Dr. Michael Traylor is a pediatrician, child advocate and pastor of New Hope Free Methodist Church in Rochester, N.Y. He blogs at Virtual faith. Follow Dr. Traylor on Twitter @drtraylor.
Articles By This Author
What Are Our Foundations of Morality?
“There can be no high civility without a deep morality" ~ R.W. Emerson
“Why can’t we all just get along?” ~ Rodney King
Some of the most heated conversations I have ever participated have been with other people of faith whom I sincerely believe want the same things I want, worship the same God that I worship, and labor as hard as I do to promote human flourishing.
During this election time, we have come to expect the rhetoric to replace reason and civility is a term that has no place in our discourses. Our disagreements are often not cognitive disagreements, but differences in morality and decency. This is why they take a personal tone that is easily offended and strongly defended.
It is interesting that modern psychologists have demonstrated that our understanding of morality is actually not as easy as “right or wrong,” but rather based on five different axes or foundations. According to Psychologists Jonathan Haidt and Jesse Graham, each foundation contributes to our formation of how “right” or “wrong” an action is.
Stop the Language of Violence
I have been actively listening to the words that are used in popular and social media. Our words are used to convey messages, shape cultures, and promote agendas. This is not a criticism, as we all participate in this process. We use words, images, and metaphors to try to shape a preferred precept or concept when we communicate. Our words are loaded with meaning, not just literally, but culturally and symbolically.
Every week, I talk to young men and women who are shaped and guided by the language used in the hip-hop culture. Interestingly, these are not young adults of one ethnicity or socioeconomic background, but young adults from across the spectrum of ethnicity, nationality, and economic status.
The Affordable Care Act: Without a Vision, the People Perish
Where there is no vision, the people perish. ~ Proverbs 29:18
Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act was remarkable in a number of ways. The vast majority of articles, blogs, and analyses focus on the political ramifications of the decision.
Is this a win for the Obama administration or fuel for the Romney campaign? Pundits have looked at nearly every political angle, from the upcoming presidential election to its effects on local politics.
While I appreciate the political analysis and the importance of political processes to the wellbeing of the United States, I believe that a majority of coverage has missed one of the most remarkable points of the ACA: It changes the vision of our national community.