay marriage and stem cell research, to appease the conservative voters who form a key part of his political base. “The religious right has been extremely successful in taking control of the language of our faith and using it to promote an extreme and divisive political agenda,” said the Reverend Timothy Simpson, director of religious affairs at the Christian Alliance for Progress.

We think that most Americans, especially people of faith, are ready to hear from Christians who are tolerant, and who understand the many ways that our faiths impact our views of public life,” he said.

The Alliance has a blog.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding