Little confused who is suggesting what you say is being suggested. Don't know anything about Signorile, but as a matter of history, the "social gospel" was very much a wellspring of Progressivism, not, in the minds of the Progressives anyway, as a substitute for faith, but as a calling of faith. The notion of "progress" typifies the modern and preceded the Progressives, but the modern or progressive insight would be an articulation of a pre-existing universal.
Not up to me, b-psycho, or to Mr. Signorile.
Being "on Journolist" was bad enough, but, from the perspective of covering cons for the WaPo, he had, IIRC, said a few things taken as prejudicially hostile or dismissive by activists already prejudicially hostile or dismissive of media members for their presumed prejudicially hostile or dismissive attitides, as typified by the latter's presumption that conservative activists were prejudicially hostile or dismissive of them... etc.
Will respond in detail later if I get the chance. For now, the image that I've attached to the post, that your comment reminded me of, will have to stand as my answer on the main part.
As for the BTW: The mode of AmCon rejection of exceptionalism goes to the heart of my differences with the AmCons, or what I think is dysfunctional in their approach. It grinds my gears because, by enemy of my enemy thinking, that would make the Jennifer Rubin-style neoconicals my "friends" instead. Since I like having my gears ground in this way, however, it's a good kind of problem as far as blogging goes, a challenge to delineate differences that are more interesting philosophically than "whose side are you on?"