NEW BLOG: Political and Spiritual Change

With neither George Bush nor Dick Cheney on the political landscape, both Republicans and Democrats in the presidential race are … Continued

With neither George Bush nor Dick Cheney on the political landscape, both Republicans and Democrats in the presidential race are free to demand that we start over. Now more than ever, Americans feel we are at an ending and we need change by leaps and bounds.

This is where our religious experiences should be instructive, because starting over is fundamentally a spiritual invitation. At the deepest level, our longing for a restart points to our longing for beginning — not a slight turn, but a fresh start. It’s not incremental. When we’re ready to start over, we want to start over — cleansed, freed, opened. We want what we cannot give ourselves: We want faith.

At a spiritual level, we know that we can’t start over on our own. Mistakes, losses, failures, missed opportunities — they’re all inescapable parts of life. Sure, we can try to forget them: We can change jobs, move apartments, find new partners, open a new book. But on our own, the past lingers, the sour taste remains, the mistakes exact their emotional toll. We are trapped in finitude and unable to escape the deep flaws that accompany it. Failings — especially our own — are like acid: They eat away at us.

That’s where we are as a country: At a certain level, many of us feel that we’ve fallen short — we haven’t measured up for our children, our workers, our soldiers, for the tests of our times. We know we should’ve done better for them all. We should be a beacon of hope to the oppressed, a land of opportunity for our children, a bulwark of strength for those who seek freedom, a leader for those who believe in the beauty of the earth and the hopes of the vulnerable. Instead, we just haven’t gotten it done.

Now, we want another chance, and we need more than new plans; we need faith.

American politics, like American faith, has always offered that chance: renewal, hope, starting over, profound and not incremental change. Europeans came to this country hoping to start over and prefaced many of the names of the towns they founded with the word “new.” Africans came as slaves to the distorted demands of greed and inhumanity, but even within that experience, they wrote and sang and longed of the coming of change. Frontiersmen and women created an identity steeped in starting over. The history of new deals and new frontiers and new freedoms all stir a deep wellspring of faith: perhaps it is possible. Perhaps we can start anew. Perhaps we can become what we dreamt we could be.

That’s why we need faith right now — faith in our leaders, faith in our country, faith in ourselves. Starting over is an act of sacred trust, an act that eschews the cynicism brought on by past failures and invites atonement, renewal, grace. We need not just energy but also forgiveness; not just plans but belief; not just an agenda but a vision. We’re looking for something to believe in, not something to agree to. Alone, we can’t wipe the slate clean but with faith, all things are possible.

Such a leap will be anything but a dreamer’s fancy; instead, it will be the combination of daring policy and sacred purpose. It will include bold new proposals that call us together to pursue that which is elusive but attainable-something we can achieve only by calling forth the absolute best in ourselves in pursuit of a transcendent purpose.

The options are plentiful: atone for our disastrous environmental policy of recent years and join a global campaign for a clean future; renew our commitment to peace and inaugurate a multi-decade campaign to eradicate nuclear weapons; work tirelessly and realistically for the grace necessary to bring peace to the Middle East; transform the healthcare debacle; unite our country in pursuit of schools that care; end the tyranny of preventable disease; promote economic growth for those hungering for a chance.

The nation is facing a moment of decision. As we seek the possible, the hunger for a new generation of moon shots abounds. Sacred hope, patriotic purpose, faithful action — these are the combinations that our time requires. To have faith in ourselves again — what a joy!

Timothy Shriver
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  • CindyLA

    Fred evil …….. RIGHT ON !!! More and more, everyday, Science is PROVING that the Bible is TRUTH!! More than ever today scientific facts are being brought into the light that prove this.

  • CindyLA

    Fred evil …….. RIGHT ON !!! More and more, everyday, Science is PROVING that the Bible is TRUTH!! More than ever today scientific facts are being brought into the light that prove this.

  • CindyLA

    Fred evil …….. RIGHT ON !!! More and more, everyday, Science is PROVING that the Bible is TRUTH!! More than ever today scientific facts are being brought into the light that prove this.

  • FunTravelAdventure

    cindyloon,You are insane!

  • petronius

    Religion (differentiated from spirituality or personal faith) tends to answer questions only in black and white terms, it is all or nothing. Thus, it is no surprise that the mixing of religion with American politics has produced the combustible mix that has poisoned our country for too many years now. We need to talk about pursuing our dreams and values as a nation in terms that are not too grounded in religiosity, in order to become less divisive. Religion injected into our politics has had results like demands that the Dept of Interior not publish the scientific estimates as to the age of various natural formations in the parks, since it would go against creationists. Our President who claims so publicly to be “a man of faith” made a rare personal trip to the congress to fight for his torture bill in congress. When the Bush-Cheny administration had troubles, they picked on gays. I hope that persons of faith lead the nation to practice “toleration” of all persons in this country, and to respect human rights for all. Shouldn’t we become a nation where “every person counts”, and define it as un-American to have racial, ethnic, or gender bigotries of any type? Toleration is a first step to peace. It promotes respectful dialog. These are regretably not qualities that the main religions are good at achieving, but which as Americans we may work toward. I appreciate Mr. Shriver’s attempt to have a discussion on these topics, but I hope that his idea is not that we need more religion in public life. I am a church-going “person of faith”, but I hate to see how some religious leaders and politicians are making “religion” defined by whom and what they are against, rather than the good that they are for. I believe that lots of good may be accomplished in society, invoking higher spiritual aspirations, without linking it to church leaders and to religion.

  • CindyLA

    Yeah …..That’s what they said about Noah also. You know what……If you are RIGHT and I am WRONG…then HUMANITY has nothing to lose……ON THE OTHER HAND…If I am RIGHT (about the BIBLE) and you are WRONG, then HUMANITY has EVERYTHING to lose.Don’t be foolish and take that chance.

  • From a Catholic anti-Papist

    I think that it is terrible that Bush is having the Pope go to the White House in April, during an election year. This is totally inappropriate. I would only condone this if the Pope is going to hear Bush’s much-needed confession, and to perform an exorcism on Cheny.

  • Sully

    Tim,In short, if you want vision, productive vision, well thought out and heavily considered vision, faith is the last thing you want to be involved in the process. And I believe the American people DO have faith in themselves. We just lost faith in our religious politicians who thought that all they had to do was what they thought God wanted and all would be well. Vision like that is going to be about as productive as having faith in a craps table. And the results of the last 7 years prove faith does not lead to vision but leads to many mistakes, and worse, the inability to recognize a mistake made in the name of God. And so attacking Iraq was good, withholding funding of stem cells was good, and even lying to Congress about Medicare costs or hiring US Attorneys based on their faith and not ability was good. All were done with God in mind and all cannot be considered bad since God would have approved. That is vision that comes from faith. We need no more of it Mr. Shriver.

