Week 32: Citizenship


Propaganda is information of a biased or misleading nature, or misinformation, used to promote a cause or point of view. It is usually disseminated by someone seeking to promote a self-interest without regard to the whole, and therefore fits within Niebuhr’s definition of evil. As the means of disseminating information
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Democracy – Self-government

My political ideal is democracy. Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized. [Albert Einstein, from Henry Goddard Leach, Living Philosophies (Simon and Schuster, 1931).] A republic, if you can keep it. [Benjamin Franklin, responding to a woman’s question about the new government just after the Constitutional Convention of
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World Citizenship

A universal ethic demands that we act as citizens not only of our community and our nation but of the world.
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Opposing Injustice

Opposing injustice is standing up in the public arena.
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Activism – Public Involvement

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. [Thomas Paine, “The Crisis,” December 23, 1776.] A major
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Being Informed – Social Awareness

Sound public involvement demands that we keep abreast of public affairs. Perversely and tragically, our mass media may have done more to impede this than to promote it. We have access to more information than ever before but so-called news outlets cover meaningless things. They have become entertainment, not news.
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Being Public-Spirited

. . . ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country. [John F. Kennedy, inaugural address, January 20, 1961 (listen at 14:00).] The emotional component of public involvement is public-spiritedness. This means more than cheering for a nation’s athletic teams. Because
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No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as a manor of thy friends or
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