In this, the latest episode in his series for teleSUR English, Pulitzer prize winning journalist and Harvard Divinity School graduate Chris Hedges joins two graduate students of Union Theological Seminary to discuss the plight of the liberal Christian church in the United States.
As conservative — even radically conservative — Christian denominations surge in membership and their seminaries thrive, the schools which turned out the liberal ministers who served as bulwarks of the civil rights movement are faced with declining enrollments.
As Michael Vanacore and Edward Escalon recount, Union is currently center of a storm of controversy as the school entertains plans to build a luxury condominium tower as a way to fund repair of is decaying campus.
The tragedy is that development of the project would go a long way toward gentrifying Manhattan’s Morningside Heights, a neighborhood largely inhabited be people of color.
It’s a fascinating discussion.
From the Real News Network:
Days of Revolt: The Suicide of the Liberal Church
In this episode of teleSUR’s Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges speaks with two Union Theological Seminary student-activists about their fight against the school’s plans to sell property to luxury condo developers and further gentrify Harlem.
As for esnl, we’re of the atheist persuasion. That said, we don’t espouse to the creed of the so-called New Atheists, folks who are as evangelical about their beliefs that they remind us of Jehovah’s witnesses.
We’ve believed, in turn, in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity again, before arriving at our present position.
There are many times in our life when we’ve been helped by religious folks, including the months after we forced out of our parental home for refusing induction into the army during the Vietnam War, when we were given a place to live in the homes of a Quaker family and later a religiously Jewish family.
It was our father’s mother who led the integration of her Presbyterian church in Abilene, Kansas, early in the last century, forcing the overtly racist minister to back down when she threatened to lead her family and friends in an exodus from the church.
The resurgence of fundamentalist Christianity, often tinged with racism and bigotry against all whose lives differ from their narrowly prescribed beliefs and proscribed conduct, is fully as disturbing as the soaring wealth of the one percent.
The fusion of two tendencies in today’s political landscape is troubling indeed.