Archive: November 15, 2009 - November 21, 2009
The religious may be expert in convoluted arguments to explain why a god who demands you kill your son for answering back is actually loving and compassionate, but this does not confer on them any special insight when it comes to matters of government.
By Paula Kirby | November 21, 2009; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (10)
Once again, the Christian Right makes Jesus a secondary moral guide to their political agenda of criticizing President Obama and shrinking the Bible's moral vision.
By Robert Parham | November 20, 2009; 5:21 PM ET | Comments (4)
All Christians, including those of us who are not Catholic, must be thankful for the present stand of the bishops against this abuse. They favor health care for all, but they do not favor death for any.
By John Mark Reynolds | November 20, 2009; 4:54 PM ET | Comments (2)
Religious leaders have always had a right, and indeed from their faith perspective an obligation, to speak out on issues of morality and social justice. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has a long track record of doing do so.
By John Esposito | November 20, 2009; 9:16 AM ET | Comments (0)
God as Holy Warrior had gone out of fashion in Christian theology for about a thousand years. Until now. God as Holy Warrior is now apparently running the GOP senatorial opposition to the health care bill.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | November 19, 2009; 7:51 PM ET | Comments (0)
The U.S. bishops are not just another special interest group fighting for its share of the legislative pie. Instead, they are trying to act as a voice of conscience, a moral witness. Like anyone else they have a right to speak, and it would serve our country well to pay them respectful attention.
By Thomas G. Bohlin | November 19, 2009; 2:57 PM ET | Comments (21)
Unfortunately, as the situation currently exists, far too many of our politicians base their approaches to the laws they attempt to pass on partisan politics and personal gain, not on what is ethical or moral. As a result, many of our laws ignore what is ethically sound for what is politically beneficial and expedient.
By Ramdas Lamb | November 19, 2009; 1:59 PM ET | Comments (0)
If wisdom is so seminal to meaningful living then why don't we spend more time as adults pursuing it?
By Erica Brown | November 19, 2009; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (0)
The halls of Congress are choked with lobbyists paid to defend the wealthy and their powerful interest groups. We desperately need more voices defending the common good. Bravo to the Catholic bishops for their heroic efforts to protect immigrants, the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the unborn as the current health-care debate unfolds.
By Galen Carey | November 19, 2009; 7:54 AM ET | Comments (64)
Do "church leaders have a duty to raise moral concerns?" Yes, in three spheres: their own members, the general society, and government. Secular forces would like to see religion confined to the private sphere, but Christianity teaches that churches should care - as God does - about all of human life.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 18, 2009; 1:31 PM ET | Comments (4)
American Catholic bishops, like religious leaders everywhere, are 100 percent right to raise their voices about an issue of moral concern to them. Genuine faith is not simply a once a week thing designed to relieve tension and give us something to do before a shared meal with family and friends. But the bishops are not only raising a voice of moral conscience, they are attempting to dictate policy. And between those two, lies a world of difference.
By Brad Hirschfield | November 18, 2009; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (2)
I can't imagine a society absent a spiritual and moral perspective. Wait, yes I can. Totalitarian governments unrestrained by a power higher than the reigning politician, monarch or dictator have contributed to untold misery for their own people and the world.
By Cal Thomas | November 18, 2009; 10:25 AM ET | Comments (1)
I believe that church leaders have a right to express themselves on moral issues. This does not mean that all religious persons will agree. And those of us who do not agree with Catholic Bishops have a right to express our opinion.
By Gardner Calvin Taylor | November 17, 2009; 9:22 PM ET | Comments (4)
U. S. Catholic Bishops and other religious leaders are justified in their involvement in congressional discussions of health care reform. But they should proceed with caution.
By Mathew N. Schmalz | November 17, 2009; 9:19 PM ET | Comments (1)
The United States Roman Catholic Bishops always have a hidden agenda, which is to impose their faith and value systems on the rest of the nation. They also operate out of a conviction that they possess the only true faith. I am not impressed by either of those principles.
By John Shelby Spong | November 17, 2009; 9:00 PM ET | Comments (10)
This stance by the bishops feels like blackmail, a strategy that is devoid of compassion for women and for the poor.
By Susan K. Smith | November 17, 2009; 8:21 PM ET | Comments (0)
The standard for Sarah Palin's God and faith is love, generosity, mercy and forgiveness. Perhaps that's what she means when she says she is "Going Rogue."
By Sally Quinn | November 17, 2009; 7:31 PM ET | Comments (460)
The history and practice of American politics and democracy affirm that churches and their leaders have a constitutional right to speak out in public policy debates.
By Michael Otterson | November 17, 2009; 6:56 PM ET | Comments (37)
Though religious people debate moral priorities and the source of their authority, such is not the responsibility constitutionally imposed on the U.S. Congress, regardless of the individual religious preferences of its members. Religious leaders cannot be allowed to use one particular interpretation of scripture-based morality to compel Congress to legislate sectarian morality.
By Welton Gaddy | November 17, 2009; 6:43 PM ET | Comments (3)
Of course the Catholic bishops have both a right and a duty to raise moral concerns, on any issue in their sphere. They have a right because they are citizens. They have a duty because they are stewards of a great moral tradition in our country.
By Jim Daly | November 17, 2009; 5:27 PM ET | Comments (6)
The Catholic faithful may choose to live their lives based on pronouncements by priests, bishops, and the pope, and I support their right to do so. But bishops have no right to impose their sectarian beliefs on the rest of us.
By Herb Silverman | November 17, 2009; 2:48 PM ET | Comments (16)
The Catholic bishops have the right to be as deeply involved in these deliberations as the Congress will allow -- just like any other special interest group in the U.S. does. Although they might bristle at words like "special interest group" (or even more that they would use "lobbyists") -- the fact is they represent one dimension of a very large group of Americans that identify themselves as Catholic.
By Leo Brunnick | November 17, 2009; 2:02 PM ET | Comments (4)
There's a big difference between witnessing to your faith in the public square and lobbying behind the scenes to cut a deal. The care of those who are sick and injured is the paramount moral obligation, even for those of different customs and beliefs. Good Samaritans don't judge the poor. They help them.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | November 17, 2009; 11:24 AM ET | Comments (9)
Of course the Roman Catholic Church, like every other institution, has a right to uphold and fight for its moral beliefs in the public life of this nation. What the church is doing, however, is attempting to hold Americans who do not agree with its views hostage.
By Susan Jacoby | November 17, 2009; 9:52 AM ET | Comments (194)
I don't know how I would write a distinctively "Christian" health care bill, but I do know that Christians have important things to say about the general patterns of health care.
By Richard Mouw | November 17, 2009; 9:34 AM ET | Comments (32)
If you wish to be a political pundit, by all means do so. But to cloak political judgments in the mitre - or the cassock, collar or the tallit - is a grave disservice to both policy and religion. The fact that I know more about the Jewish tradition than my congregants hardly means I know more about the consequences of policy.
By David Wolpe | November 17, 2009; 9:26 AM ET | Comments (1)
D.C.'s proposed marriage equality law explicitly protects the religious liberty of those who believe that God's love can be reflected in the loving commitment between two people of the same sex and of those who do not find God there.
By John Bryson Chane | November 16, 2009; 8:12 AM ET | Comments (187)