Braunstein 3, 4

How does history inform the democratic imaginaries of the two groups? How does this affect their understanding of religion? How does this affect their approach to active citizenship?

This forum is open for credit until M 4/2.

History plays an important role in the construction of the identity and democratic imaginaries for both Interfaith and the Tea Party group. Since a lot of this identity construction is done via socialization, it's vital in understanding the sociology of religion because we can see the ways in which these symbols impact groups and their political or social activity. This reminded me of Durkheim and his explanation of how we, society, establish what is sacred and what is profane (profane meaning regular or without sacred meaning), which adds to the groups solidarity. The Patriots use the Constitution as a way to frame their interests, which will then be treated as a sacred text because of it's construction as the "ideal" America that includes god (almost feels nostalgic). Interfaith engages with history more in terms of the historical activism that was carried out by figures like Moses, Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day, etc. which incorporates faith directly. While both groups used some sort of history within their mobilization, they engaged with this history differently which produced different understanding of religion and different approaches to active citizenship. Active citizenship for Interfaith will be encouraging of pluralism because the goal is not to push a specific religious ideology, but rather a specific social or political cause that uses faith as a way to be inclusive and wide-ranging. For the Tea Party group, they'll engage mostly with the Constitution and recognize the importance of god within that vision of the Founding Fathers as a way to frame their citizenship.

I definitely agree with you on the Durkheim explanation of "how we, society, establish what is sacred and what is profane (profane meaning regular or without sacred meaning), which adds to the groups solidarity." The establishment of solidarity in the context of religion is vital to how the people connect, not just as individuals, but also collectively. I also think that this is a key construct necessary for exercising the active citizenship of a group because it helps provide the basis for the framework of establishing unity, creating religious inclusiveness and cohesion.

History plays an important role that guides and informs groups to understand the past. This can define cultures and help us with things we are less familiar with. The Interfaith and Tea Party informs democratic imaginaries following Durkheim's solidarity ideas. This can create relationships of beliefs and morals. Collective identity shadows these two groups of Patriots emphasizing on the Constitution and Interfaith on historical activism.

The democratic imaginary is a set of beliefs that have to do with our collective identity, which is evident in the Patriots and the Interfaith. Each group’s democratic imaginary echoes Durkheim’s idea of solidarity. This collective identity helps create bonds between individuals through shared morals and goals. History informs the democratic imaginary of the Patriots through emphasis on the Constitution and identifying with the Sons of Liberty. The Interfaith group uses historical “prophets” such as Cesar Chavez and Dorothy Day to emphasize diversity in the group. The Interfaith group creates solidarity by openly acknowledging the various faith traditions of the members. For the Patriots, their solidarity is demonstrated when the members recite “One nation under God”.

I agree with you that each groups's democratic imaginaries is based on a collective identity that is shared among the individuals of the group through similar morals and goals. The two groups differ and contradict each other's missions; the use of political liberal activists like Cesar Chavez and Dorothy Day for the Interfaith depicts inclusivity as their meaning behind their citizenship, and the strict adherence to the constitution along with following the logic of the founding fathers shows that the Patriots sought for the exact opposite, exclusivity.

I agree. Both groups and their decomcractic imaginaries produce a solidarity amongst them. Both groups ideas produce different beliefs.
For Interdaith looking towards "prophets" from various religions and social beliefs proudce inclusion and diversity and for the Patriots their reliance on the constitution produces a inclusion but only for those who have agreeing views of the constitution. Both groups are create a solidarity based on their views.

History is almost always an important forming factor when it comes to a group's ideals and beliefs. In the case of the patriots, we have a history of white colonists who formed a union in the US. The formation of that union, and the writing of the constitution came to symbolize the founding story of the country. The moment was then glorified and idealized, so that when discontent rose, a group of like minded people who believed strongly in that founding story, came to believe that if only they could bring the country back to the values of that moment, all the country's problems would vanish. Because this foundation story is so important to them, their service of god is also wrapped into it, hence the emphasis and repitition of "one nation under god" during all their meetings, and the treatment of the constitution as a sacred text. Their active citizenship involves preserving the foundation story, and adhering to a strict interpretation of the constitution.
The Interfaith prophets however, have a history of diversity. Though many of the groups share different foundation stories, they are able to come together with a common goal of wanting things to be more in line with the traditional values in their groups' history. their religious experience, therefore, is a more nondenominational one, that tries to encompass the experience of all the groups present. Their form of active citizenship will be one that preaches tolerance and understanding of the other groups.

For the Tea party, their Democratic imaginary (from my understanding) is based off the idea that the Founding Fathers are essentially messengers from god and so whatever doctrines they created must be followed and adhered to. with the way they quote Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin from memory, and are almost expected to already have the constitution memorized, and how they carry around a pocket constitutions (as if that isn't creepy). they see themselves as patriotic heroes for continuing the fight of the Founding Fathers.

