The Common Good

Sunday School with Jon Stewart

Last night, millions of Americans went to Sunday school, or more accurately, Sunday school came to them through Comedy Central. In the culmination of a week long "cable network feud," comedian Jon Stewart had CNBC's Mad Money host Jim Cramer, and what followed sounded like a mix between a confession and a good old values lessons.

When the stock market drops, 401Ks disappear, houses go under water, and unemployment rises, everyone says it is about the economy. There is no denying that there is an economic crisis, but what the economic crisis has revealed is something deeper: a moral crisis.

Stewart in his show talks about two different markets, one based in work and the value of what work can produce, and the other a wild adventure for traders financed by hard-working people's 401Ks. He spoke to the role of the media -- how it should serve as a watchdog and not a lapdog for Wall Street. He pointed the finger at those who sold the belief that fast money and easy money is good money, and incriminated all of us who bought that bill of goods.

For several months now in my talks across the country, I have called for adult Sunday school classes to address the economic crisis. While new regulation, legislation, and enforcement mechanisms are necessary, these alone will never change the culture. We have misplaced our values and not only tolerated greed, the myth of easy money, and ruthless pursuit of one's own self interest, but praised these vices and put their practitioners on a pedestal.

I hope pastors and Sunday school teachers across the country watch this show and take notes because what's needed from our pulpits is being preached by a comedian.

Here's the full interview, in three parts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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