Teaching Religion and Politics in Real Time Isn’t “Either-Or”

28 05 2007

Via “Fast Times @Homeschool High” blogger mom Denise re: “Teaching Religion and Politics” — updated from post-2004, electoral analysis from Beliefnet.com that divides us all into twelves “tribes” instead of just right and left polar opposites. Full report and data here.

The best part to me probably was the famous names given as an example of each type. 🙂

Although surely there’s plenty of fodder for debate — Mel Martinez for example is the new Florida Senator listed in the Latino religious tribe, but he is very conservative and I wouldn’t have considered his racial background nearly as important as his flavor of hardball politics, to this analysis anyway.

Here in the South, isn’t it disproportionately odd that we’ve had so many Catholics in prominent government roles recently?

Jeb Bush is Catholic with a Latina wife, but projected ideologically white fundamentalist-evangelical dominionism instead at many moments during his governorship, like practically kidnapping Terri Schiavo with government agents to keep her alive — maybe socially enforced paternalism is what these tribes have in common then? Her folks were Catholic too as I remember, some strange sect with a brown-robed radical monk giving speeches in the parking lot for the TV cameras, not Kerry-like or Kennedy-like or even Schwartzenegger-like at all (he’s Catholic too?? well, yeah he married a Kennedy, duh, but this connection actually never once occurred to me!)

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2 responses

28 05 2007
JJ

To me the overall theme is layers and nuance, not definitions and literalism. So I’m wondering what we can do to make over our religious subcultures, to fit new realities and sensibilities:

Are those the only two choices we have as a people, to satisfy ourselves? Kill or exalt our own stories, what kind of integration or progress is that? Is “affable conservative” the old style, or the new — and should we kill it, or worship it now?

I think we tried both already, what’s left? (yeah, okay, pun intended)
If “whatever the people want” will satisfy affable conservatism, then what DO we want? Why don’t we ask ourselves what the heck we need an official state song for anyway — and a state flower and animal and bug and tree, much less a state brand of rice?
Maybe instead we could focus on something that we might all actually *want* and be able to use, wouldn’t that be more likely to “satisfy?”
When current culture and diversity tires of, wears out, or just can’t fit into old wardrobes, what to do? Save them in the cedar chest for the grandkids? Restyle and repeat? Burn em, hang em, hand em down intact to those less fortunate, apologize for ever having worn them at all (yes! if we’re talking the 1970s) — or maybe makeover the culture instead of the clothes? There are no simple answers and not much common culture to draw on (or about) anymore. . .

29 05 2007
Denise

This is the discussion Michelle and I had when I showed the link to her. The crossover, the underlying issues and situations, cultures and backgrounds. Michelle’s response – it’s all so complicated, PEOPLE are complicated! 🙂

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