Support the Café
Search our site

Purity codes, progressive style

Purity codes, progressive style

Richard Beck thinks about how the need to define our beliefs as both holy and pure is not limited to evangelicalism but shows up among progressives as well.

Experimental Theology:

We’ve all read about the problems related to the purity culture associated with evangelicalism. But recently I’ve been thinking about the purity culture that is found in liberal, progressive and/or radical Christian circles.

My thoughts here were spurred by the essay written by Aurora Dagny entitled “Everything is Problematic.

As someone who identifies as a progressive Christian I found Aurora’s essay to be very thought-provoking. The essay describes Aurora’s journey into radical, leftist activism and the reasons she eventually stepped away. If you’re a progressive Christian like me I encourage you to read the whole thing.

Beck says that the same dynamic shows up among conservative, evangelical Christians and among progressives as well.

And this “will to purity” doesn’t just manifest in protecting sacred beliefs, it manifests inbehavior as well. Both evangelical and progressive Christians doggedly pursue a vision of moral purity.

For evangelical Christians moral purity will fixate on hedonism (e.g., sex, drug use).

For progressive Christians moral purity will fixate on complicity in injustice….

Posted by Andrew Gerns

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Marshall Scott

So, I read "Dagny's" post, and thought, "Well and good. And?" I appreciate that this is new for "Dagny," and am glad said person is reflective and learning. On the other hand, it's not news that exclusivism and language of purity is as familiar among those I generally agree with as among those I generally disagree with. I have an opinion of which has the likelihood of doing harm, but that doesn't make radical progressives as arrogant and isolationist as reactionary "regressives" (chosen because I think a conservative approach is appropriate in some cases).

Then I read Beck's post, and had much the same thought. So, perhaps the value is not whether this is "new" to me as much as whom this is "new" for.

There is an old axiom that, "A young person who is not liberal has no heart. An old person who is not conservative has no brain." I would challenge that in the particular, but would agree that we're supposed to be pursuing wisdom to go along with our passions, and to be more able to see and live with the real complexity of our reality, and not less.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
JC Fisher

I really didn't understand "Aurora Dagny's" (it was stated at the top this is a pseudonym) piece at all. I suppose some will believe this is my problem. [OK, I agree the "otherkin" thing is weird. I mean, "as ye harm none, do as ye will" . . . but if you're reading these words (even as translated), you're still Homo sapiens, regardless! ;-/]

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café