About this website
As the title American Political Values indicates, most of the material here will be about political values. In everyday usage, my own political values would cause me to be called a liberal, or at least a social liberal. However, from time to time I read assertions about what liberals are said to believe (e.g., by New York Times columnists David Brooks and Ross Douthat) that I do not recognize as liberal and would not be true of me. For that reason, I am more comfortable saying that I believe in American values—including but not limited to those embodied in the Declaration of Independence. It underscores values of freedom, equality, justice, and physical security (life). The concept of equality supports such values as freedom, justice, the rule of law (no one is above the law), equal protection under the law, equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, etc.
I was not raised to be religious and I am not religious now. However, I see Christianity as one of the world’s great religions. More to the point, Christanity has been the dominant religion in America and its values have informed American values. From the current perspective, I see Christianity as teaching such values as empathy, showing compassion to those in need (“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”), treating others as one would like to be treated (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”), fairness and love (“Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”), etc.
In the present era it is meaningful for me to assert that I embrace objective truth, science, and rationalism. Those should be universal values. In the present era, sadly they are not.
I plan to write some papers as time permits, such as the one I am posting now as a challenge to anti-abortionists. I will also cite newspaper articles and other sources that I think make important points or provide interesting information. In some cases the papers will be informed by my professional experience and expertise, but in many cases I will simply make a good faith attempt to discuss or comment on topics as an “educated layperson.”
All comments or posts on this website reflect my personal opinions and do not represent the University of Iowa.