Jesus was a liberal hippy

Barbara O’Brien, writing on Glenn Greenwald’s blog, has an excellent post about liberal Christians. Yes, they do exist.

Westerners often cling to an infantile religion focused on a Big Daddy God and the face of Jesus mysteriously appearing on pancakes and cheese sandwiches. And since that’s what much of religion in America looks like, it’s easy to assume that’s what religion is. That, and the fact that the world seems infested with warring religious whackjobs, makes religion easy to hate. I understand that.

But the problem isn’t with religion. The problem is that, somehow, we’ve allowed religion to be defined by the stupid and the warped, resulting in stupid and warped religion at war with all things rational and humane. But religion doesn’t have to be that way.

Alright, so I’m guilty of painting religion with that broad brush, I admit it. Even as I do, I’m usually cognizant of the fact that it’s not true. It is possible to approach religion reasonably, if not rationally, and many people do. They’re not all James Dobsonites.

By the same token though, it’s so easy to use that broad brush because we’re so rarely presented with that contrast to James Dobson and his ilk. When James Dobson is the only visible example of a “Christian” to many, is it any surprise that many think of all “Christians” as insane fundamentalist evangelicals?

The religious left might indeed exist, but it’s all but invisible on the American political scene. If James Dobson doesn’t represent Christianity and religion, then why is no one out there showing us what they’re really about? If these people don’t want to be painted with the same brush as the
religious right, they need to speak up, get noticed, and provide that contrast to the religious fascists that’s so lacking in this country.

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