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Lions Roar : September 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2006 48 BARRY BOYCE reports on the movement to develop a political platform that is both progressive and spiritual WASHINGTON, DC, is where America goes to make deals with itself, to argue over its path and its destiny, and to try to discover who it really is. It’s a place of grand gestures—rallies, conventions, speeches, conferences, and protests—where heated debate is the stock in trade. Had you been riding the Metro there on May 17, 2006, you would have heard announcements instructing you on what stop to take for the immigration rally, where ad- vocates from all over the country would plead their case for liberalized treatment of would-be Americans. Had you gone to one of the many hearing rooms on Capitol Hill, you would have heard pro-choice advocate Nancy Keenan defend- ing the use of the early-abortion drug RU-486. In the Starbucks and salons near K Street, you would have heard lots of talk about whether America was ready to elect a woman—Hillary Clinton, to be ex- act—as president. And if you were a fly on the wall in the high-ceilinged office of Tammy Baldwin (D- WI), the only openly lesbian member of congress, you would have heard her tell a clutch of her con- stituents that she has been composing a statement of values, because values are more important than issues and politicians ought to “care about our col- lective well-being rather than simply the well-being of each person. We share a destiny.” It was clear to those sitting in the congresswoman’s of- fice that we—all Americans, and perhaps all people in the world—share a destiny. But it was not clear that we share a “we.” The eagle on America’s great seal holds a banner reading E Pluribus Unum—“Out of the Many, One”—but increasingly people are more sure of the pluribus than the unum. Whereas once people might have thought that God, or at least faith, was something that transcended political divisions and united peo- ple, it has now become clear that faith and partisan politics are Who Does God Vote For? Seeking an Alternative to the Christian Right BARRY BOYCE is senior editor of the Shambhala Sun.