  • Rob Littell

    Religion is fraud Tim. Feel free to promise me an afterlife, feel free to threaten me with hell. Feel free to get me to tithe money in the name of your space god, the one whose blood you think you are drinking, while eating his body, each Sunday. That’s freaky. Your god killed his son. We call that murder in my house. You worship a murderer? Some white space god guy who killed his son? That’s a blood cult. Religion is the last holdout of bigotry and judgement, all in the name of ‘God”. It’s for weak people Tim, so what’s your excuse? Are you crazy, or hiding? Your still young, why not skip the fraud, skip the judgment, and give up the fear racket? You sell fear for a living, and if you have an honest bone in your body, it should be easy to admit. God is a figment used by the scared to screw the weak. Why would you devote your life to something that is the opiate of the masses? Are you a pusher?

  • jeffRI

    A response to the posts that feel we do not have an open mind and suggest that we read the Bible – I would suggest the same in return! The Bible is hubrus and the sooner all of us realize that the better off we all are.And I’m gratified to see that science has crept into some consciousness here. We have now truly realized that GOD is the combination of hydrogen and helium gas at the beginning of the universe, that eventually led to the creation of every other scrap of matter in the universe (including YOU).So as you prostrate yourself to a ball of exploding gas – enjoy your one-on-one with the almighty!OPEN THE MIND – don’t CLOSE IT

  • Anonymous

    Petronius….. I understand where you are coming from….and every person is valuable. No human being should be mistreated. If they break the LAW …put them behind bars but they shouldn’t be treated with cruelty. Toleration is a broad subject. Should we tolerate what is against SCRIPTURE. I don’t think so. I don’t advocate mistreating anyone. We need GOD…..when it was mandated that public prayer be taken out of schools our nation started a downward spiral. THAT IS FACT. If we would treat everyone like JESUS treated them and have MORAL character like Christ….our problems would start to disappear. . . . BUT that won’t happen because that is NOT what is in Bible propecy.

  • moemongo

    Why don’t we get a little bit real and focus on facts and sort of downplay the feelygood about hope and dreams. The country and the world are in dire need of attention to the chaos created by this administration of greed and incompetense.The facts are pretty clear, lets focus on them….

  • CindyLA

    Religion should only be defined by what the Bible says …… not by personal beliefs.

  • Dr.R.P.

    Actually Jeffri, things most likely started as a quark-gluon plasma. But your point is well taken. We can bow down to some vague idea about gods and hope for the best (sort of like planning your future by throwing dice), or we can actually raise our consiousness and use these wonderful brains to reason our way to a better world. I prefer the 2nd choice, because then at least if you try something and it doesn’t work, you have the option of trying something else. With religious superstition, you are “all in”; if things don’t work out, you attribute it to not being worthy or some load of &^%$* like that.I prefer the real world…

  • CindyLA

    Moemongo…NO one person or groups of persons can fix it. Whether anyone likes it or not OR believes it or not GOD is the solution and to leave Him out of the equation is to have nothing BUT more chaos. HISTORY have proven this repeatedly….and HISTORY will repeat itself AGAIN if there is not a mass move back in God’s direction. AMEN

  • CindyLA

    Dr.R.P.: I don’t know where you get your views of ‘religion’ BUT you are somewhat mislead.TRY AGAIN.

  • Anonymous

    Cyndyla: I am sure I had as much religious training as most people. Thank goodness I saw that blindly following some belief system that claims to have all the answers and does not tolerate differences of opinion was not for me. Finishing your comments with “amen” just makes you appear more indoctrinated to me.

  • Dr.R.P.

    Sorry, that last “anonymous” comment was from me.

  • Rob Littell

    The Judeo-Christian God: “the Ten Commandments said “Thou shall not kill”, (and yet) God kills 70,000 innocent people because David ordered a census of the people (1 Chronicles 21). God also orders the destruction of 60 cities so that the Israelites can live there. He orders the killing of all the men, women, and children of each city, and the looting of all of value (Deuteronomy 3). He orders another attack and the killing of “all the living creatures of the city: men and women, young, and old, as well as oxen sheep, and asses” (Joshua 6). In Judges 21, He orders the murder of all the people of Jabesh-gilead, except for the virgin girls who were taken to be forcibly raped and married. When they wanted more virgins, God told them to hide alongside the road and when they saw a girl they liked, kidnap her and forcibly rape her and make her your wife! Just about every other page in the Old Testament has God killing somebody! In 2 Kings 10:18-27, God orders the murder of all the worshipers of a different god in their very own church! In total God kills 371,186 people directly and orders another 1,862,265 people murdered.” Nice guy. Hmmmmm, I think I meant to say angry guy. Full of power and glory and in charge of heaven and…wait a minute, it’s all a fraud! To justify seizing some real estate.

  • MMM

    If you really want to renew your faith based on accurate knowledge of the Scriptures–which, BTW, are nothing like what you’ve been taught via Catholicism or Protestantism–then open the door the next time a Jehovah’s Witness knocks on your door. You will discover what the Bible really teaches regarding the following myths:1. Immortality. We are all mortal. Your uncle had it right. Immortality was grafted onto Christianity by the Roman Empire. It stems from Greco-Roman mythology, not the Bible2. Heaven as a reward. All good people will not be resurrected to heaven. Most of humanity–good and bad–will be resurrected to eternal life on earth. Isn’t that where you’d rather be if you’re honest with yourself?3. God gets involved in politics. He does not. He has established his Kingdom in heaven–you, know, the one from the Lord’s Prayer–and expects anyone seeking his favor to turn away from self-rule, since it doesn’t work, and to become citizens of his Kingdom. This means being politically neutral and not taking up arms against our fellow man.These are just three of the major issues Jehovah’s Witnesses will clear up for you using your own copy of the Bible. You can be a true leader, Tim, by examining the Bible for yourself rather than just accepting the tired old “faith” handed down to you by your family. It’s up to you.

