Ethics Web Research
Pope Francis Says 'No' to Capitalism
In his first big statement the new pope has severely criticized market-based economics and private propterty and raised up the poor as blessed by God. This is an amazing 'apostolic exhortation'.
Tea Party and Libertarian Hostility is Creating Death Camps in America
If you live in a poor neighborhood in Baltimore you will be sick and die early. Economic policy is health policy, a recent hearing clearly reveals.
The Lack of Respect for Law, Regulation and the Public Trust among American Bankers
William Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, says there are deep-seated ethical failures at many large financial institutions. Can they feel any shame?
Cornel West and the Fight to Save the Black Prophetic Tradition
The election of a black president has put the black prophetic tradition at risk, and that is bad for the country as a whole.
Obama Reframes Syria: Metaphor and War Revisited
The president is taking on the role of being the big U.S. daddy who will teach Arab rulers a lesson. It's a bad old imperial habit deep in the structure of this country.
Text of 'I Have a Dream' Speech at the 1963 March on Washington
Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Here is the full text of one of the most famous speeches in American history by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A Declaration of Independence from Corporate Domination
Things have changed since the original declaration of independence. Now a new tyranny has evolved, the tyranny of corporate dominance over the lives of people and communities. Study this document.
Interpretive Ethics: The Great Unwinding of America's Moral Consciousness
Business and political elites have changed the rules and norms for their behavior resulting in destruction of the social contract, social chaos, and moral relativity.
Largest Anti-Gay Ministry Closes its Doors and Apologizes
Exodus International, which promoted 'reparative therapy' for gays, is ending. President Alan Chambers admits to same-sex attractions and writes an apology to all he has hurt.
The Next Left: A Viable Political Strategy for the Multitude
Here is a political strategy from a young intellectual which can be strongly endorsed by a credible Public Theology. It explains why Obama is failing. Jesus was a radical in his time,
Interpretive Ethics: Racism Defines the American Right
Read this very important history. From the start of the Republic to today’s Republican ranting against Barack Obama, racism has been a central element of the American Right.
Introducing the Concept of ‘Death Camp Thinking’
When otherwise good people promote policies destroying the lives of millions, such as libertarian thinking today, it should be called what it is.
The Ryan Budget: The Rationalization of Evil
Much of the corporate media are treating the Ryan budget as if it is a serious policy proposal. But it represents cruel and unjust thinking, promoting the death of millions.
The Pope and the Poor: On Liberation Theology and the Argentine Pope
'To accustom ourselves to living in a world of exclusion and inequality is a serious moral failure that erodes the dignity of mankind and compromises peace and social harmony.'
Political Rebellion Against Radical Evil
Only a few in Germany had the courage to resist the Nazi regime. At what point will Americans realize that millions are dying due to policies of the United States?
Pastors, Tell Truth to Elders: Paul Ryan Will Kill Medicare
The Medicare debate has become complicated, Ryan has two plans, and he and Mitt Romney are not being honest about their own approach.
James Lawson: A Totally Moral Man
Here is a brief but excellent introduction to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and one of its key leaders.
Nuns Complete Two Week Bus Tour to Highlight Poverty and Critique Ryan Proposals
'In a society divided by culture wars, we walk with those who are the least, the last and the lonely as Jesus taught us.'
Plantation America: Brutal Southern Aristocratic Tradition is Winning Cultural Wars
All Protestant pastors should read this account of the difference between the Northern Yankee Puritan ethic and the Southern Slave-Owning hierarchial tradition.
Lutheran Pastors Support Gay Marriage, like President Obama
Today the president announced his views on gay marriage. A group of Lutheran pastors have their own reasons for doing so along with many Catholics.
Catholic Leaders to Rep. Paul Ryan: Stop Distorting Church Teaching to Justify Immoral Budget
In a very strong statement 90 Catholic leaders & scholars say the Ryan budget is 'morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good'
Growing Catholic Resistance to Bishops’ Crusades
Local priests and laity are now actively beginning to oppose what their bishops are doing. Let's hope such efforts continue in all parts of the U.S.
