17 January 2004

there's a good discussion going on now at allen brill's the right christians about an attempt at making christian progressives(/progressive christians/whatever) more of an on-the-ground force. (as opposed to, say, just a bunch of bloggers who read each other often.)

some of the discussion (the comment threads, mainly) strikes me as a bit naive, or underthought. after all, here are a bunch of likeminded people who are probably minorities in BOTH their faith communities and their political communities. while it's important to celebrate the fact that we exist, i think that a big part of the "real mission" is getting progressives and christians who see themselves as opposed to talk to each other, or at least acknowledge each other.

honestly, the christian/progressive thing reminds me a little uncomfortably of my interest in dialogue between radicals and moderates in the anti-war movement. in both cases, the two "sides" (ugh) mistrust the others' motives and goals, although they may have many (nearly all?) of the same intermediate-level visions. particularly in the anti-war situation, such distrust can be very damaging. being more of a moderate than many in that movement, i experienced the behavior of some radicals as extraordinarily alienating and even damaging to the movement.

in any case, i think it would be a mistake to proceed blithely with any christian progressive community without ironing out some similar issues. how would a christian progressive group react to being told that it is not wanted as the ally of some progressive cause with which it agrees?