Too many people have responded to the victory of the Right by feeling powerless. “What can I do? They have the money, control the media, and the Democrats have no vision or strategy.” 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. We need you to be part of it–and we need 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. A direction that could rebuild our society on a whole new bottom line, appealing to many people who have not yet been moved by the conventional way liberals and progressives have advanced their message, and/or people who have liked one part of the message but don’t yet see the connections. We are here to show you there can be connections between the different movements for environmental sanity, social and economic justice, non-violence, human and civil rights, etc.!
Rabbi Michael Lerner: editor of Tikkun, author ofThe Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right)
George Lakoff: Prof of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the UC Berkeley,author ofDon’t Think of an ElephantandMoral Politics
Mathew Fox: Liberation Theologian, Authorof Original Blessing, andThe Coming of the Cosmic Christ
Rebecca Kaplan:Oakland City Council President
Cat Zavis: Attorney, Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, mediator, and teacher of Empathic Communication
And more! (Our speakers will start the discussion, but the most important person to be there is YOU).
We will come together to develop strategy to Reclaim America and build The Caring Society – Caring for Each Other and Caring for the Earth.
YOU Are Invited to this:
A Town Hall Meeting & Strategy Discussion
Sunday December 14 1 pm @ University of San Francisco
McLaren Hall (Golden Gate Ave near Roselyn Terrace), San Francisco, California
If you can’t come to San Francisco because you live too far away, create a similar event in your area. Get a local university, civic or social change organization, church, synagogue, mosque, ashram, zendo to sponsor it, and if you can get hundreds of people together, some of us will come to speak at it. Contact Cat@spiritualprogressives.org. And if you can’t do that, at least make a tax-deductible contribution to help us keep doing this kind of work- at www.tikkun.orgorwww.spiritualprogressives.org.
About our event Dec. 14th:
We will create the space to mourn what has happened to our country and to the planet, to 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. In small groups 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. 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, liberal and progressive political parties and elected officials to meet and strategize together. We need therapists, physicians, lawyers, Silicon Valley techies, philanthropists, scientists, engineers, high school and college students, teachers, 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 byDec.5 $45 for anyone registering afterDec. 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.
And Yes–liberals and progressives need to overcome their religiophobia and false impression that people who talk about religion or spirituality are either intellectually inferior, psychologically stunted, or right-wingers. These prejudices are part of what gives the Right the ability to convince the American majority who in fact identify with some religious or spiritual practices that liberals and progressives are elitists who really don’t like their fellow-Americans or understand them.
For a different view of religion and spirituality, read some of our contemporary liberation theologians in every tradition. But please be clear–you are welcome to be part of this process and the NSP- Network of Spiritual Progressives even if you are a hard-core atheist fundamentalist! 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 http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/yearning-for-a-world-of-love-and-justice
We leave you with a little piece from the pope.
Pope Francis I 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).