Paul Ryan Budget Fails the Moral Test of His Own Catholic Faith Tradition
Bryan N. Massingale:
Two Catholic scholars assail the latest Ryan budget for its lack of concern for the most vulnerable and its coddling of the wealthiest few. Republicans are rejecting social justice traditions.
The Difference Between Private and Public Morality
Robert B. Reich:
It's not the moral breakdown of ordinary folks that is the problem, it's a breakdown of public morality of financial and corporate leaders. A comment on the death of James Q. Wilson & broken windows.
GOP Politics is Based Today on Old Time Religion: Women are Cause of Sin
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite:
Sandy Fluke is called a 'slut' by Rush Limbaugh, the intellectual leader of the GOP, revealing an old religious idea about women.
Theology and Human Rights in Moral Consciousness
Here is a thoughtful reflection on human dignity and mutual recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with implications for sexual minorities and end-of-life issues.
Religion in Political Campaigns -- An Interfaith Statement of Principles
A number of religious groups, including the National Council of Churches, published this statement on religious freedom.
Dissaray: Catholic Scholars against Catholic Bishops
Daniel Maguire strongly critiques the bishops. They want public money for their institutions. Maybe the idea of a Catholic hospital is over.
State Rape and the Right's Escalating War on Women
Catholic bishops and religious right have gone berzerk in their attacks on birth control and demands for invasive medical procedures.
Missouri Synod Lutheran Leader Disgraces Himself in Public
The Reverend Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, appears before a House committee set up to attack Obama on false grounds of religious freedom. No women allowed.
Reflections on a Pledge: Liberty and Justice for All
The writer reflects on what it means to take seriously both 'liberty' and 'justice' in the Pledge of Allegiance penned by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy.
Contraceptive Hysteria Grips Congress and the Religio-Patriarchy
The bishops' arguments about religious freedom are phony, here are facts on birth control, how it helps women, what Republicans in congress are doing right now.
The Bishops, Obama, and 'Religious Freedom'
What the bishops really want is federal money and state authority to force women to stay in their traditional roles. The bishops don't want religious freedom for women.
War On Contraception: Conservatives Claim 'Religious Freedom' Means Freedom To Impose Religion On Workers
Should women be free to obtain birth control? No, say Romney and other Republicans along with Catholic Bishops. 'Religious freedom' is a bogus argument.
Catholic Church Should Stay Out of Fight Over Insuring Birth Control
A Catholic woman opposes her bishops' claims that their religious freedom is violated by Obama administration rulings. Catholic institutions already provide birth control coverage.
The Sexual Revolution Has Changed America Forever
Nancy L. Cohen:
All pastors and church leaders should read this excellent history, especially at this time when the Republican Party and Catholic Bishops are obsessed with public sex.
The Cancerous Politics and Ideology of the Susan G. Komen Foundation
It is now clear that some anti-choicers on Komen's board and senior staff are actually willing to sacrifice poor women to breast cancer to satisfy their own agendas.
Lay Catholics: It's Time to Organize against the Bishops
Action is needed inside the Catholic Church and ecumenical organizations against bishops now badgering President Obama about contraception services in health care.
Loving the Neighbor in the Occupy Movement
Craig R. Loftin:
Here is an example of how to get involved with the Occupy Movement in your city, taking concrete steps to help others in the quest for justice in the world today.
The Gross Injustice of Corporate Control of Medical Research and the Patenting of Genes and Tissues
An interview with Harriet Washington about her new book on the shocking corporate takeover of basic elements of life itself and what can be done about it.
Football, Rape, Cash: Idolatry
The systematic idolatry of football at Penn State and beyond is the true culprit covering up the sin of child abuse by Jerry Sandusky.
Jeremiah Wright Discusses Martin Luther King and Barack Obama
When Obama betrayed and abandoned his pastor he surrendered the last shreds of his integrity.
