Yesterday I wrote that we Progressives need to be more focused on specific efforts that are measurable and winnable.
I'm thinking specifically of the great Martin Luther King. With a tiny group of dedicated followers, he waged strategic campaigns to achieve one victory after another. Everything he did was focused, measurable, and effective. We are doing nothing of the sort today.
So, I got to thinking, would any of his tactics work today? We seem unable to influence policy by winning elections, so now what? Do we just wait around for the next election? I think not. Allow me to suggest a campaign that we can win:
One of the things that bothers me most is President Bush's Faith Based Initiative program, which strikes me as immoral to the core. Our government is using the power of the IRS and law enforcement to funnel our hard-earned money toward religious causes many of us do not believe in. We need separation of church and state.
One strong leader and a few thousand people can win this battle legally and legitimately. If our tax money is being used to support religious groups, it seems to me that those organizations are no longer private. If my money is going to their venue, then I should have a voice in their venue.
Someone should put up a website listing of all religious groups that are accepting funding from the government. Next, local volunteers should go to their religious services and take the following actions:
Week 1: Put fliers on all the cars in the parking lot warning that if they do not cut off Federal funding they will have their church services interrupted each week until they do. Explain our case, that if they want our money they will have to deal with us, too. Encourage church members to pressure church leaders into contacting our organization and publicly pledging not to accept any more funds (the measurable part). If they fail to make that promise, then...
Week 2, 3, 4, etc.: A few individuals should walk into church services and interrupt them. Shout that, since they get public money the public should have a voice. Force them to deal with that. Direct them to the website for more info. What are they gonna do, throw you out? Implement security? Great. Make them DEAL WITH US. I’m telling you, we can really rain on their parade. Imagine, a church with a security force. Church members will not stand for it. We will have made our point.
We teach religious people that separation of church and state is good for them, too. They cut the ties with government, we publically thank them, leave them alone, and wish them well. We shift public opinion and win this battle!
I'm not the person to lead this. I'm leaving the country soon. But if there are any future Martin Luther Kings in the house this would be a very good start.