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The Mormon Worker - Issue 5 - Nov 08

The Mormon Worker - Issue 5 - Nov 08

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Published by SyncOrSwim
■ Between Christianity and the Libertarian Left: How Wide the Gap? by Marc B. Young
■ Obedience to Authority by Tariq Khan
■ Why Progressives Should Vote Nader
■ A Vietnam Vet’s Vision of Peace
■ Between Christianity and the Libertarian Left: How Wide the Gap? by Marc B. Young
■ Obedience to Authority by Tariq Khan
■ Why Progressives Should Vote Nader
■ A Vietnam Vet’s Vision of Peace

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Published by: SyncOrSwim on Nov 23, 2010
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Between Christianity and theLibertarian Let: How Wide the Gap?
by Marc B. Young
Although it might make a decent news story in some media
outlets, an article about the ways in which Christians andsecular radicals collaborate, on a variety o issues, prob-ably doesn’t need to take up space in a publication read
primarily by activists. Ater all, every letist knows that
anarchists, communists, greens, socialists and Christians
(at least Catholics, Quakers and members o ‘main-stream’
Protestant denominations) regularly end up on the sameside o rallies against, or example, war and in support o 
immigrants. At least some points o tactical agreement are
simply taken or granted between these players and don’t
make or that interesting a conversation. What is more
interesting perhaps is the exploration o why these areaso tactical agreement are possible ater all, which is reallyan enquiry into what the movement ounded by Jesus and
“I Teach Them Correct Principles and They Govern Themselves” –
Issue 5November 2008
by Marc B. Young
by Tariq Khan
by Ashley Sanders
by Terry Leichner 
by Matthew Thomas
by Sgt. Jay Dawkins
by Spencer Kingman
by Jason Brown
 by Tristan Call
by Cliff Burton
Hold your mouse cursor on the name of an author to seea brief bio and an introduction to his or her article
Click on the name of an article to go there
The Mormon Worker 
Issue 5
his closest colleagues – and not St. Augustine or Henry
VIII – has to say about human liberation.But secular radicals, generally happy to have church-
types at their actions, tend not to want to explore this route.
They are at best bafed by religiosity, in a condescendingsort o way, and at worst nauseated by it, convinced it hasno place in a rational program. They sense that the Chris-
tian acet o those believers who are on ‘their side’ o most
current issues is precisely those persons’ most superfu-ous aspect, that is, unnecessary to their commitment to
egalitarianism and liberation – and this idea is obviously
reinorced by the act that so many other individuals, some
o whom run the country, go around linking their Christi-anity to right-wing politics. The Jesus movement, secularradicals oten think, can, like all religions, be shaken out
to justiy any social posture. So let’s not go there, as NorthAmericans say these days. And what’s to be gained, wonder
these radicals, that’s worth the potential discomort thatoccurs when religious belies are made explicit and thenchallenged?Some insights, possibly. Men and women on the radi-cal let tend not to be absolute relativists (or nihilists) o the sort who hold that all opinions have equal merit; on
the contrary, they insist that dierent interpretations o 
historical phenomena are either more or less correct – and
that dierent points o view and dierent actions are ei-ther more or less ethical. Certainly there are let-wingerswho claim to be Christians and right-wingers who do thesame. Precisely because this is so, we will, in this article,
A Note to Our Readers
The Mormon Worker is an independent newspaper/jour-nal devoted to Mormonism and radical politics. It is pub-lished by members o the LDS Church. The paper is mod-eled ater the legendary Catholic Worker which has beenin publication or over seventy years.The primary objective o The Mormon Worker is to mean-ingully connect core ideas o Mormon theology with ahost o political, economic, ecological, philosophical, andsocial topics.Although most contributors o The Mormon Worker aremembers o the LDS church, some are not, and we acceptsubmissions rom people o varying secular and religiousbackgrounds.The opinions in The Mormon Worker are not the ocialview o The Church o Jesus Christ o Latter-day Saints.In solidarity,The Mormon Worker
140 West Oak CircleWoodland Hills, UT 84653Subscribe to our print edition:www.themormonworker.orgthemormonworker@gmail.comhttp://themormonworker.wordpress.com
Between Christianity and the Libertarian Left: How Wide the Gap?
The Mormon Worker 
Issue 5
proceed on the assumption that one o the Christian camps
is wrong about their man. Either Jesus was primarily a
prophet o domination and mass passivity, oering conso-lation to the destitute in some world beyond death, or heproclaimed solidarity and sustenance or all in this world.I the ormer is true (or truer), then radicals’ disdain orthe Good News is sensible enough. But i the latter is thecase, an open-minded review o what Jesus and the early
Christians proclaimed could provide secular radicals with
ethical and other insights they have perhaps undervalued.
Or it could, practically and strategically speaking, helppromote an alliance between some Christians (genuineones?) and certain secular activists that reaches urtherthan many think possible. Which in turn could prove a
minor boon or American radicals especially, citizens and
residents o a country where polls show most people desire
more equality and justice, are inheritors o a tradition o mistrust toward government and proclaim their belie in
 At the very least, secular activists could improve the
way they address believers.
For radical Christians, an enterprise o the sort pro-
posed here, even i it tends to repeat things they alreadythink, might help them tackle the requently heard argu-ment that aith is either not about society – it is a personalaair – or that it ts comortably inside a liberal agenda o political progress that John Kerry or Barack Obama mightsupport. (Naturally, we assume that radical Christians dis-count the possibility that Pat Robertson and George Bush
– at least with their current programs and opinions – belong
in their church.) A reiteration o atheists’ critique o aith,
something that will also arise in this piece, might also help
letist Christians look more closely at what they believe –with an added dose o reason, as it were. Is their aith sotand fabby? What o it can be discarded, what saved? Can
one’s religious commitment be thought through, or is there
an irreducible element o belie that is inevitably ‘eeling,’that revelation that precedes, skips over or, conversely, isa sort o condition or rationality? These are some o the
Between Christianity and the Libertarian Left: How Wide the Gap?

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