Two rockin' posts out there today, one responding to the other.
First, Jason writes about how the "Religious Left" in the U.S. excludes all but Christians and the occasional token Jew or Muslim. If we want to conceptualize a "Religious Left" as an alternative to the Religious Right, let's adhere to the liberal values of inclusivity and diversity, shall we? Jason's whole post is worth reading, as are the links.
In response, Deborah Lipp writes about how people's conception of religion doesn't even include many minority faiths, including Wicca and other forms of Paganism. The problem with that is that people don't realize there is an alternative to the "big three" monotheistic, patriarchal, religions of the book.
All the time, I hear people say “I don’t like religion” and when asked why, they elaborate “I don’t believe an omnipotent force controls the universe.” People literally don’t know that there is such a thing as religion without an omnipotent and controlling force. They don’t know that there are religions without a complex maze of sin to navigate. They don’t know that there are religions that celebrate all forms of adult consensual sex. They don’t know that there are religions that ask people to think for themselves.
When we say “religion” but mean “majority monotheistic religion” we continue to know only those majority monotheistic religions as the real thing. We reinforce the notion that Wiccans and Hindus and Native American religionists are fluffy, or odd, or primitive, or flaky, or otherwise just not right.