Tuesday, 15 September 2015 17:30

2000 -Thoughts about Progressive Christians

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 Dorothy

I do not consider myself a "religious" person but I am interested in religion and it's impact on people and societies. Like many people reading this, I think of myself as more "spiritual" than anything else these days. As a kid, I sang in a church choir in Spokane briefly. As a teenager, threatened with Viet Nam, I explored my spiritual beliefs and came to the conclusion at that time that most religions taught peace rather than war. As an adult, I met Milton at Metropolitan Community Church in 1982, which I was attending for the purpose of singing and meeting new people rather than out of any strong convictions. Later, in about 2000, Milton and I attended a welcoming and affirming First Christian Church in Vallejo and really did feel welcomed and affirmed.

 liberalsare

My mom was always anti-fundamentalist. She believed in science and taught her children the importance of critical thinking. I don't remember her ever attending any church. My dad was raised a Southern Baptist but I don't remember him ever attending a church service either. 

Here, I want to talk about Christianity, seekers, and progressive vs traditionalist Christians in this country. My feeling is that There is a culture war going on in this country and progressive Christians need to be on the front lines, not on the sidelines. Many people are not even aware there are "progressive Christians." I want to help answer the question "Who are progressive Christians and what do they believe?" All Christians are not fundamentalists. 

I believe that the religious right is more visible than the religious left. I believe that a large part of this visibility has to do with the religious right being more willing to use modern seeker /alternative/ contemporary/ multicultural/ multi-generational styles of worship services. I want to answer the question "Why should progressive Christians care about seeker worship and other new modern styles of worship that effectively reach the masses?"

In his book about "framing" discourse, "Don't Think of an Elephant," author George Lakoff says there are eight kinds of progressives and we all share many mutual interests and goals. 

1. Socioeconomic progressives
2. Identity politics progressives..
3. Environmentalists.
4. Civil liberties progressives.

5. Anti-authoritarian
6. Spiritual progressives have a nurturant form of religion or spirituality, their spiritual experience has to do with their connection to other people and the world, and their spiritual practice has to do with service to other people and to their community. Spiritual progressives span the full range from Catholics and Protestants to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Goddess worshippers, and pagan members of Wicca.

Mr. Lakoff discusses how the various types of conservatives have put their differences aside and says that the eight different types of progressives must also put their differences aside. The political right works in concert with the religious right. The political left must do the same. The political right has learned to frame the discussion in metaphors and terms that are user friendly. 

The religious right has learned to present their theology in user friendly terms and popular rhythms and this is often referred to as "seeker" worship. The religious right has been able to connect with "unchurched Harry's" and have grown exponentially while the religious left gets smaller and smaller. When the subject of "values" are brought up during elections, the religious right dominates and controls the conversation because they use media and services that speak to the masses. Sadly, the religious left only preaches to the choir. Unchurched Harry can't relate to the intellectualism or traditionalism of most liberal left churches. Unchurched Harry needs to "feel" something in church before he will be open to theological ideas and progressive concepts. 

Progressives lose if we allow conservatives to control the conversation either politically or spiritually. There are many websites about progressive Christians and there are many websites about new forms of worship. 

 

 

 

