Corporate Culture, Corporate Conscience

The removal of “Brendan Eich, Mozilla co-founder and creator of the JavaScript programming language” should make us all very concerned. He was not pressured to leave for what he did but what he believes. Here’s the central point that Joseph Sunde makes in his post at the Mozilla’s Statement of Faith and the Altars of Conformity:

…amidst all the pooh-poohing of the baker, the florist, and the photographer — whose complaints actually are bound up in the activities at hand – those very same critics casually proceed to make people the central thing. As the statement of faith clearly concludes, it is Eich who is the aggressor, and Eich who must be removed. The peace and tranquility of the interwebs is at stake, and influential proponents of archaic institutions mustn’t be allowed to stand in its way.

This isn’t to reject out of hand the right–even the obligation–of corporation to shape their business around specific moral norms.

Business are culture-makers at the core, and thus, conscience ought to guide such activities, from the bottom to the top and back again.

At the same time, however

…one can’t help but suspect this is less about a distinct corporate conscience than it is about blind cultural conformity. But then one remembers that, in this case, conformity the conscience, and there’s not a whole lot more going on “up there” than a raw fear of that looming Idol of Egalitarianism.

The central “virtue” of conformity is loyalty, to follow orders and to think along with the group. Nothing, it seems to me, can be further from what is necessary for a dynamic and growing business. Much less is it compatible with a free people and the value of the person.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

 

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Coca Cola and the American Ideal

I’m about as conservative as you can get. I am an unapologetic advocate of liberal democracy and the free market, a critic of an ever-expanding government and an opponent of legalized abortion and the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples. But political and cultural conservative though I am, I find the objections to the Coca Cola Super Bowl ad is misguided.

America is, thank God, a nation of immigrants and becoming American has never meant forgetting one’s heritage. What critics of the ad seem to have forgotten, or maybe never knew, is that being an American is not about speaking English exclusively. It is rather our shared commitment to those ideas about human life enshrined in at the beginning if the Declaration if Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

These ideals have survived wars, economic down turns, government corruption and even overcome the evil of slavery. If they could do this then certainly they can withstand a soft drink ad. And if not? They maybe we need to re-evaluate our own personal commitments to the American Experiment.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

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The Nation State vs. the Market State

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The state in the West has itself changed dramatically in the last generation. It has moved from a nation state to become a market state. Nation states can control their boundaries, their economies, their cultures, and their security; they seek to provide in varying degrees health care, education, and old-age security. A cocktail of changes in communications, technology, the failure of socialism, and globalization have undermined the nation state. In their place we have market states. Market states concentrate on maximizing opportunity. They balance public and private means of delivering public goods; and they look to the market place and its practices as a criterion of success in what they do. This is true of Moscow, London, Tokyo, Brussels, Berlin, Dublin, Seoul, and the like. Politics and religion reflect the background music of the market state. So we have market churches, market preachers, and market research driven politicians. Even philanthropy is now administered on the model of market practices. We can rave and rant all we want about this, but this is where we now live. It will take time for the new religious, political, legal, and military dust to settle; it is not surprising that we feel blinded and disoriented.

William J. Abraham, Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, “Just War, Terroism, and Christian Ethics.”  Diane Knippers Lecture, Institute on Religion & Democracy, Washington, DC, 7 October 2013.

Read the whole address here.

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The Goals and Limits of Secular Goverment

According to the Washington Post (here), hardly a right-wing publication, President Obama lied:

The Pinocchio Test

The administration is defending this pledge with a rather slim reed — that there is nothing in the law that makes insurance companies force people out of plans they were enrolled in before the law passed. That explanation conveniently ignores the regulations written by the administration to implement the law. Moreover, it also ignores the fact that the purpose of the law was to bolster coverage and mandate a robust set of benefits, whether someone wanted to pay for it or not.

The president’s statements were sweeping and unequivocal — and made both before and after the bill became law. The White House now cites technicalities to avoid admitting that he went too far in his repeated pledge, which, after all, is one of the most famous statements of his presidency.

The president’s promise apparently came with a very large caveat: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan — if we deem it to be adequate.”

Four Pinocchios

I bring this up not out of partisan concern but because of the religious liberty issues raised by the Affordability Care Act and the administration’s own policies that seek to enforce as a matter of federal law a sexual (im-)morality that is contrary to both natural law and the Gospel. Worse still, however, is the (mis-)use of the authority of government to require that citizens become active collaborators in supporting policies that violate their consciences. Continue reading

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Self-Discipline Today or Hardship Tomorrow

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“Wishful thinking will not fix our nation’s spending and debt problem,” says Dylan Pahman in this week’s Acton Commentary. “The longer we procrastinate, the harder it will be for us to actually do it.”

In the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, a collection of wise stories and sayings from the first Christian monks, the following is attributed to one Abba Zeno: “Never lay a foundation on which you might sometime build yourself a cell.” This saying has at least two possible applications: 1) Do not start something you do not intend to see through. 2) Do not put off for tomorrow the asceticism you can do today. Unfortunately, both of these lessons are lost on our federal government when it comes to financial responsibility, and it is our children who will pay for the sins of their fathers.

The full text of his essay is here.

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An Open Letter from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip to President Obama

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Metropolitan Phillip

Metropolitan Phillip

Metropolitan Philip is the leader of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese.

September 6, 2013

President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

We write to you with a heavy heart having heard the recent news of the attack on the ancient Christian city of Maaloula, Syria by the rebel forces. This city houses one of the oldest and most important monasteries, the Monastery of St. Thekla, which is considered a holy place by both Christians and Muslims.
This attack by the rebel forces, who are supported by the U.S. government, is an unspeakable act of terror, and speaks volumes to the viciousness of those rebel forces who seek to overthrow the Syrian government. Apparently there is nothing that is sacred to these people, and it is very disturbing that these same people are being supported by our government.

Mr. President, we appeal to your humanity, and compassion for people to halt consideration of any U.S military action against the Syrian government. This would be a deadly and costly action, and nothing can be gained by it. If indeed chemical weapons have been used (and this is still to be determined by the UN inspectors who recently returned from Syria), there is no compelling evidence which points to the use of these weapons by the Syrian government. On the contrary, there is some compelling evidence that the rebel forces had both the means and the will to launch such a heinous attack against innocent people, Christians and Muslims alike, who are all the children of God.

May our Lord and God guide you to find a peaceful solution which relies on negotiation and not bombs.

Sincerely

+Metropolitan PHILIP Saliba
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America

h/t: AOI.

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Syria, the Pope, China: A Conversation with Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion

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RUSSIA_-_VATICAN_Pope+Fancis+Hilarion+VolokolamskMoscow (AsiaNews) – The concern for the fate of Christians in Syria , where ” extremist forces aim to completely destroy Christianity “, the signs of a possible “normalization of worship for Orthodox believers in China ” ; dissatisfaction in the field of theological dialogue with Catholics, but the “amazing results ” in the common work on moral and the social values ​​. In an interview with AsiaNews , Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk , Head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Relations, tackles the main “foreign policy” themes of the Russian Orthodox Church and also focuses on the internal situation in Russia, where – he says – the much- criticized law against homosexual propaganda should be taken as a model by Western countries , which instead by favouring homosexual unions are heading towards “certain death .”

The situation is dramatic is Syria, what is the Russian Orthodox Churches‘ view of this conflict?

The situation in Syria deeply troubles us. This armed conflict has been going on for some time now. I would not term it a civil war, because I believe that it is a case of a struggle between diverse states in the territory of a third State, and very often the armed groups , which some call the opposition , are actually composed of foreigners, fighting with foreign money .

What concerns the Moscow Patriarchate most?

What worries the Russian Orthodox Church most of all is the fate of the civilian population and that of the Christians. It is clear that the extremist forces seeking power have set themselves the goal of the complete and total destruction of Christianity in Syria. And if they take power, even temporarily, the Christian population will be eliminated or driven out from their lands and their churches will be destroyed. We have repeatedly expressed……

Read more at asianews.it

h/t: Free Republic

 

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