10. Paul Denlinger
- The belief that wealth is the measure of a person’s success. There are many people who contribute to society through learning, research, art, writing, charity and other means, but because they keep lower profiles, they are ignored by the general media.
- Superficial values. Since wealth is used as the measure of ALL success, people who pursue other goals or contribute are just ignored. So the press just pursues and highlights the superficial.
- Once a person becomes wealthy, the media chases them for interviews, further inflating their egos. They then pontificate on all matter of issues of which they know nothing about, but are lavished with attention, like Donald Trump.
- The phony belief that anyone can succeed through hard work. What rubbish! Karl Marx was right when he talked about class struggle, and no more so than in the modern US.
- Flagrant hypocrisy. All human life is sacred until you are born. After you are born, you are on your own. If you are the wrong color and commit several serious crimes, death row is waiting. Then after 20 years of appeals, you can go meet your maker.
11. Samuel Greenlee
A few American values that I think can be quite problematic when taken to excess:
- Consumerism (the belief that the well-being of individuals and the economy of the whole depends on an endless appetite for more things)
- Individualism (when taken to the detriment of the community)
- Bootstrapping (the belief that every individual is ultimately totally responsible for their life circumstances)
- Support for the Military (just because the military has been sent in to action, it doesn’t mean that our leaders made the right decision to send them there)
- The American Dream (a good life cannot be reduced to personal economic growth, ownership of a house, and moving up in the income tier)
- The emphasis on personal rights (“rights” language should be paired with “responsibilities” language)
- Mobility (it is hard to develop healthy communities without stability)
- American Exceptionalism (I am borrowing this from Thomas Goodwin’s response because it is so important)
- America as God’s chosen land (this is similar to American Exceptionalism, but emphasizes that the US somehow has a special connection to God as a nation, which I, as a Christian, find very troubling)
- Democracy (I think democracy is pretty great, but when we decided that we needed to apply pressure to other nations to convince them that they should adopt it, we went against our own democratic values)