Ethics in leadership

05 Nov

“If we believe the Bible, we must believe that the vices of the great, both directly and consequentially, call down the judgments of the Almighty; and I may say to you that I am strongly influenced by the persuasion, that by marking such shameful debauchery, this publicly disclosed, with the stigma of the House of Commons, we should we should be acting in a manner that would be pleasing to God, and directly beneficial to the morals of the community.”

William Wilberforce to William Hey, 1809

Translation: If we believe the Bible (on ethics in this case), we must believe that God will judge a society for the sins of its leaders. I believe that when those who have a part in public discourse point out these sins for what they are, God is pleased and the morals of the public are benefited.


Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Culture & Society, Ethics


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2 responses to “Ethics in leadership

  1. jdawgsrunningblog

    November 18, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Curious to know the context–is this a Romney-esque allusion–or a commentary on the general state of affairs?

    • Gillian

      November 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks for your comment, jdawg. The context is Wilberforce’s condemnation of the extramarital affair of a public official–can’t remember whether royalty or MP. In his time & place, such things were more tolerated in “the great” than in the U.S. today, so he stuck his neck way out in condemning the guy. And in condemning slavery, child labor, etc. I had mixed feelings about putting this quote out there–I value the separation between Church and state, and was for Obama over Romney, still am, for so many reasons. The religious right irritates me in so many ways, but I think American political culture needs them too. I think a lot about the place of religion in public life (as well as in private life), and I like to hear what others think. By the way, you say “Romney-esque”–has Mitt publicly denounced and repented of his own poor business ethics? Guess he should have done that before the election–maybe God would have let him into the White House after all.


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