Issue: April 2009

Volume 9 Number 4

A Matter of Trust

[1] I couldn’t stop myself even though I knew the interest was purely prurient–I was continually tuning in to awaiting the final blow to Eliot Spitzer’s political career. It’s not just because I’m from NY. I think it’s more knowing of Spitzer’s reputation as a moral crusader, thinking that surely he would run for […]

A Preliminary, Quick Review of the ELCA’s Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality

[1] March 13, 2008, the public release date of the ELCA’s Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality, was not a date I had noted on my calendar. I confess that I was not paying much attention to the release of this draft, at least until two weeks ago when I was asked to be one […]

Be Careful What You Ask for

[1] I was called to serve Grace Lutheran Church in Evanston one year ago this April. Grace is my First Call, and I am blessed to be doing ministry with such an assembly. [2] Grace participated in at least two of the three sexuality studies. We’ve been a Reconciling in Christ congregation for some time. […]

Immoral People, Broken Markets, Christian Freedom

[1] It might take the worst financial crisis in eighty years, but it seems that the message is finally sinking in: markets are not moral. However, it is unfortunate that such a realization is needed at all. Characterization of the “the market’s” actions or changing moods may just be just figures of speech, but this […]

A Return to the Garden

Climate Change [1] While discussions about the environment might address a vast array of topics and problems, climate change has recently become the primary focus of attention in nearly all venues of public discourse. This is perhaps because the stakes are extremely high, it is a politically and economically charged issue, and it intersects with […]

Assessing Climate Policy Proposals: Ethical Guidelines

[1] Debates about climate policy will be prominent during 2009. Barack Obama addressed the issue during his campaign and has indicated he intends to make it a priority during his first year in office. As a result, leaders in both chambers of the Democrat-controlled Congress have pledged to pass domestic climate policy legislation during 2009. […]

Doing Our First Works Over

[1] James Baldwin wrote about “do[ing] our first works over.” “In the church I come from—which is not at all the same church to which white Americans belong—we were counseled, from time to time, to do our first works over.” “Go back to where you started, or as far back as you can, examine all […]

Lutheran Sermons on Lincoln’s Assassination: Part 1

The Creation of Lincoln’s Image [1] Those who knew Abraham Lincoln personally or at a distance, those who lived with him through the trials of the Civil War, those who experienced the shock at his sudden and violent death enjoyed a privileged position in accessing the sixteenth President. What such people said publicly about Lincoln […]

Musings on Climate Justice: A Subaltern Perspective

[1] Search for ethical discernment and praxis in the context of complex and ambiguous issues always face the danger of treading the regular route of finding solutions within the logic of the prevailing dominant knowledge. Alternatives, we are told, are not only impossible but also illegitimate. The dominant discourse in the context of climate change […]

The Virtues of Hunger in Classical Islamic Thought and Its Relevance for a Culture of Satiety

[1] Rigorous self-discipline is somewhat alien to contemporary American religiosity. Perhaps on account of cultural affinities, or an unspoken assumption that the soul is not affected by the body and its experiences, the very obvious benefits of diligent practice do not seem so obvious to us. I have often witnessed this aversion to rigor as […]