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View Diary: Ralph's Gift (380 comments)

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  •  These are the folks we're out of touch with? (none)
    •  This is ammo (none)
      Email this article around.  We need to put a face on the so-called Bush morality vote.
      •  BIGOTRY (none)
        Bush didn't win on morality. Bush rode this election on the backs of BIGOTS.
      •  Careful though (4.00)
        We need to distinguish between the whackos and your average religious American. The last thing we need is an excuse to be labeled anti-religious at this point. We've gotta be pro-religion-as-a-source-of-strength-or-whatever, anti-radical-fundamentalist-American-Taliban-types.
        •  Agree 100% (none)
          I didn't mean to imply that we should associate all Bush supported with this wacko.  In fact, the point is to show the moderate Bush voters that the are aligning themselves with guys like this.

          My point is that we should use this as ammo to show the true ugly face of the anti-gay movement, and the true face of the so-called moral values that they are pushing.

        •  Whackos (none)
          Fair point. But these whackos need to be exposed for who they really are. This story just stands on it's own -- the fringe look a little wild eyed saying it themselves don't you think?
        •  Expose the Christofascists. (none)
          If Jerry Falwell can tar all gays with his videos of leathermen in Gay Pride parades, why can't we hit back at the Christofascists with Falwell's and Fred Phelps' sick sermons?

          What has happened is that the gay rights movement has evolved encouraging queers to not segregate themselves from "mainstream society".  Now instead of queers being exotic, strange people who live in San Francisco or one neighborhood in your city, they're your neighbors and co-workers.

          We want to portray the Christofascists as hateful people who hate the "new queers" and want to keep them from getting married - and also compare them to fundamentalist Muslim terrorists.  It's the fanatacism that creates terrorism, not the particular religion.

    •  NO. I draw the line... (3.85)
      I am a Christian. I am a youth pastor in Florida in a conservative area. I am a liberal. I support gay rights without exception or reservation. And my wife and I worked our asses off for the Kerry campaign.

      NEVER associate all of Christianity with the Phelps. Pastor Phelps regularly holds signs up in high-press areas reading "GOD HATES FAGS". He does not represent Christianity, and he does not represent me. Do not alienate me and other Christians like me who are supportive and active in the progressive movement.

      Yes, I am disheartened by the way some other Christians toss about beliefs that run contrary to progressive values, even human rights in some cases, but they are not speaking for all of Christianity. Look at Gene Robinson and his supporters in the Anglican Church. He's a homosexual who was just ordained as a bishop. Yes, there is a firestorm over it, but there was also enough support for it to actually happen. These are Christians who have nothing to do with a hateful man like Phelps and his followers.

      •  You're right... (none)
        You don't associate all of Christianity with this anti-gay movement.  You associate Bush's victory, bouyed by the anti-gay amendments, with this anti-gay fringe.  
        •  Tricky... (none)
          Bush's victory came on the backs of 19 million evangelical Christians who got their votes out for him. I have yet to see a way in this thread to frame this that does not delineate between a regular Christian and a bigot. I can see it now, when I am approached by my Republican friends: "You vote with people who call you a bigot? Nice." This is not far fetched because the way things are shaping up in this thread, every Christian is being associated with being a bigot. Check out a great progressive Christian resource before framing Christians in general as bigots in general.

          Sojourners: Christians for Peace and Justice

          •  i would hope most people (none)
            here are aware of the differences among christian sects. when i rave about the christian right, i'm referring specifically to the dominionists, who are nuts, and hard core fundamentalists, who want to teach christian doctrine in public schools, i.e. creationism. they have their churches for that, why do they have to impose it on everyone else?

            and as much as i rave and spew about rightist christians, i have more than once considered becoming a quaker, but i realize i don't really fit the bill. i have problems with pacifism.

            No member of our generation who wasn't a Communist or a dropout in the thirties is worth a damn. Lyndon B. Johnson

            by maskling11 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:39:02 PM PST

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      •  You're our ace (4.00)
        We need you and people like you.  I'm a latte-sipping blue-stater with no accent who reads too much.  I will never convert a self-identified Republican to a Democrat, no matter how I try (and I do!)

        We NEED to peel off the values crowd.  Specifically, we need credibility in the "progressivism as values" arena.  This is, from my understanding of Christianity, what "Christian Values" are all about.  You can make this argument - you can win them over.

        What can I do to help?

        -Fe Wm.

