The Common Good

Thankfully, the true God isn’t a God of power, but a God of nonviolent love who meets us where we are. God doesn’t force us to be thankful in times of grief and despair. Rather, God meets us in our honest and raw emotions. A theology of despair claims that God meets us in our grief and hopelessness. 

Photo by Heather Wilson/PICO

We now all have the chance to examine the evidence — released last night — in the grand jury’s decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson, who fired multiple bullets into Michael Brown. But the verdict on America’s criminal justice system is already in for many Americans: guilty, for treating young black men differently than young white men.

Bare branches in the rain. Image courtesy PunctRo/shutterstock.com

“The thing about blues music is that it tells the same story as gospel music. It just stops sooner. Look at this part. Blues would stop after this first line. ‘Why are you cast down, O my soul?’ That’s it. My soul is cast down. But gospel says, ‘The story’s not done yet.’”

We must not give in to seasonal jollity, to the annual pretense that everything is fine ... We must stand on the battlefield itself — the streets of Ferguson, Mo., the hiring line when a job opens, a health clinic when battered and raped women show up for help, a voting station when the brown and black are turned away by clever stratagems.

The administration affirmed that there had been “heated debate” between Pentagon advisers and others in Obama’s cabinet chiefly concerned not to lose soldiers in combat. ... but the most notable absence in the reporting was any mention of cabinet members’ concern for Afghan civilians affected ... in a country already afflicted by poverty and social breakdown.

by Jim Wallis
Faith leaders and all those who have spent years trying to fix our broken immigration system should feel gratitude toward President Obama. In a primetime address to the nation, the president announced he was taking executive action to relieve some of the suffering caused by the failures of the status quo.

On The Blog

  • “When politicians wanted to use the religious fibers to divide the people, whether to maintain power or to conquer it, we stood up as if we were a single man to say ‘non’ to this war and ‘yes’ to peace.”
  • All eyes are on the jury, yet many of us who are watching realize that the real power does not reside in Gov. Jay Nixon or the grand jury, but in us. Just as it is the crowd who sways Pilate to crucify Jesus, so it is we who can determine whether justice comes in Ferguson and everywhere where racism exists.
  • Eugene Cho is overrated. At least that’s what he’ll tell you in his new book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World? Cho, pastor at Quest Church in Seattleand founder of One Day’s Wages and Q Café, is an outspoken Christian voice for social justice. His first book is a self-professed confession of the risks of personal platform in the work of justice — and a call to humble self-awareness for Christians in an age of social change-idealism. When justice and changemaking are buzzwords, how do we embrace the long challenge of bettering the world while remaining humble about our place in it? Watch the interview below.
  • “Do not make the religion of Islam the problem,” he said. “Instead use our vibrant witness – that is what is lacking in other societies.”
  • While there are scenes of physical torture onscreen, the film doesn’t show them in graphic detail — to the point where it almost feels that Stewart isn’t going as deep with the subject matter as he could have. But it does something instead that feels far more important.
  • It’s been said that one of the greatest tricks devil ever played was convincing most of the world he doesn’t exist. His greatest encore might be wrapping up vice in the midst of a big ball of virtue and letting the whole thing rot from the inside out.
  • Though we no longer sacrifice to the gods or consult Oracles, I am afraid that we are still victim to the curse of knowing the end of things. I’m talking about the sense of inevitability that comes from politicians and generals who pronounce certain victory over our rivals.

In The Magazine

Featured Blog Series

In this new blog series, we’ll look at how and why people of faith might choose to divest from fossil fuels as a response to climate change. Read the full series here