Naked City

Salt, Light, Yeast ... Action

As fall moves into winter, and Democrats move past despair and into resignation, some progressive groups are trying to move into something resembling hope. The latter was the theme of Thursday's Salt, Light, Yeast forum at the Congregational Church of Austin, organized by progressive religious groups Austin Area Interreligious Ministries and Texas Impact and attended by about 30 faithful souls who were told they need to accept their role as lonely voices in the wilderness. "It's the idea that a little bit of salt seasons the whole stew, or a little bit of yeast leavens the whole loaf," said Bee Moorhead, director of Texas Impact. "We know that people of faith will never be a majority, but they can be one voice in the room full of noise that changes it for everybody."

The star of the event was Max Sherman, a professor and former dean at UT's LBJ School of Public Affairs and a former state senator from Amarillo, who served in the Legislature back in the Seventies when Democrats were in charge. Armed with a set of notebook-sized maps showing red-and-blue maps of past elections, Sherman argued that parties have a tendency to crawl back from the pit of anguish.

Waving a nearly all-red map showing LBJ's trouncing of über-Republican Barry Goldwater in 1964 (his maps, for some reason, had the standard red/blue code reversed) he pointed out that many people at the time believed the Republican Party was just about to give up the ghost. Although these days the situation is reversed, Sherman expressed confidence it would swing back. "Now I realize what it was like to be a Republican when I was in the Senate," he said. "But what goes around, comes around."

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Salt Light Yeast, Austin Area Interreligious Ministries, AAIM, Texas Impact, Bee Moorhead, Max Sherman, LBJ School

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