In every age religious conservatives stamp their feet and draw a line in the sand and say, "God has spoken. We will not change." The sun revolves around the earth. Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Slavery is justified in the Bible. The earth is 10,000 years old. Women were created from men and are meant to be subservient. Gays and lesbians cannot have equal rights in the church. The list is endless, and at each moment we have a brief but nevertheless very real struggle, and then the spirit of progress triumphs and the light of human freedom grows stronger. It is no accident.
True religion is progressive religion. Religion is a profoundly human endeavor that is all about liberation: liberation from slavery and hunger and war, liberation from ignorance, liberation from fear, liberation from the bondage of consumerism and addiction, liberation from racism, sexism, homophobia. And what is it about us and in us that will not allow us to rest but cajoles us, challenges us, whispers at us to take up the struggle for liberation in our time? It is the spirit of God, the same spirit that would not allow Moses to rest in comfort in Midian while his own people were slaves in Egypt.
In every generation we are compelled to answer this question for ourselves. Will we listen to that voice and take up the struggle for liberation or will we draw another line in the sand and say God has spoken and we will not change? It is really that simple.