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Jun 21, 2007

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Dana Ames

Yes, and we the church need some theological undergirding (a la "Other Six Days") in order to be able to have some kind of framework within which to do this. This is merely another example of how thin our theology has become.

The other thing that must be faced is that all we hear about are the instances of greed and rapaciousness and "bottom line" thinking/acting wrt business, and particularly corporations. As I told you, I'm convinced that "capitalism" is not the problem. However, I wonder where the voices are in the "corporate world" that would call for overall ethical dealing, for economic empowering of people in the developing world rather than taking advantage of them (this from a friend of mine who is a missionary in Uganda: http://jbburnett.com/blogs/blogafrica.html), and for reducing the stratospheric disparity (in this country) between compensation for corporate executives and that of their employees.

The lack of these voices (or, if they are there, the lack of hearing about them through news outlets) is very disturbing. It also leaves a very bad taste in the mouths of non-Christians who are truly concerned about the good of humanity. Our local public radio station runs a weekly show called "Corporations and Democracy". As I was listening to the radio while driving around town to do errands a few months ago, someone on the show made a comment to the effect of "Concentrated wealth is the greatest enemy of democracy." I was not able to hear the rest of the show, but that's only one of many things I commonly hear from concerned people, some of whom, it seems to me, are actually not ignorant about economics- unlike most people who call themselves Christians.

This is what you're up against, my friend.

Dana

nate

Mike,

A great an interesting paragraph. I would suggest that part of this has to do with a huge class of clergy that have never worked outside the church. The separation of clergy from laity has something to do with the problem.

I also think you are dead on that part of earning the right to offer critque of specific practices inside the system is supporting people that work there. In our church we had to deal with some of that as we realized that some of the employees of Enron were longtime members, one of them has been the children's choir director for a long time.

Let me ask this then, what if that pastor was right? What if it would be hard for a Christian to support the actions of that particular multinational? Is there any way that the pastor could have asked that question w/o leaving the CEO feeling unsupported?

Michael W. Kruse

Of course we are hearing Miller's recounting of the story. It would seem to me if you have the CEO right there that maybe you assume that he is a Christian with integrity and invite him to having a conversation so you can learn from him. Why do we presume the pastor is authority on how to apply ethics in the workplace particularly when pastors have had zero training in business/economics and most have never had to confront such situations?

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