Expanding the Range of Christian Progressive Voices (by Becky Garrison)
When I was asked by Jamie Moffett, director and producer of the documentary The Ordinary Radicals, who I thought would be the next progressive religious leader for the 21st century, I responded, “Holy crap it’s us.” Despite significant horizontal cultural shifts at the grassroots level, the mainstream media still looks to a few religious rock stars when looking for a more liberal social justice soundbite. In a recent posting for The Scoop, I reflected on the lack of progressive voices in the mainstream media.
While a number of different interlocutors speak for Christian conservatism, the mainstream news media’s reliance on Wallis as the sole mouthpiece for progressive Christianity leads to the misperception that all moderate-to-liberal Christians speak with one voice. Thus the subsequent outcry over the Sojourners decision reminds journalists of the need to seek a range of opinions instead of relying on just one source.
Some places where one can find a range of liberal-minded spokespersons on the subject of progressive religion include Religion Dispatches, the Revealer, Killing the Buddha, AlterNet, and the list of recent appointees to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
So, how can the horizontal power of the Internet be employed to encourage the media to expand their rolodex so that their coverage of US Christianity more closely resembles the diversity of what’s actually happening on the ground?
Becky Garrison began writing for The Wittenburg Door in 1994 and is currently a panelist for Washington Post’s On Faith blog. Her additional writing credits include work for The Guardian, Sojourners/God’s Politics blog, The High Calling, Killing the Buddha, Geez, The Revealer, and Religion Dispatches. Follow Becky on Twitter, listen to the “Jesus Died for This?” podcast, and watch Becky’s You Tube channel. All of these focus on her book, “Jesus Died for This?“. You can also reach her at www.beckygarrison.com.