Okay, so Lakoff you know: Don’t Think of An Elephant, the Rockridge Institute, framing?

And you know me: pastor, sicko, frequent poster here.

The question is, what do these two things have in common?

Well yes, there’s the liberal thing. But more specifically, there’s–

The Rockridge Institute is planning an online conference centered on religion and religious values for progressives. The conference, planned for May 9 through 20, will be an interfaith event specifically highlighting the Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist faith traditions. This work will serve as a basis of a project where Rockridge will build new frames to convey progressive religious values and link them to public policy issues. We will use the event to share perspectives and gather information about the progressive religious movement. That input will be used to develop a paper addressing the major problems progressives face in shaping public policy (i.e. religion and religious values have been ceded, in the public mind, to religious conservatives) and showing a broad outline of the solution.

I’ve been invited to be one of the online hosts of the conference. What they tell me is that the conference will work like this:

  • The convener puts up the agenda and questions for the day and provides some commentary.
  • Participants begin commenting on the questions.
  • Moderators read the comments and help facilitate the conversation.
  • If a problem arises, a moderator would help guide the conversation back to the topic.
  • If a conversational thread appears that would be furthered with the opinion of an expert, a moderator would guide an appropriate host to the topic for his or her comment.
  • At the end of the day, the moderators would summarize the day’s conversation for the convener to include in the next day’s agenda post to help keep participants engaged and up-to-date on the happenings.

So I’m not a primary poster, but something of an intermediate: I’ll comment on and augment the convener’s thoughts. And I don’t know who the conveners will be, but the hosts are pretty heavy hitters in their own right:

  • Stephen Barnes
  • Robert Barr
  • Marcus J. Borg
  • Rita Nakashima Brock
  • John Cobb Jr.
  • Harvey Cox
  • Maia Duerr
  • C. Welton Gaddy
  • Ursula Goodenough
  • Rabia Terri Harris
  • Michael Lerner
  • Penny Nixon
  • Rebecca Parker
  • Rosemary Radford Ruether
  • David Saperstein
  • Alan Senauke
  • Romal Tune
  • Diana Winston