Magazine article Tikkun

The Response to Our Message Grows

Magazine article Tikkun

The Response to Our Message Grows

Article excerpt

FOR THE PAST FOUR MONTHS I'VE traveled to many parts of the United States and have been delighted to meet thousands of our readers and supporters-and thousands of others who never heard of me or Tikkun until they encountered my new book The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right.

Crowds have filled churches, synagogues, and bookstores. Sometimes himdreds of people had to be turned away because of fire law restrictions on the numbers of people allowed into a given church or synagogue.

These encounters have often felt less like a traditional book reading and more like a town meeting. Many of the people I've met have told me that they had not attended many political events before. They came because they are angry at the way religion has become a sledgehammer in the hands of the Religious Right. They feel that "the Right Hand of God" consciousness-which sees the world through the framework of fear and domination, that experiences God as an angry and punishing father figure, and that picks on the least able to defend themselves (the poor, those who benefit from governmental social programs, gays and lesbians, the homeless, immigrants)-does not understand the God that they believe in nor the God they were taught about when they grew up in more loving and affirming religious communities. They want to hear more about the Left Hand of God, and they want others to be reminded of that vision: a God of love and generosity, kindness and compassion. And they want to hear about what we are going to do to change the dynamics of American politics.

Some are hoping for a "quick fix" and get disappointed when they realize that the Network of Spiritual Progressives is actually advocating for a much deeper transformation of American society. Some recognize that our New Bottom Line and our Progressive Spiritual Covenant could, if adopted by the Democrats, transform the dynamics of American politics. However, they have doubts that the Democrats will be smart enough to move in that direction. Most of the people who came to my readings told me that they are energized by the gatherings and by the book itself. The most frequently voiced response: "Listening to you or reading this book gives me hope that I haven't had for many years."

Who are these people? …

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