Building on the July, 2005 conference in Berkeley, this will be the National conference to launch a prophetic spiritual politics agenda to the media and the politicians in D.C. and to train organizers who will take the agenda into their communities. The conference will also celebrate the release of Rabbi Michael Lerner's new book The Left Hand of God, with its proposed Spiritual Covenant for America and the release of the paper back version of Jim Wallis' God's Politics.
We will bring the Spiritual Covenant for America (based in part on the conversations that took place at the July 2005 conference and developed into a platform in Rabbi Lerner's The Left Hand of God) to the attention of the U.S. Congress and the liberal and progressive forces headquartered in D.C.
The Religious Right has dominated public discourse because it has managed to portray itself as the force that genuinely cares about the spiritual crisis that permeates American life. Yet the Religious Right uses the legitimacy it gets from articulating spiritual needs to support a political program that includes militarism and the war in Iraq, reducing the taxes on rich people while eliminating badly needed social programs for the poor, rejecting international agreements to combat global warming (thereby contributing to a series of environmental disasters like the increased ferocity and frequency of destructive hurricanes), and divisive assaults on the rights of women and homosexuals.
Unfortunately, liberals and progressives, even when they try to articulate an alternative program, too often revert to a technocratic and economistic alternatives that miss the spiritual dimension of human needs. That is why we are building a movement of spiritual progressives that is both a challenge to the Right and to the anti-religious and anti-spiritual tendencies within some parts of the Left.
Our conference is part of that process, and we will be highlighting a Spiritual Covenant with America that is as much an alternative to the tepid and visionless rhetoric of some sections of establishment liberals as it is to the moral insensitivity of some sections of the Right. Our perspective is unabashedly visionary and "unrealistic" in the sense that it challenges the contemporary denizens of political realism and insists that the challenges facing the human race today require a major jump in consciousness and poltiical courage. We are honored to be working with All Souls Church, which has a rich history of social justice ministry.
The full agenda of the conference will not be ready till March, but our experience at our first conference in July of 2005 indicates that we will fill up on the available spaces very quickly, so we urge people to register as soon as they can, and to spread the word to friends and others around the country who they think ought to be here, particularly their religious or spiritual leaders, their political leaders and elected representatives, and social change activists and spiritual activists.
Added by raines on February 19, 2006