The Common Good

God's Politics

Video: Jim Wallis and Diana Butler Bass on CNN

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Prison Praise Music

I'm always a bit anxious in new worship environments. As I settle into my plastic chair at New Beginnings Lutheran Church, I realize that now is certainly no different. At least, I think to myself, my cell phone won't go off in worship; it was confiscated by the guard before I went through the metal detector.

New Beginnings is a congregation on the inside of the Denver Women's Correctional Facility, and I've come with three others from my own community to share in their worship service. [...]

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A Religious Landscape Ripe for Revival

I haven't yet read the whole study released yesterday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life titled, "U.S. Religious Landscape Survey," just some of today's news reports. But what I have read confirms what I see on the road every week. U.S. citizens are on the move religiously. Many people are not staying in the churches of their upbringings. "This is not your parents' church," many now could say as they [...]

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A View From Inside Kurdistan

The Cost of War

Christian Peacemaker Teams has had a team in Kurdistan for over one year. CPT has been slowly learning that the effects of the war and the relationship with the [...]

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Eye for Eye

We are painfully reminded once again of the cascading violence in the U.S. after the senseless killing of six and wounding of many others at Northern Illinois University. But in my low-income Chicago community, the violence and killing have almost numbed us. I hear gunshots out my window regularly in the summer, and the annual homicide toll from guns in our two-square-mile community is often more than 30. The Children's Defense Fund indicates that almost 3,000 youth die in the U.S. annually [...]

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Iraq's Refugees Ask: 'What Is Our Future?'

The Cost of War

I was in Lebanon and Syria in January and saw up close the agony of the war.

In Damascus, young Iraqi refugees have created a youth choir at the Good Shepherd Center. After singing for [...]

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Inner-City Smell-O-Vision

No words can really communicate the essence of what we are doing here. For that, you'd need Smell-O-Vision.


In case you didn't know, Smell-O-Vision was a system developed in the 1950s that released odors during the projection of a movie so that the viewer could actually smell what was happening onscreen. Thirty years later, cult filmmaker John Waters tried the same thing with scratch [...]

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We Cannot Afford War

The Cost of War

"Now, more than ever, America needs our moral witness. We need a surge in troops in the nonviolent army of the Lord. We need a surge in conscience and a surge in activism and a surge in truth-telling for a change." (Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock,

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Iraqi Kurdistan: 'I Cry All Day Long'

The Cost of War

Susan sat on her bed, looking frightened and sad. The 27-year-old had lost the lower half of her left leg when at 2 a.m. Dec. 16, Turkish fighter planes dropped four bombs on her home in a village [...]

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A Lenten Call to Repentance

The Cost of War

March 19 will be the fifth anniversary of the war with Iraq. In this season of Lent, we are called to lament and repent for an ongoing war that is being waged by our country, financed by our taxes, and fought by our brothers and sisters. After five years, we all lament the suffering and [...]

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