The “Marginalization” of the Christian Right

This week I received a funding solicitation email from a conservative Christian organization with the following justification for their plea for support:

. . . the church is being marginalized by a culture that is increasingly accepting homosexuality and same-sex marriage . . .

While I don’t want to deny that groups such as this are feeling marginalized, I argue that what is being experienced is not marginalization, but the repercussions of new reality of their influence and dominance on larger cultural conversations and direction setting. Society is no longer willing to sit idly by and allow the conservative Christian view to be the unquestioned social moral compass and other people of faith are no longer willing to abdicate the Christian voice to this particular narrative.

This is not marginalization, it’s called accountability.

Change is hard for anyone, so in some ways I do feel for folks who are experiencing change that feels so much out of their control. That said, it is one thing to have compassion and understanding for a person as they feel the decline in their sphere of influence and hold on power, but is quite another thing to respond to that feeling in a way that validates the realities of the power and influence that still remains. After all, as you can see from the map, more and more states are bannin same-sex marriage, so to cry marginalization rings a bit hollow.

Sociologists and pundits could argue the meaning of marginalization, but when I think about marginalized people, I think of those who are kept in a cycle of poverty because of predatory financial practices, those who have poor educational opportunities because of the state of public education, anyone for whom their civil rights are determined by a majority vote and so on and so on.When I think of marginalization, I do not think of religious communities who are simply having their religious views challenged, are no longer able to dictate moral social norms and are just plain loosing influence.

Now if, as a country, we vote to pass a Constitutional Amendment banning preachers like Pastoral Charles Worley, it might feel great, but this would be one step towards marginalizing conservative Christians. Thankfully, we live in a country where people can speak their mind, no matter how distasteful and dangerous I may find it. They must deal with the consequences of their words, but they can still say them. Ban the ability for a preacher to speak his/her your mind in a house of worship that and then maybe, just maybe,the marginalization banner can be raised.

Call it “losing influence,” call it a “soul-losing moral defeat,” but don’t call it “marginalization.”

Gimme a P-L-G-R-M! What does it spell?

Well apparently Landon Whitsitt and crew did not get the memo that paper is dead 😉 So why the heck did I just donate a little bank to help kickstart this new quarterly magazine?

Because I have a heart for people leaping out in faith in order to change the world for the better and PLGRM sounds freaking awesome.

PLGRM . . . is a quarterly magazine – which WILL be published in electronic and paper form – that explores the people and ideas associated with the “new spiritual awakening” as suggested by Diana Butler Bass in her book, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening.

PLGRM . . . shines a spotlight on the lives and interests of those no longer satisfied with Modern Christianity as they search for a more authentic spiritual expression.

PLGRM . . . is bold and principled, unafraid to take firm stances on dicey issues.

PLGRM . . . explores inter-religious/inter-spiritual ideas and practices, the work and convictions surrounding creation care, and in the pursuit of peace and equality (with particular focus on combating violence, poverty, and oppression).

PLGRM . . . celebrates a variety of voices – some humorous, some painful, some cutting, some joyful; voices that share an earnestness that this journey towards a new spiritual awakening is vital and must be taken seriously.

PLGRM . . . has been created to inspire the spiritually dissatisfied to begin crafting new structures of their religious and spiritual existence.

You are not alone. Join others on this PLGRM journey.

You can do your own Googling, but here is a list of the first issue contributors: Theresa Cho, Jake Hofmeister, Lia School, Alexis Meyers, Kerri Allen, Carol Howard Merritt, Shawna Bowman, Ryan Kemp-Pappan, Rocky Supinger, Douglas Hagler.

If you want to help fund PLGRM with a Kickstarted Donation today click [HERE].

And here’s a little video from Landon.

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