Monday, November 08, 2004



Cynthia Burack, political scientist: Cracking the cultural code involves being able to understand and speak the language of the Christian Right the way many academics can understand the speak the language of neoconservatives while translating their agenda for bystanders and explaining what's wrong with that agenda. We need to be able to do the same thing with the Christian Right. We may not be successful in reaching and persuading the hard core of the CR (that approximately 20-25 percent of our fellow citizens). But we can certainly understand their theology and the links between theology and politics well enough to speak effectively to those who are outside the core of the CR but can be persuaded in different directions. We just need to be willing to treat the theology-politics nexus of smart CR thinkers with the same degree of intellectual curiosity and respect we accord to people we believe are deeply wrong in other areas. Only then will our attentiveness to consequences and our arguments about morality resonate. Until then it will be weaken our hand that we are often so clueless about the deep structure of right-wing Christian thinking.

Stephanie Grant: Ten or 15 years ago the NGLTF started doing these Religious Roundtables, getting queer and left religious people together for strategic meetings to discuss how to fight the religious right. It was like, "look, you people speak their language, you talk to them." I think this was Urvashi Vaid's brainchild, tho I'm not sure. I remember gagging at the time, but even then I knew it was SMART to get someone who could sit at the same table with the religious right. How is it, all these years later, that we still haven't done this work in a larger way? I think it would be smart to talk about this public/private split more....There are social justice traditions in some religions--Catholicism is the one I'm thinking of--that place importance on the public.


Cynthia Burack, again: "I think segmenting our understandings and communications are crucial so we're getting at the intersectionalities of politics and psychology in the heartland."

On segmenting, see this breakdown of red and blue districts nationwide that should implode rhetoric about "Americans," "a mandate," "the American public/people," "mainstream America," etc. (I haven't learned how to link these images to the blog.)


Post a Comment

<< Home