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View Diary: Jim Wallis, Evangelical leader, defends Obama vs. Dobson (255 comments)

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  •  One of the best examples of (2+ / 0-)
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    dirkster42, scrubjay

    Religious convictions must be translated into moral arguments, which must win the political debate if they are to be implemented. Religious people don't get to win just because they are religious. They, like any other citizens, have to convince their fellow citizens that what they propose is best for the common good-- for all of us and not just for the religious.

    (which I think is Obama's position) is Susan Pace Hamill, a lawyer and professor from the University of Alabama, who has developed some excellent arguments for this. From the Fall, '02 Alabama Law Review:

    AN ARGUMENT FOR TAX REFORM
    BASED ON JUDEO-CHRISTIAN ETHICS

    Throughout American history, the moral principles of Judeo-Christian ethics have been used as one of many effective tools to evaluate and reform a wide variety of social structures, and have continued to be invoked in political debates.

    ...

    Moreover, these Judeo-Christian based ethical arguments do not
    violate the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution because this Article urges Alabama’s citizens to individually support tax reform, using their constitutional rights to free exercise of religion and freedom of speech, while fully recognizing the supremacy of the secular state in all matters related to governmental power.

    ...

    Part II then explores the relevant biblical texts of the Old and New Testaments.These biblical texts include many parts of the Old Testament, which link a genuine responsibility to God with proper treatment of poor, vulnerable, and powerless persons, and strong language in the New Testament,both affirming and re-establishing under the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Old Testament’s message concerning the proper treatment of those persons. From these biblical texts two broad moral principles of Judeo-Christian ethics emerge..

    Religious teachings generally have moral values somewhere and the ways of teaching them can appeal to others even if the religion as a whole is not what they adhere to. The argument becomes, my religious beliefs include this principle which I believe applies to all of us. And as others have stated here, my atheist self would be perfectly happy to support the moral teachings of helping the poor and caring for 'the least of these' - which the fruitcakes of Dobson's ilk have abandoned and distorted.

    Hamill's web page has more info and articles. She is open to receiving emails and responded to one of mine 2 years ago when I came across her work.

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