Of Race, Religion, Church and State

Race, religion and the intertwined aspects of freedom, justice and ethical prosecution of due process within a democratic framework seem to always evoke a variety of reactions among people — sometimes violent, sometimes vehement, and sometimes quite touching and sublime.

In addition to the regular interactive dance of race, religion and ethics that we see in everyday life and through our media filtes, we also have a new horizon to explore — the one afforded to us through the use of “new media” such as the blogosphere.

Two examples worthy of your attention and your help with dissemination are now posted over on ePluribus Media. Make the jump for more details.

Aaron Barlow‘s recent piece over on ePluribus Media is entitled Race and New Media — Project Overview.  If you aren’t aware of the project, here’s some basic info:

On May 3, 2008, the first “Race and New Media” conference will occur on the campus of New York City College of Technology (CUNY) in downtown Brooklyn close to both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Though in an academic setting, the conference is intended to draw from the broader community as well, as both presenters and participants.


Panel papers will deal with a range of aspect of the relationship between “race” and “new media.” Included may be questions like the following: Does race work differently in the “new” media than it did in the “old” media? Network news, for instance, was widely derided as a nearly diversity-free zone. Is the blogosphere different? How do video games, blogs, chat rooms, and other forms of “new” media and “digital” or “virtual” spaces construct or reflect notions of race? What kinds of “new” identities and/or communities exist in these “new” digital spaces? How is new media being used to make connections, to empower communities, and/or to control, colonize, or dominate them? In other words, are there digital forms of “cultural” imperialism?

Here’s the best part:

City Tech students will be involved in a number of ways. Not only will students in an Advanced Technical Writing course be creating and presenting one of the panels, but coverage of the conference will be provided by City Tech journalism students who will be involved in a cooperative venture with ePluribus Media to provide information about the conference to the wider world.

Working with students. Increasing the participation, the involvement, of students has always been a key factor (IMO) toward a higher quality education and a greater enlightenment of younger generations to the community (and to human society) as a whole.

Please check it out, spread the word, and keep tabs on what’s happening, starting with reading with Aaron’s full piece.

That’s the first example I mentioned above the fold.  The second example pertains to religion, culture, law and how the observance of religious law over secular law — the removal of any separation between Church and State — can negatively impact a society.

In Love’s Labor Lost: When Religion Takes Precedence Over Law, I relate the case of a Saudi Arabian couple whose relatives had their marriage annulled, forcing the mother and her children to live apart from her husband and the children’s father, simply because they claimed the woman had married beneath her clan.

These are the ways of the law in a nation not our own; the laws are saturated with religious-based rules, and religious decisions triumph over secular legal rulings.

And this is the type of world — one with less freedom, less independence and less democracy — that our own conservative Republicans, radical fundatmentalists and un-Christian control freaks steadfastly scheme to move our nation perilously close to.

Please check it out. You can even buzz it1 if you have a Buzzflash account. But no matter what, don’t forget about it.

Share it widely, alongside the link to Aaron’s piece.

Progressive politics is far more than simply getting Democrats elected. It’s about moving our nation forward and improving, not restricting, the quality of life for all our citizens while working to make the world a better place.

Thank you.


1. Here’s the BuzzIt text, which is essentially what I just described regarding my article:

The separation of Church and State in the US keeps us from turning into a true American version of the Taliban, and prevents the rise of and influence of religious extremism, which is a polar opposite to true freedom, democracy and justice. Come read about the marriage forcibly annulled by angry relatives in Saudi Arabia, and learn a little about why the rising influence of radical fundamentalists in the US is something worth fighting against.


  1. – Mitt Romney

    That’s a hell of a lot of work.  I’ll buzz it right now.

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