Alibris Secondhand Books Standard

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the religious left agenda

It's starting already: Rabbi Michael Lerner is expressing displeasure with Barack Obama's selection of Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief of Staff.

Lerner is concerned first of all that the selection of Emanuel is a signal that Obama is dropping his commitment to end the Iraq war. That's one possibility; another is that Obama sees Representative Emanuel as a possible obstruction to a peace agenda, and the appointment is Obama's way of removing him from Congress. Or maybe the selection is a pragmatic recognition that Emanuel's skills are a good fit for the position. In any case, the Chief of Staff is usually expected to support the President's agenda, not the other way around.

Lerner goes on to add:

It’s not just the pro-peace and reconciliation forces that are unlikely to be given a serious hearing in a White House in which Rahm Emanuel controls who gets to talk to the President. Emanuel will almost certainly be protecting Obama from all of us spiritual progressives and those of us who describe ourselves as the Religious Left—so that our commitment to single-payer universal health care, carbon taxes for environmental protection, a Homeland Security strategy based on generosity and implemented through a Global Marshall Plan, will be unlikely to get a serious hearing in the White House.

All I can respond is, I sincerely hope so. I don't see anything in Lerner's "religious left" agenda that is the least bit religious. Certainly we a religious duty to take care of sick people, but we can do that without a single-payer health care system. Environmental stewardship is also a religious duty, I believe, but I don't think carbon taxes are the way to do it. And I just can't find the entry for "Global Marshall Plan" in my Bible concordance.

The Religious Right has poisoned the U.S. political system and U.S. churches for three decades, but we are finally starting to purge that toxin from our system. Now is not the time to swallow the drug called "Religious Left". It's likely to have very unpleasant side effects.

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