Saturday, August 3, 2019

Critiquing the Left

In my previous blog “Dark Agenda” I reviewed David Horowitz’s book “Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America.” I was not gentle in my critique. In response, one reader made the observation that I always criticize the Right and never the Left. It is a fair point, and it has been made before. Although I should clarify that it is not the Right but the Religious Right that is my concern. My interest is the role of religion in public life and politics.

At the present time I see the Religious Right and Christian Nationalism as in the ascendancy and therefore of most concern. The Religious Left can’t seem to get its act together, and therefore I do not see them as much of a threat.

There is no Religious Left movement in America with the political clout to elect a Leftist version of Donald Trump to the White House. Some might say that Barack Obama was that type of figure, and Trump is a grassroots reaction to him. Perhaps. What about now?  

I have not heard of any Marianne Williamson rallies where the crowds chant “Lock him up! Lock him up!” I have not heard Pete Buttigieg boast in a campaign speech that he could murder a person in public in the middle of South Bend, Indiana, and his supporters would still vote for him.

That is why I have not spoken against the Religious Left. It is not that I necessarily agree with them; I speak to where I see the danger. As I see it, the danger to America today is coming from the Religious Right and Christian Nationalism.

But I concede I might be mistaken. That is why I read books that disagree with my perspective - like Horowitz’s “Dark Agenda.” Such books shake me up and force me to look at things from a different perspective. I recommend the practice.

Having said that, I would be glad to critique a book written by the Religious Left. I promise to be as honest and uncompromising as if I were critiquing a book from the Religious Right. But I need your help in finding the right book. It should be a recent book written by a member of the Left – preferably the Christian Left - something comparable to Horowitz’s book but from the opposite perspective.

So I am asking my readers to give me suggestions. Remember it has to be written from a liberal perspective and critical of the Right’s agenda for America. Preferably a book as polemical in tone as Horowitz’s book. I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have not seen any suggestions posted regarding this. I think that perhaps this is because the discourse of the so-called left wing permeates our culture in such a way that it is really not necessary/advisable for books to be written about it. The news media, entertainment industry, and political establishment seem to have a rather significant bias in this regard so why defend what really is not being attacked. Or perhaps it is a stylistic difference between the two wings. (please note that I don't have a dog in this fight as both left and right are wrong in so many ways that I can't/won't identify with either).
Having said that what little searching I have done seems to give two options that might provide the fodder sought. My thinking is that liberation theology such as that of Gustavo Gutierrez found in "A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation" or Charles Villa-Vicencio's "A Theology of Reconstruction: Nation-Building and Human Rights (Cambridge Studies in Ideology and Religion)" could be useful.
I have not read them so perhaps you already have better material but I thought I would offer these for your consideration.