A Satanic Lust of Violence has Locked Us in Its Grip
Political leaders and media commentators have not helped the American people understand the real reasons for 9/11, but justified a response of violence on a much more massive and terrible scale.
Inequality Explains Political Polarization
The American political system isn't working for average Americans anymore. Don't blame Tea Party types, new political science research suggests. Blame inequality.
Obama is Failing to Bend the Arc of History toward Justice
This is an absolutely outstanding article combining analysis of the president's character with economic policy and how the political process works. Meanings are communicated through story.
Obama Blows a Judas Kiss to the Poor
'Passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil.' - Martin Luther King
The Republican Attack on the Most Vulnerable
Stephen F. Schneck:
A policy studies expert writes to his fellow Catholic, John Boehner, to tell him that cutting life-saving programs for the poor while reducing taxes for the rich is immoral.
Religion and Violence-Nonviolence in Egypt, Libya, and Israel
Libya demonstrates that 'even liberal public discourse makes room for justified armed resistance,' Butler says. Israel tries to be a religious state, but cannot represent all Jews.
From Hiroshima to Fukushima
As events in Japan unfold, it is time to rethink the vast destructive power of nuclear energy.
Biblical Capitalism: Jesus Hates Taxes and Unions
David Barton thinks he knows that God opposes unions, workers should act like slaves, Large numbers of people are taught false Christianity.
Miracle of Tahrir Square: Opening Space for Freedom
The writer discusses the difference between an emancipatory demonstration and a rightwing populist one.
U.S. Catholic Bishops and Abortion Legislation
Charles E. Curran:
A highly respected moral theologian disagrees with the way Catholic bishops have addressed abortion law. There is speculative doubt about when life begins and weakness in the intrinsic evil argument.
A Firm Dissent Based upon the Mandates of Conscience and the Reading of History
Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Here is the text of a famous speech on Vietnam against 'racism, materialism, and militarism' by the strongest prophet of the 20th century.
A Counter-Power to the Corporate State: Rebellion
This author's experience in eastern European rebellion is inspiration for what can happen in the United States today.
Thou Shalt Not Steal: Capitalist Excess is Against the Law of God
Contemporary capitalist leaders are engaged in systematic stealing from workers and the poor against the will and law of God according to Martin Luther.
“Daily Bread” Instead of Greed
Public Statement adopted by the 11th Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, July 27, 2010, on economic and climate justice.
How the Very Wealthy have Organized to Dominate American Politics
Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson discuss their book 'Winner Take All Politics' which details the specific ways the wealthy few have been able to dominate the minds and hearts and votes of the many.
Inequality is Now the Biggest Problem in America
Nicholas D. Kristof:
The rich are now taking much more out of the economy than they deserve, making the U.S. a banana republic, and causing great social, cultural problems for millions of Americans.
Inter-generational Irresponsibility: Students Should Tell Their Parents to Shape Up
A Berkeley public policy professor in a letter to his students explains how the anti-tax movements in California have destroyed higher education and community infrastructure.
An Ethics of Resistance to the Blasphemy of American Exceptionalism
Republished books by William Stringfellow provide the church of today with important resources for the public witness of the church in very troubled times.
The Homosexuality of William Stringfellow
Here is a discussion about the homosexuality of one of the most important lay theologians in recent history.
The Progressive Ethics of Jesus
Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have Jesus all wrong if you actually do a little reading of the bible. God is, indeed, on the side of the poor, not business, according to scripture.
Fragments of Empire: Lessons for Americans in Orhan Pamuk's 'The Museum of Innocence'
The novel by a Turkish Nobel laureate should be required reading for Americans who face imperial temptations, who so often cling to fetishes of innocence to compensate for failing privileges.
Conservative Lutherans Forsake Heritage for Politics
Prepared for those Lutherans thinking about leaving the ELCA over the Minneapolis decision to affirm same-sex pastoral relationships, discussed here are James Nestingen, Robert Benne, others.