Broad Generalizations Regarding the Culture War

Conservative/ Right wing/ Republican/ Fundamentalist Liberal/ Left wing/ Democrat/ Progressive
Anti-science/ pro-creationism- "intelligent design"/ anti-intellectual Pro-science/ evolution/ intellectual/ pro-education
God defined with human attributes: male/ white/ angry/ jealous/ petty/ etc. God is a concept that is not defined by human attributes
Males dominate and define what women can do with their bodies Pro-Choice- women decide what can be done with their own bodies
More concerned about pre-viable fetal tissue than about real children Pro-children- for funding programs that benefit children- real "culture of life"
Anti-social programs/ pro-corporate welfare Pro safety-net social programs/ anti-corporate welfare
Big profits for pharmaceutical companies and hospital industry Pro one-payer national health care and fair access to medicine
Anti Social Security Pro Social Security
Wants Christian religion in schools and government Believes in separation of church and state
Anti-public education/ pro-government money for private Christian schools Pro public ed; Anti government $ for religion- pro separation church & state
Intolerant of those of different race, religion, class, sexual orientation Tolerant of others; embraces diversity
Intolerant of different religions- non-Christians will burn in hell Tolerant & respectful of all faiths. No condemnation of non-believers
Big emphasis on personal "sin" - judgemental Less emphasis on judging personal behaviors of others and personal "sin"
Divides black against white; men against women; straights against gays etc Unites people together
strict father model/ punishment/ obedience/ children born evil nurturant gender neutral parent model; children born good
self interest/ "me against them" attitude group interest/ "us"/ what can we do together to make things better for all?
Superficial understanding of Biblical text- literalism; Uneducated clergy Studies Biblical text in context of history, language, culture, etc.; Educated clergy
Pro capital punishment/ revenge mentality - culture of death Anti-capital punishment/ pro-rehabilitation- real "culture of life"
Teaches Old Testament "an eye for an eye"; Moses values Teaches New Testament golden rule; Christ values
Militaristic; pro-war Diplomatic; pro-peace
Rush Limbaugh Al Franken
Exploits and depletes environment; protects big oil- drill anywhere Protects environment
Doesn't "believe in" global warming- disparages "tree huggers" Comprehends the intelligence, logic and science of global warming-
Chooses big money interests over interests of endangered species For protecting endangered species

Isn't concerned about gas mileage when buying new vehicle- considers Hummer

Takes into consideration gas mileage when buying new vehicle- considers hybrid
Pro censorship- they know best what others should hear or watch Anti-censorship- pro-individual rights- right to privacy- parental rights
Talk about "values" but at same time are primary audience of Fox network trashy television shows Don't talk as much about their values or try to impose their values on others. Are the primary audience for intelligent programming on PBS.
Believe in the myth of a "liberal bias" in corporate media Understands that corporate media primary interest is profits and the "liberal bias" myth is nonsense & most corporate media is conservative.
Think that Fox news really is "Fair and Balanced" Get their news from various sources that really are more fair and balanced.
Anti-family planning & sex education which is proven to result in ignorance and more unwanted pregnancies and increased abortion rates Pro-family planning & sex education which is proven to result in fewer unwanted pregnancies and decreased abortion rates
Anti- hiv education and dessimination of info about condom use which results in keeping hiv and std rates higher than they need to be Pro- hiv education and dessimation of condoms and info about proper use which results in lower hiv rates
Wants U.S. out of the United Nations- Pro- United Nations and International Law and Diplomacy
Simplistic infantile black & white- good & bad- right & wrong perspective Understands complexities of the world, nuanced positions, critical thinking
Uses Orwellian language that means the opposite of what it says-i.e. "blue skies initiative" that is actually anti-environment Says what they mean in straight forward language that doesn't try to disguise hidden agenda
Actually buys into idea that the economy is better under Bush than it was under Clinton- think they get to keep more of their money because they are bribed with small tax refunds, ignoring the record deficits that result Can comprehend the fall of the American dollar and understand how Bush economy has resulted in record deficits and that their grandchildren will be paying for those tax cuts that went mainly to the ultra-rich.

 

Read 7300 times Last modified on Saturday, 26 December 2015 17:57

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5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
Palouse- Click for story
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
Beatle haircut- Click for story.
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
Grandview- Click for story
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
Cockettes & Angels of Light- Click for story
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
Where I was born- Click for story.
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
4th Grade- Click for story.
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.
My Dad's Family- Click for story.
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
1974- First Trip to Europe- Click to read story.
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
Click to read "Introduction."
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Amber- Click to read story.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
My Mother- Click for more photos.
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
Women in Oils- Click for story
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
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Article

01. Introduction

03- Dads Family

03- Photos of my Father and his family

04- My Mother's Family

04- Photos of my Mom

04- Video of my Mom

04- Walling Family Reunions

04-Audio Files of My Mom

04. Billie

04. Ole

04.1. Forbidden Dreams of Love

04.2. Flames of Forbidden Love

04.3 Mom Writing Her Life Story

05- Jim Tarbert

05. Roger

1950's Grandview to Toppenish

1957-1958 1st Grade

1958-1959- Third Grade

1959- Palouse

1961- 4th Grade- Last time I wore a dress

1962- Abilene

1963- Escondido- Early 60's

1964- Darlene Marries Chuck

1964- My Beatle Haircut

1964-The Luv Please

1965 or 1966- Steve Castle

1965- In Foster Care

1966 Living with Darlene & Chuck in Seattle

1967- Juvenile Hall

1976- I Praise Thee (poem to Stanley)

