Monday, May 02, 2005

About the Talk to Action Project

It has been heartening, in recent weeks, to hear so many religious leaders and editorial writers speaking out against the religious bigotry and theocratic agenda of the Christian Right. Leaders of mainline Christian denominations, presidents of theological seminaries, prominent authors and historians -- even the editorial page of The New York Times has spoken out strongly.

And all over the country, people have been jolted into the recognition that something is wrong, and something needs to be done.

In that spirit, we - the undersigned - are working to launch a project which will empower the strength that lies in community - an internet website which will provide a national meeting place, a commons where all concerned about the Christian Right's march towards dominion can meet, debate and strategize, learn, and be catalyzed to action. With your help, we will bring the revolutionary ability of internet group discussion websites to allow citizens to find information, strength, and common cause on our website.

We will reach to and welcome all who share our concerns. However, we do not seek to merely foster conversation. That is necessary but insufficient. It is not enough to know about the theocratic Christian Right -- if we hold our values to be important; if we value constitutional democracy, we need to turn our conversations into action; we need to talk about what kinds of actions to take, how to make those actions most effective, and how to fuse those individual actions together in campaigns and coordinated strategies.

Initially, some of us will post blog reports on a temporary site (Talk to Action is our working name, but we welcome your advice on that.) -- most will be cross-posted from our own blogs. Eventually we will expand into a site that operates much like The Daily Kos, where our vision can be more fully realized. (The Daily Kos has grown tenfold, in little more than a year, to a community of over 50,000 political activists.) There, we will also organize regular internet e-conferences on selected topics such as the battles with Christian right factions being fought inside the institutions of the mainline Christian churches, as well as those waged in the wider society such as ballot initiatives against gay marriage and against mainstream science, for the teaching of creationism in the public schools. Over all, we will discuss what is happening in electoral politics and how we all can learn to be more effective citizen activists.

We will point readers and participants to important new resources -- articles, books, films, speaking tours, and other media. And we know that from conversations and debates among the diverse community we anticipate -- and will seek to build -- fresh ideas, new friendships, and long term political alliances will emerge.

Fully in that spirit, we do not view this effort as in any way a replacement for the fine work of many organizations already working to educate and counter the religious right. Rather, we seek to provide a site that will enhance the work of all of these groups, a place where all of us may converse and strategize with one another. We can help people in remote locations with their struggles; inform each other of important developments around the country; and break down the barriers of issues, religion, institution, and levels of knowledge or political sophistication that divide us and make it difficult for us to develop common understandings and ways of communicating that strengthen our efforts.

This project is just beginning, and like any worthwhile activity it will take time, planning, and concerted efforts to fully realize the vision. If you would like to be notified when we reach our next stage of development, or if you have knowledge and skills to contribute to the effort, please send us an email.

We look forward to working with you.

Frederick Clarkson, Dr. Bruce Prescott, Chip Berlet Jonathan Hutson, Bruce Wilson, Scott Isebrand, Daniel Schultz, Lianne Allen

contact email address:


Blogger Sunfell said...

You're online! Glad to see such swift action after the excellent conference in NYC. I am not the sort to travel much, and big cities terrify me, but this was so compelling that I scraped together savings and came out from 'flyover country' to attend it.

I believe that knowledge is power, and the blogging is the wave of the future, and a means to get around the sometimes monolithic corporate media with their carefully groomed and spun stories.

I've never been an activist- not the sort you find in the streets, anyway. But perhaps I am in some small way, in my own personal journal and in the community on Live Journal that I run about the Dominionists. It's really grown in these past couple of months, which surprised me, because it was started as my 'hobby horse' to post things about my 25-year long study of this movement. It's gotten some attention, and my hope is that it, along with the many other sites that address this subject, can become a beacon of light in this growing darkness.

Thank you again for creating this place. I hope to be able to contribute in some small way, perhaps as a writer or researcher- I have a very large collection of articles about this movement. Already, I am working on a way to present what I have learned in NYC to my own community, and awaken others to the theocratic threat to our country.

Thank you again.


1:22 PM  
Blogger Frederick Clarkson said...

Hi - you're very welcome.

This site amounts to merely the training wheels :

The site where you will be able to host your own diaries and interact with a growing group of participants will be running within 3 weeks and maybe sooner.

Thanks for your encouragement, and keep up the good work.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Is there a way to get a notice into the design of the site's header/banner, or near it, that summarizes your comment in so many words, "The site where you will be able to host your own diaries and interact with a growing group of participants will be running within 3 weeks and maybe sooner."

11:38 AM  
Blogger Frederick Clarkson said...

Scott - I'll see if I can add that this evening.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Frederick Clarkson said...

no time frame predictions, please. Lets keep it open and not create any expectations we cannot meet. --Fred

12:56 PM  
Blogger Frederick Clarkson said...

Ah, the voice of caution to ever impetuous youth.

Even though I'm no longer a youth.

Yes, you're right Fred.

I should take a lesson from GW Bush on underselling expectations.

Thus : OK Scott, great idea. I'll get to work on it, but it might take a while. We'll roll this rock up the hill one step at a time. - Bruce

2:31 PM  

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