The Rock and the God Place

So here, essentially, is my conundrum: I started in on Mordechai Kaplan. I got through just enough of Judaism as Civilization to know we’re pretty doomed if we think of Judaism as just a religion—don’t build it to be something more encompassing. And I’ve gotten just far enough through a brand new book, Righteous Indignation, to be convinced that the grassroots are definitely already there. Forty articles about how to integrate Jewish values and social justice, by the people out there in the field doing it. Every day I think about the real race coming up after this summer—how hard the Democrats, in either case, are going to have to work to remind the general public that the Left can have the moral hand, too. And now the Atlantic shows up in my mailbox. With several main articles on religion as a global political phenomenon, my attention piqued at the theory that, since state-mandated religion has passed out of fashion and religions now follow a more market-place lifecycle, there’s bound to be some major niche-attracting going on. So we’re looking at a rise, I’d like to wager, of religiously-identified lefties. Are we all going to play nice? And am I really comfortable with this trend?

I’m discomforted by my own discomfort. But there it is. What do we do with this, we adamant separation-of-church-and-state nuts? Especially those of us who are willing to locate some of our progressive values in a religious place? I’m eager to hear from y’all out in the blogosphere, because I’m finding this one pretty slippery, and I think it’s important. So leave your thoughts below!

–Mel Weiss

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