History is a crucial building block for comprehending the democratic imaginaries of two distinct religious groups. A few of the democratic imaginaries for the Patriots, according to Chapter 3, were Revolutionary War-era activists, such as the Sons of Liberty and the Founding Fathers, who were white Protestant men (p. 75). They were extreme supporters of the Constitution, specifically the Preamble, and they also recited the pledge of allegiance. By doing this, they are prioritizing the historic roots of this country, going back to when the Declaration of Independence was adopted almost two and a half centuries ago. A few of the democratic imaginaries for the Interfaith as a collective were a series of biblical and historical "prophets" whom called their attention to societies' moral failings and urged them toward better futures. They include Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez (p. 76), and religious Abrahamic prophet Moses in the Christian bible. These imaginaries were the religious foundation for the Interfaith in their meetings when discussing the theme of the "prophetic voice," and they played a crucial role in the advancement of principles such as justice, fairness, and human dignity (p. 75).
These democratic imaginaries of the two groups affects their religious understanding by affecting their religious identity, through an "aha moment," or political awakening. The Patriots, or Tea Party group, draw from singular religious traditions, focusing on civil religious activity, whereas the Prophets, or Interfaith group, bring together multiple culturally religious resources, not just focusing on religion, but also educating the world. This plays a heavy role in their active citizenship in that the Patriots are less active on the political spectrum, thus they are referred to as a ministry of charity, whereas the Prophets are more active on the political spectrum, thus they are referred to as a ministry of justice, as Professor Shortell mentioned in class.

I agree with you on that the patriots draw on from a single religious tradition of white christian protestants who participated in creating the constitution. Patriots as surely focusing on the civil religious aspect of their active citizenship in contrast to Interfaith which focuses on more social justice for everyone. Due to interfaith being so culturally diverse they tend to draw on many social justice activists from the past. Patriots in contrast draw on constitution as the birth of all justice and ideas, and take it as a literal instruction to bringing order and justice, even though the constitution was written 3 centuries ago when society was still forming, and was written by white men who most likely interpreted the constitution each differently. In the end both groups are all about change indeed, where patriots are aimed at the change in political power by trying to install their white conservative protestant values and ideas into the mainstream politics, the interfaith is focused on change in the communities and communal justice.

Both groups draw on history but in two different ways, the ways that suit their beliefs and values the most. Patriots take constitution as a sacred document which should be taken as a literal instruction to justice and order. They see founding fathers as a prime example who envisioned how the country ought to work, even though the fathers themselves wanted a brighter future and were no living in an ideal society. Patriots draw on these ideals because they fit the beliefs of the group, white protestant and under god. They see America as predominantly white protestant and nothing else, and by viewing the constitution through this white protestant lens they take it as a sacred document which enforces their beliefs in white domination and superiority. Patriots approach active citizenship through the lens that the constitution is the ideal document that should be cherished by every American (preferably Christian) in the end they apply constitution literately to the current society and through it they view how it ought to work. Interfaith on the other end is a culturally and religiously diverse group which fights for social justice and draws on social justice figures of the past as their inspiration. They view the past as a way of learning and acknowledging the past mistakes to not replicate them in the future, which in the end makes the the group inclusive and forward thinking unlike Patriots who see the past as their ideal, for Interfaith there is no ideal in the past, ideal is to be created through social justice and inclusiveness of people from various backgrounds who share similar values and fight for equality in this society of inequality and injustice.

History plays important role in both the Interfaith's and Tea Party Group's democratic identities, but in different ways. The cultural and ethnic divide between the two groups is a deciding factor on which goals the group chooses to tackle. The Interfaith's followers are very diverse in ethnicity and level of religiosity, so their mission is to strive for inclusivity and to solve relevant modern issues that are not being properly recognized by the government. On the contrary, the Tea Party group is made up of mostly white Protestant followers who are content with the way the country is doing, they strictly believe and adhere to the constitution, that was written too long ago to be beneficial to the world today. Both groups need different issues in the world solved, but because the Tea Party group is more secure by following the constitution, they are less active in activism in comparison to the Interfaith group.

Understanding History is vital and significantly important in the identity and democratic imaginaries for the Interfaith group as well as the Tea Party group. Symbols are necessary in understanding the sociology of religion because it allows us to see the ways in which these symbols used in religious institutions have the capacity affect groups as well as their social activity. This is similar to French Sociologist Emile Durkheim who elaborates on the fact that group solidarity is a fundamental aspect of religion and religious life. What makes the two groups the patriots and the interfaith different from one another is that the interfaiths are more correlated with history as part of their religious participation including active citizenship, whereas the patriots look use history in a different way. For example, the patriots have incorporated the constitution in their work hoping that this will be a form of solidarity. History however, is what we use to gear different perspectives on religion as well as collective identity.