With Grace and Civility the ELCA Abolishes Anti-Gay Policies
Dr. Cindi Love:
Lutherans are changing the image of themselves, the church, and Christianity in a recent decision of the ELCA Church Council. The dam of religious bigotry against gays has been cracked wide open.
The South has Never Confessed Its Sins
Virginia Governor McDonnell's failure to include slavery in his Confederate History Month declaration exposes a bigger problem for the South and for the country, continuing race-based politics.
The 'Free Market' Allows This Guy to Do Whatever He Wants
The Bush administration let Don Blankenship of Massey Energy do whatever he wanted without close regulation, so 29 miners have died. No business ethics means dead workers and unsafe communities.
The Theological Justification of Christian Terrorism and Anti-Abortion Violence
Anti-abortion violence is part of a broader movement, Dominion Theology, which informs major leaders of the religious right like Pat Robertson. Dr. George Tiller's killer, Scott Roeder, is not alone.
Why Celibacy Should Be Abolished
Pope Benedict XVI as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is implicated in Vatican secrecy concerning Catholic clergy sexual abuses according to a well-known theologian of the church. It is time for change.
The Selling of the American Professional Mind
Paul Craig Roberts:
There is no intelligence or integrity in the American economics profession. Money dominates all the professions in this country now. Truth and liberty are gone. This banished writer is signing off.
Catholic Bishops Align Themselves with Republican Religious Right, And Lose
Health care reform was passed without the help of bishops who joined the religious right in hysterical untruths about the bill.
Philanthrocapitalism: The Market is the Problem not the Solution
Should advocates of progressive transformation adopt market values and business know-how? A review of Small Change: Why Business Won’t Save the World by Michael Edwards.
About Gay and Lesbian Pastors in Relationships
Susan W. McArver:
A church historian speaks to Lutherans in South Carolina about division in the church over same-sex pastoral relationships.
Niebuhr and Original Sin: Being Realistic about Capitalism and National Security
The author of a book on Niebuhr applies his doctrines to the current Obama administration. The Christian law of love may be the most realistic proposal for current politics.
Obama Urged to Oppose Ugandan Anti-Gay Legislation at National Prayer Breakfast
The religious right group 'The Family' sponsors a Prayer Breakfast at which Obama will speak, and also has helped Uganda leaders propose a kill-the-gays bill.
Against His Church: The Sad Career of Robert Benne
Same-sex pastoral relationships are so terrible that Benne is now leading a campaign to divide the ELCA and create a Lutheran wing of the religious right. Read here why he is wrong.
Turning King’s Dream Into a Nightmare
Martin Luther King and Malcolm X at the end of their lives shared a radical analysis of the social and economic conditions of black folks in this country.
Conservative Republican Attorney Advocates Gay Marriage
Theodore B. Olson:
Very strong and conservative arguments are presented here for the Supreme Court to finally affirm gay marriage. Same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize.
The Christmas Tree as an Anti-Slavery Liberation Symbol
Here is a story about how the Christmas tree became associated with the holiday celebration in the United States.
Health Care Reform at Risk: Anti-Abortion Forces Refuse Compromise
In the health care debate abortion has become a major factor. Here are details about the influence of Catholic Bishops and religious right groups on national health care policy.
Secret Fundamentalist Lobby includes Democrats Using Abortion against Health Care Reform
It is not just Catholic Bishops who are influencing health care debate, but Democrats living at 'C Street' in 'The Family'.
Catholic Bishops Threaten to Kill Health Care Reform Over Abortion
Protestants should be outraged by the way Catholic Bishops have inserted themselves into the health care debate in a way that threatens healing for all.
All Are Healed
Jesus healed people, and didn't worry whether they were worthy. He just healed everyone he could, and accepted the legal structures of his time through which to do his work.
Robert F. Kennedy and the National Soul of the United States
Michael Sandel in his popular book on Justice refers to a speech by Robert F. Kennedy as the most promising voice in his lifetime. Here is the whole speech with an introduction.
