Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Are You Receiving Me?

Justin Lee
Our child Eli loved to dream big.  Several times over the years, he and I dreamed together about putting on some kind of event - perhaps a mini-conference - in State College that would highlight the call for the Christian church to be fully inclusive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, as well as the many gifts that our LGBTQ siblings have to offer the church.  This call, we believed and still believe, is one that issues from the heart of the gospel and is also one that many Christians are longing to hear (whatever may be the 'official line' of the churches to which they belong).

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Can "Moral Foundations" Be Criticized?

You've probably heard about moral foundations theory, which is described in detail in Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind.  Simply put, this theory suggests that human moral judgments are points in a higher-dimensional space: we don't just evaluate actions or policies along a "good/bad" axis but along several different axes such as "care/harm", "fairness/cheating", "liberty/oppression", "purity/disgust", "authority/subversion" and so on.  These axes (okay, I know that a high-dimensional space does not come with a preferred coordinate system, but bear with me) are referred to as "moral foundations".

It's been suggested further that the cultural-ideological fissures evident at least in American society are tied to the relative weighting of these moral foundations: "progressives", it is said, prioritize the Care and  Fairness foundations almost exclusively, whereas "conservatives" give the other foundations equal weight with these two.  I find this helpful in terms of understanding the different ways in which people think.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Exclusion and Embrace

A few posts ago I was sharing some of the themes that are, or have become, prominent on Points of Inflection - among them, faith-based commitment to creation care, support for the LGBTQ community, and dealing with cancer which has recurred since my treatment in 2014.  Though these seem quite a disjointed collection of ideas, I believe that as I live through them and their implications, I'm going to find connections and intersections.  In talking friends recently, I've come to feel that one important connection is this question: where exactly is the boundary of the beloved community?