Mobilizing the Religious Left

A review of Rabbi Michael Lerner’s The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country From the Religious Right, in the Boston Globe.

Rabbi Michael Lerner, founding editor-publisher of the liberal interfaith magazine Tikkun , is forming a national “Network of Spiritual Progressives” in an effort “to provide an alternate solution to both the intolerant and militarist politics of the Right and the current misguided, visionless, and often spiritually empty politics of the Left.”

His new book, “ The Left Hand of God,” is a rallying cry and a theoretical and scholarly analysis of the appeal of the religious right. It is also a kind of handbook for creating a movement “that can be for the Democrats and Greens what the Religious Right has been for the Republicans,” by providing “intellectual, political, and spiritual inspiration for those in the party even while not being formally aligned when it comes to elections.”

Lerner is stumping the country on his book tour much the way the progressive evangelical Jim Wallis did a year ago with his book “God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.” As writers, speakers, and organizers, Lerner and Wallis have come to fill the void left by the leaders of the civil rights and the antiwar movements in the ’60s and ’70s.