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Six Reasons We Can't Change The Future Without Progressive Religion

Often, religion offers much that progressives need to build movements for change.

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Sixth: Progressive faiths, across the board, promote the essential belief that human communities are, in themselves, inherently and intrinsically sacred. In fact, progressive atheists may be surprised to learn that among their more religious brothers and sisters, there's very little agreement about the nature of God -- but a very strong consensus that the act of radical community-making is the most intensely holy and essential work that they do.

If there is a God (and progressives of faith debate that question endlessly), then we might most reliably see the face of that divinity in that permanent circle of friends with whom we celebrate life's passages and joys, and wrestle with its hardest challenges -- the people whom we trust to stand with us no matter what comes, and who will work with us tirelessly toward our shared vision of a better world. It's this deep faith in the dream of the beloved community that also feeds our faith in the potential of good government, and our confidence in the unleashed potential of the American people. (And furthermore: I don't think I've ever met a progressive atheist who would disagree on this point.)

Across all the long centuries of the American progressive movement, we've never launched a successful change wave that didn't draw most of its leadership, its base, and its moral grounding from the country's deep liberal religious tradition.

Our churches and temples have been the fountain, the rock, the mother source of our movement from the very beginning. Progressives of faith have always played a central role in our political victories in the past. It's time to stop imagining that somehow, we're going to take the country back without them now.

Sara Robinson, MS, APF is a social futurist and the editor of AlterNet's Vision page. Follow her on Twitter, or subscribe to AlterNet's Vision newsletter for weekly updates.

 
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