The Network of Spiritual Progressives was founded based on three basic tenets:
- Changing the Bottom Line in America
- Challenging the Misuse of Religion, God and Spirit by the Religious Right
- Challenging the Many Anti-Religious and Anti-Spiritual Assumptions and Behaviors That Have Increasingly Become Part of the Liberal Culture
1. Changing the Bottom Line in America
Today, institutions and social practices are judged efficient, rational and productive to the extent that they maximize money and power. That's the Old Bottom Line. Now Here is the NEW BOTTOM LINE for which we advocate: We believe that they should be judged rational, efficient and productive not only to the extent that they maximize money and power, but also to the extent that they maximize love and caring, ethical and ecological sensitivity and behavior, kindness and generosity, non-violence and peace, and to the extent that they enhance our capacities to respond to other human beings in a way that honors them as embodiments of the sacred, and enhances our capacities to respond to the earth and the universe with awe, wonder and radical amazement.
2. Challenging the misuse of religion, God and spirit by the Religious Right
Educating people of faith to the understanding that a serious commitment to God, religion and spirit should manifest in social activism aimed at peace, universal disarmament, social justice with a preferential option for the needs of the poor and the oppressed, a commitment to end poverty, hunger, homelessness, inadequate education and inadequate health care all around the world, and a commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, environmental protection and repair of the damage done to the planet by 150 years of environmentally irresponsible behavior in industrializing societies.
3. Challenging the many anti-religious and anti-spiritual assumptions and behaviors that have increasingly become part of the liberal culture
Challenging as well the extreme individualism and me-firstism that permeate all parts of the global market culture. We will educate people in social change movements to carefully distinguish between their legitimate critiques of the Religious Right and their illegitimate generalizing of those criticisms to all religious or spiritual beliefs and practices. We will help social change activists and others in the liberal and progressive culture become more conscious of and less afraid to affirm their own inner spiritual yearnings and to reconstitute a visionary progressive social movement that incorporates the spiritual dimension, of which the loving, spiritually elevating and connecting aspects of religion has been one expression (but so has the group-in-fusion experience of the movements of the 30s and the 60s and the communitarian aspirations of many other efforts -- social healing and health care, progressive summer camps, the wide appeal of service and service learning, the women's spirituality movement etc).