        •  Hmm... (4.00)
          If you live in Florida you could support my as-of-yet unannounced bid for State House of Reps. in '06. Starting tomorrow I'm canvassing every house I can find with a Kerry sign in there yard expressing my dissapointment that Dems didn't run anyone against the Rep incumbent and intention to return to them in the coming months for support with a petition for me to be included on the ballot.

          And anyone else here who lives in District 8 (Southwest Jacksonville and Jax Beaches/Northwest St Johns County), let me know what you think. I am certainly running on a values platform, framing it against the so-called Rep values without subjecting most resident Christians to this current topic of liberal "shock and awe". I can run a positive campaign while at the same time stripping the opponents' "morals/values"-based arguments from beneath them.

          There is nothing moral about Greed.
          There is nothing moral about Fear.
          There is nothing moral about Lies.

          •  This is the right campaign (none)
            Sadly, I'm in a bluish area of Virginia, so it would be tough to volunteer for a Florida state congressional race.  I think your message is correct, though, and I think it's the message the Dems and progressives need to take to America.  The Dems are the party that sticks up for the little guy - this is the heart of progressivism.

            Please keep us posted about your efforts.  Without knowning anything specific about you or your district, this sounds like a promising start.

            -Fe Wm.

        •  Values Crowd (none)
          We NEED to peel off the values crowd.

          No, we don't.  We need to seal off the values absolutists, and get to work on the people who care about "values" but don't approach it as a euphemism for "strangers' dirty sex habits."  Progressivism-as-values isn't going to work on Ralph Reed's crowd, but it might work on the much larger bunch just to their left, the live-and-let-live Main Street Republicans.

          •  Well... (none)
            ...I probably miscommunicated.  I know we'll never pull away homophobes and zealots who cloak their bigotry in talk of "values".  But we DO need a well-articulated and consistent "values" framework that sells.

            It's there, we just don't talk about it.  We stick up for the little guy, and we champion the oppressed and powerless.  Our party ideology embodies the values of tolerance, self-sacrifice, compassion, truth, skepticism, fairness, generosity and kindness.

            This SHOULD sell with Christians, I would think.  We've just cloaked our message in policy prescriptions for too long.  Ideology needs to take center stage.

            -Fe Wm.

      •  I understand what you ane saying... (none)
        ...I know people like yourself. There are many Good Christians in this country. But with these issues, I know I'm not speaking about people like you and we do have to be careful to not say "all", or appear to be implying all, etc. But thre are groups twisting religion for their own power, I call them God Nazi's, because that is exactly what they are. They are people who use fear to power their beliefs, not love. And they are to be feared. They must be exposed for what they are. Cowards and Bigots. Before it is too late.

        Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

        by Alumbrados on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:05:04 PM PST

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      •  thanks for a great post (none)
        We need to build a strong and vociferous Progressive Christian Movement. In the 1960s we had voices like those of Thomas Merton and Dan Berrigan and of MLK. Where are such prominent teachers now? We (progressive christians) have allowed the  Evangelicals to make Christianity synonymous with bigotry.

        Christianity and Progressive ideals are highly complementary. Specifically, we need to emphasize the issues the evangelicals tend to ignore--specifically the rights of the Born, equal opportunity for all, religous freedom, etc.

    •  Even Kansans... (none)
      ...can't stand the Phelps family.

      This is one family/cult from Topeka led by patriarch Fred Phelps who have been loudly anti-gay since the late 80's.  They are a very small group of people who have tried for years to get national attention without much success because they are completely insane and most evangelicals wouldn't want to be associated with them.  They show up at funerals of AIDS victims with neon signs saying "God hates fags" (even though the rumors are that two of the patriarch's sons are gay, live in California, and don't want to have anything to do with their abusive family - poor fellows).  

      One of them told me I was going to hell when I went to see Izhak Perlman perform in Topeka. They protested an Izhak Perlman performance!  That's how insane they are.

      These are extremists who don't deserve any attention.  Forget about them.

      •  I want to say you're right (none)
        But do the GOP ever forget about the single googly-eyed wild man burning a flag on the fringes of a huge and peaceful progressive demonstration?  No.  They focus like a laser on him, and tar every one of a hundred thousand with his taint.  And that stains the progressive movement as a whole.

        I'm sorry, I know that there are Christians of good faith out there, but until I hear loud condemnations of Phelps from the mouths of evangelicals, I consider him one of them.  He is Exhibit A.

        Republican Fever!: reports from a new world at Principall Navigations.

        by BrooklynRaider on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:40:13 PM PST

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