Moral Issues and Ethics

Column by Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox on September, 27 2018

To love oneself truly is also to love others—not only because we are societal animals and need community to serve, laugh, offer criticism, assist, but also because we literally can’t survive without others. And by others I don’t mean just other two-legged ones but the others who are of different species—the plants and the animals, the sun and the moon, the waters and the winged ones and the insects and the planets and the supernovas that burst and spread the elements that render our existence possible, etc. etc. Who is our neighbor? Well, all these beings are.

Ba(’a)ll in our Court.

Column by Rev. Roger Wolsey on March, 8 2018

I offer this sharing in the wake of the tragic mass shooting at a high school in Florida – a shooting that took place on Ash Wednesday. Knowing that the vast majority of my fellow Americans are not progressive Christians, nor have the majority even heard of progressive Christianity. So, I sometimes write with that larger audience in mind – seeking to appeal to their basic Christian understandings – even if that means employing or coming across as assuming a certain amount of conventional Christian rhetoric or perspectives -and then working from that place to help people shift to a more progressive understanding. It’s important to meet people where they are. With this caveat in mind, let those who have ears to hear, hear.

Column by Fred Plumer on February, 15 2018

Bishop Spong calls for change. He challenges us to begin to rebuild a new Christianity and frankly, that is what we are trying to do here. These are the issues we have asked our authors to deal with. We do not need to do any more deconstruction. It has been done, and done well.

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on January, 11 2018

“Unbelievable” began its life years ago when my daughter, Jaquelin, who owns a Ph.D. degree in physics from Stanford University said to me: “Dad, the questions the church keeps trying to answer we don’t even ask anymore!” She was not hostile. It was just a matter of fact statement. The church keeps posing issues that the secular world has settled, or at least has decided to ignore. Questions such as: Who or what is God? What does original sin mean? What does it mean to say that Jesus died for my sins? Can one really believe in life after death? What does it mean to be born again? Why do we not try to grow up?

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on January, 4 2018

The book has elements about it that have bordered on the miraculous. I was not sure I would ever be able to complete it. I had written about ninety per cent of this volume before I had a stroke in September of 2016. The stroke immobilized my right side. It was not clear that I would recover. I could not lift my right hand, nor walk without a walker, dragging my right leg. These symptoms, however, began to fade in about six weeks and all my limbs have returned to functioning, a bit weaker, but functioning nonetheless. My tread mill was a valuable aid. I had used it daily for many years, but now it became important in my rehabilitation. My rule was to use the track for one hour a day. Once I did twelve minute miles or five miles an hour. Today in that hour I do three and one quarter miles, not a jogger’s pace, but steady as strength has flowed back into my body. One symptom, however, has remained resistant to my efforts at recovery. I cannot make my right hand write legibly enough that I can read it. I could use the computer, but that is not natural to me. I never learned to type and hunting and pecking takes so much time. People suggested that I get a program where I talk into my computer and it converts the words to print. I tried that, but perhaps I was undone by my southern accent. Every time I spoke the word “career” the computer would write “Korea!”

Column by Fred Plumer on November, 30 2017

Well here we go again, friends, facing another Christmas. The big stores are posting huge advertisements, notifying us of major sales, playing Christmas music and of course wherever you go there is a Santa Clause. It has been that way for a couple of weeks. It seems to me that this phenomenon starts earlier every year. I cannot help but wonder what Jesus would say if he returned today and observed the way we celebrate his so-called birthday. He was born poor, was always poor, and spoke primarily to the poor.

Column by Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox on November, 2 2017

Last night I returned from a conference in Jamaica about Men and Masculinity—they are dealing with a veritable epidemic of violence among young men and killings of men by men. Not unlike El Salvador and many other places around the globe.

Here at home we have our own violence, much of it also spawned by reptilian brain action/reaction responses, efforts of striving to be “number one” at all costs, buttressed by sins of greed and denial and of patriarchy gone berserk.

What can we do about a preacher in our state whose website is “Godhatesfags.com” and who is constantly harassing churches that …

Answered by Rev. Roger Wolsey

Column by Rev. Roger Wolsey on October, 26 2017

If you have a Facebook account you are no doubt abundantly aware by now of the “Me too” campaign that has been taking place. It’s a powerful way for women to convey to the world that they have been the victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault at the hands of men. It is quite clear that nearly all women have experienced either of those – some on a daily basis. They’re trying to show us the great extent of this problem by simply posting “Me too.” My initial response was simply this: “I believe you and it’s not OK.”

After reading your essay, “The Way Home for the Prodigal Species,” last week, I was left with a desire for further …

Answered by Michael Dowd

Column by Fred Plumer on September, 28 2017

I have been wondering lately, if we are really missing the conscience of our mainline churches in our country. Most of us are aware of the political, social and personal conflicts that are going on in our country right now. And most of us are aware of the sad numbers of our dying churches. I have been wondering if there is a connection.

Column by Fred Plumer on August, 3 2017

As the President of Progressivechristianity.org, and as an occasional writer for this publication, I receive a lot of email from readers. Most of it is helpful. Some of it I admit is not fun to read. Two weeks ago I received a rather rude note from someone who was clearly not a fan of mine or of progressive Christianity. His email had an attachment. The attachment was an article written for Patheos by a Catholic Priest, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, “Twelve Reasons Why Progressive Christians Will Die Out”. If you look this up you will discover that this article was written and published back in January 2016. I presume that this man’s intention was not to necessarily share an “informative” article with me but was rather to make the point that our organization is fighting an “impossible mission.”