Resources and Readings
- An Appeal for Moral Values in Politics
- Some Questions for Consideration by Candidates and Concerned Voters
- Health Care for Everyone: A Moral Obligation
- What is Power?
- A Christian Perspective on Power
- House Democrats Release Historic Catholic Statement of Principles
- A Statement of Protestant Principles
- Scriptural and Theological Foundations for Progressive Public Policy
- If Martin Luther King Were Alive Today
- Understanding the Bible Historically
- A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality
- Biblical Faith and Environmental Crisis
- Selected Bibliography
An Appeal for Moral Values in Politics
Across our nation, debates have arisen about the place of moral and spiritual values in government policies. Members of Clergy and Laity United participate in varied religious communities and believe that such values have a legitimate place in public policy discussions. It is now our obligation to determine which values are the most politically relevant and to discern how they are to be implemented within our American tradition of separation of church and state. Read more . . .
Some Questions for Consideration by Candidates and Concerned Voters
In view of upcoming election seasons, and in the hope of prompting personal reflection and public discussion, we have posed a number of representative questions for both candidates for public office and voters to consider.
1. Beyond what are commonly referred to as “family values,” what principal moral values and concerns would you bring to the broader spectrum of public policy debate?
2. How might we insure that “faith-based initiatives” to provide some social services will be employed in a constructive and constitutional way, without undermining vital programs that need public financial support? Read more . . .
Availability of adequate health care is badly skewed in the United States.
While we have extraordinary medical resources, millions of our citizens have only minimal access to basic necessities of treatment. More than 45 million lack insurance coverage; millions more are subject to the vagaries of loss of coverage due to unemployment, various policy exclusions, and often bankrupting financial burdens. Read more . . .
What Is Power?
Political realists have chiefly equated the state’s power with military and police power, a monopoly on the use of force, which the state exercises to thwart invasion, theft, and murder. The ensuing stability afforded by this monopoly on the use of force allows secondarily for the development of economic power. Read more . . .
A Christian Perspective on Power
The Bible tells us that national power can affect humanity for good or ill and that God desires power to be used for justice, especially for the poor and the marginalized. Read more . . .
House Democrats Release Historic Catholic Statement of Principles
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A majority of Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House led by Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (Conn.-3) today released a statement of principles. Signed by 55 House Democrats, the statement documents how their faith influences them as lawmakers, making clear their commitment to the basic principles at the heart of Catholic social teaching and their bearing on policy – whether it is increasing access to education for all or pressing for real health care reform, taking seriously the decision to go to war, or reducing poverty. Read more . . .
A Statement of Protestant Principles
Members of all religious traditions, and especially all Christians, should take interest in and encouragement from the recent “statement of principles” issued by fifty five Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives [see “Catholic Statement of Principles,” in this website]. The statement “documents how their faith influences them as lawmakers.” Read more . . .
Scriptural and Theological Foundations for Progressive Public Policy
While the major religions of humankind may differ in significant respects, we affirm that common to all foundational scriptures and interpretive traditions is an emphasis on social justice, on the divine will for earthly human community marked by compassion, inclusive justice, and peace. Beginning with a brief summation of guiding principles for interpreting the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, we gather here various scripture quotations and comments from Jewish and Christian interpreters in support of this affirmation. Read more . . .
If Martin Luther King Were Alive Today
On this 78th anniversary of the birthdate of Dr. Martin Luther King, I want to talk about what he might be saying if he were alive today. It is a subject on which I claim some insight. Dr. King and I were classmates at the Boston University School of Theology. Read more . . .
Understanding the Bible Historically
The Bible is made up of 66 “books,” that is, individual compositions that have been brought together into one collection. Thirty-nine of these are recognized by Jews as holy scripture, and an additional 27 are accepted by Christians. They are understood as a divine gift to humanity for guidance in living and for support of faith in God. This said, among both Jews and Christians there remains much diversity in understanding what the “inspiration” of scripture means and in what way its authority is definitive for practical life. Read more . . .
A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality
Members of Clergy and Laity United oppose the Virginia constitutional amendment to restrict marriage that will appear on the November 7, 2006, ballot. Support for this amendment comes largely from the Christian right. In contrast to this position, we propose a Christian Perspective on Homosexuality that we believe to be more biblically and morally appropriate. Read more . . .
Biblical Faith and Environmental Crisis
The human timeline on Earth is very long, stretching back more than five million years to our earliest hominid ancestors, more than two million to the emergence of the genus Homo, a million and a half to Homo erectus, at least 200,000 to the earliest archaic form of Homo sapiens, and some 40,000 to the appearance of our own kind, modern Homo sapiens. Yet by contrast, it has taken us a scant two hundred years to come from relative stability to the brink of ecological disaster in the wake of the industrial and subsequent petroleum-based and technological revolutions and the concomitant worldwide population explosion. Read more . . .
From a rich and increasing abundance of books and articles dealing with issues of our concern, both theoretical and practical, here are several titles that some members of Clergy and Laity United have found especially challenging and instructive – a list that will from time to time be updated. Read more . . .