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Who is Funding Progressives?

Just as the pastor moves into a series of stewardship sermons I am informed by a well-known and wonderfully insightful author/theologian  that there is very little money to be made in books written for the liberal audience. (Are we not reading here or simply going to the library?) Then, not an hour later I hear of an effective religious organization that is seeking to address the political attacks on a healthy sexuality that has a hard time finding funds. Another organization of clergy seeking to bring a different moral understanding to women’s reproductive freedom than the one touted by Catholic Bishops or right wing people can hardly find funds for postage let alone administrative costs. So, what are the progressives doing with their money?

 Sorry, it can’t be because of  the economy. We all know that those who have the “true answers” who are hell-bent to impose it on others, apparently have little difficulty coming up with funds to limit the rights and choices of women, trample on the rights of the sexual minority communities and impose a euro-centric male-centered Christianity on the world. They seem to have extraordinarily deep pockets/ So what is going on here?

Is it possible that those on the side of justice and compassion are always in the minority and have never been well-funded, that it has always been a struggle and this is actually nothing new? Or, are progressive people so demoralized they believe we are already defeated (and hence donations don’t matter anyway?) Well, I have news for them. The battle only seems to be getting more pronounced in this culture war because the progressive, justice-minded movement is winning... not monetarily of course but culturally. And thus, the other side is in a panic; panic at change, panic that egalitarianism threatens what they perceive as a stable. ordered world, panic that maybe there are other ways of being in the world besides ‘top down.’ (And let’s not forget that such views include the imposition of the ‘missionary position’ as well! Only hetero with men on top for procreation purposes only!)

 No, the good news is that young people are more likely to have Straight Allies groups in high school as well as support for coming out of the closet in their junior high school. They are less inclined to agree with the idea that “gays are an abomination because the Bible says so.”  Many young adult men have been reared with the understanding they need to carry half of the responsibility of child-rearing and house maintenance. And, it is few women in the US who believe they can’t have a career as well as being a mother if they so choose. And, interestingly enough most women have the audacious belief that when or if  they have children it is their own decision to make without the intervention of a politician or a local bishop.

The premise of an egalitarian world where everyone has equal access to health care, enough to eat and their other basic needs met plus the biblical notion that those who have more are to give more is not only intrinsic to a peace-filled world, it is also deeply Christian. Further, this vision of justice is also shared by all other major faith traditions.

 I want to know why that vision would be a hard sell? Why are people are not flocking to those organizations that promote such a vision and who are actually making it happen? Why are we sitting back, listening and giving credence to the fearfully repressed but well-to-do pundits when they claim being fair is actually “socialism,” inclusion is “San Francisco politics,” and that repression is really protecting women’s health and well being (as if women aren't capable of determining that? 

The Bible is clear that those who do not follow “the light” are liars and “the truth is not in them” even though they may proclaim it from the high heavens. As for me, I am going to make out a check to one of my favorite progressive non-profits and I encourage all my friends to do the same. Let us put our money where we say our values are. That is, after all, what the non-progressives are doing.

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