Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Proud to be a Liberal

A good FB friend asked me what I mean by the world liberal ... in terms of the root meaning, as in liberal education or in terms of the progressive agenda these days in politics.

Here's my response - quick and dirty:

Hi John ... I think both ... a freedom to think broadly, experimentally - but clearly, for me, the term represents the best in America's political story - that which gave us the National Parks and child labor laws; that which abolished slavery and established civil rights for people of color and women. The liberal spirit busted the trusts under Teddy Roosevelt, gave us Social Security under FDR and promoted unions to protect the working class and build the middle class. John, you ask good questions: For the church, a place of free inquiry because of a solid faith, not in spite of it, with less emphasis on "winning souls" and a lot more emphasis on living the faith, and letting God do the winning through our witness (my Calvinism is showing!). I think the struggle today for Gay Rights is akin to the struggle for civil rights and women's suffrage and ordination. Why the church tends to be last in line on so many of these things astounds me. We talk of heaven, but seemingly close our eyes to the hell in which so many millions are forced to live their days. Socially, a safe society - where aliens have an easier time of it, where employers are penalized for illegal hiring rather than gathering up these poor families late at night and deporting them. We have to recover our manufacturing basis - if there were a crisis and the shipping lanes disrupted, we couldn't make our own refrigerators anymore. We need to sever the link between employment and health care and put it where it belongs - in government. We need a major public transportation effort to curb our fuel usage and rebuild our cities around it rather than freeways (and I live in LA) We have to learn how to curb our spending, learn to live with less, pay more for what we have to support our middle class and keep jobs here in America. Our corporations have to be leashed; and super-wealth taxed! Junk food and corn syrup banned! Feed McDonald's executives their own crap three times a day for a month, take away their cars and make them use public transportation. Oh well, you asked ... a lot of random thoughts. John, tell me more about your vision, for the church and for our society.