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You say you want a revolution/Well, you know, we all want to change the world
October 10, 2007 6:00 AM   Subscribe

Revolution in Jesusland: a new blog, written for secular progressives about the currently building movement within conservative evangelical christianity of people who are passionate about and working towards many of the same goals: "eliminating poverty, saving the environment, promoting justice and equality along racial, gender and class lines and for immigrants—and even separation of church and state." If you want a place to start, the about page is here.

Excerpt: After that final session on leadership and systems, I saw one group right outside the stadium in a huddle, with their arms around each others’ shoulders in a big circle. To psyche themselves up for the difficult change-making process they’ll face back home, they were chanting, “We’re going to change our system, We’re going to change our system…”

As hundreds of church vans slowly filed out of the huge stadium parking lot, I was wondering: Can there be anything more powerful than a movement that systematically and self-critically strives to change and improve itself?
posted by Arturus (28 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
If they are passtionate about "eliminating poverty, saving the environment, promoting justice and equality along racial, gender and class lines and for immigrants—and even separation of church and state" why are they called "conservatives"? (I'm guessing they are anti-abortion and probably gays, but there are plenty of self-defined liberals who are the same.)
posted by DU at 6:28 AM on October 10, 2007


I don't trust them. It's that simple.
posted by spitbull at 6:31 AM on October 10, 2007


Sorry, not buying it.

Besides going to self-congratulatory conferences, what are they doing exactly?

If you wanna change the world, change the world. There's no need to step behind a banner.
posted by Brittanie at 6:33 AM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's nice when Christians decide to act in a Christian way.


I'm all for giving them a chance, but trust does need to be earned and in most of the issues they talk about, they're pretty heavily in debt.
posted by rhymer at 6:34 AM on October 10, 2007


Godspeed!
posted by waxboy at 6:40 AM on October 10, 2007


I think it's that they're religiously conservative, more than anything else.
posted by Arturus at 6:53 AM on October 10, 2007


I know it's supposedly all wonderful and fun and helping-out-the-less-fortunate, but something about these first two photos scares the, ahem, bejesus out of me.
posted by dead_ at 6:53 AM on October 10, 2007


Oh I get it. They are "conservative" in the sense of "uneducated". So let's get on that education agenda I've been imploring for the last 10-15 years already. Doubling school budgets is a good place to start.
posted by DU at 7:01 AM on October 10, 2007


This is damned interesting. I will put my cynicism on the back burner and read with an open mind.

but something about these first two photos scares the, ahem, bejesus out of me.

A little too Leni Riefenstahl for your tastes? read the captions. "1100 church leaders ask deliverance from nationalism" is making me tear up a little. Wow.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:01 AM on October 10, 2007


Oh sorry, that's eleven thousand.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:02 AM on October 10, 2007


"From the idolatry of nationalism, deliver us."
posted by bhnyc at 7:07 AM on October 10, 2007


Side question: Does anyone if the flash viewer on this page is commercial product or custom build?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:18 AM on October 10, 2007


Hey, Christians, try reading that bible thing you're always on about!
posted by Artw at 7:33 AM on October 10, 2007


On a tangent related to "good sense and good will coming from places you never expected", I've started reading Balloon Juice. I am actually reading and vigorously nodding my head along with a guy who has Pajamas Media banners on his blog. Hole E. Crap.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:45 AM on October 10, 2007


I was shocked the other day when my mother, a strident Republican-voting fundamentalist Christian, spoke out openly against the war as "a criminal war-for-oil."

Obviously this is a women who doesn't read Kos or subscribe to The Nation, so some level of dissent must be brewing in even the strangest of places.

I think it remains to be seen, though, whether or not anything will come of this.

The sad truth is, most "average evangelicals" have the political attention spans of canines. You can slap them silly for peeing on the carpet and they'll act all sullen and angry -- but then you wave a tennis ball in front of their faces and they get all "OMG!!! TENNIS BALL!!! MY FAVORITE THING EVER!!!! LETS PLAY FETCH AND ILL BE YOUR BEST FRIEND 4 LYFE!!!!!"

For people like my mom (and I'm guessing for the Christians mentioned in the blog) their "tennis balls" are things like abortion and gays. All the Repubs have to do is wave the bloody shirt of Roe v. Wade and all will be forgiven.

No matter how bad the war gets, no matter how many children go without healthcare, no matter how many jobs get shipped overseas, abortion and The Pink Peril will get (and hold) these people's attention like Pavlov's doggy bell.

Short of a massive upheval in our society, I don't really see that changing in our lifetimes.
posted by Avenger at 7:53 AM on October 10, 2007


Side question: Does anyone if the flash viewer on this page is commercial product or custom build?

Looking at the source led me to this.
posted by TedW at 8:07 AM on October 10, 2007


I don't know. I'm going to see this as a positive development. It does seem like younger Evangelicals are a bit disillusioned with the puffy faced egomaniacs / old guard that are the voting shock troops of the GOP. I hold out that there is an element of Christianity that, although it has deep feelings on some issues, also believes as fervently that a person's relationship or non-relationship to religion or God or whatever is their own business. I have seen it in some Catholics growing up (like 10% maybe).

But those pernicious Elmer Gantry old guard types: Pat, Jerry F. (now burning in hell thankfully), Swaggart, Oral etc.... Oh man don't even get me started...
posted by Skygazer at 8:12 AM on October 10, 2007


Besides going to self-congratulatory conferences, what are they doing exactly?

You didn't read very much of the blog, did you?

If you wanna change the world, change the world. There's no need to step behind a banner.