Living in a Culture of Cruelty: Democracy as Spectacle
Henry A. Giroux:
Violence and exclusion are at the center of authoritarian, hysterical rhetoric in current political and media culture.
The Practical Ethics of Peter Singer: Taking the Place of the Other
The controversial philosopher is here interviewed. He talks about expensive shoes, animal rights, and even Thomas Aquinas on private property.
How Could an Abortion Doctor be a Lutheran?
A Lutheran pastor explains the background on Lutheran ethical teachings that may have influenced how Dr. George Tiller understood himself and his vocation as a physician.
A Rabbi's Wisdom: Murder is Murder and Abortion is Not
The editor of the Shalom Report honors Dr. George Tiller with this excellent article on Hebrew wisdom and learning from practical experience.
Catholic Inflamatory Rhetoric Helped Kill Lutheran Doctor
Catholic bishops and other anti-abortion extremists use hostile language creating a public context supportive of violent acts whether they intend such or not.
Agonizing about Life: The Patients of Dr. Tiller
Those who hate this 'abortion doctor' are bearing false witness. They lie about what's at stake in abortion. Here are some facts and some truth.
Wichita Police and FBI Fail to Protect a Caring Doctor
Law enforcement officials apparently didn't take anti-abortion terrorists seriously, leading to the death of George Tiller.
Religious Right Shares Blame for Tiller Murder
The son of an evangelical pro-life leader, Francis Schaeffer, apologizes for his role in creating a culture of hate and hostility.
The Truth about Mercy Abortions
A health care worker discusses abortion after 24 weeks, the kind performed by Dr. George Tiller.
Dr. Tiller Saved Women's Lives
A past president of Catholics for Free Choice writes about the work of a doctor killed in Kansas.
Sotomayor Would Be the Sixth Catholic Justice
Catholics make up 23 percent of the population, but will have 67 percent of the seats on the Supreme Court. What kind of Catholic will Sonia Sotomayor be?
Catholicity and Abortion: Obama at Notre Dame
This is a transcript of the controversial speech of President Obama at Notre Dame where he recalls Father Ted Hesburgh and Cardinal Bernardin.
The Social Creed of 1908 Updated for 21st Century
Presbyterians and others have been working to update a significant statement of Protestants concerning economic justice.
Moral Interpretation: The Right, The Real, and the Good
Basic categories for ethical reflection are presented in a simple concept scheme which can be useful for thinking about any moral issue in personal or social-political-economic life.
Obama Brings Religion into the White House
The writer wonders if Obama is more favorable to religion than was George W. Bush, not clearly distinquishing church and state.
Political Realism and Religious Engagement
The world is broken. People of faith must reckon with that fact as they consider political engagement. Reinhold Niebuhr provides some insight for today.
The Pro-Life Movement as Backlash Politics
In his last article for First Things, John Richard Neuhaus is dead wrong on the anti-abortion movement, again.
Berserk Bishops: A Threat to Democracy?
It may be time to begin to question the role of Catholic bishops in a democratic society. They think the most important thing to do is fight Obama on abortion.
Abortion and the Definition of the Human
Columnist Kathleen Parker ought not to be pronouncing absolutes for either science or the church.
Robbery Requires Violence: The Role of Race, Religion and Money in Political Violence Today
Prepared text of a presentation by Ed Knudson at a conference on religion and violence in Solvang, California.
Sometimes Abortion is Right
Despite irresponsible moral rhetoric of some reckless politicians the
Why Should Others Concern Us?
Speech given by Horst Kohler, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, with a focus on Africa.
Ethics of Development Financing
John Perkins is interviewed by Amy Goodman on his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
The New Right-Wing Permissiveness
Fred Block of the Rockridge Institute says the bad apple theory should lead us rather to consider rot at the top.
On the Politics of Partial-Birth Abortion
In depth article on partial-birth abortion act by Cynthia Gorney.
The Auschwitz Imperative
Editorial in the LA Times supports UN in its recognition of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Abortion as a Moral Decision
A new statement on abortion has been released by the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing.
