by Shai Sachs, Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 01:59:29 PM EDT
Frederick Clarkson announced the upcoming publication of Dispatches from the Religious Left today. Dispatches is an anthology of essays on religion and politics from a liberal perspective. Authors include luminaries ranging from PastorDan at Street Prophets to Rev. Deb Haffner and Marshal Ganz. My wife and I, who co-own a web development firm targeted at liberal churches and religious organizations, also contributed a chapter on new media. It's edited by Clarkson, who is a long-time scholar of the religious right, and published by Ig Publishing, an up-and-coming progressive publisher.
I received the full text of the book this week, so I've only had a chance to skim it briefly. The chapter we wrote takes a nuts-and-bolts approach to new media, introducing liberal religionists to the basic elements of new media and illustrating the kinds of things that can be accomplished with it. We also make recommendations for developing a new media strategy that's consistent with organizational mission.
Clarkson sums up the book with three main themes:
- Religious progressives need to seriously reevaluate where they are going and where they have been in order to live up to their highest aspirations.
- Marketing and public relations are not a substitute for political organizing, which history and hard earned experience shows us is how real progress is made.
- Religious progressives must never abandon such basic progressive values as reproductive rights, gay and lesbian civil rights and separation of church and state, no matter what political consultants in hot pursuit of seemingly persuadable conservative Catholics and evangelicals may say. Separation of church and state is "woven into their DNA" says essayist Rev. Peter Laarman.
The book is released on Oct. 1. We're going to be doing a couple of promotional events in the next few weeks, starting with a discussion at Open Left tomorrow at 2 pm (which I can't attend, sadly). I'll be posting updates as more events comes up. Meanwhile, you can pre-order it at Powells right now.