What Can We Do? Where Do You Find Hope? Where Do You See Good Examples?

Here are excerpts from two comments on the last article (“I Am Angry“).

I don’t know about you, but I have to have some relief from a sense of being almost constantly spiritually shredded. Do you see anything hopeful? Do you think Jim Wallis and Sojourners, for example, is an effective force for “real”Christianity? I think we could all use some examples of fighting the good fight.

Unfortunately, this issue is not going to go away quickly or soon; this will only end by a slow chipping away at the influence of the false prophets, diary by diary, LTE by LTE, conversation by conversation. If Progressives are waiting for the whole edifice to one day just come crashing down, they will be waiting a generation. What is going on is the flip side of the New Deal, the Dark Deal, and it will take quite a while and much suffering to undo it.

It would be nice to hear from some readers on this. Do you see anything hopeful? What’s going on around us that’s hopeful?

Would you be willing to add a comment? Tell us about something that gives hope, or sustains energy and motivation (with or without hope). What “sustains the weary traveler”? Comments needn’t be eloquent. Eloquence doesn’t feed the spirit well; reality does.

And can we mention a few groups or efforts that we think well of in this regard, people who are standing for reality, who are truly fighting the good fight in the US of A? Who are they?

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  • As quoted above:

    “my opinion, much of the problem with the religious right is the emphasis on sexual morality to the exclusion of all other types of morality. It allows them to turn a blind eye to corruption, torture, and economic injustice.”

    Umm…maybe it’s because God seems to emphasize sexual morality also? Read the 10 Commandments. Read Leviticus and take note of its penal system while you’re at it. Come on people this isn’t rocket science. All it takes is the ability to read, and the willingness and humbleness to understand.

    Corruption. Vague. Any specifics?

    Torture. Abu Graib? My pastor sure had some things to say about that disgusting display of American culture. We’re calling for it to be punished in a severe way.

    And what exactly is “economic injustice?” Being African American, I observe that this platitude constantly being thrown out there by the left gives firm root to covetousness (you know, the 10th Commandment?).

  • I find most of my hope in the Bible, but I am cautiously optimistic that if the new pope really does try an initiative towards Christian unity, that he may have some measure of success because as a conservative himself, he probably knows how to reach the religious right. But I say cautiously optimistic because he would have to continue the tradition of supporting real life issues, such as opposing the death penalty.

    In my opinion, much of the problem with the religious right is the emphasis on sexual morality to the exclusion of all other types of morality. It allows them to turn a blind eye to corruption, torture, and economic injustice. But the Lord really does repay the arrogant in full and that day will come.

    As CS Lewis said in Mere Chrisitanity, “Although I have had to speak at length about sex, I want to make it as clear as I possibly can that the center of Christian reality is not here. … All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing and spoiling sport, and back-biting, the pleasures of power, of hatred”. Unfortunately, these are the pleasures that the religious right and the republicans have succumbed to.

  • In the area of positive possibilities, here are some excerpts from one of Dale’s blogs at the The Village Gate:

    “I spent Friday evening and most all day Saturday listening to Jim Wallis, author of God’s Politics, lecture and engage a large audience at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland. . . . He told us that the monologue about religion in America is over. There is now a dialogue in which progressive and moderate relgious communities have taken their rightful place as the voice of sanity, orthodoxy and social justice. . . .

    ‘Let’s have a moral values conversation,’ Jim said. . . . Jim told us a story, rather pathetic- but probably all too common a reality in today’s America. A young man came up to him and said, ‘I didn’t know you could be a Christian and care about poverty and be against war.’ . . .

    Hope is not a feeling, he said. It is a decision- a choice. He asked us to discern our gifts. What makes me feel most like my authentic self? Where our gifts meet the crushing needs of the world- there is our vocation. We are the ones we have been waiting for. And we need to act like we believe that. . . .

    Jesus did not say ‘Blessed are the peace lovers’ But, rather, ‘Blessed are the peace Makers.’ Instead of just professing non-violence we need to have better answers to the problems that violence is said to solve. Protests are good, alternatives are better. . . .

    He urged us to create a movement- a network of moderate and progressive churches around the nation. To make our voices heard.”

    The full text and some very interesting comments can be found at: The Right Christians.

  • I have had this fantasy of a publication of some sort – maybe a website – of good news. It would offer exactly what you seek – news of people doing wonderful things. An example might be a couple featured on an Arizona Public Radio article who had learned to deal with difficult children and had helped over 200 foster kids (adopting many). These sorts of things never emerge in the popular media (which may be owned by the neocons anyway, who seek to elevate public fear levels to justify the war).

    Fantasy two: a magazine for adolescent girls titled something like “great women” that would have articles about just that – featuring photos of accomplished women (not the strumpets of today’s media) in their youth – Marie Curie, Indira Ghandi, Benazir Bhutto, Whom-have-you – so that young girls could visually identify with these women and hope for higher things for themselves. It would be the kind of non-dated magazine a father would pick out for his daughter. Of course, why not apply this to boys too? It would be so worthwhile to serve up true mentors instead of the glory-mongering prostitutes who dominate the mass media, whom our kids are given to emulate.

    Someone kindly steal these ideas, and I’ll give you my notes too if you want. – some cowgirl