stock market

Micah Bales 10-30-2013
Golden calf, AdStock RF / Shutterstock.com

Golden calf, AdStock RF / Shutterstock.com

For most of human history, religious faith has been central to the life, economy, and government of virtually all societies. Babylon, Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome: all of these empires explicitly traced their authority from heaventhe gods, or other transcendent concepts that can only be described as religious. Religious acts were political acts, and vice versa. To challenge the status quo of the ruling authorities was to call into question the religious authorities, as well. Expressions of faith were serious business.

For more than a thousand years, Western Christianity was the theological glue that held European society together. We can still observe remnants of these former times in the civil religion of the United States. Even today, presidents invoke the name of God during speeches. Prayers are spoken before sessions of legislative bodies. New citizens and government employees are required to swear oaths of loyalty to the state. Our civil structures still bear traces of a time when Christian religious concepts were deeply intertwined with government.

For the most part, however, theistic religion is being pushed steadily out of our civic life.

Rick Steves 08-30-2011

At Europe Through the Back Door, our tour program just sold its 11,782nd seat for our 2011 season -- topping our best tour sales year ever (2007). Despite our antsy stock market and doom-and-gloom news stories, it seems that our economy is gaining some confidence. And yet, at the same time, our local symphony and arts center are in financial crisis.

As a way to celebrate, to give back to my beautiful hometown of Edmonds, and to spark a little conversation about why a society as affluent as the USA is cutting education, neglecting our environment, and defunding the arts while our wealthy class is doing better than ever, I've decided to make a donation of $1 million (in $100,000-a-year payments over the next decade) to our local symphony and arts center. This sum represents the money I've gained in the 10 years since the Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans (those of us earning over $250,000 a year) took effect.

Eugene Cho 08-20-2010
I'm thankful that God rarely answers our constant requests wanting to know the future.

Why?

LaVonne Neff 01-19-2010

Over my working life, I have seen investments inflate. I have also seen prices inflate. And even though, on the whole, investments inflated more than prices, I have seen something more ominous: I have seen expectations inflate.

Cathleen Falsani 09-04-2009

To work is to pray.

It's a Latin phrase that the Order of St. Benedict adopted as its motto.

St. Benedict, the founder of the order, recognized the sacred value of hard work, the notion that through the sweat of our brows and the strength of our arms and backs, we can worship the Creator.

Diana Butler Bass 12-12-2008

Following on the theme of the last two windows, Dec. 12 on the Advent calendar opened to a picture of an ox with a book-the symbol of the gospel of Luke.

Mary Nelson 10-07-2008

Wall Street is now in shambles, worldwide confidence is eroded, the stock market is in free-fall, and many people are losing homes and jobs. Many had put all their confidence in the freedom-from-regulation marketplace and its self-correcting actions.

Jim Wallis 09-30-2008

We are all familiar with the crazy-looking street preacher in some public square haranguing every passerby with a message of doom and gloom while holding up a sign that reads, "Repent, the end is near!"

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