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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


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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.

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! ;-/]

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