Moral Decay or Social Privilege? A Bicultural Comparison

Here is a new article from Rose Khouri, one of my favourite authors writing on the IMES blog. Here is the conclusion of her article, which is worth reading:
‘It should not be our cultures, our identity, our perceived threats that guide how we understand what is right and wrong and whether our actions are acceptable or not. We should not look at a younger generation turning away from the actions and behaviors of their parents as an indication of decay. Rather we should measure our actions by the tools our faith provides us. Do we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us? Do we love our neighbors as ourselves?
Ultimately, do we seek to do unto others as we would have them do unto us?’

The Institute of Middle East Studies

by Rose Khouri

As a Lebanese-American with an interest in religious studies who has lived a substantial amount of time in both countries, I am often struck by the similarities and differences between two groups who supposedly practice the same religion. If asked, both American Christians (historically white and Protestant) and Lebanese Christians (majority Maronite Catholic) would likely affirm that one of the most fundamental aspects of their lives – their sense of morality, of right and wrong – is influenced solely by religious faith. Yet on a daily basis here in Lebanon, I observe a significant difference between American and Lebanese perceptions of morality (particularly with regard to the treatment of foreign workers and widespread racism).

I have found, however, a similarity common among both cultures. To a large extent, both the older, white American Protestants of my youth, as well as the Maronite Catholics of Lebanon perceive the…

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Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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