Saturday, November 18, 2006

Midwest Conference of Spiritual Progressives

Politics and religion. The left-leaning elements in our political culture despise the idea of religion or spiritually intertwining in secular politics. But what secular politics is devoid of is a solution to living a life beyond a pursuit of money and power. They don't seem to see a problem in our society, and the problems are vast.

Rather than fearing those we do not know, Spiritual Progressives seek a world based on radical hope. The enemy is not the Republican Party but the cynical realism that has entrenched both major political parties. It is that realism that prevents the hope we all carry inside us of a better world.

Do we want to live in a world where we base the value of our life and others on material wealth? Should friendships and relationships be based on what they can do for us? Sadly, they are. This is a tragedy, and we need to refocus on the value of each human being - regardless of how society currently interprets worth. It is time for humanity to seek its full potential.

What is the purpose of the Spiritual Progressive movement? :

  • We are a grassroots movement creating a culture of purpose and meaning deeper than the mere pursuit of money and power.
  • We are working to reshape our economic, political, and social life in accord with a new bottom line of love, compassion, community, fairness, peace, and awe and wonder at the universe.
  • We invite everyone who believes in the power of love and generosity to join us in this process of healing and transformation.
When I tell my friends that Israel and Palestine have the possibility to live peacefully together they scoff. Nonviolent social change is a difficult thing for "realists" to grasp. They forget the power can be wielded not by the sword, but radical ideas fought sans lethality and excess violence. They forget Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. , and dare I say Jesus. There are many more unrecognized who have also paid the ultimate price without any fame. There will also be many more who take on such an important role.

Many participants were very hopeful and optimistic we would make a difference. But two weeks ago, there were only 40 people registered for this event. They were at least 500 people packed into the Wesley United Methodist Church. I think the Democrats winning by such a large margin in the election has empowered many in the Progressive community.

Many Democrats I spoke to prior to the election were very hurt, angry, and upset over the direction our nation was heading in. They wanted things to change with this election, and were doubtful that they would. I always told people that there was hope, that things would get better.

There were many cynics, and still are. I for one am doubtful the Democrats will embrace the ideals of the New Bottom Line this year. That is where activism comes in. That is where prayer comes in. That is where cultivating lovingkindness comes in. That is where hope will transcend such "realities."

Does it really matter which party embraces Spiritual Progressives? If the Republican Party stood by our values in 2010 or 2025 - it would be a victory for humanity. The movement has begun, please join us.

No comments: