Religious Leaders See Ethics Crisis

Jan 26th, 2009 • Posted in: Reuters

Some call for “moral recovery plan” to accompany economic package

NEW YORK
Many church leaders maintain that the United States is facing not only an economic crisis but a meltdown of ethical values as well, according to a report from Reuters.

As a result, they say, this is an excellent time to bring people back into their pews.

“Honesty is honesty, the Rev. Jerry Johnson told Reuters. “It doesn’t matter if you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, whatever. A lot of these debacles we’re seeing can be traced and sourced back to a lack of good old ethics.”

A similar view was echoed by author Ken Eldred, who writes on the role of religion in business. “There has been a crisis of ethics,” he told Reuters, “and I think sadly it is quite significant. People think business has nothing to do with faith, that honesty is not always the best policy. But when you take that away, people end up worse overall.”

And David Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Atlanta’s Mercer University, argued that the United States needs not only an economic recovery plan but a “moral recovery plan” as well.

“We need … a renewal of the moral compass to do the right thing just because it’s right, obeying not just legal laws but moral laws related to how people need to be treated,” Gushee said.

Clerics interviewed for the piece noted that there often is a resurgence in church attendance in times of crisis, and one said that his church was mounting outreach efforts aimed at businessmen and -women.

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