The Common Good

God's Politics

The Morning News: Tuesday Nov. 8, 2011

Human trafficking and sex slavery thrives in the U.S. and abroad. Census Bureau measure more Americans living in poverty. Debate brews over new method of measuring poverty. Poll finds voters deeply torn. Faith important in 2012 presidential election, but skepticism about Mormonism remains. Health tab for climate change: $14 billion. What do the Copts mean for Arab Spring?

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Join a Circle of Protection on Nov. 16: Standing For and With the Poor

The New York City Human Circle will be replicated throughout across the nation, when faith leaders host Human Circles as members of the Sojourners National Mobilizing Circle, which is bringing together faith and community leaders to organize faith-rooted actions in their communities.

The purpose of these circles is not only to lobby for the poor but also with them.

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Loaves and Fishes: Occupy Wall Street and Feeding the Two-Thousand

Whenever we harvest, prepare, and eat food in the context of community, we reenact that wondrous moment on the shores of the Sea of Galilee when Jesus took a few fish and two loves of bread and managed to feed 5,000.

But we can’t forget the whole story — Jesus fed everybody, surely even some folks who despised his message. After all, they were all God’s children, and they were hungry too. I can’t help but think that as they ingested the food, they took in his love too, and it changed them.

Still today, food is a great equalizer and bridge-builder. Who isn’t at least momentarily transformed by a perfect heirloom tomato or a slice of homemade pie?

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God in a Brothel: These Children Have Names

God in a Brothel isn’t about nameless, faceless children. It’s about real children — children with names, personalities, and potential as specific and precious as those belonging to the children you and I know. But, unlike the kids in our lives, these children have been kidnapped or sold into slavery by adults who should be their protectors.

In some cases, traffickers visit poor, rural settings in their own countries and convince parents to allow their daughters to accompany them back to a city where, the parents are told, the girls will be given well-paying and respectable jobs. The girls are then kidnapped, often across national borders, and sold into slavery.

Other parents deliberately choose to sacrifice one or more of their children and sell them into slavery in order to provide for other children at home.

Still others function as their own children’s pimps.

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Faith and Politics: New "American Values Study" Shows a Nation Divided

 
The 2011 American Values Survey -- a large annual survey exploring important issues at the intersection of religion, values and politics -- released this morning (11/8) by the Public Religion Research Institution, highlights American attitudes on equal opportunity and inequality, the Mormon question in the 2012 election, and attitudes about the Obama presidency. "We are witnessing the emergence of a generational fault line over what constitutes a good society," said Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute. "Seven-in-ten of the Millennial generation believe that society would be better off if the distribution of wealth were more equal, while a majority of seniors disagree."
 
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From Jim Wallis to Billy Graham, on His 93rd Birthday: "Thank you!"

Billy Graham has always been a life-long learner, passionate about preaching the gospel but always ready to understand more about what that gospel means in the world. It was never surprising to me that this southern born and raised American evangelist decided early on to insist on preaching only to racially integrated coliseums and crusades, when many others just went along with their culture. Later, as a result of falling in love with the new congregations we was preaching too in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, had a "change of heart" on the nuclear arms race-which we featured in a cover interview with the evangelist in Sojourners magazine. Billy Graham has also been willing to admit his mistakes and grew from them, which is something all of us as "leaders" need to constantly learn from. And while a conservative evangelical all his life, Graham was never drawn to the hard edged and politicized fundamentalism of the "Religious Right" but instead often winced at them.

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The Afternoon News

U.S. foreign aid and the 2012 budget. Most Republicans want someone other than Romney on the GOP presidential ticket. OpEd: A year from the election, how does Obama measure up? Thanksgiving week discussion on faith with the GOP presidential candidates. President Clinton defends Perry on immigration. Recent poll says 62 percent believe the war in Iraq wasn't worth fighting. "Wall Street resurgent prosperity frustrates its claims, and Obama's."

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Jim Wallis and Gary Bauer on CNN's "State of the Union" Discuss Religion and the 2012 Election

On Sunday morning (11/6), Sojourners CEO Jim Wallis appeared on CNN's "State of the Union," with American Values president Gary Bauer and host Candy Crowley to discuss how religion will affect the 2012 General Election.

On the blog, view video of Jim's appearance, in two parts.

Part 1:

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Chris Hedges' Occupy Wall Street Statement

Chris Hedges' statement on Occupy Wall Street read in part:

As part of the political theater that has come to replace the legislative and judicial process, the Securities and Exchange Commission agreed to a $550 million settlement whereby Goldman Sachs admitted it showed "incomplete" information in marketing materials and that it was a "mistake" to not disclose the nature of its portfolio selection committee. This fine was a payoff to the SEC by Goldman Sachs of about four days' worth of revenue, and in return they avoided going to court. CEO Lloyd Blankfein apparently not only lied to clients, but to the subcommittee itself on April 27, 2010, when he told lawmakers: "We didn't have a massive short against the housing market, and we certainly did not bet against our clients." Yet, they did.

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The Morning News

Protesters encircle the White House. Democrats get blow-back over outreach to religious voters. Catholic bishops to Penn State: Call the Cops. GOP candidates on the issues. Rick Perry's faith journey leads to presidential run. E.J. Dionne on the politics of the "heavenly and unheavenly". Alabama immigration law crippling farms. Immigration focus of Arizona recall election. Living with homelessness.

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