The Common Good

Culture Watch

A Song and Reflection on Immigration and the Border Town

I was recently arguing the case of my friend Rosanna with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official over at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, a major performance venue in Nashville, Tennessee.
+Continue Reading

Facebook, Freedom Riders, and Other Lessons in Nonviolent Activism

By the time Egyptian activists in Tahrir square had ousted Mubarak, I'd read more articles labeling it a "Facebook revolution" than you can wave a shoe at.
+Continue Reading

Christians and the Common Good

For the longest time, when Christians have thought about political engagement, they have often begun the discussion with the question: What is the biblical role of government?
+Continue Reading

Big, Fat Kisses

My first date was a big fat sloppy hour and a half of kissing (sorry Mom and Dad) supported by the screenplay of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
+Continue Reading

Jane Eyre, Sucker Punch, and Feminism

Hollywood is generally fairly reluctant to produce films with strong feminist messages. It is far easier to sell women cast as the sexy sidekick or vapid damsel in distress.
+Continue Reading

5 Green Reads For Your Summer Reading List

While Earth Day and Good Friday being on the same date this year was a relatively rare alignment, thankfully for many people the everyday companionship of religious belief and care for creation i
+Continue Reading

Jesus Knows Sign Language

During my last year of college, my pastor lent me the book Living Gently in a Violent World, co-authored by Jean Vanier and Stanley Hauerwas. This book is an exploration on how followers of Christ ought to live in broken world.

The introduction of the book recounts the story of Jean Vanier teaching a course on pastoral care. During one class, Vanier asked the students to share some of their spiritual experiences. One of the students, Angela (who was deaf) began to share a dream she had where she met Jesus in heaven. She recalled talking with Jesus for some time and never experiencing so much joy and peace. "Jesus was everything I had hoped he would be," she said, "And his signing was amazing!" Vanier explains to the reader that "for Angela, heaven's perfection did not involve being 'healed' of her deafness. Rather, it was a place where the social, relational, and communication barriers that restricted her life in the present no longer existed."

+Continue Reading

Lessons From Behind Bars

In 2010, Hope House DC received a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C. to support participation in the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read project. Hope House placed about 100 copies of Earnest J. Gaines' classic A Lesson Before Dying in two prisons that have high concentrations of District of Columbia inmates.

+Continue Reading

How To Start a Revolution: A New Film About Gene Sharp

With all the recent and well-deserved attention on the work of Gene Sharp, it shouldn't come as any surprise that a film about the foremost living strategist of nonviolent action is soon to be released.
+Continue Reading

Love Wins: My Interview with Rob Bell

Monday morning, 8 a.m PST. My phone rings. It's Rob Bell calling from New York City where he's headed for Central Park to take a stroll with his wife between media appointments. "How's my favorite heretic?" I ask.
+Continue Reading