Some call it the “religious left.” Others say it left the idea of being religious—in any meaningful sense. Regardless, stories now abound of how a faith-based progressivism is on the rise.
Spurred by Donald Trump’s election, monthly “social justice” lectures at New York’s Union Theological Seminary are drawing three times their usual attendance; donations to left-wing “Christian” activist group Sojourners have increased 30 percent; the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, “which encourages alliances between Jewish and Muslim women, has tripled its number of U.S. chapters to nearly 170,” reports Reuters; and the number of churches offering to harbor illegal aliens has doubled to 800, to cite just a few examples.
Yet this movement’s authenticity is suspect. The Stream reported late last year that activist liberal billionaire George Soros—the man who would be God—is partially funding this religious leftism (big surprise). And author Kelly Monroe Kullberg, who along with Dr. Alveda King has spearheaded a call to progressive Christians to repent, warned that “the Christian faith… is being used, manipulated, weakened and redefined.”
This is nothing new. Just consider “liberation theology.” It was epitomized by ex-Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright’s “Trinity United Church of Christ,” of “US-of-KKK-A!” fame, which portrays Jesus as having been a black man fighting a white Roman establishment. Likewise, the Nazis in Germany had their “Positive Christianity,” which portrayed Jesus as a Nordic man fighting a Jewish establishment.
Notable is that the latter was part of a policy designed to destroy German Christianity. This aim was outlined in the 1945 OSS (the forerunner of the CIA) document “The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches,” compiled by a Jewish expatriate named Franz Neumann, as The New York Times reported in 2002.
As for today’s oh-so pious lefties, the image is not the reality. As Bloomberg picturesquely put it in January, “The religious left is the Sasquatch of American politics. It leaves footprints in the snow but recent sightings of the creature itself are rare, and not always credible.”
In truth, the increased support for the “religious left” just mirrors—and lags behind—greatly burgeoning post-election left-wing activism in general. We’ve all heard about the anti-Trump demonstrations, protests, vandalism, attacks and riots. But consider this: Reflecting many secular leftist groups, “Planned Parenthood has received more than 300,000 [in] donations in the six weeks since the election, 40 times its normal rate,” reported The Guardian last December. Sojourners’ 30 percent increase pales in comparison.
The so-called “religious left” has never had the current religious right’s power, and it never will. The simplest reason why is that authentic faith concerns Truth, and leftists not only embrace ideology contrary to Truth (absolute by definition), they don’t even believe in it. They almost universally subscribe to moral relativism, the notion that morals are just “values,” which are determined by man and thus are “relative” to the time and place.
Seldom realized is that this is just another way of saying there is no morality. Consider: If we discovered that the world’s vast majority loved chocolate but hated vanilla, would we say this made vanilla “wrong” or “evil”? It’s mere preference.
But how does it make any more sense claiming murder is wrong or evil if the only reason we do so is that the vast majority of people prefer we not kill others in a way the vast majority considers unjust? If consensus preference is all it is, it then falls into the same category as flavors: human taste.
This is why leftist ideology, logically analyzed, is self-refuting. After all, if “All values are equal”—an idea implicit in favored leftist mantras such as “Who’s to say what’s right or wrong?”—how could tolerance be better than intolerance? How could love be better than hate? If it’s all relative, it just boils down to occultist Aleister Crowley’s maxim, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”
Thus did “If it feels good, do it” long ago become a leftist rallying cry. To the point here, though, this negates authentic faith. For the Judeo-Christian tradition holds that God established unchanging moral law (Truth). Saying all is relative implies either that Truth’s author, God, doesn’t exist or that He’s actually some nebulous, hippie-like “creative force” that says, from on high, “Yeah, man, whatever works for you.” If the latter, why do we need Him?
In this vein, if all is relative, why would I govern my life and constrain my urges with some religious standard? I should rather become a hedonist.
Moreover, Christians should note that relativism strikes at their faith’s very heart. After all, Christianity teaches that Jesus died for our sins, things that cannot exist in a relativistic universe where all is preference. There is no need for a Savior if there is no sin.
This relativism explains why the “religious left” has trouble getting organized. As Bloomberg related quoting author Robert Jones, “Unlike the religious right, which is almost entirely the Christian right, the religious left is a diverse interfaith movement….”
“Diverse” here actually means disunited. The more people recognize and embrace Truth, the more they’ll occupy the same page. Yet relativistic leftists, believing “People have their own ‘truths,’” all walk to the beat of different drummers and end up playing a very discordant tune.
There was an old New Yorker (if my memory serves) cartoon of the Devil addressing newcomers in Hell and saying, “There’s no right or wrong down here. It’s whatever works for you.” Thus will a “religious left” always be mainly a Machiavellian marketing ploy, more ruse than reality. For the do-what-thou-wilt standard is great for creating Hell on Earth, but you hardly need God for that.
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The Hill, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily and American Thinker. He has also contributed to college textbooks published by Gale – Cengage Learning, has appeared on television and is a frequent guest on radio.