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Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

They claim the moral high ground, but actually violate everything Jesus stood for. We hear a lot of talk about posting the Ten Commandments in courthouses, but we really should be reading the Sermon on the Mount and Matthew 25 outside every legislature.

They claim to stand for small government, but actually disdain all government, from police forces (begging for gun controls) to public hospitals (saddled with the uninsured), from food stamps to schools, from consumer protections to online privacy, from bridge and highway repairs to housing values. Down with government, they say, except, of course, for government’s ability to shift public money to the wealthy.

They claim to be patriotic, but actually violate every reasonable value this nation holds dear — including values extolled in years past by genuine conservatives.

The Reckless Right-Wing War on America

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Two or three times here before I’ve called capital punishment “heresy.” What do I mean? It is my considered opinion that belief that capital punishment, at least as it is known and practiced in the U.S. today, is a heresy when espoused by Christians. It manifests an embrace of the myth of redemptive violence by humans and flies in the face of the ethic of Jesus which forbids violent retribution. It is absolutely, incontrovertibly contrary to love. And it is, as practiced in the U.S. today, manifestly unjust.
I believe Christian churches of all kinds ought to do more to oppose capital punishment. They ought, at the very least, to declare it incompatible with Christian faith and put members who openly believe in it under some kind of discipline (not necessarily excommunication but at least forbidding them to teach it in the ecclesial context). And those who practice it, actively seeking it and participating in it, should be excommunicated from Christian churches. It ought to be a matter of status confessionis—as apartheid was declared by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches which helped lead to its downfall in South Africa.

The Heresy of Capital Punishment (via azspot)

Go and read the whole essay—it’s well worth it.

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10 Things THE CHURCH Can’t Do While Following Jesus

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So, let me ask it this way. What pleases Jesus more?

Loving those we disagree with, enemies, strangers, and other inconvenient people who wander into our lives while we also have unsettled theological issues about the Bible, God, Jesus, Christianity, the universe, humanity, etc., or…

Focusing our energies on establishing, maintaining, and defending “sound doctrine” to the extent that we either do not have time or it does not enter our mind to show loving kindness to others–or, we justify sacrificing loving kindness in our efforts to establish, maintain, and defend proper thinking about the Bible, God, Jesus, Christianity the universe, humanity, etc.

Does Jesus care more about what we do or what we believe? (I’m going with the first option)

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A year ago tomorrow we moved into our little carriage house downtown, with its front door on a brick courtyard featuring a large Japanese maple, an even larger magnolia tree, and a small fountain. Work is five or ten minutes away for both my husband and me; everything we need is a short walk away, or else accessible by public transportation. We love it and hope to stay here a long time.

This particular weekend, however, happens to be Pride Weekend. We were too busy last year, and then too tired that night, to be much disturbed by the goings-on; we just made sure to start our moving early in the day so we could finish before the Pride Parade, which starts at 3:30. When we arrived with the moving truck around ten a.m., the open parking lot behind our house was already occupied by a camp of lesbians. Right now, an abundance of people are out back tailgating, eating, drinking, embracing friends, engaging in such lewd games as beanbag toss, and dancing to loud music with a heavy bass beat. People are scantily clad, but mostly in outfits you would see on the beach, or at a cookout in a state park; it’s just that you don’t usually see those outfits downtown on an asphalt-paved parking lot. A lot of the women have unconventional hair–either very little of it, or sculpted achievements in bright artificial colors. If it weren’t for the backbeat, which is making my musician husband cross, neither of us would mind the party in the least.

Gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, transgender, butch, femme, polyamorous… people have a lot of names and labels nowadays for their sexuality, their relationships, their self-presentation. Myself, I am a practitioner of the love that need not speak its name, because it’s taken for granted: I’m monogamously married to a partner of the opposite sex. I find monogamy easy, just as I find, say, not drinking scotch easy. I like the taste of wine better than the taste of scotch; I like settling with one partner better than circulating amongst many. As C.S. Lewis said, wisely, it would be hypocritical of me to judge other people for giving in to a temptation that I myself have never found tempting.

The truth is, though, that I don’t find the shenanigans going on around me right today particularly sinful. (I do like the word “shenanigans”, though.) I’ve come to a point where I believe that good sex, non-sinful sex, is simply sex that fulfills the following criteria:

  • it’s genuinely consensual;
  • it’s reasonably safe from the risk of disease, unwanted pregnancy, or other dangers (if, for example, you like to play with ropes, you should know how to untie them quickly if necessary);
  • it’s not in violation of any existing commitments to other partners;
  • with the rider that any children that result should be wanted, and should be cared for with the utmost responsibility.
Beyond that, I honestly don’t think any kind of sex upsets God, does any harm, or disturbs the natural order, regardless of whether it involves a man and a woman, two men, two women, two of one and one of the other, or as you please. Theologically, the ideal pattern of all love, all relationship, is the mutual self-emptying and generative love of the persons of the Trinity–which, if you want to be flippant, is a threesome involving two males, an it, and a bit of incest. There is more to the Trinity than that, of course, and there is more to sexuality than just pairings that procreate. And there is, alas, far more to sin than putting the wrong tab in the wrong slot and enjoying it. What makes me angry is not sunburnt women dancing and kissing other women in public, but blind greed leading to environmental disaster, pollution, loss of life and livelihood, and never once being called anything but a “mistake”.

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Merck Pharmaceuticals created a phony peer-reviewed journal to tout one of its own products.

Thanks to Content Love for the link.

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At Integral Options Cafe I found this interesting post, which quotes several other sources, on Buddhist ethics, sexual ethics, and specifically attitudes to homosexuality.  Here’s a snippet I particularly like:

Right and wrong behavior in Buddhism is generally determined by considerations such as the following:

* Universalibility principle – “How would I like it if someone did this to me?”
* Consequences – Does the act causes harm and regret (in oneself or others) or benefit and joy?
* Utilitarian principle – Will the act help or harm the attainment of goals (ultimately spiritual liberation)?
* Intention – Is the act motivated by love, generosity and understanding?

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