One acute thing that the last few years have demonstrated is the effectiveness of religious organizations.
Conservatives have proven that.
There are many ways you can look at religious groups and how they function but I’m going to focus on the socio-political function.
Religious organizations function like weekly meetings to form social strategy
Every week a group of people gets together to talk about how the world should be
Every week that group talks about what they can do as a group to make the world the way they want it to be
Every week that group talks about what each individual can do on their own to make the world the way they want it to be
And it’s not just about strategies
It’s also about reinforcing identity
Every week the group reaffirms their beliefs
Every week they expound upon the pervasive nature of their beliefs, how they should impact each individual
Every week they recommit to their common purpose
Not just once a week either
Many religious groups meet multiple times a week in different contexts
And I know a lot of liberal individuals who have their own social support system and peer groups
But this is not the same
This isn’t a meeting about hobby or leisure but purpose
Religious organizations are about investing in your identity over and over again
Perpetuating your beliefs not just as an individual but as a collective
Ingraining those beliefs so pervasively that they inform every decision and action you make
Coordinating and harmonizing your beliefs so that when the individuals in the group act, the group acts as one
And I know what comes next from a lot of people: yeah but I don’t want to shove my religious beliefs down someone else’s throat!
Don’t you though?
You believe in LGBTQ+ equality and representation, don’t you want people to know that? Don’t you want to advocate for it? Don’t you want to be a public voice for it? Isn’t it more than a personal belief you wish to keep to yourself?
Same for refugees and immigrants?
Same for ethnic minorities?
Same for reproductive rights?
Same for healthcare?
Same for science?
Same for education?
Same for housing?
It’s not enough to go to a march every few months. Make a commitment to pursuing these ideals with a like minded group weekly, hold each other responsible, push each other to engage.
That’s what conservative evangelicals have done. And it worked.
Another objection: but I’m not like them! I’m not part of some religious group that all believes the same thing!
I say: so what?! You think they all agree? You think the majority of them even understand the underlying justification for why they should believe what they’re told?
No. They’ve created a common identity and pursue the ideological call to action of that identity. Whether they agree on the justification for that identity or even understand it is irrelevant.
The identity, the community cohesion is what drives them and gets them results.
The habitual nature of the religious group is what reinforces the plan of action and makes it effective.
So many of you liberals that I see post day after day;
You know the way you want the world to be
But you don’t have a strategy to make it become that way.
You don’t meet week after week to create those strategies and enact them.
That is the social function of religion that you need.
And you can do it without all the garbage that comes with those old institutions
Create your own, based on your shared principles
You can’t do it alone
And if you can’t forge strong social strategies, those that can will predominate
FYI, didn’t have time for it here, but one of the biggest strength you could bring into an organized religious group would be completely rejecting all the failed leadership strategies from your ideological opponents and crafting new, evidence based strategies