Some of the CEOs accused of unethical business practices are also “born-again” Christians: Richard Scrushy of HealthSouth, Ken Lay of Enron and Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom. How did they justify actions that are unethical, if not criminal? Robert S. McElvaine (Chicago Tribune, July 17) explains that while Hindus believe in karma—what one does in this life matters for the next life, some Christians believe all you need to do is "accept Jesus and then you can do whatever the hell you want."
Malcolm Gladwell, author of the popular book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, was born in Canada to an English father and a Jamaican mother. He did not look black until he let his hair grow out Afro-style. With the Afro he started getting “stopped and frisked on the streets of America for no other reason than looking like a black American.” This experience of racial profiling was the inspiration for his most recent book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, which delves into the psychology of the “unconscious mental processes we all use to size up a person or a situation with just a few telling details” (Black Issues Book Review, July-August).
The preferred form of worship in many congregations consists of a welcome, 20 minutes of singing contemporary music, then a special musical performance and a sermon. Whatever else happens is secondary to “disseminating information people need in order to gain more control over their lives” and to ensure that they achieve “individual happiness. (Never mind that control is an illusion and happiness is transitory. See Ecclesiastes.)” Sally Morgenthaler (Theology, News & Notes, Spring).
Sad character: In an address at Yale Divinity School, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright reported that soon after 9/11 she was on a panel with Elie Wiesel, writer and Holocaust survivor. Wiesel asked the panelists to suggest who was the unhappiest character in the Bible.
A “faith-based economy,” argues Frederick H. Borsch, is based not so much on a “preferential option for the poor” as on a concern for the well-being of a community in which no one is left behind or left out or deprived of dignity. This is a goal that can never be achieved, yet should not be surrendered. says Borsch (Anglican Theological Review, Winter).