If some people find it easier to change the world from behind a banner, why criticize them? Just because you would do it without a banner, everyone should? Their charity isn't pure enough for you? Perhaps you're not familiar with the saying "the perfect is the enemy of the good."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:39 AM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, Christians, try reading that bible thing you're always on about!

They do! Except it says whatever you want it to say. Thus the immense popularity over the past 2000 years.
posted by stbalbach at 8:44 AM on October 10, 2007


I don't know. I'm going to see this as a positive development. It does seem like younger Evangelicals are a bit disillusioned with the puffy faced egomaniacs / old guard that are the voting shock troops of the GOP.

How does the Revolution in Jesusland blog communicate that to you?

Because all I see is,

"Hey liberals, look, we're not as bad as those really crazy God Squadders, because we let black people into our church and we had a pair of Middle Eastern baby shoes at a service."

I realize that this whole wooing of the moderates is part of the broader evangelical plan, both politically and in faith -- and on that note, this is a shrewd communication tool. But signposting, "Hey progressives! Read this message! It's the intellectual thing to do!" ...when the message is nothing more than "Go to this really big rally of evangelicals, and you'll hear how one guy said that one thing about 'war, what is it good for, absolutely nothing, hooah', ergo we are Just Like You" -- well, jeezgollywhiz, Wally, I think even with my jaded progressive brain I can tell when snake oil has got a makeover.

Don't mind me if I'm not lining up to heartily congratulate the evangelical pastor who, in 2007, has come to the shocking realization that maybe, just maybe, there is a better use for several million dollars than another enormous mega-church. I'm glad these folks have started taking a more Christ-like interpretation of the scriptures, but I think I'll be holding back my applause until I see if this is an actual change of heart, policy and practice, or if it's another plank in an extremely well-strategized image campaign.
posted by pineapple at 8:46 AM on October 10, 2007


A culture war treaty
posted by caddis at 8:54 AM on October 10, 2007


I was hoping for the Unitarian Jihad, but a revolution in Jesus land is at hand.
posted by hortense at 8:56 AM on October 10, 2007


Pineapple, it’s not so much that blog, but an overall sense from myriad developments I’ve seen in the news in the last year or so.

Foremost is the knowledge that elements of the religious right, feels pretty badly burned by the, the very unchristian naked political manipulation it underwent in 2004. In Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction, David Kuo, a man who worked in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives expresses real disgust towards the admin and the GOP when an $8 Billion commitment to charity became apparent as a pile horseshit to seduce the religious right. It became apparent by about $7,969,000,000.

There have been a number of peices like the one Caddis links to above and it is clear from them that the religious right is undergoing a profound change from within. Falwell is dead, and the old school of fire and brimstone manipulation isn’t cutting it. There's a younger set on the horizon who doesn't necessarily follow them lock step.

Look at Ted Haggard. He was the shining poster boy for the political evangelical movement in the U.S. and obviously something wasn’t quite right was it?
A month week doesn’t go by when a minister or “family-values” GOP politician isn’t fingered as gay (in court or otherwise).

I mean talk about “the center cannot hold”…how can the religious right movement hold when it’s falling apart at the seams? It’s a cultural shift of the kind that happens every generation or so where the old ways simply don’t make sense anymore. I would venture that almost everyone 45 or under has a friend who’s either had an abortion or is gay. It doesn’t make any sense to think that Evangelicals live in a privileged bubble that insulates them from the cultural shifts going on in the rest of the country. Actually a lot of born-again types have had some seriously intense lives. I would venture, that many of them have come to the conclusion that these demonized people the church elders have asked them to revile and castigate (gays, abortionists, liberals, democrats) are pretty regular everyday people.

For the last 5 years I’ve thought that this nation was creeping towards the rot of dominionism (a term I learned of here) and corporate theocracy. Especially after almighty cocksucker Karl Rove, used the Religious right like his own personal trained voting monkey in 2004. But I’m no longer so worried about it. This sickly fearful, dementia that the country has been in since 911 seems to be lifting ever so slowly.

But at any rate, I rest my case. Just because one reads an FPP piece, doesn’t mean that a.) one suspends critical abilities or b.) leaves all other knowledge at the door before commenting.
posted by Skygazer at 10:08 AM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry. Just can't bring myself to trust religionists.
My gut feeling is that if the right wing christian fundamentalists were to gain control of this country(think Taliban Afghanistan pre 2001), I doubt if women here would enjoy any of the rights they presently enjoy. And for certain I would never get to ogle some sweet thing in a butt floss bikini at the beach.
posted by notreally at 10:15 AM on October 10, 2007


A new generation expresses its skepticism and frustration with Christianity
posted by Curry at 10:27 AM on October 10, 2007


Just because one reads an FPP piece, doesn’t mean that a.) one suspends critical abilities or b.) leaves all other knowledge at the door before commenting.

Thanks for the clarification. With no other frame of reference, I interpreted your first comment as referring to the linked blog.

And, for what it's worth, my comment about a more-jaded-than-thou not getting sucked in, I didn't mean as "You, Skygazer, are naive and incapable of critical thought if you believe this blog," but as "No, Jesusland folks, the progressives aren't going to read one website and assume the times they are-a changin'."
posted by pineapple at 10:33 AM on October 10, 2007



Oh I get it. They are "conservative" in the sense of "uneducated". So let's get on that education agenda I've been imploring for the last 10-15 years already. Doubling school budgets is a good place to start.


So they can teach intelligent design?
posted by tkchrist at 10:53 AM on October 10, 2007


Notice that there's not much about women and nothing about gays on the blog so far. Methinks they get thrown under the bus. Plenty of Christians already help the poor and unfortunate; nobody disputes that.
posted by texorama at 11:15 AM on October 10, 2007


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