In the wake of the Situation Ethics debate sparked by Joseph Fletcher in the late 1960s, the defensive cry often heard regarding the Decalogue was “They’re not the Ten Suggestions; they’re the Ten Commandments.” Absolutism versus relativism (or Fletcher’s proposed middle ground) in moral choice was, and is, a proper debate within the household of faith, but how does it translate in the broader
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August 28, 2003
August 18, 2003
A few weeks ago, while I was hiding in the mountains of Oregon and Colorado, Sightings published a critique by Andrew Weaver of "a gaggle of so-called 'renewal groups'" financed by the political right-wing.
August 14, 2003
Three events related to the ongoing argument over homosexuality in the Anglican (Episcopal) church popped up in recent months, forcing the Anglican communion to take action. The Canadian diocese of New Westminster authorized liturgies for blessing same-sex partnerships in late spring.
August 11, 2003
When religion was "a private affair," it showed up in cartoons only in innocuous forms. Occasionally there would be representations of happy-go-lucky if slightly sappy, and certainly harmless, parsons. In The New Yorker the self-important Episcopal or other mainline clergy made appearances from time to time.
August 7, 2003
In his July 10 Sightings, “The Fighting Methodists,” Andrew Weaver uncritically accepts the hyperbolic claims of United Methodism @ Risk, a self-published outcry against conservative influence within the United Methodist Church.
August 4, 2003
Last week Sightings introduced the just published A People Adrift, The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America by Peter Steinfels. Since this column is not in the book review or book promotion business, it has to regard a book as news in order to note it. And Steinfels's elaboration of crisis is news.
July 31, 2003
Having studied the complex concerns surrounding religiously related social services since 1983, I was stunned while reading Rallying the Armies of Compassion, the 2001 White House document that launched President Bush's "Faith-Based Initiative." To call this new venture a faith-based initiative is pretty bold.
July 28, 2003
If I were to choose one book to pass to those who look for a fair-minded analysis of Catholicism in the United States today, it would be Peter Steinfels's new one: A People Adrift; The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America. I am going to devote two columns to it; first, because it is deserving and second, I am heading for a family-reunion and want to work ahead a bit.
July 24, 2003
On Monday, July 14, 2003, on his Christian Broadcasting Network's (CBN) "The 700 Club," Pat Robertson urged his listeners to pray for the next 21 days that God might remove from office three Supreme Court justices who voted with the majority on the recent case decriminalizing sodomy. "We ask for miracles in regard to the Supreme Court," he said.
July 21, 2003
The twenty-two home-delivered newspapers and many magazines that greeted me after my week-long island retreat, offered scores of opportunities for sighting religious news. I'll bypass them and return to a topic Sightings has treated several times before: numbering Hispanic Catholics in the United States.
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