  • Sully

    CindyLA wrote: ” If I am RIGHT (about the BIBLE) and you are WRONG, then HUMANITY has EVERYTHING to lose. OR IF WE BELIEVE and follow God’s word we HAVE EVERYTHING TO GAIN !!!!!!”Oh you poor soul. If I told you that you had to give me a dollar or I’d pray a tornado drop on your house, would you pay me? I mean, you only have a little money to lose but everything to gain!CindyLA wrote: “Don’t be foolish and take that chance. Read the Bible with an open mind. It’s possible you could have a change of heart.”When I was a “believer” as a result of a violent Catholic school upbringing, I did sit down, well actually I was in bed for two weeks with viral pneumonia, and read the bible with an open mind. The contradictions alone were enough to make me reread many passages. There were a alot of great stories to learn morality from, but Aesop’s fables do too. I considered how the story of the Good Samaritan made little sense as what a good Christian should do since the person who did stop to help the man was not a Christian since christianity had not been developed then. He was not a follower of Christ. Men of other religions who passed the man by didn’t help, it was the Good Samaritan, a man of no religion or unknown religion. It showed me that goodness is within all men, refecting the mantra of Father Flannigan, founder of “Boys Town” that “there is not such thing as a bad boy”. I never read anywhere Christ admonishing the physical punishing of children, something today most Americans of all faiths find abhorant due to its basis in anger, or even the clutural subjugation of women in jewish and non-jewish societies of the time. I was surprised that Chist suggested being good to your slaves instead of freeing them. Christ seems not to have been bothered by slavery that today we see as pure evil. Here are two passages: ‘Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward’ (1 Peter 2:18).’Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ’ (Ephesians 6:5). I thought a lot about Sodom/Gamorrah, how only evil men and women were smited and Lott was the only good man the angels found, a man, who when his male guests were threatened said: ‘Behold, I have two daughters who have not known man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.’ Oh yea, Lott was a wonderful guy. And surprisingly, there is no mention of the children of Sodom/Gamorrah, the unborn babies, the sick or elderly, and as Father Falnnigan would have said, the city’s boys who were not “bad boys” but just needed proper guidance. God, instead of providing guidance smited all, just as he had done with a flood to all the earth eons before except Noah’s family.I realized that man, in many ways, has abilities well beyond the proported words of God and even Christ’s in man’s ability to care, to help others and to provide for a safe and productive society without the need for kings or slavery. And this was happening in Christian and non-christian societies. The Peace Corps is one example of people doing what even Christ did not envision, spreading productive techniques and technology so people could help themselves. Christ always spoke of the authority of earthly Kings, which today we understand should not have that authority over people without their consent. So cindyLA, I no longer believe in a higher power but instead believe in the innate ability we all have within us to do good, to be moral, and to know right from wrong. I also believe in the evil that can come from organized religions including the christian ones, and how the evidence is everywhere for organized christianity to be used against people inside and outside the faith. I suggest you reread your own bible with an open mind and ask yourself if you should spend your life living a delusion or whether you should grow up, think for yourself and question the authority you believe your religion has over you, because either way you believe, this is the only life you get. Relying on a book that is ok with inequality, slavery, and not lifting the poor out of poverty and saying that it promises paradise is very strange to hear from anyone who calls themselves open minded since the open minded can see that Aesop’s fables are a much better teacher of morality than the bible since its lessons deal with YOUR actions and not the resulting actions of God against you.

  • Dr.R.P.

    Sully, how old were you woke up? It took me most of high school.

  • MORE RELIGIOUS BS

    MORE RELIGIOUS BS THAT WE DON’T NEEDLet’s stop publishing this carpola in the newspaper!

  • CindyLA

    Sully …….. You have taken ALL these scriptures out of context. I know what the Bible says about everything you have written…AND your arguments are NOT in line with what the Bible says.YOUR STATEMENTS . . . .Oh you poor soul. If I told you that you had to give me a dollar or I’d pray a tornado drop on your house, would you pay me? I mean, you only have a little money to lose but everything to gain!YOUR RIGHT . . . only a poor soul without direction would take heed to this kind of threat. WHO ARE YOU ??? You were not a writer of the HOLY scriptures !!!! OF COURSE, this is an extremely LAME ARGUMENT.NOW . . . START OVER AND RE-READ THE BIBLE….NOT FROM A CATHOLIC POINT OF VIEW EITHER. Good day !!

  • Dr.R.P.

    Cyndyla: So that is what you mean by “TRY AGAIN’.

  • robbie

    TO: Rob Littell (re: to “February 11, 2008 1:38 PM “If this story is even remotely true, i more than likely butchered it and got the details wrong (as i was repeating it from hearing it years ago). But that doesn’t matter, because it is meant to be an allegory. This is what God did. the only thing that keeps us from being close to God is two things: 1. our choice and 2. sin. .

  • Mark

    Is this not a great country? Everyone, unless you disagree with the current administration, has the RIGHT to say what they want. From 43 promoting his “crusade,” with his war on Iraq, to the commentator claiming “we need faith in our leaders,” people are fed so much information, or mis-information, it is sometimes challenging just to understand the basics. Oh for the days when we were a Christian nation, a nation which concerned itself with the sick, the needy, the elderly and the less fortunate. Thanks to the “great divider,” it is difficult to separate the pseudo-Christians from the real Christians, those who actually live the life JC proclaimed in the Bible I read. GBY

  • Roy

    CindyLA says.”Religion should only be defined by what the Bible says …… not by personal beliefs.”But who determines “what the Bible says..”?Neochristians who cherry pick scriptures to use Leviticus to damn gays but ignore Leviticus 19:33 in regard to illegal immigrants?How much hate, judgment, racism, bigotry, exclusion and other behavior that is not anywhere near what Christ taught is began by the words “The Bible says……!”

  • Rob Littell

    If I send my son to be sacrificed on an altar, am I not complicit in his murder? Your God is a killer. A cold blooded killer. As to sacrificing one’s son to save humanity? Was that necessary? No other ideas were available toyour all glorious all powerful entity? He had to kill his son? For what? 2000 years of more murder rape and pillage. What did we get out of it exactly? As to your father letting his kid on play in the gears and then allowing him to die, why,arrest that man! For negligence, failure to care for his child, and murder. What an idiot that guy is. IF your god was on Earth, he’d be in jail. For murder.

  • robbie

    i didnt think you would understand that allegory. What was he supposed to do, allow the train people to die. Us humans got life out of the sacrfice. It’s a life nnow walking with him, and it is life in heaven walking with him. Did you not understand that? Those who reject and take it fro granted are the ones who murder and rape. I am not defending all “christians” as some do murder and rape.The are not real christians. A murderer (in your opinion, God) is not a murderer if their “victim” CHOOSES death over life. Besides, even if tyou want to pursue that God is a murderer, then remeber, Jesus arose from the dead 3 days later. Wow, uour murderer theory is silly. ANyway, why read these articles if you know what they are about. Just ignore them. Why does it offend you so much. It shouldn’t.

