Benny's World

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Spiritual Left or Just Being in the Middle

One of my favorite bloggers, Iddybud, mentioned that she had involved in a discussion on (a Republican blog) about the Religious Left. When I went to the site, I expected that some of their bloggers would perceive some of us who aren't necessarily Bush supporters to be disingenuous when we use the word "spirtual". His comment seem to bear a narrow point of view:
religious vs. "spiritual"

I think it's a red flag anytime you see the word "spiritual" in place of religious. For the most part, it's used by liberals to define what is left when you take religion and subtract all morality and ethics.

The problem with this is that in the context of how religion influences a political deology, watered-down "spirituality" doesn't really impact anything. At best you can claim that God would want us to help poor people through income redistribution, which is already on the table with the old-school secular left.

Iddybud thought it about it in this way:

I do understand how the political world works, however, and my faith has put me in some pretty strange and unlikely political corners, some seldom exposed by political liberals' proverbial lamps. Overall, though, I'd have to say that I land where I land on political issues because of my personal faith - and not the opposite. I am faithful first, political second. My faith has made me the "liberal" that others see me as being, and I have to say that, whatever I am, I am proud to be so. If you look at my Political Compass chart, you will see that I don't land all that far from the center, but like
Libertarians, I am not trusting of authoritarian institution.

In case you are wondering about the blogger who posited a very narrow interpretation of "spiritual", he got a response that I favored about being spiritual:

In all honestly, I'd say you have this exactly backwards. For me, it defines what is left when you take morality and ethics and subtract (organized) religion.

The term "Spiritual" can mean many things, and for me, it is "full of spirit". Organized religion spends a lot of time about getting to the end and afterlife, whereas I perceive spirituality should be about the journey.

It was interesting to see where Iddybud landed on the
political landscape. I had taken that same quiz about 6-7 months ago, and I was about 4 pixels above in the same quadrant, but still close to the middle, whereby I have concerns about authoritarian governments, yet I am between the economic and the social values of government resources.

I guess I'm sort of a spiritual left, but to be truthful, I'm just in the middle, and my thoughts as well as my feelings guide my political compass.


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