After the 2014 Elections and Facing a Congress determined to dismantle environmental, health and social benefits for middle income Americans and the poor in 2015-2016
It’s critical that ethically sensitive people develop a strategy to:
RECLAIM AMERICA YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN
A Town Hall Meeting & Strategy Discussion
Sunday December 14, 1 p.m.
At the University of San Francisco McLaren Hall
(Golden Gate Ave near Roselyn Terrace)
Among the presenters at our strategy conference:
Mathew Fox Liberation Theologian, Author of Original Blessing, and The Coming of the Cosmic Christ
Rebecca Kaplan Oakland City Council President,
George Lakoff Prof of Cognitive Science and Linguistics, author of Don’t Think of an Elephant and Moral Politics,
Rabbi Michael Lerner Editor of Tikkun, rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue, Author: The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right and Spirit Matters,
Marianne Williamson, author: Healing the Soul of America, A Return to Love, and Imagine What America Could Be in the 21st Century, ,
Cat Zavis Attorney, Executive Director, the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and teacher of Empathic Communication
And more. (Our speakers will start the discussion, but the most important person to be there is YOU).
Pre-registration at: spiritualprogressives.org/reclaimAmerica
The Congress that will shape America in the next two years is committed to defunding government so that it cannot enforce the minimal environmental protections currently in place, provide health care coverage for those who need it,so that it, provide safety and health protection for our food or for our work places, or protect the old, the young, the vulnerable—while at the same time that Congress will seek to decrease still further the taxes on the super-rich and the corporations they own and control.
This is an ethical and spiritual and religious crisis of monumental proportions—and calls for secular liberals and progressives to join with spiritual or religious activists to work together to develop strategies to save our planet earth and protect middle income and working people and the unemployed from the assaults of the selfish. That’s why we, spiritual progressives of every variant (including atheists and secular humanists as well as people in every religious community) must now take action to present a different worldview, one based on the Biblical call to “love our neighbor” but also “love the stranger (the Other/the powerless)., to pursue justice and peace. . .
****Too many people have responded to the 2014 electoral victories of the Right by feeling powerless. “What can I do?“ they tell themselves. “The Rightists have the money and are filled with passionate intensity, while those who seek peace and justice too often lack a coherent strategy. There are so many groups taking on one little part of the problem or another, but mostly they don’t cooperate with each other and don’t even try to educate people in each specific social justice or humanitarian or environmental struggle about how they are linked to all the other struggles. So to those on the outside, it looks like everyone is just fighting for their own special interest, but not for the common interests of the rest of us. I can’t see how I can do anything, given this mess.”
But there is something you can do, not alone, but with a movement that we are creating. The liberal and progressive forces have made some big mistakes—but we can change that, and we have a strategy for how to do that and how to Reclaim America. And we need you to be part of it–and to learn from you as well, because we know we don’t have all the answers!. We approach this task with humility, but also with excitement about the possibility of forging a new direction, bringing together all those people who really yearns for a society based on love, kindness, generosity, social and econmic justice, and peace. We call this goal “the New Bottom Line.”
We will mourn what has happened to our country and to the planet, acknowledge our own responsibility (rather than
just blame the super-rich and their ability to manipulate media and spend millions on candidates who serve their interests), challenge liberals and progressives to think more deeply about what changes are needed in the ways that they present themselves (attention office holders—you are invited to be part of this), draw upon the wisdom of secular humanists, religious traditions (all of them), and spiritual-but-not-religious thinkers, and the work of the (interfaith and secular-humanist-welcoming) Network of Spiritual Progressives. We will hear each other’s ideas for how to move forward, build ties among the vast array of social change organizations, progressive religious and spiritual communities, and learn skills for improving our ability to have our most visionary ideas really taken seriously by our families, neighbors, co-workers, and even some of our most cynical friends.
Part of our intention is to reintroduce into public discourse the ethical values that could contribute to rebuilding a society based on love, care, generosity, awe and wonder. And you can play an important role by challenging progressive organizations to introduce into all their activities a shared vision of the world we want—not just focusing on what is wrong with the way things are now, but presenting a positive vision of the world as it needs to be—a New Bottom Line of love, caring, kindness, generosity, social justice, peace, environmental sanity and awe and wonder at the grandeur and preciousness of our planet earth and the universe of which we are part.
We invite liberals and progressives of every possible stripe to come together and strategize about how these kinds of
values can reshape public life in the US. We ask you, the reader of this, to help us get leaders, activists, and members of progressive movements for social and economic justice, peace, environmental sanity, civil rights, feminism, lgbtq rights, immigrant rights, unions, liberal and progressive political parties and elected officials to meet and strategize together.
We need therapists, physicians, lawyers, Silicon Valley techies, working people in offices and factories and skilled trades, small business people, African Americans , Latinos, Asian Americans, and every other minority community, philanthropists, financial and investment experts, scientists, engineers, high school and college students, teachers and academics, researchers, seniors, millennials, boomers, and everyone in between who can fully commit to nonviolence and empathy as strict guidelines for how to approach those with whom we disagree. Please invite your friends–afterwards, when they hear how exciting it was for you, they’ll be disappointed that you
didn’t try to convince them to come!
We cannot afford to stay in our separate silos working on single-issue politics, or immerse ourselves in cynicism and despair about the possibility of making significant change. At the very least, we need to articulate a shared vision of the world we want -not just the world we are against – so that even as each of us continues in our focused activities to address specific ways that the world and its people are hurting, we simultaneously articulate a positive vision that we all share. We need a new unity and a new psychological and spiritual sophistication to heal and repair our very broken society. Won’t you join us? *******
Registration required at spiritualprogressives.org/reclaimAmerica
Cost: $15 for students and incomes under $30/k yr.
Incomes over $30k/yr: $25 if you register by Dec.5 $45 for anyone registering after Dec. 5,
By mail: make check to Tikkun and mail to 2342 Shattack Ave, #1200, Berkeley, CA 94704
510-644-1200. More info:Cat@spiritualprogressives.org
Hosted by the Theology and Religious Studies Dept. of USF and sponsored by Tikkun www.tikkun.org, and by:
the (interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-and religious-welcoming) Network of Spiritual Progressives,
The Mette Center for Non-Violence, and many others.
We are not proponets of any religion or spiritual tradition except for The New Bottom Line of love and generosity, etc. which you can read about at https://www.tikkun.org/newsite/yearning-for-a-world-of-love-and-justice
And we are inspired by Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and liberation theologians in every religious or spiritual tradition. For example, read a little bit from the new pope:
Pope Francis—in Evangeli Gaudium:
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitable succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power…a globalization of indifference has developed…we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor..the culture of prosperity deadens us….The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.“
(A fuller version can be found in the Spring 2014 issue of Tikkun Magazine. When you join the Network of Spiritual Progressives at www.spiritualprogressives.org, you get a free subscription to Tikkun Magazine).