Issue: August 2009

Volume 9 Number 8

Introduction to the August Issue

[1] This issue of JLE focuses on human genetics. The articles were first presented to the 2009 Annual Gathering of Lutheran Ethicists held last January at the Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center in Chicago. [2] The topic was chosen because of the ongoing work of the ELCA Task Force on Genetics which is charged with […]

We Would See Jesus, not You

[1] People who do not realize that their choices reveal their character think they have a choice as to whether or not to be self-disclosing. They don’t. Character is revealed by choice; as Aristotle says in his Poetics, we reveal ourselves in every choice we make from what we say, what we choose to wear, […]

Framing Stem Cell Arguments

Introduction [1] On December 12, 2008 The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a teaching document, Dignitatis Personae: The Vatican’s New Instruction on Bioethics. On this occasion Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, now president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, applauded “developments which advance medical progress with respect for the sanctity of human […]

“Is There Really a Relationship between Genetics and Social Location”[1]

[1] “When [Jesus] went ashore, [Jesus] saw a great [crowd]; and [Jesus] had compassion for them and cured their sick.” (Matthew 14: 14) [2] “I am involved in the genetics of health disparities because African-Americans MUST be involved in research on the human genome if our communities are to benefit optimally from the rapid growth […]

Responses and Reflection for the Annual Gathering of Lutheran Ethicists

[1] Periodically, I find myself put on listservs delivering information to my inbox that someone thinks I should not be without. Recently I found myself on a Vatican News listserv. One morning last March, I opened to a headline announcing that after 1,500 years the Vatican had named seven new deadly sins. To the usual […]

Human Genetics: Threads from a Conversation

[1] In 2000, ELCA’s Studies Department in Church in Society held a consultation on human cloning. In the publication of the papers that followed,[1] project director Roger A. Willer created a literary form to summarize the discussions that followed the oral presentation of each of the papers at the consultation. He called it “Threads from […]

Response to the June JLE on “The Shock Doctrine”

[1] Kudos to the JLE and July authors who responded to The Shock Doctrine. [2] When I first arrived at Bread for the World in 1978, the commonly held wisdom was that the cause of hunger was poverty. Simply stated, “If people had money or other resources (e.g. arable land) they would feed themselves.” As […]

Michael Root: A Second Opinion

[1] It seems to me that Michael Root is off base in three claims that undergird his “Communion and Difference.” 1. His claim for “normative ethical teaching” in the church of the Augsburg Confession. 2. His claim that a “consensus of the wider church” exists about homosexuality–a clear “no”–and that this consensus is itself “normative” […]

The ELCA: Too Big To Fail? . . . Or Too Wrong Not To?

[1] Since the beginning of the ELCA a relatively small number of members has worked continually to change traditional Christian teaching and practice in order to allow sexually active gays and lesbians in long-term relationships to be ordained. No matter how many votes they have lost they have persisted in their quest. They accept no […]

Thinking Together about a Lutheran Ethic of Responsibility in the Age of Genetics

[1] Note: At the 2009 Annual Gathering of Lutheran Ethicists, Roger Willer introduced and described and commented upon the ethical and theological approach taken by the ELCA Task Force on Genetics in its study, Genetics and Faith: Power, Choice, and Responsibility. [2] Willer’s comments are not written down and presented in this issue of JLE, […]