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  1. Derek says:

    I suppose this is more of a question for everyone than a response. And it’s one that I don’t think I’m expressing very well. But I hope you can feel that I’m curious and open to what you might have to say.

    As some background I’m from the Midwest in the USA in a swing state (Iowa). I’m a swing voter myself, and I’ve known quite a few people along the spectrum from right-wing to left-wing (and off into Libertarian territory etc.) who were Christians.

    However the left-wing Christians I have discussed politics since I was a teen in the 90s never really described their positions in terms of faith. Rather they had the common view that Sandel discussed in the chapter where they felt they were either obliged to, or at least allowed to, set their faith aside when it comes to political discourse or the ballot box. There was always a sort of feeling that many of the leftist policies were bad news for Christianity, but that was overridden by a particular issue that was important to them, or the general idea of not “shoving your faith down someone’s throat” in our multicultural society.

    The views that seem to be held by some in this group seem to be very much to the left (or perhaps towards Sandel’s Communitarianism), but there seems to be an invocation of faith involved in choosing those positions as opposed to setting it aside.

    What I’m curious about is how faith centric leftism works, and how you see the church operating in the sort of political environment you would like to see.

    Is there an idea that we can get out ahead of popular culture? Does it involve some significant alterations to how public institutions work now in order to make it viable? I.e. At the moment in the US there are generally restrictions on religious expression, especially Christian, in public places and institutions. At the moment home schooling is on the rise in the US not so much because people feel that the instruction is inadequate but because they do not like the culture and values that our public schools either actively teach or tolerate. I can feel some of that pressure myself as the generally fun Mayfair at my daughters elementary school played music extolling the fun of getting drunk and having a threesome and so on. So expanding and improving public institutions and spaces as Sandel describes seems counter to Christianity, while privatizing them seems like it would be beneficial.

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