The Good Samaritan as The Other

The Good Samaritan, 1633 Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn)

The parable of the Good Samaritan is well known and much beloved. The image of the caring Samaritan tending to the bruised and bleeding traveler speaks to the goodness of mankind; despite our egoism.I have noticed that this parable often shows up in secular moral theory. John Rawls uses it as an example of an reasonable religious concept that would fit within the parameters public reason (see “The Idea of Public Reason Revisited" by John Rawls). It is also used in a number of ways t … [Read more...]

Strange Gods: The Idol of Ideas (Chap. 3)

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NOTE: See my earlier posts in this series here and here.Over the course of my life I have defined myself--sometimes with regretable pride and narrow-minded passion--as a New Yorker, an Irish woman, a liberal, a feminist, a Democrat, A Catholic, a mother, a student, a healer, a Yankee fan, a manager, a Christian, a post-feminist--the list goes on and on. (39)Well, this Orioles fan was waiting for Elizabeth Scalia to put post-Yankees fan at some point on that list. Maybe it is in a … [Read more...]

More Than Belief: Faith as a Relationship with God.

I recently heard somebody refer to faith as a verb. While many verbs are involved in faith, I would say that faith is itself not a verb, but it is a noun.Faith in Jesus Christ is not believing in Christ. Having faith in Christ is having a relationship with Him. A relationship is a noun. What then does this thing involve? That is a more complex issue.What does any relationship require? We could probably come up with a long list, but I will note a few that stand out to me.Trust. We must be … [Read more...]

Choose The Left: Some Thoughts on Being a Mormon Dem

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The above bumper sticker has been on our Chevy Suburban since early spring. Lyndee, my wonderful wife, let me put it on the vehicle after we decided to leave Wyoming. It was our way of saying that we no longer cared about what anyone in Wyoming thinks about us.Being a Mormon made us black sheep amongst Wyoming Democrats. Recently, the state party promoted and championed a rant in the form on a letter to the editor which maligned religious people in general and Mormons in particular. With that, … [Read more...]

Judith Butler’s Religious Roots (Video)

In the following video, philosopher Judith Butler discusses her work and philosophy with Wesleyan University President Michael S. Roth. I particularly enjoyed hearing her discuss how the synagogue of her youth played a major role in her path toward philosophy.As a Rawlsian and Kantian, my work and thought is very different from that of Butler. However, her approach to gender continues to fascinate me and I admire her activism.Also, I second her recommendation of Plato's … [Read more...]

Power to The United Nations

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I am very excited to see that Samantha Power is being appointed as United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Power is a strong advocate for a liberal foreign policy that focuses on human rights. In particular, Power has focused her writing and advocacy on the need to prevent and halt genocide.Power, a graduate of Harvard Law School, came to prominence in the 1990s writing as a journalist about the American failure to respond to the genocide in Rwanda and the slow American response to … [Read more...]

Are Mormons Protestants?

Should Mormons be categorized as Protestants?The 2012 Casper College Humanities Festival focused on the topic of sin. One of the main events was a panel on the issue of sin from the perspective of different religions. Their was a Catholic Priest, a Jewish Rabbi, and a Mormon Bishop.No, they did not walk into a bar.I was part of a group of faculty and students that tweeted the event. One of the students, Micah, was a member of the debate team and the son of a Lutheran minister in … [Read more...]


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