---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tikkun <mir...@tikkun.org>
Date: Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 7:47 AM
Subject: Why the Left's religiophobia is so self-destructive
To: michelsub2...@gmail.com

Editor's Note: The research we at Tikkun and our parent body the Institute
for Labor and Mental Health have done over the past decades continues to
confirm our findings that one of the major reasons many Americans accept
the Right's view that people in the liberal and progressive camps "dont
understand you and are elitists who have contempt for you" is that many
Americans have encountered an extreme fear and disdain for anything
spiritual or religious in the culture of the liberal and progressive

This latest report from the Pew Research Center (below) shows that a very
large percentage of Americans have very positive feelings about people in a
wide variety of religious communities.

The Left says it wants a democratic transformation of American society, but
the  majority of Americans feel positive about religion and are hence much
less open to liberals and progressvies than they would be if the Left had a
much more open and embracing attitude toward religion, not just the of the
famous progressive African American reliigous people like Martin Luther
King, Jr and Rev. William Barber (of North Carolina's Moral Monday
campaign) but even of religious practitioners more generally instead of
assuming (falsely) that everyone into religion or spirituality is either
racist, sexist, homophobic, or at least less intellectually and emotionally
developed and sophisticated than those who reject religion or at least
don't mention it publicly except to critique the religious extremists.

Religiophobia is one of the key distortions of the Left that must be
challenged, even while continuing to critique those variants of religion
along with those variants of politics that are racist, sexist, homophobia,
xenophobic, Islamophobic, or antiSemitic. But we at Tikkun encounter this
religiophobia every day by people telling us, "I like your analysis, but
I'd never join any movement that has the word 'spiritual' in it--because
that is likely a slippery slope to religion, and I hate or fear religion."
Of course, some of those who hold that view have grown up in oppressive or
bigoted religious communities and feel that they know what they are talking
about because of that experience. But they fail to understand that there
are many religious people and religious communities that do not share these
kinds of distrotions. Religio-phobia is as much a prejudice of any other
belief that demeans everyone in a particular group for the behavior of some
in that group. Honestly, we are not making this up--it happens to us all
the time.  This is one of the issues that we address in our

Spiritual Activism Training: Beyond Resistance - Strategies in the Age of

which you can learn about by clicking here
or by going to:  https://org.salsalabs.com/o/525/p/salsa/event/common/

Meanwhile, read the Pew report on how people in the US are becoming ever
more favorable to religions.

The Pew Research Center Report:

*Americans Express Increasingly Warm Feelings Toward Religious Groups*

*Jews, Catholics continue to receive warmest ratings, atheists and Muslims
move from cool to neutral*

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 15, 2017) – On the heels of a contentious election
year in which partisan politics increasingly divided Americans, a new Pew
Research Center survey
that when it comes to religion, Americans generally express more positive
feelings toward various religious groups today than they did just a few
years ago. Asked to rate a variety of groups on a “feeling thermometer”
ranging from 0 to 100, U.S. adults give nearly all groups warmer ratings
than they did in a June 2014 Pew Research Center survey.

While Americans still feel coolest toward Muslims and atheists, mean
ratings for these two groups increased from a somewhat chilly 40 and 41
degrees, respectively, to more neutral ratings of 48 and 50. Jews and
Catholics continue to be among the groups that receive the warmest ratings
– even warmer than in 2014.

Evangelical Christians, rated relatively warmly at 61 degrees, are the only
group for which the mean rating did not change since the question was last
asked in 2014. Americans’ feelings toward Mormons and Hindus have shifted
from relatively neutral places on the thermometer to somewhat warmer
ratings of 54 and 58, respectively. Ratings of Buddhists rose from 53 to
60. And mainline Protestants, whom respondents were not asked to rate in
2014, receive a warm rating of 65 in the new survey.

The increase in mean ratings is broad based. Warmer feelings are expressed
by people in all the major religious groups analyzed, as well as by both
Democrats and Republicans, men and women, and younger and older adults.

However, the mean ratings given to particular religious groups still vary
widely depending on who is being asked. For example, young adults – those
ages 18 to 29 – express warmer feelings toward Muslims than older Americans
do. Moreover, young adults rate all of the groups in the study within a
relatively tight range, from 54 degrees for Mormons to 66 for Buddhists. By
contrast, older Americans (ages 65 and older) rate some religious groups,
such as mainline Protestants (75) and Jews (74), very warmly, and others,
such as Muslims and atheists (44 degrees each), much more coolly.

These are among the main findings of a new Pew Research Center survey of
4,248 adults conducted Jan. 9 to 23, 2017, on Pew Research Center’s
nationally representative American Trends Panel. The survey also finds wide
variation in the ratings that U.S. religious groups give one another. While
for the most part Jews and Christians tend to rate each other warmly,
atheists and evangelicals continue to view each other in a negative light.

The findings are for immediate release and can be found at

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Senior Researcher
Jessica Martinez
please contact Anna Schiller at 202.419.4372
 or aschil...@pewresearch.org

*Pew Research Center
a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes
and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy
positions. The Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts
its primary funder. Subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters
follow us on our Fact Tank
* blog.*


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