Cornell West: The Left and Religion

April 26, 2007

“And we also know one of the reasons why vast numbers of our fellow citizens today in the United States, one of the reasons why they’re not leftists, is precisely because they have not been awakened from their sleepwalking. They have not been convinced that they ought to choose to live a life the way we have chosen, in part because we’ve been cast with the mark of the anti-religious or the naively secular, or what have you.

“And that’s 98% of fellow citizens. So no matter what kind of political organization Brother Stanley is talking about, he’s going to get Gramscian about it. He’s got to dip into the popular culture of the everyday people, and 98% them are talking about God. That’s 97.5% of fellow Americans believe in God. 75% believe Jesus Christ is the son of God. 62% believe they speak on intimate terms with God at least twice a day. That’s who we’re dealing with in terms of our fellow citizens. You can’t talk about organization that’s sustained over time, unless you’re talking in Gramscian terms of how do you tease out leftist sentiment, vision, analysis, in light of the legacy of these dominant ideologies — Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and so forth and so on.”

How important is religion to the 21st century American Left?

For the rest of his speech see: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/13/1336210

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