<center><h1><font color=maroon>They're both wrong</font></h1></center> In reaching for political power, the "religious right" has abandoned their roots. All of the great progressive movements in America have had their roots in religion. From the abolition of slavery to women's suffrage,to the end of child labor, to the civil rights movment of the 50's and 60's...All were rooted in the concepts of justice preached by Jesus in the New Testament. The people who were at the fore-front of these movements lived their religion. For them it was a thing come alive to set us all free, regardless of our beliefs. Contrast this with the mean-spirited, narrow, dogmatic and selective vision of the "religious right" which seeks political power to impose its vision from the top down rather than the bottom up, and that contrast is stark. Rather than an inclusive view which welcomes all, theirs is exclusive..."Believe as we do or we want no part of you!" Rather than seeking solutions with aim of the good of all, they seek to blame others for America's short-comings while providing no genuine solutions beyond the imposition of their dogma upon all. Theirs is nothing short of hubris laced with the language of persecution. Their grasp for power is bad politics and even worse theology. The left is not blameless either. They have sought to turn religion into a private expression of one's values. They fail to understand that while religion is personal, it is never private. Whatever philosophical view we hold to, either implicitly or explicitly, affects how we experience and react to the world around us. It is their failure to acknowledge it that prevents them from establishing an effective dialogue with the many religious moderates in this country who resent the religious right's hijacking of Christianity to further their political agenda. And until they do this, we will continue to see the increasing polarization in this nation, centered on a few non-issues, rather than focusing on the broader, deeper problems that face us. We stand at a cross-roads in America today. We can take the easy path and slide into the fascist state that we seem to be headed towards. Or we can roll up our sleeves, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, or what have you...Do the hard work and build a new America from the ground up, rooted in the common values of our beliefs and made a living thing to set us all free.