Government (Civil)

Should We Forgive Osama bin Laden and Members of Al-Qaida?

Originally published in The Dispatch, Moline, Illinois, January 20, 2002. Used with permission. [1] In Mere Christianity, a widely-read book published shortly after World War II, C.S. Lewis suggests that we should forgive everyone, even the Gestapo, Hitler’s hated secret police viewed by many as the most wicked of the wicked. [2] For many today, […]

Bin Laden & Co. and Jerry Falwell & Co.

[1] Osama bin Laden and his mentor Sayyid Qutb are fundamentalists. So are Jerry Falwell and, in a slightly more complicated (because also pentecostalist), Pat Robertson. [2] Bin Laden & Co. are Muslims, who would rather kill you than let you connect them in any way with Protestant fundamentalists. Jerry Falwell & Co. are Christians, […]

Religion and Politics – One More Time

[1] On a recent flight to Pittsburgh, several professors from a near-by university sat behind me discussing the danger of mixing religion and politics, particularly if the mixing is done by the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, whom my fellow academicians compared to Islamicists like Osama Ben Laden. That outrageous and false comparison […]

That Old Time Religion

[1] Upon hearing that both houses of Congress approved legislation to allow the use of the Capitol Rotunda for their prayer session, the ubiquitous-and by now frenetic-Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), complained: “If members of Congress want a religious service, they can go to their houses […]

Implications of Luther’s Theological Ethic for the U.S. War on Terrorism

The World’s Two Kingdoms (God or Satan; grace or sin) 1. God’s Kingdom. “God created humankind in his image.” (Gen. 1:27) [1] Insights from Christian Tradition. All persons made in their Creator’s holy and loving image are commanded to live in love as a universal human family in peace, justice and freedom under God. They […]

Lawyers and Christian Ethics, A Bibliography

Books Adams, George C. A Christian Lawyer: a sketch of the life and work of Hon. Warren Currier. St. Louis: Commercial Print Company, 1893. Adams, George C. The Christian Lawyer: being a portraiture of the life and character of William George Baker. New York: Carlton & Porter, 1858. Allegretti, Joseph G. The Lawyer’s Calling: Christian […]

Can we put the flag back in the Sanctuary?

Church Council Meeting: Wednesday Sept. 19th, 2001 An item not on the agenda: “Can we put the flag back in the Sanctuary?” Pastor (17 months in ministry): “I would counsel against that, but I don’t think we should discuss it now.” [1] In my now-29 months in ministry I have been surprised at the power […]

Grieving for the Innocent Lives

[1] I cried for a time, thinking about the horrible deaths of all of the innocent people trapped in the World Trade Center, and of the rescuers who gave their own lives to save others. But as I cried I became increasingly angry, not only at the terrorists, but also at the root cause of […]

Self Defense?

[1] The American law of self-defense, as a general rule, requires that a defender who kills show that she reasonably feared that she was in imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death. This rule embodies two important understandings consonant with Christian views of human nature and violence. One is implicit in the requirement that […]

Three Questions about President Bush’s Embryonic Stem Cell Policy

[1] Tiefel asks three questions of us: What sort of language we should use when speaking of stem cells outside of science, what place does the religious voice have in the public arena in this matter, and how can we speak of the moral ambiguity which has been called to our attention. Three questions about […]