  • Rob Littell

    As to the father who let his son play on the tracks, the dimwit should have been responsible, and not allowed his child to die. Your God simply killed his kid, there was no train heading at humanity. And no mention beforehand of saving humanity. That’s the afterdrivel. I think ‘forsake me’ we’re the words. If faith makes you happy, all the power to ya, just pray in your closet, and wait your turn at the apocolypse. You’re irresponsible though, giving your life up to some space god murderer.

  • Kentucky Woman

    It saddens, and frankly, rather shocks me to read some of the comments here. There are people who seem to feel they know it all – from “knowing” the Bible and the will of God, to “knowing” that Bill Mahrer apparently IS God, because he has declared all things religious ridiculous. First of all, none of us fully know the Bible or the will of God. If knew everything, we would be God and therefore would have no need of God. People that claim to be “Christian”, spout scripture and verse, and place themselves above others because they “know”, are not behaving in the spirit which God intends for us. Have you ever heard of meekness and humility? Or about not judging others? I think that part of the reason so many people are turned off by religion is because so many Christians don’t behave like one. When Christians come off as self-righteous, judgmental, and superior, what kind of witness/testimony is that for Christ? It isn’t. And it’s one of the main reasons why people turn their backs, not only on religion, but on God. That’s putting stumbling blocks in the paths of others; it’s also disobeying God’s command to live our lives as a witness for others. If you can’t control what comes out of your mouth, better to say nothing at all.People that have no use for religion mistakenly replace manmade rules, or religion, for the spiritual path itself. I believe there are different paths to God. I don’t think Christianity is the only one. I think all paths lead to the same place, i.e., God, and I think it is a very wise and all-knowing God, who created all manner of diverse people, that also knew that more than one path was needed to appeal to so many. Why should there be anything wrong with that? It’s only the pride of man that makes man want to be the one to decide what is the “right” path. Pride and arrogance.Likewise, it is pride and arrogance that pronounces that there IS no God. If someone doesn’t wish to believe in God, doesn’t think he/she needs a God to believe in, to give strength, to give guidance, that’s fine. As long as that person doesn’t try to infringe on someone else’s right to believe. I personally believe in God; I do NOT believe in religion. Religion is merely the way an individual goes about practicing his/her beliefs. Some people need structure and ritual, others do not. But we should all respect each other’s beliefs and live accordingly.Bill Mahrer doesn’t believe in religion. He doesn’t believe in much government, either. As a Libertarian, he also doesn’t think we should have to pay taxes. At least, until he wants to drive his car somewhere and he finds there are no roads or too many potholes. Bill Mahrer is just a man, with his own beliefs and his own opinions. So are we all. He’s entitled to think what he wishes, as are we all.Having gotten that off my chest, I agree with Mr. Shriver that what we need now more than ever is a man with vision. That’s why I supported John Edwards – because his vision for America embraces eradicating poverty and dismantling classism. Unfortunately, it is apparent that the majority of the American people do not have a vision for our country. Instead of supporting leaders who truly care about the individual, voters are more concerned with the race, gender, and/or family name of the candidate. None of these are good reasons to vote for someone; they’re not even adequate reasons.I see the same thing happening in this election as I did in Bush’s first run for office. Beware of candidates who advocate change but don’t give specifics. Remember, it was George W. Bush who said that he was “going to bring change”. It’s too bad voters didn’t demand he tell them how he planned to do that – specifically.I liked that about Edwards. He had a vision for this country, and he was very specific about how he planned to bring that vision about. Unfortunately, the media shut him out (of course, the media outlets are now virtually all owned by a handful of very rich individuals, mostly Republican, so that’s not surprising). Rich business owners did not want Edwards talking about classism or poverty – after all, that is how the very rich maintain their oligarchical rule over our country.Now that Edwards is gone, who’s left? On the Democratic side, it’s Obama and Clinton. Both are corporatists. But McCain is much worse, with his commitment to stay in Iraq “for 100 years, if necessary.” IS that what we Americans want? Do we want to stay in Iraq? The vision we need for America is to once again walk the path of leadership. That doesn’t mean we’re bullies and coerce other people or countries to do what we want. It doesn’t mean that we judge those who are poor and make them the victims of their circumstances. It doesn’t mean that we decide to run our country like a theocracy or a dictatorship, either.What, as a society, do we, or should we value? Do we value the environment? Do we value having clean air to breathe and clean water to drink? Do we value the individual person over and above the business owner? Do we believe that everyone deserves a fair shake and a level playing field? IF we do, then we need to remember that big business, like government, is NOT A PERSON.Big business is OWNED by persons and those persons make a profit. That’s what they are in business to do. The buildings, etc., don’t get the money, people do. So when we give these people license to do just about anything they want in the name of making a profit, capitalism, free enterprise, or whatever other name you want to call it, then we are, in effect, like Bill Mahrer, saying that we don’t believe in a level playing field. That we believe, instead, that people who own businesses shouldn’t have to abide by environmental rules, rules regarding employment, etc., because they interfere with making a profit. Is this how most people really feel? I hope not. We currently have a culture of selfishness and greed in this country. For the last eight years we have had an administration who have not led with vision, but have run this country like a business, which it is not and was never intended to be. For those of you who have forgotten or who have never learned this – our democracy, our government, is OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE.Hillary Clinton said it best when she said that “Government shouldn’t be run like a business. The object of government is to serve the people.” This was in response to a question put to her and Obama during the SC Democratic Debate – Mitt Romney had stated that he was the best CEO to run the United States. The question was what was Obama’s and Clinton’s response. I’ve already told you what Clinton replied. Obama’s reply was that he had “better management style” than Romney.Who has the vision? Obama says he wants to bring change, but he NEVER fully explains specifically HOW he will do that. He makes the same generalized, lofty statements that are so similar to George Bush’s statements in 2000.That scares me.So, who has the best vision for America? Do any of the candidates? I think we should start asking; don’t you? And we should demand specifics. No sound bytes here, just genuine ideas and honest communication.It is the right and responsibility of every American to expect and demand quality leadership from elected officials. It’s time Americans remember that and start being citizens once again by participating in the reciprocal relationship that exists between individual citizen and their government. Each has rights and responsibilities to each other. Citizens have stopped participating, seemingly content with what they get. Or not. What’s wrong with America can be fixed. And it starts with each and every individual in this country that can legally vote.Heads up, people. Put those critical thinking skills to work and start looking past race, gender, and surnames. Start looking at who has the best vision for not only our country, but each individual who resides therein.

