COMMENTARY: Decency on the rise

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Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the author of “Just Wondering, Jesus” and founder of the Church Wellness Project. Photo courtesy Tom Ehrich

Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the author of “Just Wondering, Jesus” and founder of the Church Wellness Project. Photo courtesy Tom Ehrich

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(RNS) Did everything come up roses? Sadly, no. It was a rotten year in some respects. Think NSA, Chase Bank, John Boehner, Koch Brothers, scammers preying on soldiers and the elderly, payday lenders and other bottom-feeders. Even so, I end the year feeling positive.

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  • Duane Lamers

    What is the problem you see with the Koch brothers that you don’t, apparently see with George Soros since you made no reference to the latter despite his doing pretty much what the Koch brothers do for different groups?

    Your sentence in which you mention the Kochs is more negative than your remark about Miley.

  • Shaman

    You lost me completely near the end with “god-loving people”.

    Decency is improving because society is getting more civilized.
    We are rejecting the barbaric judgements against gays, lesbians, successful women and inter-racial marriage.

    You should thank the growing numbers of Agnostics and Atheists who are rejecting the ancient, barbaric manacles of dogma.

    Sanity – not religion – is finally emerging in society.

  • Duane Lamers

    “Sanity – not religion – is finally emerging in society.”- Shaman.

    Sure it is! Just look at how casually we treat the about-to-be-born. Just look how easy it is to discard commitments, requiring children to wonder “Who is my daddy?” or “Who is my mommy?”

    Oodles of stories appear daily about people who have rejected personal responsibility in their lives.

    Tell us where you live. The rest of us are not able to purchase rose-colored glasses anywhere nearby.

    Atheists have their own dogma: There is no higher being or authority.” Agnostics are not in this group; they simply aren’t sure how to consider metaphysical notions.

    There’s no citation from the bible that tells us to treat classes of people poorly.

  • Shaman

    Looks like you just want power over others.
    You want to control people, make them do things your way.
    You like authority.

    None of that is very decent. And none of it is needed.

    Atheists don’t believe in a god. That’s all.
    Show me a god and I’ll reconsider.

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  • Duane Lamers

    Shaman, perhaps you’re too young to understand the tremendous decline that has occurred in our culture during the past half century. Maybe you were brought up to believe that you as an individual are the final arbiter of good and bad.

    I like authority? It appears from what you have written that you like it every bit as much as I do. The difference is that, it seems, you consider yourself to be the ultimate authority. In my day responsible parents dealt with their children who thought this way in a consistent manner so that they would grow out of it by the time they became adults.

    Not overlooked is your overlooking the examples of cultural decline we see every day. I bet, though, that you do your best to insulate yourself from it–without ever asking why things are this way.

  • Shaman

    I see no sign of cultural decline. I do see a breakdown of the social compact, though. And much of it can be blamed on right wing religious politics which have divided the country most markedly on taxes and disparity of income.

    If Christianity is for the poor you would think a nation of 70% Christian might be a bit more socialist. Instead it is all, ‘Tax the poor and give to the rich’ in the USA today.

    Relgious agendas have been destroying America since Ronald Reagan and the Christian Coalition made it a national project. Yes. I’m old enough to remember that.

    Atheists see progress. But Christians see what they have always seen ‘Sinners. So many sinners.’