Stop calling broad-minded, non-exclusivist movements “progressive” or “moderate” religion. Stop asking individuals who are deeply devoted to their religious traditions to qualify their religious identity in political terms that over-simplify who they are, what they believe and what they do as a result.
Moreover, stop ceding the rhetorical high ground to groups that have no claim to it, whether they are the most conservative of evangelicals or the most radical of violent extremists. The idea that to be American is to be religious, and that to be religious is to be conservative, has been embedded in our culture for too long. Progressives must realize that this warped playing field will be leveled only when the idea that religion is inherently “conservative” ceased to go uncontested in our public discourse. Fight for the middle, not the edges of the religious landscape.
....If religious folks start staking a claim to the centrality of moral traditions that transcend the red vs. blue, us vs. them divide, we may start to see a cultural shift in which being a Christian means that you speak out for the oppressed, or that being a Muslim signifies that you are someone who cares for the orphan and the widow.