Ethics

We have come to an impasse in the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling because of several conceptual errors in our public discourse. These errors were most glaring in the remarks recently delivered by Speaker of the House John Boehner in his response to President Obama. The largest conceptual error is the idea that the government of a constitutional representative democracy is different from the people. Boehner said, "You know I've always believed the bigger the government, the smaller the people."

What does this mean? The government is composed of the people, and if people are paying attention and voting according to their own interests, the government ought to work toward the happiness of the people. The problem is that too many Americans have bought into this conceptual error that the government is some kind of leviathan, a monster that exists to take away their liberties. This is nonsense. A correction of another conceptual error in Boehner's presentation makes my point.

As the time shortens for Congress and President Obama to agree to the contours of legislation to raise the nation's debt ceiling, I am reminded of the story of King Solomon and his judgment regarding two women who both claimed to be the mother of a child (I Kings 3: 16-28). Solomon ordered that the living child be cut in two and half a dead child be given to both women. The woman who was the true mother insisted that the living child be given to the false mother. She was willing to give up her righteous claim to save the child's life.

Duane Shank 7-22-2011

1100722-duaneshankMy office has two overflowing bookshelves, with more books stacked on top and on the windowsill. But above my desk within easy reach is a small shelf. On it I keep those books I most regularly use in thinking and writing. Here are the top 10.

1. The Bible: What can I say about the foundational source of God's guidance in everything? I read or refer to it nearly every day. It was given to us "for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).

2. The Book of Common Prayer: I am not Anglican/Episcopalian, but there is something in the formal prayers of the traditional liturgy that resonate with my soul. On those days I really don't feel like praying or can't find the words, it's comforting to have a place to turn for inspiration.

Will Braun 7-15-2011

Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009photo © 2009 World Economic Forum | more info (via: Wylio)Most people know now that Rupert Murdoch presides over the News Corp media empire, and that he is fighting for his reputation after being forced to sink his scandal-laiden British newspaper News of the World, the most widely read English tabloid in the world. But few people know that Murdoch also owns Zondervan, the world's largest publisher of Bibles. For 23 years, the News Corp family has included the leading seller of the best-selling book in history.

Life is hard. It is full of pain, disappointments, and challenges of every kind. When hard times come our way, we often ask, Why me? And the answer comes: Why not you? We sometimes think that God has forsaken us, and sometimes God is silent. It is difficult to remember the Biblical wisdom that explains why believers, children of God, the beloved of God go through difficult times.

Here is part two of my thoughts on the financial situation that the United States faces. Our nation needs a jobs bill. The country needs a second stimulus bill.
God only knows what alternative universe the United States Congress occupies. On May 31, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a bill to raise the debt limit of the United States.
When we think about world events, we often think about them in relation to larger-than-life people -- the leaders of nations or of revolutions.
The world around us is teaming with meaning. Words are lush with meaning. One word can point to many different ideas, emotions, expectations.

Latina/o Social Ethics: Moving Beyond Eurocentric Moral Thinking, by Miguel A. De La Torre.

Ernesto Tinajero 4-25-2011
Ah, the voice of Ayn Rand from St. Petersburg, Russia rises again with the opening of a new movie based on her novel, Atlas Shrugged.
In a blog posted on God's Politics on September 14, 2010, I wrote that I rejoiced that Pastor Terry Jones had
When President Obama addressed the American people and the world on the military operations in Libya, he spoke of a responsibility to act.
Every Lenten season I give up something, usually chocolate. I sometimes fast for several hours during the day. Sometimes I read an extra book or two, usually on peace theory.
Diana Butler Bass 3-08-2011
As the stand off between workers and Governor Scott Walker continues in Wisconsin, http://www.wichurches.org/advocacy/faith-community-response-to-the-wisco..." target="_bla
Timothy King 3-02-2011
Heresy is a strong accusation.
Cesar Baldelomar 2-16-2011

On May 30, 2009, a terrorist attack in Arizona ended the lives of two U.S. citizens -- a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter.

There is a Haitian proverb that says after every mountain, there is another mountain.
Jim Wallis 2-09-2011
Yesterday, Elizabeth Warren and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau convened their first roundtable of religious leaders at the White House. Why does this matter?

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