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Created: November 11, 2002
Latest Update: November 11, 2002

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Cardinal Mahoney's Cathedral:The Cathedral of t he Angels
The Church and Poverty

the important thing here is to look at
what we have done with this freedom

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, November 2002.
"Fair use" encouraged.

On Monday morning, November 11, 2002, Mandy Unverzagt answered the Bishop of Oxford:
Subject: business and religion

Crap! Read the article by Rt Revd Richard Garries, Bishop of Oxford. If it is possible, I totally understood while being completely confused! Good point, and yes, I agree that it's possible, and that I'm often there, especially when reading lectures.. jeanne A good 19 pages of reading, but it didn't seem to be redundant at all. I now it's long and I apologize, but it took a long time to transfer to html, too. Sometimes we need to hear these things in the whole, not in sound bites. I did, however, lose sight of religion in relation to market economy. Honestly, for me, this man sounds as though he is referring to evolution. Yes, there are moral values that drive the underlying condition of a society, but the fact that the cola guy was bought out to turn a profit, and to keep up with the drag race pace of technology sounds a lot like survival of the fittest to me, my friend. Even if one lives by the doctrine that God has given us freedom to shape our own lives, the important thing here is to look at what we have done with this freedom. As far as I am concerned, we pissed on it. God created the individual person, and by god, do people live for themselves.

This is evident in the so-called trans-national corporations. These companies had to start out at the 'one cola on the shelf co'. level, So what makes them different? Power is the difference. Foucault (foo co') would agree with you. These people aren't thinking about morals, or the gift of freedom that God has apparently given them, these people are concerned with power. Power of any sort is an advantage over others, can possibly lead to the literal consumption of others in order to progress. Power implies and exerts supiority. Power, to me, has nothing to do with the common good, or Christian values, or any religious values for that matter. And this man's faith in the idea that the government should ultimately step in and "regulate international capital in order to ensure that the nation as a whole does not suffer,but benefits," well, call me crazy, but doesn't that contradict the initial notion of freedom? Gee, good point, Mandy.

Not only that, but the idea that the government should step in only confirms to me that people aren't spirtual at all. Whoa, let's slow down and use words carefully when we enter the public sphere discourse of governance. What government does or does not do should not alter the essential nature of humans as either spiritual or not spiritual. It may distort the effects of that spirtual nature, but it cannot alter our essence. At least I don't see how it could.

The need for the government to step in and say, "excuse me big ol' monopoly, please stop bashing other companies," the day we need the government to tell us to do the right thing, thats a sad day in hell. Whoa, we used to call that the anti-trust function of government. Maybe you're just too young to have seen it in operation. They resurrected it for a while during the Clinton era with Microsoft, remember? But I kind of agree; it was a sad day in hell.

I agree with the idea that " power is a factor in human life, and that we can't not simply wish it away with idealism." The world is made of regular, flaw induced people, but to say that we need to be "regulated and managed", paticularly by the government sounds absurd to me. This is technically referred to in the critical theory literature as the "administered society." Habermas and many others fear it. Sounds like were taking the blame off the indivudual, thereby undermining this liberty of freedom.

And how can this guy say that the market economy undermines the values of society, "who the hell is making these markets up?"--aliens? Sounds to me like the majority has spoken. The majority of these people aren't holding these values in high regard. The CEO's of these huge companies aren't thinking about other people, aren't attributing their lives to God, and if they are, then they are full of crap! Again, for me, it all boils down to survival of the fittest, and the natural progression of the regeneration of the strong and the extinction of the weak. I fail to see spirituality let alone religious values here. Sadly, I don't know what the answer is either. I know how I live and what my values are, but how I can change these people is a mystery to me.

Mandy Unverzagt

On Monday, November 11, 2002, jeanne responded:
Now, for those of you who thought everybody was quiet, please note that some of us are not. But Unversagt doesn't sound Irish, Mandy. Quiet, like smart, is another one of those characteristic traits we come with. Mandy didn't learn this outspokenness here; neither did I. And a good way to find a public sphere voice, if you are quiet is to latch on to one of us whose values you find you like. We're almost never at a loss for words.

Since we're leaving for Chicago tomorrow, I'd appreciate if all you who share our interest in this topic pinpoint your questions. I've already asked permission to send those questions to the Bishop. You might want to consider backing down a little to the illocutionary level of dicourse, Mandy, but only if you want to. When I get back we'll go into this discussion in detail.

love and peace, jeanne