  • lovinliberty

    What is about the media’s perverse fascination with the Kennedys?! If there is a god I beg that s/he spare us already. Why must every Kennedy/Shriver have a say on any subject they want–particular so called higher purposes? Enough with the American Royalty schtick, its as old as Ted, older ….Kennedys talking about fresh starts? That’s as bad as Clinton feeling your pain or Bush’s compassionate conservatism!

  • robbie

    Well, we all have a right to believe in what we want Rob. I dont see how you keep missing the points i make though. Again, i dont understand why you keep coming back to these articles, when you hate/extremely disagree with what Shriver says. Anyway. i sincerely hope you find something greater than yourself to live for.

  • Deanna

    It’s not about religion or faith or hope or ….. It’s about LEADERSHIP! It’s about RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY!And if you think responsibility and accountability apply only to “Leaders,” you’re not going to like what I have to say about responsible citizenship.SULLY: You say what we need is vision. You hit the nail right on the head. For the past couple of decades, the Oval Office has been occupied by a man more interested in keeping his nest feathered and the special interests happy than in achieving something worthwhile for the United States. Their behavior, bad parenting [see my comments, below], and greedy self-indulgence [see below] have a lot in common. What we need is a LEADER — someone with vision, the dedication and perseverance to see it through, and the willingness to be “unpopular” with many people if that’s what is required to see the vision through. Think about our greatest Presidents. Abraham Lincoln tops nearly every poll of historians and scholars as the greatest President we have ever had. What sets him apart? Vision, determination, and perseverance in the face of adversity and angry constituents! The polls paint a vivid picture of Presidential greatness. In about 15 polls taken over the past twenty years or so, three Presidents held the top three spots in EVERY poll: Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Not once did another President occupy one of the top three spots. In addition, three more Presidents were consistently in the next seven spots — never less than 10: Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Harry S. Truman. Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, and Dwight D. Eisenhower each had their time in the top ten and always came in at 15 or above.What about our more recent Presidents? Rankings in the various polls varied significantly, so I took an average. On top was LBJ with an average of 11.6, followed by JFK at 12.5. Then a sharp drop down to Bill Clinton,20.7; George W. (Baby) Bush, 21; Jimmy Carter, 21.8; George H. W. (Daddy) Bush, 22.1; Ronald Reagan, 25.3; Gerald Ford, 26.3, and, finally, Richard Nixon at 29.2.COMPARE: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, F.D.R., Truman, Wilson, and Eisenhower WITH: L.B.J., J.F.K., Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Daddy Bush, Clinton, and Baby Bush.On the one hand, you have men of vision, strength, determination, and self-respect who are able to command respect and allegiance; in other words, Leaders! L.B.J. & J.F.K. are closer to this group than their successors who, on the other hand, are all a couple of qualities shy of leadership and potential greatness. While a couple lacked strength and the ability to command respect and allegiance, the rest served at the beck and call of special interests: big business, big money, and, lately, big(oted) religion. Instead of governing for the common good, they governed to give their buddies financial gain or political leverage. But guess who’s responsible for their holding the highest political office in the land?WE ARE.They gained our votes by appealing to our desires. Much of what they promised was far more expensive than they were willing to admit. And did we bother to stop and analyze, to ask how they were going to provide expanded government benefits while cutting taxes? No, we just voted for pie in the sky based on stripping the richest of more of their money.The situation in this country is not going to get one tiny bit better until we take a long, hard look at ourselves. We’re probably not going to like what we see, but admitting that we’re responsible for the mess we’re in will be the first step toward returning this country to greatness. Greed, self-indulgence, and lawlessness have to be replaced by respect for the environment, attention to the needs of others, planning for the future, and respect for the rule of law. Common courtesy needs to become fashionable again. Rude, disrespectful behavior needs to be seen for what it is!A few responses:WJS: In your first post you wrote about the religious middle being under attack from extremists of all stripes. I concur, but what have we done about it? Just about nothing! We need to stand up for our beliefs — and at the core of nearly every belief system is The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Everywhere we look, we see just the opposite. Greed, envy, hatred, selfishness, discord, self-indulgence — that’s the norm. “The rules don’t apply to me!” Well, of course they don’t! We see that attitude expressed daily in business, politics, sports, entertainment. We are surrounded by greedy, self-indulgent “role models” who feed off the poor and needy. Instead of acting to provide alternative role models, the majority of “ordinary” people have tried to keep up with Joneses in a totally new way!JOSEPHTHEPOET & STUART: You’re right on all counts. A “Christian’s” actions speak volumes. Praying lips are lips put to good use, but prayers must of necessity lead to helping hands. And as for who is a Christian, I love the following statement I picked up somewhere: “Standing in a church and calling yourself a Christian is like standing in the garage and calling yourself a car.” Saying it doesn’t make it so. Only God can judge whether we’ve lived a Christian life. For the rest of us, actions, not words, are the acid test.HUNTER: You talk about taking responsibility for our children. AMEN!!! In my ten years as a 5th grade teacher, I could predict a parent’s style by working with their child. I didn’t need to meet the parent; I had only to view the product. And I saw less and less responsible parenting as time went on. Loving, reliable, responsible parenting takes a great deal of work, patience, a willingness to be disliked by your child, and the ability to see your child unhappy as the result of their own bad decisions. It also begins with the understanding that your goal is to eliminate your own job, in 18 years or less. Our world is not going to get any better until everyone is held accountable for the consequences of their actions. And that will only happen when parents stop trying to be their children’s “buddies” and learn to be their parent.THANK YOU for the new blog. Hopefully, it will take a few days before it is taken over by religious extremists and anti-theists lobbing verbal grenades at anyone and everyone who doesn’t share their particular opinion on the matter.

  • Deanna

    To KENTUCKY WOMAN:AMEN, SISTER!!! AMEN! While I may not agree with your individual political preferences, I agree with your every word! We need to take responsibility, use our brains, get off our duffs, and quit building walls! It’s time we started building bridges — between ourselves and with other countries!I’M WITH YOU, SISTER!!!

