Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Christian Left

In this video, Dan Savage issues the same challenge that I often have: Those on the Christian Left must speak up not to me or other liberals, but to the right. Rightwing Christians deny that Leftwing Christians are legitimately Christian, they reject not just the truth as liberals and Leftists know it, but also the very Christianity of those who hold those views.

So, the duty, obligation and necessity is not for leftist Christians to tell ME how they’re different, but to tell the rightwing and—even more importantly—to demand that the right stop claiming that it alone represents “true” Christianity. The rightwing will never do that, of course, so the left must then take the battle to the media, and make sure they understand that there are many views within Christianity, and the rightwing view is only one view, a narrow view not share by all Christians.

If liberal and Leftist Christians fail to do this, then they must accept that they will be tarred with the same brush as their intolerant and bigoted fellow Christians on the right. They must also then accept that they deserve to be.


Roger Owen Green said...

the problem is that we on the Christian left HAVE had that conversation, and like the cartoon, have been told that we're not Real Christians. It's like talking to people who watch FOX noise; you can SAY there's economic inequity, global warming, etc, but it's rather exhausting, and quite possibly pointless.

Arthur Schenck said...

I agree—I actually think it IS pointless to talk to the Christian Right, except that it could reach some of the less brainwashed on that end of the spectrum. I'm also keenly aware that Liberal/Left Christians are actively engaged in living their faith and, by their example, showing that there's far more to Christianity than far right politics.

I think what Dan was getting at—and what I'm usually talking about—is the need to be vocal to the general public. If a local newspaper or TV station turns only to the rightwing to get a "Christian" perspective, then Liberal/Left Christians have to hold the media to account for their political and religious bias.

The point is that the larger public will remain completely unaware that "Christianity" isn't synonymous with far right politics if they never hear an alternative.

Roger Owen Green said...

Yeah, but you know how the media works. They find someone who they go to, and keep on going to the same faces.

Arthur Schenck said...

Yes, and that's how hate group leaders get on television as the sole representatives of "Christian" viewpoints on social issues.