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Doing Christian Ethics From the Margins Paperback – November 30, 2004
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However, there were two exceptions to my "De La Torre Love Fest". On page 36, he argues for an ethics rooted in experience. In my opinion, we stand on a stronger foundation by rooting our ethics in Jesus' teachings, as they were inclusive of the marginalized. Also, I felt that his description of God as one who "empowered" Hagar to suffer sounded too much like the usual dominant culture justification of their historical sin, labeling it "culturally-nuanced" instead of identifying things like slavery and domestic terrorism (i.e., KKK) as an out-and-out violation of God's holy nature. (23) That reasoning is used to justify many things, except for same-sex attractions. For same-sex attractions, we always remember God's holy standard. But in cases outside of sexual issues, God's holiness is footnoted.
I guess this could be used to initiate dialogue, but is often one-sided liberation theology and there are probably better texts that offer a more balanced discussion.
For example, he argues for Affirmative Action on the basis that whites have been historically privileged and that the systems and powers still privilege white people over blacks and Latinos in the educational system. He argues that Affirmative Action helps correct the racism latent in the SAT. The problem is that the racism is not in the SAT, but that the SAT reflects the racism in the classroom. Yes white privilege exists. Yes the SAT is racist. But the SAT correlates very strongly with college GPA. That's the point of the SAT. That's the point of college admissions. If you use Affirmative Action to "fix" college admissions, but do not address the underlying problem, you do nothing. College admissions serve graduation rate. If you admit Latinos and Blacks to college through Affirmative Action, they're likely to flunk out at a greater rate than whites (which they are). You need to fix the actual classroom rather than fixing the admissions policies. The entire book is full of case studies such as the one above where De La Torre provides oversimplistic solutions based on "justice".
Thus De La Torre misdiagnoses problems and therefore misapplies his own theories. You cannot bandy around the word "justice" without really understanding the issues on a deeper level.
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