Issue: February 2009: Human Rights and Family (Double Issue)

Volume 9 Number 2

Human Rights and Family

[1] This double issue of JLE focuses on both human rights and family. The set of articles on human rights was occasioned by observance of the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The set of articles on family is occasioned by the discussion of family in the […]

Ethical Decision Points in the History of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

[1] Having been at the helm of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service for nearly two decades now, I’m often asked to speak about LIRS, its mission and history. In telling the story of this arm of the great Lutheran ministry of “welcoming the stranger,” I find myself drawn more and more to key decision points. […]

A Report on the Outcomes of the Consultation: The Churches and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Marking 60 Years and Enhancing the Future

[1] This consultation was organized by the Inter-unit Task Force for the Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence, and took place October 30-31, 2008 in Chicago, IL. The goal of the meeting was to observe the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Right, and spur a deepening and broadening of the […]

A Faith Basis for 60 Years of Human Rights Work by Churches

Introduction [1] I want to thank you for this opportunity to be with you again and to address the question of “The Faith Basis for 60 Years of Human Rights Work by Churches” during this consultation to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights.[1] [2] The international order has […]

Response to Pfrimmer — “The Faith Basis for 60 Years of Human Rights Work by Churches”

[1] As my colleague, Peter Prove, who heads The Lutheran World Federation’s Office for International Affairs and Human Rights could not be with us due to pressing matters in Geneva, it is my good fortune once again to share some time with my other good colleague and friend, Dr. David Pfrimmer. We have collaborated on […]

A Human Rights-Based Approach to Advocacy: the Role of the Church

[1] Churches have a history of participating and leading advocacy campaigns – for instance the “Decade to Overcome Violence” led by the World Council of Churches, or as member of coalitions, like “Save Darfur”. While the themes of the campaigns vary, from environmental justice, gender equality or ending poverty and hunger, they all have something […]

“Akinamama Model” for Promoting Human Rights in the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church

[1] Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church established the women’s desk in 1993 with the first two women leaders being white missionaries from Sweden. Prior to this intentional desk formation and having female leaders, the women were led by a male who represented women in matters pertaining to their well-being and progress. It was not until late […]

Human Rights and Immigration

[1] Detention-related human rights violations evoke the memory of Cold War and Latin American dictatorships — prolonged imprisonment of non-criminal defendants, unchecked executive discretion over who is detained and why, substandard conditions of confinement, midnight transfers to remote facilities, lack of access to legal counsel, etc.—such were the ugly realities of other places and another […]

Human Rights and Climate Change

[1] Heavy reliance on fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) together with ecologically damaging land use patterns have produced grave threats to justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. The related challenges posed by global warming and climate change are unprecedented in human history. The first half of this paper summarizes recent scientific findings […]

The Right to Property and Daily Bread: Thinking with Luther about Human Economic Rights

Introduction [1] The right to property stands at the cusp of legal and economic rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[1] It also stands, therefore, at the cusp of personal life and the public dimensions of life lived in the economic and political spheres of society. Enjoying a right to property is not only […]

A Lutheran Approach to the Family Values: Focus on Fiducia

[1] “Sex, Marriage and Family:” that’s the title of the LCA social statement from 1970.[1] I always wondered if this was the table of contents for the document – or a description of the way life really works. The ambiguity was delicious. In either case, “family” came last. It was almost an afterthought. That is […]

On Marriage and Family

[1] I am currently teaching a course entitled “The Relation of Man and Woman in Luther’s Theology.” The students, who are of varying ages, are mostly disappointed and sometimes appalled by Luther’s views. They recognize that his ideas must be read in their historical context. They wish the material had more obvious import for the […]

Placing the Early Christian Family in its Roman Context

[1] Modern Christian notions of the family have foundational roots set in the nascent period of Christianity’s earliest developments. At a time when the ELCA is currently revisiting and revising the church’s social statement on sexuality, it is fitting to return to the early roots of the family and the heart of our most foundational […]

The Neuhaus Legacy and Lutherans

[1] Richard John Neuhaus was a Lutheran for most of his 72 years. He was a Lutheran pastor longer than he was a Roman Catholic priest. He wrote his most widely discussed book while he was a Lutheran. After becoming a Roman Catholic in 1990, the piety and theology he absorbed as a Lutheran continued […]

Cruelty in the Mind of God

[1] In the Contemporary English Version of the Bible, Luke 6:27-35 reads as follows: 27 This is what I say to all who will listen to me – Love your enemies, and be good to everyone who hates you. 28 Ask God to bless anyone who curses you, and pray for everyone who is cruel […]

American Exceptionalism and International Human Rights

Introduction [1] Thank you for inviting me to join you today to discuss American exceptionalism and international human rights. It is a pleasure to be here. [2] The U.S. repudiation of international human rights legal standards in the post-9/11 “war on terror” has been widely documented, passionately condemned and legally challenged. Torture at Abu Ghraib, […]