  • Sully

    CindyLA wrote: “YOUR RIGHT . . . only a poor soul without direction would take heed to this kind of threat.”Poor souls usually respond to threats and make threats, like believe or be doomed to hellfire.CindyLA wrote: “WHO ARE YOU ??? You were not a writer of the HOLY scriptures !!!! OF COURSE, this is an extremely LAME ARGUMENT.”Can you explain how Lott was rightious when he offered his virgin daughters to the mob so they would leave his male guests alone? My guess is you’ll skip that since it hard to face the conflicts within the religion you have based you life on.And I would just point out that you are not a writer of the scriptures either, just someone who believes what you were told they mean. If you cannot understand why Lott was righteous to offer his daughters to the mob, then you have a problem. Me, I understand it as normal to treat women like dirt in that day. So is God saying women should be treated like dirt and our views today of equality and equal rights is just not what God wants of us? Or maybe the word of God is not what you were told it meant?CindyLA wrote: “NOW . . . START OVER AND RE-READ THE BIBLE….NOT FROM A CATHOLIC POINT OF VIEW EITHER.”Its the love and inclusiveness that religions advertise that I find ironic.

  • Bible is Doodie

    Yum Yum… Bible is Doodie…Mmmmm… Doodie… Bible Doodie…Pffttt… Bible… Doodie…Bible is Doodie.

  • Jeff P

    Timothy Shriver: “We’re looking for something to believe in, not something to agree to. Alone, we can’t wipe the slate clean but with faith, all things are possible.”I couldn’t possibly disagree more.We’d do well to remember that the “values voters” and the “believe-in” base elected this president twice, and as many wise folks have commented below, we will suffer the consequences of this administration for many years to come. We’ve never needed to “agree to” policy, procedure, and the thrust of our wonderful constitutional principles more, within the workings of presidential oversight, congressional effort, and a breakdown of a partisan judiciary.We don’t need more “faith.” That seems to me to be the same logic as trying to drown the fire with more fuel. Timothy Shriver: “Sacred hope, patriotic purpose, faithful action — these are the combinations that our time requires.”This sounds to me like the 2004 Republican election campaign all over again. Heaven help us is this becomes the new battle cry, again.My hope for this nation is a new direction that incorporates reason, hospitality, decisions that are emperical and testable and verifiable, mercy, goodwill, and legions less “right versus wrong” or “good versus evil” manichean certainties that have defined both the Republican party and this administration in particular.

  • J Rhinehart

    Concerned The Christian Now Liberated wrote:” To have faith in ourselves again — what a joy!” so says Timothy Shriver.And all that requires is a recognition of the flaws in the foundations of the major religions i.e…..

  • Thomas Baum

    I find it very sad that so many people justify their, shall we say ‘shortcomings’, on their conception that God is a total piece of garbage and they have the bible to prove it and then they have the audacity to call themselves “christians” and say that they follow Jesus, what a total crock! God is actually a Being of Love, Pure Love. God also has a Plan and has had His Plan since before creation and it is unfolding as we speak, either in person or on these posts or any other means of communication. If God was even remotely like what some of the people that know His Name think that He is, who with even a drop of decency flowing in their veins would want to have anything to do with Him. One day all will know that God’s Plan is all-inclusive. Sometimes it is hard to believe that God, Who is a Being of Pure Love and the God spoken of in the bible are One and the Same, when I read some of the absolute bitter hatred being spewed out in His Name and using the bible as their justification by some so-called “christians” of all different persuasions and non-persuasions but the True, Living, Triune, Triumphant God and God spoken of in the old and new testaments of the bible are the same. By the way, I have met God and I put my faith in God not in myself. It doesn’t matter what label you put on yourself or what label someone else puts on you because God looks at you not your label, that is why it is important what you do and why you do it and what you know. We are all made in God’s Image [Love] whether it shines thru or not might be another story and calling oneself a “christian” doesn’t necessarily mean that it will shine thru. Also God is a searcher of hearts and minds not of religious affiliations or lack thereof. Take care, be ready, see you [humanity] in the Kingdom. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Fred Evil

    CindyLA – Interesting comment, care to name a few things that science has proven to be true from the Bible? Anything?

  • J Rhinehart

    Mr. Shriver, But I understand and agree with your main point. We do need to believe in something, & we do need a new optimistic attitude. And that is what religion succeeds so often at offering. However, please don’t encourage people to believe religion is the only way to get a new hope for the future.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    J. Rhinehart,Faith in ourselves means our faith in History and Reality i.e. the recognition of the flaws in all aspects of our lives to include our political and religious lives and having/making the means to “deflaw it all”.

  • william kraal

    oh jezus maria you are so right we need a new start away from religion that poisons everything and everyone it touches!!

  • Dr.R.P.

    I would say that many people used faith as their sole reason for supporting George W. Bush in the last two presidential elections. Considering where that has gotten our country, I would suggest people use some other mode of thought for their next big decision. I try to stick with logic. But that’s just a suggestion…

  • Roy

    A truly “fresh start” would be a time when we know our leaders have spiritual insight but when they don’t tout ii or use it for political gain. A fresh start would be when we regard our leaders’ religious denominations with interest and respect, but when it is not a determining factor in changing the law and the Constitution to suit the particular interpretations of “God’s standards” by one politically powerful religious group in America. Rather than “starting over” with more neochristian “spiritual insight” we need to go back to a time when our government and our people respected each other’s religious differences.Religioous hatred, intolerance and division is another stinking legacy of Cheney, his buddy Rove and their marionette Georgie Bush Junior.

  • Claus Hausberger

    I agree that America (and Europe) needs a political change. And and a religious one, too. But away from religion (it destroys societies and only creates pain in the long run) to a society based on reason and more respect for nature and other humans

  • pv

    We need to be done with religion and politics.good riddance

  • WJS

    The vast majority of middle America lives in that grayish purple area between the angry atheists and the angry televangelist. We believe in God, and get very defensive when people ask us to put our faith in people or government. We get very defensive when we are ridiculed for keeping to certain disciplines in our lives, or when we are attacked and stereotyped as being some type of medieval crusader. On the flip side, we are very uncomfortable with those who claim to “define” faith by their own narrow terms, be it Fred Phelps on one extreme, or the Wiccan Episcopal Priest who endorses any deist approach on the other. The reality is that most people struggle with the basics: not losing our temper in traffic, disciplining our children without crushing their spirit, good nutrition but not gluttony, choosing between charity or flat-screen televisions. As a nation, sometimes we spend a lot of time counting how many angels can dance on the head of the president’s ballpoint pen, while our own house burns.

  • Bob

    Let’s begin by enacting legislation that expressly defines faith as the high crime and misdemeanor it is. We would then have the basis for removing nutjobs from office before they have the chance to do too much damage.

