The Common Good

God's Politics

My Testimony as a 'Winter Soldier' Witness

The Cost of War

During the last four days, more than 100 Iraq Veterans Against the War combat veterans, academics, and international guests shared their [...]

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'War is Always a Defeat for Humanity'

The Cost of War

Five years after bombs first exploded over Baghdad with a "shock and awe" display of staggering military might, the Iraq war continues with tragic costs and still-unseen consequences.

First, we mourn and honor the American and Iraqi dead whose lost lives are the ultimate reminder [...]

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The Weakness of War

The Cost of War

"Can I forgive the people who killed my husband?"

It was perhaps the most practical and personal question asked during a recent meeting of Iraqi civil society leaders who had gathered to advise the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) about its future peacebuilding work in [...]

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Putting Rev. Wright's Preaching in Perspective

The current media flap over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's former pastor, strikes me as nothing short of strange. Anyone who attends church on a regular basis knows how frequently congregants disagree with their ministers. To sit in a pew is not necessarily assent to a message preached on a particular day. Being a church member is not some sort of mindless cult, where individuals believe every word preached. Rather, being a church member means being part of a community of faith-a [...]

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David vs. Goliath's Loan Shark

A modern-day version of the story of David and Goliath is quickly unfolding at Ohio's State House. The "Davids" of this story are the faith-based groups, housing advocates, consumer, community action, and other anti-poverty organizations around the state. "Goliath" is the powerful payday lending industry that has grown to more than 1,600 stores and has gross revenues of $2 billion annually. The issue in question is whether Ohio's 12-year-old law on payday lending should be changed to provide [...]

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'He May or May Not Have Been the Bomb-maker'

The Cost of War

He may or may not have been the bomb-maker.


Did it matter, now that I stood in front of his body, still connected to tubes and vents and drips, but a body that had already breathed its last?


No, it didn't really matter. I stepped to the bed and laid a hand on his still-warm [...]

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Repentance Means a New Direction

The Cost of War

On Tuesday, President Bush spoke to the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters. In a speech that The New York Times described as "Citing Faith, Bush Defends War [...]

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MLK and Identity Politics

The 40th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination - April 4, 1968 - will soon be upon us. As I remember Dr. King against the backdrop of this 2008 presidential election cycle, I reflect on what a brilliant political strategist he was. He was able to bring corporations to the point of acquiescence without resorting to violence or bribery. He was able to pass legislation that [...]

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The Cost of Killing

The Cost of War

In Ramah, a voice is heard, crying and weeping loudly. Rachel mourns for her children and refuses to be comforted, because they are dead. Jeremiah 31:15

Last week a spate of four deaths in our Chicago high schools was blamed on gangs and guns. Last year, the public high [...]

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'I Never Saw Them as Human Beings'

The Cost of War

A couple of weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday, I received a call from my cousin. Her father-in-law in Baghdad was dead. His death was not the result a car bomb or a kidnapping. No bullets or beheadings were involved. Instead, it was a kitchen fire. He was badly burnt up and down his [...]

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