Faith, Politics & the Left
Rabbi Michael Lerner says many on the left are too quick to dismiss people who are religious. To reach people you disagree with, you can’t be condescending and arrogant. Is it possible to reach out to those who espouse views that are diametrically opposed to ours? How to do that? How can we navigate the treacherous currents that are running through our politics and by extension into our personal lives? What is the intersection of faith, politics and the left?
Interviewed by David Barsamian.
Recorded at KGNU
Rabbi Michael Lerner is the editor of Tikkun magazine. He is a leading voice for peace, justice and spiritual renewal. He has PhDs in philosophy and social and clinical psychology. He was chosen for the Humanitarian Award by the International Association of Sufism. He is the recipient of Morehouse College’s King-Gandhi Award for his work for peace and nonviolence. He is the author of Jewish Renewal, The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right and Revolutionary Love.
Dr. Berne Shaw –
Extremely important program. As the honored Israeli author Amos Oz wrote, in each of us is a fanatic. Emotional intellectual religious atheist political. We must learn to think and act with love and compassion otherwise we embrace our worst angels. Capitalism without the understanding of fanatical greed power and classism it represents will kill the planet. This is a crucial book he has written. One we should all read.
Jenny in Arroyo Hondo, NM –
I thought Michael Lerner’s talk about the fact that love and compassion are needed in left politics was spot on!
AR is such a great learning resource for political issues of the day.
Meg Cartwright –
Thank you Rabbi Lerner for an insightful lecture. I also feel that capitalism will go down in history as one of the most destructive forces to this planet. It is so nice to find a kindred spirit on the importance of kindness and care to all people. I would add to all sentient beings. Balance on this earth in all aspects is the only way out of this myopic “what about me” world we live in. Yes, the religious right are judgmental and arrogant as well. Peace will only begin healing this world if we ignore the judgments and focus on the needs behind the judgments. People have to feel that they are seen and heard before they can relax into solutions. These concepts were developed by Marshall Rosenberg in the 1940s. He founded the language of nonviolent communication which reframes the way we speak and listen so that the outcome of a conflict deepens our connection rather than escalating the conflict.
Anthony in Santa Fe –
This was a great program. He was saying things I’ve been saying for a long time. David, You’ve been educating us for many years. Thank you.
Wonderful programs. We regularly listen to David Barsamian expressing the need for change and the crisis confronting us. First heard David speak in Bainbridge Island, WA many yeas ago. His message about the power of money and capitalism — the focus then was on “imperialism in the Middle East — was profound and still resonates in me. The program today with Michael Lerner was similarly inspiring.
Gary E Cordova –
Thank you, Rabbi Lerner for making me realize I’m one of the arrogant, dismissive progressives, especially concerning religion and “deplorables.”
Now, let’s all work together to defeat Trump and take back the Senate.
Love, Peace, and Understanding.
Walter S –
The deplorables would be those who espouse extremism and racism, not those who have religious beliefs. Totally unrelated topics. I would also like to point out that the religious right certainly has been know to dismiss those who do not conform to their own beliefs. It’s something that most humans do in one way or another, and something we all need to be aware of and resist.
Barbara Wells –
Excellent speech, the first I’ve heard expressing my own thoughts about how “progressives” and democrats in general are arrogantly dismissing people, i.e. voters, who do not share their “enlightened” social and non-religious beliefs and thus sadly, particularly tragically, not likely to win the next election. Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” comment says it all.