Chuck Colson

Marjorie Kelly of Business Ethics magazine calls what?s happening ?a new kind of Puritanism.? I call it ?ironic.? A court overturns a death sentence because jurors consulted a ?higher authority,? and corporations fire executives for, in essence, not consulting a higher authority.

This isn?t ?Puritanism,? which the Times considers a bad thing. It?s a sort of waking up, a realization that regulation and law, however well-intentioned, isn?t enough to ensure the kind of conduct that produces confidence in the market. Without the inner restraints created by a belief in some ?higher authority,? however it?s defined, law can never be enforced. Colorado court, please take notice.

This need for a ?higher authority,? which for most people is religiously derived, is lost on the Times. In its universe, it?s possible to do a ?moral assessment? without knowing why we should be moral in the first place. That?s more than ironic; it?s clueless.

For further reading and information:

Today?s BreakPoint offer: ?Truth in the Public Square? (CD), speech delivered by Charles Colson in June 2003 to congressional members and staff.

Landon Thomas Jr., ?On Wall Street, a Rise in Dismissals over Ethics,? New York Times, 29 March 2005.

Kirk Johnson, ?Colorado Bars Execution Because Jurors Consulted Bible,? New York Times, 29 March 2005.

Get a copy of the CD set (or audiocassette set) of the BreakPoint ?Christians in the Marketplace? conference which addressed business ethics.

Scott Rae, Beyond Integrity: A Judeo-Christian Approach to Business Ethics (Zondervan, 1996).

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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