Liberal values represent the essence of the world’s great religions. At
the root of all of the great faiths are fundamental beliefs in
compassion, justice, love, and charity. We have the right — dare I say
the duty? — to express ourselves as moral agents without the imprimatur of ecclesiastical authority.
Spoken the right way, arguments for the embodiment of these values in our civic life can ring with the divine provenance granted to them by believers. And indeed, religious activists — especially our ministers, priests, rabbis, and imams — are vital to our movement. But to expect them alone to create a moral counterforce to the destructive fear mongering of the right is not only unrealistic, it’s an expectation rooted in abdication of our own role as moral agents.
Thousands of years ago, the great Chinese philosopher Lao Tse is said to have told his followers: “Religious robes are no more holy than work clothes.” Now, let’s get to work.
I think she is formally correct. Of course my religious robes are "work" clothes. My holy clothes are my jeans and my T-Shirt that says "what wouldn't Jesus do?"
Liberal principles to may not be explicitly religious, but they may have [and must have] some implicit foundations. Religious leaders may help reveal our implicit values in the public sphere; and they also have the calling to organize and gather. She might be right that the religious left isn't necessary for its own sake - we might not be. But it would be to her own detriment if she decided that we didn't have skills that would be useful for transforming this country into a compassionate, and responsible place. I think progressives do themselves a disservice by not working closely with religious leaders.
Where are the young progressive preachers in positions of leadership?