Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie writing in the Huffington Post:
This is liberal religion’s moment, if only liberal religious leaders will be wise enough to seize it.
In the first place, religion remains remarkably robust in America. Boom-and-bust, wax-and-wane cycles are the rule of American experience. True, Americans are devoted to autonomy and personal freedom, which can undermine religious commitment, but that notwithstanding, religion has always come storming back from periods of dormancy and decline. And as Professor Peter Berger reminds us, the search for meaning and the need to find significance in our lives are eternal human concerns to which religion provides the response. Berger notes as well that the secularization of Europe is an exception rather than the rule of modern history, and while in America it may apply to certain elites, it does not apply to us all.
In the second place, it is liberal religion that has the most to offer now, and is most likely to bridge the contradictions of the modern era. It offers commitment to family, but a more expansive view of what families might look in these tumultuous times. It offers belief in God and tradition, but without the dangerous absolutes that too often banish questioning and doubt. And it offers concern for the poor and the needy. This does not mean mindless, knee-jerk political liberalism, but it does mean giving direction on poverty, justice, war, and the great issues of the day. For liberal religious people, it is blasphemous to cloak yourself in religion while denying justice to the oppressed and mercy to the suffering.
The simple fact is that liberal religion can reach out to young Americans in ways that conservative religion cannot. It can be innovative and idiosyncratic. It can offer endless experimentation. It can demonstrate a fierce willingness to open itself to outside cultures. And it can fully embrace modernity and reason, while balancing, most of the time, the new and the old.
Read the whole thing.