religious left

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C-Span is broadcasting uninterupted coverage of the protests in New York, which is another reason C-Span may be now the best news source on television.

In some ways it’s comforting. Crowds are walking down the street, carrying signs, voicing their pet protests, mingling together more like a turbulent stream than a crowd of people.

Their voices combine, their words jumbled, creating a soft roar. The asphalt bed, and concrete banks, secluded in the steel and glass cliffs, reveal how easily people can simulate nature.

Another thought strikes me as I watch. This is not a political event, this is religious. Politics and protests deal with an issue, debating rationally and consistently the pros or cons of a societal state. Civil Rights or Vietnam were protests over the ending of a specific fight, with victory coming from whoever would provide the answer.

Now, this is not about an issue, its about an ideology, a worldview which could hardly care about how specific issues are resolved. If a Democrat had invaded Iraq these people would not be out protesting this way. They are not pro-anything, let alone pro-Kerry. I’ve seen one sign mentioning Kerry.

They are against a worldview, fighting and crying for the very salvation of this world through the embracing of the liberal dogma, which is manifested in various ways.

Their hatred of Bush, and fear of the continued administration are not like political arguments, they remind me of sitting in Pentecostal congregations and hearing the rants against the wiles of Satan.

No, this isn’t politics, this is liberal fundamentalism, no different than Christian Fundamentalism in its attempts to drown out opposing voices, harbor no dissent, and assert right through rhetoric and noise. They preach to the choir, and can’t stand it when heretics dare speak otherwise (hence the “F*** Fox News” chant which went on for a good five minutes. They do not debate, they preach, depending on their own preachers to give them new Scriptures.

Does anyone really pay attention to protesters on a rational level anymore? Of course not. They are there to boost their own opinions of themselves and their cause. They fight a religious battle for a vague god, replacing (for the most part) an established religion, for a set of beliefs which over the last forty years have hardened into dogma and theology.

Today is a holy day for their religion, where they have gathered to worship together and praise their gods, finding community through their devotion, and honor in their service. There are the nominal, the serious, the devoted, the casual, the intellectual, the passionate.

A new religion has been born, one without a clear pantheon, but with a strident dogma.

Vietnam protesters, agree with them or not, wanted to end the war, a palpable cause, and sought to influence politicians. Civil War protesters sought for equality, a noble cause, and for America to live up to its own values.

What do these people want? They want the removal of a single man, the destruction of an opposing political perspective. They argue not as political debaters, but as a Muslim would argue against a Christian, or as a Christian would argue against a Buddhist, with dogmatic assumptions flying about.

That is why they despise and fear the religious right, why ‘fundamentalists’ have become a curse word, why fox news is attacked for showing a bias no greater than any other news organization only not according to the protester’s religious ideology.

What is their cause? There is no focus, no issue, no banner which serves as the uniting platform. They are Protesters, not people protesting. For them it is a religion and this scene is their church.

This is also why trying to argue specific points as Kerry’s service, or Bush’s international policies are worthless. Both sides spout their dogma.

Fundamentalists assert their position by trying to drown out others, and by forcing their view onto everyone else. Those who agree are ‘good’ those who oppose are ‘evil’ and worthy of derision not argument.

I sit and watch their liturgy, and listen to their worship chants. They despise the religious fundamentalists because if there is one thing a fundamentalist cannot stand it is other fundamentalists with opposing perspectives.

They have found their gods, and their spiritual enemy. They hand out tracts, carry signs, deriding their opponents as stupid, or worse. Salvation comes through defeating George Bush, sanctification through opposing Israel, and whatever else breaks their conception of a holy world.

There is no cause, there can be no accomplishment through this protest, no palpable victory, for theirs is a religious cause, and can only be successful through conversion of the masses to their beliefs. Protesting now serves as a Church for these people who have rejected other civil and religious organizations. This Protesting serves the exact same function for the Protesters as a Baptist Church serves a Christian fundamentalist.

Nice to know religion really is still alive in this country. And I’m enjoying watching the protests still. Watching the traditions of various religions is quite informative. What’s nice is now that mainstream Christianity is more accurately described as Evangelicalism, there’s a grandly appropriate term open for use: the religion of Protesters, as displayed so reverently on CSPAN can be called Protestantism. While the Republican Convention happens this next week, Protestant Fundamentalists will be filling the streets, trying to save the Lost, and asserting their dogma for the sake of their own salvation. It is a religion of works you know.

Though, I think I’ll stick to my God. A bit more depth and power there.

–note, I’m not saying this is true of all people who share a liberal political bent. It can be a political perspective. Protesters have made it into a religion.

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