The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Churches a Haven after Immigration Raids

There was a raid at a meat-packing plant in Postville, Iowa, yesterday, in which about 300 people were detained. Please keep them in your prayers. The Des Moines Register ran a

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The Sound of Social Justice in Australia: 'From Little Things Big Things Grow'

If you thought socially conscious music in the mainstream was a thing of the past, turn your ears to what Australia is listening to. A song about justice and reconciliation in Australia was the highest new entry in the charts two weeks ago - starting out at #2 on the Australian charts and #2 after Madonna on the digital track charts - and remains in the top 50. As The New York Times reported:

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Failing "Elections 101" in Zimbabwe

This weekend Zimbabwe's opposition party announced that it would take part in the next round of presidential "elections." Violence, harassment, and intimidation of unarmed citizens continue as part of the government's preparation for the "elections." In my understanding, there are three basic rules that qualify a process to be described as a legitimate election (election 101!):

  1. Elections are part of a democratic package that includes freedom, democracy, and peace. [...]
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Holding 9/11's Emotions Up to the Light of God

All of us remember this day, where we were when we heard the news, our feelings, our fears. There has been a lot of controversy about how the memory of this day has been or is being used or misused for political purposes, but I always come back to one of my life mottoes: the best antidote to misuse is not disuse -- it is proper use.

In many ways we have run from the feelings of that day ... grief, grievance, unity, confusion, dislocation, vulnerability and solidarity. In [...]

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Small-Time Ministry, Big-Time Dreams

There are plenty of times I miss running a legitimate ministry organization like Mission Year.
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'Pray the Devil Back to Hell'

The following is an interview with Abigail Disney, producer of the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, which recently won the award for best documentary feature at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.



What sparked your interest in wanting to make a documentary about Liberia?


The fact that the newly [...]

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A Rose That Blooms Every 500 Years

At the Associated Church Press conference two weeks ago in Ft. Worth, Texas, I heard Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly, speak about Christianity's every-500-years growth spurts. In her talk (and forthcoming book

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An Evangelical Manifesto

The church has a serious image problem. A recent book, unChristian, by Barna pollster David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons reveals much about how Millennials, the emerging generation - both those inside and around the church - view Christianity. The results weren't good. An overwhelming majority of young people view Christians as hypocritical, too judgmental, too focused on the afterlife, and too political in the worst sense of the word. And that image is often particularly true of [...]

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This Mother's Day, Forget the French Toast

"Arise, then, women of this day!" goes the Mother's Day proclamation. But this is not your wake-up call to french toast and flowers. Instead, this phrase was the rallying cry for the first "Mother's Day of Peace" back in 1870-back before the day became laden with Hallmark and guilt. Julia Ward Howe, the creator of Mother's Day, pleaded with women to speak out against war, not only for the sake of their sons, but for the sons of mothers across the globe. Today, mothers must not only seek [...]

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In Praise of the Dishonest Manager

One of Jesus' most in-your-face stories, and a personal favorite of mine, is the Parable of the Dishonest Manager in Luke 16. I would loosely paraphrase its central insight as follows: "If you have the sense God gave a dog, you will realize that you can't hold onto money very long anyway, but you can keep the friends you make by giving it to those in need. You do the math." The passage [...]

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