What’s new in the neighborhood?

August 2, 2007, 2:19 am | Posted by

In keeping with the FPL series of posts from evangelical and progressives speaking out together, Theology visits a large, evangelical church, formerly First Baptist, now known as Autumn Ridge Church.

This is the very kind of church that liberal Christians bewail. They’re all Republicans, right? And they care only about saving souls. Or maybe they are involved in the Big Two social issues: ending abortion and a gay marriage ban.



Xpatriated Texan notes Sen. Obama recent answer on gay marriage and concludes:

This stands in contrast to John Edwards abominable answer. Note that the outcome isn’t different – Obama doesn’t think that marriage should be “push[ed] front and center” (which means no “gay marriage laws” under President Obama). But the stance is vastly different. Under Obama’s “Christian ethos” there is “no contradiction with embracing same-sex couples”. John Edwards actually sees a problem with granting equality, but he wouldn’t stand in the way of it. One has an alignment between personal belief and public stance while the other says he would advocate for something he doesn’t believe in.

Pam’s House Blend posts about a HRC interview with that lesbian couple from the CNN+YouTube debate.

Velveteen Rabbi reads the four candidates’ — Biden, Edwards, Obama, Richardson — responses to the Jewish Funds for Justice presidential questionnaire. And she writes:

It’s easy to grouse that all we hear from our Presidential candidates are soundbytes. Reading their responses to our questions is a good way to begin getting a more nuanced picture of who these men are and what they have to say about the issues we care about. Thanks for making this happen, JFSJ, and three cheers for the J-blogosphere.

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Kathleen Kennedy Townsend talks faith and politics on The Colbert Report

August 1, 2007, 9:03 am | Posted by

Last night, Faith in Public Life advisory board member Kathleen Kennedy Townsend appeared as a guest on The Colbert Report to discuss her new book, Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way. Kathleen explained how the Right has tried to “shrink God” by reducing religious focus to a narrow platform of same-sex marriage, abortion and stem cell research and how we must instead pursue the common good. Her rapid run-down of the names of all 10 of her brothers and sister ain’t bad either — nearly matching the speed at which Colbert does the same for his own 10 Catholic siblings.

Have a look:

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The theft of the future — the relationship between the market, religion and social change

July 29, 2007, 7:28 pm | Posted by

This video is about an hour long, which will take a commitment to watch, but it will be well-worth your time if you’re interested in the long view of what’s going on with market economies, faith and social movements in the world these days.

Paul Hawken on The Great Transformation

Video from the Long Now Foundation – San Francisco, CA

The title of Paul Hawken’s talk, "The New Great Transformation," has two referents. Economist Karl PolanyiÂ’s 1944 book, THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION, said that the "market society" and modern nation state emerged together in Europe after 1700 and divided society in ways that have yet to be healed.

Karen Armstrong’s 2006 book, THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION, explores "the Axial Age" between 800 and 200 BC when the world’s great religions and philosophies first took shape. They were all initially social movements, she says, acting on revulsion against the violence and injustice of their times.

Both books describe conditions in which "the future is stolen and sold to the present," said Hawken – a situation we are having to deal with yet again

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Don Cheadle on Darfur: We want “never again” to mean something

July 27, 2007, 3:07 am | Posted by

Actor Don Cheadle and ENOUGH! activist John Prendergast talk about their visit to Darfur and how people can make “never again” mean something.

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What’s new in the neighborhood? Prayer time!

July 26, 2007, 4:09 am | Posted by

With the SCHIP doom — Bush chooses big tobacco over children’s health — and Gonzalez’s false testimony, there’s not much else to do this week but pray. . .which is precisely what PastorDan is doing all over the blogosphere. Now he’s making me almost believe the old culture war meme about these fervent faith-types barnstorming the left. . .what’s going to happen next, actual metanoia?

Over at kos, he witnesses:

Mr. O’Reilly, I take the Bible seriously. I am a Christian disciple committed to growth in love of the Lord and my neighbor. I am even committed, God help me, to learning to love my enemy. I don’t represent everyone at Daily Kos, let alone the entire liberal blogosphere: that little asterisk after “pray” signifies that not all of us believe in God, but we can all meditate or hold someone in our thoughts. In that sense, if you were to take the time to get to know us, you’d find that I’m a lot closer to representative than not.

And then apparently he enjoyed it so much (and the 300 plus comments!) that he offered up another supplication over at Street Prophets.

Now here’s Starwoman offering up hymnic prayer.

Speaking of the hail Mary. . .Diana Bulter Bass faces Michael Vick off against Gregory of Nyssa. She writes:

In her recent book, The Frontiers of Justice, philosopher Martha Nussbaum points out that Jews and Christians practice ethics of compassion for animals, but that these ethics are incomplete–that “cruel and oppressive treatment of animals raises issues of justice.” Nussbaum insists, “not only that it is wrong of us to treat them that way, but also that they have a right, a moral entitlement, not to be treated in that way. It is unfair to them.” (Emphasis hers.)

And finally, rounding out the prayer theme Unitarian-Universalist blogger Philocrites points to a Rob Hardies quote:

We need a spirituality that moves us beyond fight and flight, one that sees complexity not as an enemy but as a friend. We need a spirituality that views paradox as a creative opportunity and contradiction as a stimulant

Okay, I’ll pray for more of that. . .and while you’re at it, send some o’ that for BillO too, dear God!

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