Sex, Law, and Freedom in Christ
Pastor Timothy Hoyer responds to the ELCA sexuality studies task force concerning the bound conscience.
MLK: Much More Than a Dream
America must reclaim King from soundbite purgatory.
ELCA Report Released on Gay-Lesbian Blessings and Ordination
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will not change policies on gay-lesbian blessings or ordination but opens space for change according to a task force report.
Abu Ghraib and Moral Legitimacy
As White House counsel Alberto Gonzales begins his Senate confirmation hearings for the position of Attorney General the Abu Ghraib abuses stand in the foreground, according to Mark Danner.
On Moral Values: Code Words for Emerging Authoritarian Tendancies in Americans
William E. Alberts writes about book The Authoritarian Personality by Theodore Adorno.
Creating Creative Children
Elliot W. Eisner discusses the value of teaching the arts in schools.
A Matter of Justice and Honor
A group of Nisqually Indians seeks to clear the name of Leschi, the tribe's last chief, hanged in 1858 for the killing of a white militiaman.
Face-Off on Moral Values
Articles written for the Spring Hill Review, a journal of culture in the Pacific Northwest.
Sinful and Saintly Sex
Robert Gagnon of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary thinks he knows exactly the difference between sinful and saintly sex. Lutherans like Ed Schroeder have a different view.
The Urban-Rural Moral Divide
The culture war is really about the old issue of small town versus the city, except now it's really gotten nasty.
Increasing Abortion Rates
Abortion rates have increased under George W. Bush. This article suggests why this is so.
Jesus with Gays and Lesbians
The spirit of Jesus has nothing to do with the hatred expressed by the religious right for homosexual persons.
A Brief Historical Overview of Church and State
Historical interpretation is critical to an informed view of the role of religion in public life.
The View from the Other: Redefining Liberalism
John Kerry is refusing to be defined by his opponents in his speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president.
Defining American Patriotism
George Will sees no big changes necessary in foreign policy. Theologian Gary Simpson sees it differently.
Nazism had Strong Ideological Roots in Christianity
A new book by Richard Steigmann-Gall called The Holy Reich argues Nazism was not just a neo-pagan movement.
Business Initiative to Eliminate Extreme Poverty
William Gates, Sr., Dan Evans, William Ruckelshaus, John Shalikashvili, and business leaders are promoting a new initiative on global poverty.
Grow Up, Get Real, Go to France
Is it our patriotic duty to boycott France? Fox News and some congresspeople are telling us to do so. Here's another view.
The Losers are Winning – Danger Ahead
Racial politics still defines the country as revealed in Robert Caro's book on Lyndon Johnson. Reaction to the 1960s informs what's happening today.
Market-Dominant Minorities and Economic Justice
Yale law professor Amy Chua opens a big window by which to see the social reality of what is actually happening in developing countries around the globe.
Abortion and the Politics of Cynicism and Coercion
Federal judges will be appointed to appease the religious right.
It's Not Just a Few Bad Apples
A law and economics judge opposes justice based on moral philosophy in corporate behavior.
Church and Sex: Homosexuality, Gays, and the Queer Community
Richard John Neuhaus writes about scandals in the Catholic Church.
Not Pledging Allegiance Under God
Speaking up against the agenda of the religious right.
Let Us Beat Our Swords into Ploughshares
A photo of a sculpture at the United Nations.
John Brown Historical Association of Illinois
In memory of The Reverend Sherwood A. Nelson of Chicago who was fascinated with the figure of John Brown, traveled to historic sites, and organized this association.
Speaking in Public: Resources for Social Ethics
Basic categories of philosophic ethics, The Right, The Real and The Good, are discussed in the contest of Lutheran theology with its emphasis on language, 'the word'.
Engaging Economic Globalization
Karen Bloomquist writes an excellent working paper for the LWF
How to Be?
A newsletter article on 9/11 in a local parish, about the Taliban, Osama bin Laden, and real victims of religious violence.