Thursday, 24 September 2009

Religious Right vs Religious Left

We at DAMMIT JANET! often have harsh words for the religious right, or, to be more precise, the misogynist, homophobic, anti-sex, panty-sniffing, fundamentalist nutbars. (See DAMMIT JANET! passim.)

So, it was with some relief that I saw yesterday a story on the closing gap between the religious right and the religious left.
Yet as the numbers show, the religious right is increasingly being matched by a nascent "religious left." Some 24 percent of the adult population, about 45 million Americans, shares the "traditional" religious mindset of conservative religious activists, but 18 percent, about 38 million adults, shares the "modernist" mindset that is characteristic of progressive religious activists.

That's still a lot of fundy nutbars, but the good guys seems to be gaining.

The author goes on to discuss some of the fascinating details of a large survey of the religious in the USA.

Their so-called values couldn't be more different. The left is concerned with social justice: poverty, income inequality, hunger, human rights, universal health care, that kind of good stuff. The right, as we know all too well, focus on panty-sniffing alternating with panty-twisting 'personal morality'.

During the Morgentaler Order of Canada brouhaha, I ran across a story of a couple of good, religious people who whole-heartedly supported the honour so richly deserved by Dr Morgentaler. Here's a link to the letter to the editor in the Ottawa Citizen that caught my eye.

That report I read yesterday got me wondering how Fred and Bonnie Cappaccino were doing. So I googled them*. Here's a story from September 20 about their visit to the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga. Photo swiped from that link.

Caption reads:
Selfless service. From L to R : Dr.Gagan Bhalla, Fred Cappaccino, wife Bonnie along with Uma Bhalla seen here at a function held this Saturday at Swagat Banquet Hall. The international charity helps women and children in four countries with food, education, shelter, health care and clothing. It was set up in Canada by the Cappaccinos and celebrates its 24th anniversary this year. Photo by Steven Der-Garabedian

Here's the website for their charity, Child Haven.

I don't use the word 'inspiring' lightly. Read about this truly inspiring couple and their work here.

It's happy-making to think that the number of such big-hearted, committed, and caring religious people may be on the rise. (And just as happy-making to think that those old dinosaurs on the medieval traditional side will be dying off.)

ADDED: I just saw this lovely example of the caring religious right. SUZY ALL-CAPS: If a woman gets falling down drunk, gets raped, it's her fault and she shouldn't have the 'Get of of Jail' card of abortion.

*Well, despite the lovely name -- Cappaccino -- I couldn't remember it. I had to appeal to my smarter co-blogger, deBeauxOs, for help. Smoochy thanks, dBO, for finding the bricklefritzing post at Birth Pangs.


deBeauxOs said...

Hé. fern hill, I'm just simply more devious than you are when sifting through piles of information, whether in my office or on the internet.

Beijing York said...

Amazing how zealots like Ms. ALL CAPS claim to be all about loving the baby and yet consider said baby to be a deserved punishment for rape and incest victims. So what is it, a blessing or a curse? I think they just all and all hate sex and focus on the pregnancy as some kind of reward for their suffering.

fern hill said...

dBO, whatever you want to call it, I'm just grateful I have access to it. ;)

Beijing York, yeah. That yucky sex stuff. Lie back and think of England and all that. . .

Kelseigh said...

Wow, small world. A couple of years back, when I was working in home care I helped a friend of the Cappaccinos, and member of that very congregation. Can't remember whether I met Fred himself or not, honestly.

jj said...

That post at BBW -- that was the mad rant of a certified hair shirt punishment freak if I ever saw one.

Bina said...

Golly whiz, I sure hope Suzy CapsLock never finds herself in a position where she actually has to live her own stated beliefs.

Better keep your legs permanently locked along with your caps key, Suzy. I'm sure you'll have no trouble doing it! (she said, dripping sarcasm all over the place)

Luna said...

I'm one of those Christian lefties. Most of, but not all of my church is that way too. There are more of us than one would expect. We just tend to be fairly quiet, as we're not hellbent on making everyone do what we say and do. And when we do speak up, no one pays attention to us because common sense doesn't make good news. :)

Anonymous said...

Bina: 15 years ago she was bragging about saving her virginity for marriage on usenet groups. Go to and search under her old ulaval account for some really, um, interesting leaps of logic.

CK said...

Luna, like yourself, I too am one of those Christian (Catholic) lefties. You would be surprised to hear what some of the local Catholic Clergy believe or disbelieve. For example, one our parish priests doesn't believe the stories in the bible in the literal sense, rather, he takes them for symbolism & gives his homilies based on how he & some of his colleagues interpret them.
There is also a priest in the Montreal area who supports same-sex marriage & even abortion to some degree & has been very vocal over it. He is Father Raymond Gravel, also had a short-lived political career as a former MP for the Bloc.
To paraphrase Frank Schaeffer (a former member of the Evangelical Far Right in the U.S.): that particular sub-culture: they live on a hill waiting for armageddon with their guns where good news is bad news. He also referred to them as the village idiot. Again, I will paraphrase: you can't organize village life around the village idiot; you have move past it.
That would explain at least somewhat why no one pays attention to us or why we're so quiet.

CK said...

Luna, I almost forgot, you can find that Frank Schaeffer's video interview w/ Rachel Maddow on You Tube or posted on JJ's Blog or @ Red Tory's blog.

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