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What Are Moral Values?"

By Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers  Posted by Rob Kall (about the submitter)     Permalink
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As some of you know, I am minister of Mayflower Congregational Church in
Oklahoma City, a church in northwest Oklahoma City, and professor of Rhetoric at
Oklahoma City University. But you would most likely have encountered me on the
pages of the Oklahoma Gazette, where I have been a columnist for six years, and
hold the record for the most number of angry letters to the editor.

Tonight, I join ranks of those who are angry, because I have watched as the faith I love has been taken over by those who claim to speak for Jesus, but whose actions are anything but Christian.

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We've heard a lot lately about so-called "moral values" as having swung the
election to President Bush. Well, I'm a great believer in moral values, but we
need to have a discussion, all over this country, about exactly what constitutes
a moral value -- I mean what are we talking about? Because we don't get to make
them up as we go along, especially not if we are people of faith. We have an
inherited tradition of what is right and wrong, and moral is as moral does. Let
me give you just a few of the reasons why I take issue with those in power who
claim moral values are on their side:

When you start a war on false pretenses, and then act as if your deceptions are
justified because you are doing God's will, and that your critics are either
unpatriotic or lacking in faith, there are some of us who have given our lives
to teaching and preaching the faith who believe that this is not only not moral,
but immoral.

When you live in a country that has established international rules for waging a
just war, build the United Nations on your own soil to enforce them, and then
arrogantly break the very rules you set down for the rest of the world, you are
doing something immoral.

When you claim that Jesus is the Lord of your life, and yet fail to acknowledge
that your policies ignore his essential teaching, or turn them on their head
(you know, Sermon on the Mount stuff like that we must never return violence for
violence and that those who live by the sword will die by the sword), you are
doing something immoral.

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When you act as if the lives of Iraqi civilians are not as important as the
lives of American soldiers, and refuse to even count them, you are doing
something immoral.

When you find a way to avoid combat in Vietnam, and then question the patriotism
of someone who volunteered to fight, and came home a hero, you are doing
something immoral.

When you ignore the fundamental teachings of the gospel, which says that the way
the strong treat the weak is the ultimate ethical test, by giving tax breaks to
the wealthiest among us so the strong will get stronger and the weak will get
weaker, you are doing something immoral.

When you wink at the torture of prisoners, and deprive so-called "enemy
combatants" of the rules of the Geneva Conventions, which your own country
helped to establish and insists that other countries follow, you are doing
something immoral.

When you claim that the world can be divided up into the good guys and the evil
doers, slice up your own nation into those who are with you, or with the
terrorists -- and then launch a war which enriches your own friends and seizes
control of the oil to which we are addicted, instead of helping us to kick the
habit, you are doing something immoral.

When you fail to veto a single spending bill, but ask us to pay for a war with
no exit strategy and no end in sight, creating an enormous deficit that hangs
like a great millstone around the necks of our children, you are doing something

When you cause most of the rest of the world to hate a country that was once the
most loved country in the world, and act like it doesn't matter what others
think of us, only what God thinks of you, you have done something immoral.

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When you use hatred of homosexuals as a wedge issue to turn out record numbers
of evangelical voters, and use the Constitution as a tool of discrimination, you
are doing something immoral.

When you favor the death penalty, and yet claim to be a follower of Jesus, who
said an eye for an eye was the old way, not the way of the kingdom, you are
doing something immoral.

When you dismantle countless environmental laws designed to protect the earth
which is God's gift to us all, so that the corporations that bought you and paid
for your favors will make higher profits while our children breathe dirty air
and live in a toxic world, you have done something immoral. The earth belongs to
the Lord, not Halliburton.

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