Around this time every four years, articles start popping up wondering whether or not the Religious Left (always viewed as a similar but MUCH weaker version of the Religious Right) can be politically effective again (was it ever?). Daniel Schultz, writing for Religion Dispatches, has an easy answer: No.
It’s an interesting analysis that essentially comes down to the fact that the Christian religious left isn’t interested in the kind of partisan simplification that the religious right has been engaging in for the last 30 years.
“What all of this means politically is that what should be the vital beating heart of the religious left isn’t particularly interested in partisan politics. They’d much rather focus on developing social capital in strong communities. If you consider supporting food pantries part of the Liberal Agenda, they’re all over it. Electing progressives up and down the political ladder? Not so much.”
That’s not to say there aren’t conservative churches more concerned with community than politics, too, or that left-leaning churches aren’t full of activists and others with strong political opinions. We absolutely should CARE about politics…but (at least in my opinion) the mercenary machinery of partisan politics really isn’t the business of church — building communities of Love, Justice, and Hope is.