How The Terrorists Win

This thought from Waleed Aly was shared by J. K. Doyle: Terrorism is, above all, a test of character for the community that suffers at the hands of terrorism. The very worst people in the world have come to take away our humanity. What are we going to do about it? The community that keeps [Read More...]

Cruelty Begets Cruelty

Cruelty begets cruelty. It doesn’t matter if you learn this point from Jesus, the Doctor, or somewhere else. Figuring out how to overcome evil not by repaying evil with evil, but by breaking the cycle of violence, is so hard that it seems impossible. But there is no other way. [Read more...]

We Don’t Know the Whole Story

Maybe instead of or to supplement “What Would Jesus Do?” an updated way of making decisions would be, “If my words were inserted in speech bubbles into the story of Jesus, who would be speaking them?” Of vaguely related interest, see Jim Davila’s blog post on the question of whether Jesus was black. [Read more...]

Ethics and Empathy

The quote comes from the post “How Golden is the Golden Rule?” on Steve Douglas’ blog Undeception. As was pointed out in discussion here previously, a rigidly literalistic adherence to the Golden Rule might lead one to inflict one’s own preferences and desires on others. But clearly the point of the Golden Rule is about [Read More...]

The Bible is Clear: You Must Not Distort Justice

Loren Rosson has an absolutely fantastic guest post by his friend Ray Vaillancourt, offering a truly Biblical approach to a contemporary issue. Here is an excerpt: Conservatives remind us that the Bible is clear: homosexual behavior is a sin. We have a moral duty to stop it. God wants us to teach homosexuals some Bible [Read More...]

When You Have More Than You Need

I saw this on Facebook, and thought it nicely addressed a common human instinct. When any of us rises above the general situation of poverty that characterizes human existence, our instinct is to protect that status, not to make sure the path is clear for others to get where we are. We must resist that [Read More...]

Do as Jesus Says, Not as He Does?

Bruce Gerencser shared the above graphic, which another blogger made from a quote of his. Bruce writes, “for any Christian who happens to stumble upon my deep, dark, evil corner of the blogosphere, I’d love to hear your explanation of Jesus saying, love your enemies, while God, the alter-ego of Jesus, tortures his enemies in hell. [Read More...]

Not Terrorism, Not Appropriate Either

Eddie Kouya drew attention to an article in the Daily Telegraph, about plans to use anti-terrorism legislation against teachers who use the classroom to tell students that same-sex marriage is wrong. I think we need to be careful about over-using the terminology of terrorism, cheapening it in precisely the way some conservative Christians have cheapened the term [Read More...]

How to Apply the Greatest Commandments

If your appeal to prioritizing love for God over love for neighbor would have justified the priest in the parable of the Good Samaritan not stopping to help the robbery victim by the side of the road, then you are not applying what Jesus said were the greatest commandments in the way Jesus taught us [Read More...]

Asking the Right Question

Two blog posts came to my attention yesterday, both focused on the importance of asking the right question, although otherwise on very different topics. First, Ben Irwin highlighted New Testament scholar Dale Martin’s words quoted in the image above. Determining what the loving thing to do is is not simple or challenging. But it is the right [Read More...]

Is Racism a Mental Illness? #CharlestonShooting

I had someone comment on a Facebook post about the Charleston shooting, suggesting that mental illness must be involved. I responded in a number of ways, including asking whether all the people in lynch mobs in the south some decades ago were mentally ill. On the one hand, to blame mental illness can be a reprehensible [Read More...]