Right now, it is not much, but it is a start
: ''The religious right has been effectively organizing for 35 years, and as I always say, it took Moses 40 years to lead his people out of the wilderness, and it's going to take us a few years more to catch up," said the Rev. Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches USA and a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania.
Edgar is part of a group that holds a conference call each Thursday to discuss the liberal response to national and world affairs, a telephonic gathering convened last year in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq.
''While we didn't stop the war, we began to talk and work cooperatively together," he said.
Among as many as 40 people on the line any Thursday are Jim Wallis, who convened Call to Renewal, a faith-based response to world poverty; the Rev. C. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance; the Rev. James A. Forbes Jr., pastor of the Riverside Church in New York; and Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund.
The issues are there for a religious left to rise, but the organization will take some time. Still, this is encouraging, since the left made some organizations advances in 2004, and a rising religious left could be an important ally in the future. We surpassed the right in terms of netroots
. We reached parity, and possibly surpassed, the right in terms of small donor fundraising
. We reached parity, and possibly surpassed, the right in terms of swing state organizing
. In all three areas, we faced large deficits following the 2002 elections, and we should celebrate our gains in all three areas. However, despite a rising Air America, we still face problems on the radio. We also face problems on college campuses
, problems in terms of declining union membership, problems in terms of think tanks and media access
, and, as Lakoff has famously argued, problems in terms of message organization and promotion. If we make up ground in religious organizing, well, that will be one less deficit that we face in the future.