Religion in the post-Enron marketplace
"In the current climate of corporate scandal, many workers are questioning their employers' decisions, and some are beginning to use their spiritual beliefs as a compass to guide them at work," Cynthia Ingle reported on yesterday's edition of the Minnesota Public Radio program Marketplace (the segment starts 22 minutes and 24 seconds into the program).
Some companies with strong Christian values were especially lifted up as havens for those fed up with the Enrons and Qwests of the world.
"When there's an ethical code, people know where I stand on issues as opposed to the greed mentality that's driving a lot of decisions in large companies throughout the country," said Keith Richardson, president and founder of Sierra Trading Post. His company headquarters has a prayer and meditation room and all employees are instructed about the Christian principles guiding the company.
Likewise, Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy (who has a new book out) says his Christian values—closing on Sundays, following the Golden Rule, leading by serving, etc.—are the secret to his success. "I see no conflict between good business practice and solid biblical principles," he said. "You don't have to be crooked to be successful. You can make a business successful by being honest, truthful, and generous to your employees."
But what Ingle doesn't report is that the Enrons and Qwests of the world were also run by some of the country's best-known Christian executives.
Check out, for example, Fortune magazine's new list of America's 25 Greediest Executives. At the top is Qwest's Philip Anschutz, who sold $1.57 billion worth of company stock in May 1999. Regular Weblog readers will remember Anschutz as the man financing the Narnia films who said he wanted to do "something significant in American Christianity." Weblog doesn't recognize a lot of the other executives as Christians, but they may be. There is, of course, AOL Time Warner's Steve Case (sold $475 million of stock), who was attacked by gay activists for donating $8.3 million to D. James Kennedy's Westminster Academy. Enron's Ken Lay doesn't make the list, but the difference between his actions and his Christian commitment has been much discussed over the last year.
By the way, the Marketplace segment immediately preceding "Faith on the Job" is on the Metropolitan Community Church, a mostly gay denomination that Marketplace reporter Jason DeRose says has been untouched by the clergy abuse scandal. Wait a second—what about this story? Well, at least the article concludes by pointing out another sinister threat menacing churches nationwide: 15-passenger vans.
- Lawyers group may endorse cloning | Proposal before the American Bar Association would put the organization on record for the first time about cloning and at odds with the Bush administration (Associated Press)
- Action sought in abortion advice | The D.C. inspector general is recommending "appropriate disciplinary action" against an Emergency Medical Services supervisor whose advice prompted three rookies to get abortions last year (The Washington Times)
- Abortion training proposed for doctors | Bill would require state's medical schools to teach procedure (San Jose [Calif.] Mercury News)
- Abortion advocates sending mixed message | The assumption that opposition to abortion must be religiously based is wildly erroneous (John Leo, New York Daily News)
- God, death, and Justice Scalia | Justice Scalia refights an old, and long-lost, battle (Editorial, The Washington Post)
- Earlier: Books & Culture Corner: "Mind Control" and the Christian Citizen | Historian Sean Wilentz's misguided attack on Justice Antonin Scalia (Christianity Today, Aug. 5, 2002)
- Earlier still: God's Justice and Ours (Antonin Scalia, First Things, May 2002)
- Stem cell foes mount a final challenge | Scientists, MPs and clerics yesterday rallied opinion against embryo research (Sydney Morning Herald)
- Australia's Deputy Prime Minister rallies against stem cell research | John Anderson says the benefits of stem cell research are being seriously overstated (ABC News, Australia)
- Nourished on forbidden fruit | Playing God means playing with death, and yet scientific progress depends on man's ambition to look for ways to master what he doesn't understand (Suzanne Fields, The Washington Times)
Sex, marriage, and family:
- Sex in the City of God | A couple make the case for contraception-free marriage. And, no, they're not Catholic (National Review Online)
- Earlier: Make Love and Babies | The contraceptive mentality says children are something to be avoided. We're not buying it. (Sam and Bethany Torode, Christianity Today, Nov. 9, 2001)
- Good fathers? It figures | Study says stability, strong ties are keys for successful dads (Patricia Wen, The Boston Globe)