  • Gilgamesh

    Morality and ethics can exist and flourish without the mystery and fiction of religion. Want to be an upstanding and pure person? Good. That’s also what I want you to be. Go ahead – no need to wait for man masquerading as god to show you the way.All religion is equally false.

  • JosephThePoet

    Just because some people claim to be followers of God does not mean they are, as their actions will give proof to the truth. We need politicians who fear God. Look at where removing God from all our laws and regulations, has put us. God is all about love and giving, and we are all loved by God. A real lover of God will try to improve life for all people, and also know that following God’s laws and way of doing things makes sense. We are in terrible danger right now because we turned our back on God and have instead promoted catering to every desire of man.

  • harold lamont

    who is this goofy-looking white boy? why are all the religious nuts so opie-looking? basically anyone obsessed with any religion is actually obsessed with sex and probably doesn’t get any, has always had problems getting some, was molested, etc. explains all that creepy enthusiasm misdirected into loving jebus and influencing politics. just get laid you freak!

  • rugnot

    too many of us spend too much time looking outside of ourselves for “faith”, “salvation”, “answers”, call it what you want; all of us need to look inward, to ask: what kind of person am I?

  • Hunter

    One only need to read a holy text for several minutes to realize justice must be paired with grace and mercy. Mr. Shriver’s talk sounds more like a 60’s pipe dream than realistic analysis. WJS is right. Spiritual change depends on individuals (especially parents) taking responsibility for the primary education of our children in the home. True grace and mercy depend on true justice. The silent scream of the eradication of “fetuses” will stall any hope of moral progress until America learns to take responsibility for its own actions, one helpless child at a time.

  • James

    Wow, I’m not here to support religion, but comments like, “…we need a new start away from religion that poisons everything and everyone it touches” and “it destroys societies and only creates pain in the long run” are too divisive. To attempt to make a legitimate argument that religion has never done any good, regardless of your spiritual beliefs, is very closed minded. Obviously it has had some horrible consequences at different times in history, but talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water.

  • Edra

    They tried to make me go to rehab but I said a

  • Miles Burke

    Thank you for your insightful thoughts and feelings. Wihout forgiveness there can be no love. You are correct. We are afraid of each other. We need to to face our fears. In doing so we will find each other.

  • dwight

    by change do we mean being slaughtered by islamic fundamentalists? well?

  • Paul in NY

    This sounds like the fluffy, insipid, empty speeches of “hope” and “change” we hear from Obama. Politics is about arguing over money and power and will always involve men’s lesser instincts. There will always be winners and losers, so stop trying to add the warm and fuzzies to it. Want to give people more “faith” in Government and politics? Limit the power of politicians and Government over our lives.

  • B-man

    Bill Maher is coming out with a full length feature film called “Religilous” — a combination of the words Religion and Ridiculous. His premise, with which I agree, is that religion is a destructive force in our society and should be eliminated. And his film brings the goods–everyone should go see this movie.For all those religious types who start hyperventilating that religion has also done “so much good”, I would argue that there is nothing good that Religion has ever done that could not have been done without religion anyway.

  • B-man

    Bill Maher is coming out with a full length feature film called “Religilous” — a combination of the words Religion and Ridiculous. His premise, with which I agree, is that religion is a destructive force in our society and should be eliminated. And his film brings the goods–everyone should go see this movie.For all those religious types who start hyperventilating that religion has also done “so much good”, I would argue that there is nothing good that Religion has ever done that could not have been done without religion anyway.

  • Jim

    “Faith in our leaders, faith in our country, faith in ourselves.” Isn’t this what leads ultimately to cynicism and either futility or war? Maybe we should try “faith in God.” There’s nothing to prevent another Holocaust if we puruse “faith” in ourselves, our country, and our leaders.

  • Anil Lobo, Hungary.

    If we all have faith in ourselves, it is going to get us all in different directions! And that is what most Americans have been doing. What we really need is a faith in a God of love and compassion who will lead us all to one place – to himself! The religion is of no conseqence, it is your personal faith in God that matters.

  • CindyLA

    Harold Lamot….what a small minded uneducated human being you are. OH . . . you may have a secular education BUT you are lacking much in a Spiritual education. You know …..when Noah was building the ARK, everyone thought he was crazy…BECAUSE it had NEVER rained before the FLOOD. God watered the ground with DEW. Just as there were unbelievers back then…YOU ARE PROOF that there are unbelievers today. The Bible says that God used to WINK at ignorance BUT NOW commands men everywhere to REPENT. Don’t think for a minute you are excused.

  • Alaska Susan

    This country was founded to free government from religion and return it to the people as matter of personl choice. Whatever some one believes, fine. If that guides their decision making process, fine. But please, just STFU already about it. It’s your business so keep it to yourself.

  • FunTravelAdventure

    Jumpin jeezus k frog, another religious lunatic. I hope this nut is kept away from the levers of power.

  • Chris

    Nice piece, very uplifting. Let us hope that we, as a country, start leading again. The article makes it seem so easy to start taking the righteous path again, yet we were so easily led astray by this evil administration…..like stupid little sheep. But there is always hope…..

  • Stuart

    Faith will not end the illegal oil occupation of Iraq; faith will not help tens of millions of Americans get health care; faith will not mitigate our destruction of the earth’s environment. We need action- action the Bush regime has delayed and avoided for 7 years. Helping hands are worth more than praying lips.

  • Anonymous

    Stuart….you are right. Helping hands go along with praying lips. Faith without works is dead.funtraveladventure – You want to talk about POWER. A praying person who is a REAL Christian has more power than you can imagine. We have the creator of our souls AND DON’T think HE does not hear us. EVER KNEE WILL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS THAT JESUS IS LORD …….call me a Jesus freak if you like. I know where I’m going YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE!!!!!

  • CindyLA

    Stuart….you are right. Helping hands go along with praying lips. Faith without works is dead.funtraveladventure – You want to talk about POWER. A praying person who is a REAL Christian has more power than you can imagine. We have the creator of our souls AND DON’T think HE does not hear us. EVER KNEE WILL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS THAT JESUS IS LORD …….call me a Jesus freak if you like. I know where I’m going YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE!!!!!

  • FunTravelAdventure

    Anonymous or cindyla, “I know where I’m going YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE!!!!!”Sure I do, I know exactly where you’re going. Straight into a hole in the ground just like the rest of us. Let’s hope you’re also kept from the levers of power because you’re obviously disturbed.

