Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, January 17, 2011

That old time religion

As I have shared here a long time ago, my uncle was a minister, my mother was a Sunday School teacher, and I was wanting to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church until, at the age of 13 or so, it suddenly occurred to me that religion in general, and Christianity in particular, is utterly nonsensical.

Nevertheless, when I was young, Christianity was a progressive force in the United States. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement which was largely Christian inspired and led, was one of my most important formative inspirations. The face of Catholicism to me was the Berrigan brothers and Robert Drinan -- who I had the privilege to meet later in life -- and nuns who worked as community organizers in the United States and Latin America. As a young adult, I served as a trainer in non-violent direct action at several events held in Washington, DC churches. I shared a house with an organizer for Clergy and Laity Concerned, an organization founded to oppose the Vietnam war which at that time was fighting against corporate exploitation of poor and vulnerable people. I understood political Christianity to be about social justice, and militant opposition to militarism.

I have to presume those people still exist but they all seem to be in the witness protection program. Christianity today, in the United States, appears to be a monolithic force for narrow minded bigotry, a shill for corporate power, and an implacable purveyor of ignorance. What happened? Maybe there's a Christian out there who can tell me. And oh yeah -- please explain why progressive Christians have utterly disappeared from public discourse and political action. It's no good to say "We're still around." Why are you hiding?


C. Corax said...

Not hiding. Being hidden.

Why should these people not make the papers, while the Teabaggers are headline news day in and day out?

I'm sure these folks would like their work to get better exposure.

David K said...


The church-led campaign led by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is striking a match amid the darkness. Five years ago, NRCAT announced its arrival in the form of banners that suddenly festooned churches and other religious institutions, declaring, “Torture Is a Moral Issue.”

For a perspective on how those who do not want their immorality exposed and arrange media manipulation accordingly, check Chomsky's "Media Control"


davidknz said...

But Wait.. there's more ;-)