1976- My Second Lover, Stanley Dunne

1976- Paul McCartney and Wings

1976-1330 Bush Street #9J

1977- 1667 Haight Street

1977- Trip to San Diego with Mary Jo

1977-1980- Tumultuous Relationship with John Perry

1978- 525 Haight Street

1979- September- Dad is Murdered

1980's- AIDS- Death and Dying

1980- Winter- First Trip to New York

1980- Word, Sound and Power

1981- Milton- Falling in Love

1982-1993 465 Waller Street

1982-1994 Computers to MacNursing

1984- 33rd Birthday

1985- Graduation from Nursing School

1985- Trip to Hawaii (Oahu)

1988- MIdnight Caller

1989- Earthquake!

1991- Aug 10th- Mom Passes Away

1991- Black Males in Oils

1991- Crack of My Life

1993- Move to Vallejo & Our First Home

1995-1. Road Trip to Washington

1995-2. Surprise Trip to Vegas

1995-3. Grandmother Rogers & Aunts Visit Darlene's

1995-4. Amber

1998- Camping at Russian River

2000 -Thoughts about Progressive Christians

2000- Resignation from John George

2001- April- Trip to Cancun

2001- Peace and Justice

2001- September 11th

2002- April-Puerto Vallarta & Blue Bay Getaway

2002- Nov 12th- My Stepfather, George McHenry Passes Away

2003- Trip to D.C. and N.Y.

2004- Feb- Road Trip to Baha Mexico

2004- Walling Family Reunion in Spokane

2005- Christmas Poem

2005- Darlene Visit for Pride Celebration

2005- Trip to Orlando

2005-1. Europe- London

2005-2. Europe- Paris

2005-3. Europe- Venice

2005-4. Europe- Florence

2005-5. Europe- Rome

2005-6. Europe- Athens

2005-7. Knee Surgery & Tongue Biopsy

2006 Christmas Poem

2006- February 23- Times Herald

2006- Palm Springs White Party

2006- Trip to Seattle

2006-July 8th Solano Peace and Justice Coalition BBQ

2007- Feb- Carnival Destiny- Our First Cruise

2007- Tre and Casey Visit

2008- Aug 15-18 Spokane Visit

2008- Psycho Song

2009- Honored by Vallejo Gay Network

2009- Women in Oils

2010 Christmas Poem

2010- Feb. R.C. Mariner of the Seas Mexican Riviera Cruise

2010- June 24- Badlands

2010- Trip to Seattle

2010-1. Europe- Amsterdam

2010-2. Europe- Paris

2010-3. Europe- Barcelona & Sitges

2010-4. Europe- Madrid

2011-1. Feb. My Fabulous 60th Birthday Weekend

2011-2. April- L.A., Palm Springs & "The White Party"

2011-3. Poem- Girl From Medical Lake

2011-4. Old Man Dancing

2011-5. May- Misty and Alex Visit

2011-6. August- Darlene and Sean's Visit

2011-7. Alex 16-18 & Pics

2012- March- Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera with Family

2013- Wedding

2014- Christmas Poem

2014- First Gay Cruise

2014- September Road Trip to San Diego

2015- Seasonal Affective Blues

2015- Second Gay Cruise

2015- War on Christmas poem

2015-"Badlands" and Gay Bar Etiquette

2015-September 8. Political History

2016 Do Not Speak for Gay Males

2016- April- Palm Springs RV Adventure

4/4/2016- Not Going Along to Get Along

9/4/15- Liberals vs Conservatives

2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
My Dad's Family- Click for story.
Click to read "Introduction."
5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
Palouse- Click for story
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
My Mother- Click for more photos.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
Women in Oils- Click for story
Amber- Click to read story.
Beatle haircut- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
1974- First Trip to Europe- Click to read story.
Grandview- Click for story
Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
4th Grade- Click for story.
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
Where I was born- Click for story.
1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.
Cockettes & Angels of Light- Click for story