  • jeffRI

    I just love these articles. Somehow, reasonably intelligent people still manage to fall into the trap of religious faith as the solution to our ethical dilemmas. Yet, the same people fail to recognize that the essence behind the problems facing the world right now is religion itself. I am endlessly amazed by the rantings about the “word of God” in these commentaries. I guess I just have to ask – do you folks imagine that GOD sat down at a word processor and dictated this stuff? – – it came from men and men alone. This is true whether you are Christian, Jewish, or Muslim.Have all of us played the “chain message” game as children – where you all sit in a row and start a message at one end and whisper it down the line – it’s always different at the other end. Most god-based religions are based on this type of anecdotal information (not fact, but faith in things unseen). It’s all lies people. Every word of it.Please remember that the Roman Emperor Constantine was converted to Christianity because he saw a comet in the sky! YIKES PEOPLEIt was an ASTRONOMICAL EVENT not a MIRACLE!Get some common sense going people and start to question all this junk!

  • Heavymetals

    So…. what, is it a time for a ‘re-branding’? Has the Bush-era Great Awakening of faith, religion and activism has lost its’ shine?… dulled out by crushing hypocrisy, hype, hosannas… and decidely un-Christian deeds and decicions.At the heart of true Faith is doubt, which is itself a healthy human condition. But alas, we’ve lost count the number of charlatans…political, spiritual and cultural…who’ve tried to answer that doubt with empty preaching, pulpit pounding, legislating and banner waving. By the looks of some of these posts, it’s no coincidence that the most ‘religious’ President and his kind have put such a foul taste in our mouths regarding the concept of ‘Faith’.Let’s give ‘Faith’ a rest from Presidential speeches, cable tv pundit shows and fluffy campaign promises. Let’s hope….pray….the future is a tad less Faith, and a bit more Enlightenment.

  • Ash

    Religion has no place in politics. God has nothing to do with government or what I should or should not do with myself, my body, etc.

  • Robert Jones

    Personally, I’d like to see a lot less “faith” and a whole lot more “reason” in government and our leaders.

  • CindyLA

    funtraveladventure …. I don’t expect you to understand. “Spiritual things are Spiritually discerned” and we already know YOU are lacking in that department.I don’t expect you to understand. . . . It’s way above your head.WHEN YOU ARE ON YOUR KNEES BOWING IN FRONT OF GOD CONFESSING THAT HE IS LORD…..you will have no excuse then. I pity you.No Jeffri . . . GOD did not sit down at a word processor. The writing in the Bible were written by MEN Inspired by the HolyGhost. Get your FACTS right….Constantine was NOT converted to Christianity….He was following Catholicism or what was to become Catholicism.

  • Fred Evil

    Sorry, couldn’t disagree more.YOU may want a restart in Faith, I want less of it. I want more dependence on science and FACT, less of an ethereal dependence on the wind.Our country’s government has had a strong push towards Faith over the last 7 years, and most of the country realizes it is the WRONG direction.Keep your religion to yourselves, celebrate science and KNOWLEDGE, not this country’s obsession with the occult.

  • Vic Bailey

    If it wasn’t for religion and big bankers we wouldn’t have any more wars. The bankers for the GREED, the religion for thinking that everyone that doesn’t believe in their god need to be eliminated, because you MUST believe in THEIR god.

  • CindyLA

    Jeffri . . . it’s real easy to blame EVERYTHING on religion. You do have a point though. Religion says….There is GOOD and there is EVIL. It will be a fight until the end.DON’T ever doubt. . . . GOOD (GOD) will prevail.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    And exactly what are Mr. Shriver’s religious credentials???

  • John Stephens

    TIMOTHY SHRIVER:Different words, same sentiment. I was thinking of John Fitzgerald Kennedy all through the reading. It was a nice trip back through time, recalling the youth that I was, the America that was, the promise of hope that was, the New Frontier that was…Shattered by bullets. JFK, RFK, MLK.Has anybody here seen my old friend John? Can you tell me where he’s gone?Vietnam, Kent State, Oakland Riots, Black Panthers, Simbianese Army, Patty Hearst, Bob Dylan, Chicago Police Riot, SDS, Weathermen, cities on fire, free speech movement, antiwar movement, Birmingham, vicious dogs, fire hoses, redneck cops, lynchings, 400 bombings per year, a world gone mad.But I remember the hope when Jack and Bobby spoke.

  • VOTE Clinton

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  • Anonymous

    Participatory Economics (Parecon for short) is a type of economy proposed as an alternative to contemporary capitalism. The underlying values are equity, solidarity, diversity, and participatory self management. The main institutions are workers and consumers councils utilizing self managed decision making, balanced job complexes, remuneration according to effort and sacrifice, and participatory planning.

  • TF

    Well, yeah, new start and all that. I’m not sure of the part religion should play in a new beginning. As dry fact, the person of Jesus Christ did not exist in history. Let’s move past these dank, foreboding institutions.

  • Bill

    The problem is not that the previous policies welded to faith were wrong and need to be replaced by better faith-linked policies. The problem is faith itself.Those who took religion from the private to the public sphere put George Bush into office, and faith was his great enabler. Without the blind faith of his followers, we could never have gotten into half the mess we are in. What we need is not more faith – we need America to go back to its historical antipathy towards mixing religion and politics.This blog is a further example of that mixing, and anybody who agrees with you has not really been paying attention.

  • Kate H.

    If you’ve not heard of the network of spiritual progressives, I recommend it. http://www.spiritualprogressives.org

  • TJ

    Faith kills.

  • Teresa

    I read Tim’s message and was encouraged to be a part of change for the better. I read the comments written in response to his article and was discouraged.So much hate, anger, personal attacks and bitterness from Christians, as well as non-Christians. There are children all over the world who have no hope, and have never heard of faith. Many are dying and are others are wishing they could die, while we reject the foundation on which this country was built, i.e., faith in God. We have so many things to be thankful for in this country, but are blinded to our fortunes by our ignorance. In China, I held dying babies in my arms until they were stiff as a board, because there was no one else to cry for them. I cried with a little girl with mental retardation whose parents put her in a pig trough to be eaten as a baby. I’ve had my life threatened by other governments when trying to save unborn children that would be executed with their accused mothers.We should give kudos to the Tim Shrivers of this country, not ridicule. Tim and his family have changed our country for the better in so many ways, and are doing the same in 180 other countries. My only comment on Tim’s article is one of thanks. Thank you Tim for taking the time to make this world a better place to live, and reminding us that “faith is the substance of things not seen”.