Progressive people of faith share the concerns of progressives everywhere about the devastating impact of the current economic crisis. At a recent interfaith event hosted by Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, Illinois, 80 people from Muslim, Jewish and Christian traditions gathered to focus on the ethical and moral dimensions of our economy. An economist and a leader from each of the three Abrahamic faiths served as presenters.
Professor James Halteman, an economist, described how “dog-eat-dog” individualism has taken precedence over the common good, resulting in the powerful few who control and manipulate information for their own benefit, with resultant abuse and fraud. He challenged people of faith to address three questions: How is suffering to be shared in our time? Does the present lay claim on the future? Can public and private interests be brought into balance?