- Catholic colleges struggle with sex | With sexually active students on their campuses and the Vatican unswervingly opposed to premarital sex, America's Roman Catholic colleges face difficult choices on such sensitive matters as condom use and unwanted pregnancies (Associated Press)
- Adopt a church | Would it be unethical to list ourselves as Christian in the application with the assumption that there is a greater likelihood that we would be chosen to be parents? (The New York Times Magazine)
- SAVE Dade takes cause door-to-door | More than than 150 volunteers, many affiliated with local temples and churches, went door-to-door Sunday to educate voters about Miami-Dade's human rights ordinance, which voters will decide next month whether to leave intact (The Miami Herald)
- Anglican leader modifies outlook on homosexual marriages, priests | Says he'll let an Anglican resolution against gay marriages and gay priests stand (CNSNews.com)
Church abuse scandals:
- Failing to shed air of aloofness, church frustrates even its faithful | Nine months after the abuse scandal exploded, many Catholics in Boston are still frustrated by the response of the church hierarchy (The New York Times)
- Priests' meeting marks first public dissent over sex abuse policy | Resistance a Troubling Sign for Victims Groups (The Washington Post)
- Ousted members contend Jehovah's Witnesses' abuse policy hides offenses | Expelled members of Jehovah's Witness congregations are accusing the group of actively covering up child sexual abuse within the church (The New York Times)
- San Jose, California, Roman Catholic diocese to put windows in some confessionals | Hopes plan will safeguard against sexual abuse and protect priests from false accusations (Associated Press)
Missions & ministry:
- Growth of nation's gray population challenges community ministries | Age spread among seniors now means that programs must cover a broad spectrum, experts say (Los Angeles Times)
- Pastor completes U.S. unicycle trek | Lars Clausen crosses America to help the Eskimos to whom he once ministered (Associated Press)
- Lackluster response to 'Jesus' video fund drive hasn't deterred group | The committee now hopes to raise the money in time to get the videos distributed throughout the Roanoke Valley before Christmas (The Roanoke Times)
- Cruising for Christ | Church sees classic car show as an exercise in community outreach (South Bend [Ind.] Tribune)
- They pray to change the world | As its name, folks at the World Mission Prayer League pray. A lot (Skyway News, Minneapolis)
- Serving up coffee, sandwiches and talk about God | Holy Grounds Cafe has about 100 regular customers, but has yet to break even (Associated Press)
- Paws that refresh | Church's pet ministry helps heal sorrowful hearts of all ages (The Flint [Mich.] Journal)
- Taking Jesus to the streets | These downtown Dallas preachers say their experiences help them reach the least reachable (The Dallas Morning News)
- At Irving rally, youths pray for Billy Graham's October visit | Young Christians, about 5,000 strong, surrounded Texas Stadium and held hands in prayer Sunday in the scorching heat that only an August afternoon can bring (The Dallas Morning News)
- The gospel according to Franklin | Attacking Islam, taking on civil-rights groups -- Billy Graham's son steps out from the shadow of his famous father (The Sacramento [Calif.] Bee)
- Franklin Graham sees Islam as a religion of violence | Graham said he makes no distinction between the faith of Islam and the policies and practices of countries run by Islamic law (Associated Press/Charlotte Observer)
- Franklin Graham reiterates remarks about Islamic leaders | He says attacks weren't condemned; head of Muslim group disagrees (The Dallas Morning News)
Pop culture and media:
- Seeing God in crop circles | Is Signs getting at God? (David Klinghoffer, National Review Online)
- Insight into a world of religions | From facts to chats, sacred texts and a virtual tour, faith-based websites offer an abundance of information (The Washington Post)
- Living on a prayer | Shannan Taylor came close to throwing away his life and his boxing career, but now he's off cocaine, has found God and is once again chasing glory (The Sydney Morning Herald)
- Simpsons character celebrated at Christian festival | Ned Flanders Night was added to this year's Greenbelt Festival after an article in the magazine Christianity Today suggested that the evangelical animated character was more associated with the faith than such real-life religious figures as Pope John Paul II or Mother Teresa (CBC)
- Earlier: Saint Flanders | He's the evangelical next door on The Simpsons, and that's okily dokily among many believers (Christianity Today, Jan. 26, 2001)
- Blazing original path | Mansfield couple hocks car, business to launch magazine on Christian music (The Dallas Morning News)
- Also: Origin Magazine
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