Abortion and the Death Penalty (To Rakesh)

Michael Eisenscher meisenscher at igc.apc.org
Mon Jun 8 23:09:12 PDT 1998

At 10:44 PM 6/8/98 -0500, Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
>Frances wrote:
>>Most of the left christian
>>folks are fighting against organized mainstream religious groups.
>Look, Frances, in my post to which you replied, nowhere did I mention 'left
>christian folks.' Rakesh's post (to which I replied) didn't say anything
>about 'left christian folks' either. Nor were they referred to in the NYT
>article both of us were commenting on.
>I think I already made my thoughts on serious religious leftists clear when
>I wrote of Mark Stansbery as a quite admirable example of such leftists (in
>the post entitled 'Consuming Religion').
>What's clear, however, is that serious left-wing religious people are a
>very small minority in this country, perhaps as small as or even smaller
>than the serious secular Left (such as it is).

Frances and Yoshie,

I'll repeat what I said several posts back, that if the political left (or secular, if you prefer) focuses on seeking dialog with the religious left (whoever they are), they can have a very lively debate over any number of issues. But all of them together wouldn't fill any good-sized auditorium. What's the point of that. Rather than talking to itself (something the left has pretty much perfected), it needs to learn how to talk to people who do not identify with the left but whose life circumstances, class, race, and gender positions, and other social factors bring them face to face with the realities of capitalist exploitation. If we can't develop a dialog with them, what's the point of claiming to be part of the left in the first place? Like the rest of U.S. society, the religious sector is quite varied, complex, and often contradictory. Not all can fit neatly into stereotypes as bible-waving Christian fundamentalists, bleeding heart Unitarian liberals, or radical liberation theologists. We need to do better than that if we hope to create a movement capable of fundamentally transforming this rotten system into one that serves society rather than feeds off it.

In solidarity, Michael

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