When reading the recent headlines on the protest of military funerals,where picketers waved signs proclaiming, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “You’re Going to Hell” and “God Hates You,” among other sentiments.; and they did this in the name of the Lord and under the protection of the 1st Amendment.
My answer to this situation is found in Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV) Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I also, would draw on information from one of the classes I had taken in my MPA studies, PA 600 Ethical Foundations of Authority. Among other concepts taught in class was how to make ethical decisions. Making ethical decisions, consists of setting a standard of behavior or a group of moral beliefs, in which given a specific situation, a person draws on his or her beliefs or standards to make a decision, or conduct themselves appropriately in society.
The three theories of ethics we addressed in PA 600 were the: deontological approach, the teleological approach, and rights and justice models:
- The deontological approach to ethics contends, “One duty is to do what is morally right and avoid what is morally wrong, irrespective of the consequences of doing so.”(De George 2006, pp 63)
- The second ethics theory, we addressed was the teleological approach, in which the rightness of an action is determined by its consequences.
A popular approach often mention in this theory set, is the utilitarian approach which contends, “an action is right if it produces, or if tends to produce, the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people affected by the action.” (De George 2006, pp 43) Living in a democratic society, most political governing authorities follow a utilitarian approach to law making.
- The third ethics theory we addressed was the rights and justice model. The theory of Justice was presented using Rawls claims, that rational people based on general considerations, without knowing anything about their own personal situation would adhere to his principles of justice and morality. Rawls referred to this method of thought as “The Veil of Ignorance.”
De George writes, “There are three aspects of morality that are captured in the notion of autonomy: freedom, self-imposition of the moral law, and the universal acceptability of the moral law.” (De George 2006, pp 70)
The constitution was formed to preserve the moral law of the people, the states and the federal government in accordance to enduring significance of democracy in America. This is a key conclusion of democracy, which affirms equality and justice. It also, supports the fundamentals Chrisitanity which is , “LOVE your your neighbor as yourself”
Source:De George, R. (2006). Business ethics, 6th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc.