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Dr. David P. Gushee
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Entries by Dr. David P. Gushee

National Repentance Begins With Guantanamo

(8) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 4:00 PM

Recently, the mass Guantanamo hunger strikes have intensified pressure on the Obama Administration to fulfill the president's long-delayed 2009 promise to shut down the detention center there. That certainly needs to be done. But it is just one aspect of so much more unfinished business related to our...

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After Newtown

(15) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 10:53 AM

There was something about this latest, most dreadful American massacre that penetrated my defenses, and that of many other Americans. Perhaps it was the fact that these were two roomfuls of 6-year-olds, together with their almost equally defenseless teachers. I simply could not shake the mental images. They invaded my...

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A Vote for Historic Christianity at Election Time

(29) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 11:26 AM

It was perhaps inevitable that as the final weekend of the election campaign loomed, appeals on the basis of religion would intensify. On the very day I write this article I can report receiving an open appeal to join a Christian leaders' letter endorsing Barack Obama for re-election. Meanwhile, I...

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The Debt Crisis and Our National Character

(25) Comments | Posted July 28, 2011 | 4:58 AM

As I write, the doomsday clock ticks toward a first-ever U.S. government default on our fiscal obligations. The overused image for trying to manage the willfully unmanageable -- "like herding cats" -- has rarely seemed more appropriate.

It may be that by the time this column sees the light...

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'Do Not Rejoice When Your Enemies Fall'

(48) Comments | Posted May 2, 2011 | 10:15 AM

"Do not rejoice when your enemies fall,
and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble."
Proverbs 24:17


We feel compelled to respond today to the killing of Osama bin Laden by the United States and to the jubilant response across the nation.

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Abortion, American Culture and the Limits of Law

(229) Comments | Posted January 24, 2011 | 9:30 AM

The 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade finds anti-abortion legal efforts in the ascendancy in many states. As reported in The New York Times on Saturday, the Republican blowout in the November elections has brought anti-abortion governors and legislators to power in large numbers. Legislation under consideration would continue shredding...

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Security, Sin and Nuclear Weapons: A Christian Plea for the New START Treaty

(58) Comments | Posted December 4, 2010 | 11:38 AM

I was reviewing my academic bio recently, and discovered that the very first article I ever published was called "Security, Sin, and Nuclear Weapons." The year was 1987. Twenty-three years later, despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, security, sin and nuclear weapons remain concerns that are as relevant as...

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Loyalty and Passion in the American Christian Torture Debate

(70) Comments | Posted November 17, 2010 | 12:44 PM

The following was adapted form a talk given in Atlanta for the Evangelical Theological Society Dialogue.

I understand that our purpose here is to discuss the ethics of torture. More concretely, I will address the question of whether it was morally justifiable for the United States government, for the purposes...

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'Ground Zero Mosque' Controversy: America's Dreyfus Affair?

(130) Comments | Posted August 24, 2010 | 7:16 PM

Sometimes public policy disputes become transformed into symbolic conflicts that go to the heart of national identity. The "mosque controversy" was initially a mere zoning question. It is now a symbolic conflict over the place of Muslims in our national life.

As a scholar whose first book was on the...

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The Shameful Mosque Controversy

(43) Comments | Posted August 11, 2010 | 10:49 AM

The United States is governed by a constitution whose First Amendment guarantees free exercise of religion. Governments at every level have understood that they must not obstruct the construction of religious facilities in their communities, even if those facilities are intended for (tiny, misunderstood, unpopular) religious minorities. This is one...

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Tea Party Libertarianism and Christian Ethics

(485) Comments | Posted July 29, 2010 | 7:07 AM

The rise of the "tea party" contingent on the Republican Right signals a resurgence and intensification of libertarian strands in American political ideology in a time of great economic stress and political division. This libertarianism stands in sharp contrast with most recognizable Christian traditions of social thought. The contrast deserves...

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Questioning Our Memorial Day Script

(8) Comments | Posted June 2, 2010 | 6:08 PM

It rained in Atlanta on Memorial Day, and in this brief reflection I want to rain a bit on how we mark Memorial Day in this country.

When the Braves played in Atlanta that day, 50,000 of us got a version of the following Memorial Day script:

Today...
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Christian Faith and the Afghanistan Quagmire

(56) Comments | Posted May 18, 2010 | 1:02 PM

The Christian faith at its best is deeply suspicious of all claims that it is once again time for human beings to shred each other's bodies in warfare. Everyone involved in war -- "our" side and "the enemy" -- is a human being, sacred in God's sight, made in God's...

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Christian Convictions And The Health Care Law

(428) Comments | Posted March 29, 2010 | 1:34 PM

It has been a week since the historic vote to pass health care reform. Having waited till the dust settled, here are a few clear convictions I have developed on what has transpired, offered from the perspective of a Christian ethicist:

I believe that extending health care access to every...

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Abortion and Health Care Reform: Pro-Lifers, Accept Victory While You Can Get It

(181) Comments | Posted March 15, 2010 | 1:58 PM

Of all the odd twists and turns in the health care reform debate that climaxes this week, the oddest may be the possibility that a dozen House Democrats will kill the Senate health bill because of fears that it is pro-abortion.

In fact, a straightforward reading of the Senate...

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Glenn Beck Vs. God: The Bible Speaks For Itself

(283) Comments | Posted March 13, 2010 | 3:48 AM

Speaking as a Christian ethicist, I can say with certainty that in flippantly attacking the concept of social justice, Glenn Beck inadvertently poked a finger in the eye of every person who takes the Bible as God's revealed Word and (according to Scripture) poured contempt on a central concern of...

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For Principled and Practical Immigration Reform - Now!

(14) Comments | Posted March 10, 2010 | 11:39 AM

A coalition of law enforcement, labor, policy, religious, and other groups is gearing up for a major push for comprehensive immigration reform this spring. Serious behind-the-scenes efforts are underway to secure broad and bipartisan sponsorship for new immigration reform legislation, which has been introduced in the House but not yet...

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