The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Hit the Hallelujah Button: The Silent Monks/Boy Scouts of Richfordshire, UK

The German Baroque master composer George Frideric Handel wrote his most famous piece, the English oratorio Messiah, in 1741 and it was performed for the first time publicly on April 13, 1742 in Dublin, Ireland. In the intervening nearly 300 years since its composition, Handel's Messiah — and it's "Hallelujah Chorus" in particular — have become staples of Christmastide, with thousands of renditions recorded or performed by everyone from The Royal Philharmonic and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to Leonard Bernstein's unorthodox restructuring in the 1950s and R&B music producer Quincy Jones' modern "soulful celebration" gospel interpretation in more recent years.

Beginning today, each day until Christmas we will post a different video rendition of the "Hallelujah Chorus" for your holiday enjoyment and edification.

Inside, see the first installment from a silent order of monks (aka the Barton Boy Scout troop of Richfordshire, North Yorkshire, England) performing Handel's classic.

HALLELUJAH!

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The Afternoon News: Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011

The Defining Issue Of The 2012 Presidential Race?; We've Got Christmas Wrong, Think Tank Reveals; Interracial Couple Banned From Kentucky Church; In Pictures: How Many Adults Believe In God?; Why Has Inequality Gone Up So Much?; New Bible Includes the Word "Immigrant," Brings Moral Clarity; Sacrifice Yourself To The Golden Calf Of Capitalism.

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The Morning News: Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011

A Decade Of Progress On AIDS (OPINION); States Fail In Fight Against Sex Trafficking; Newt Gingrich, The Savior Of The Religious Right?; Egypt’s Christians Prepare For New Political Climate; Occupy Protesters Consider Political Future; How Much High-Poverty Schools Get Cheated On Funding; Evangelist Billy Graham Hospitalized For Evaluation, Lung Treatment.

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Quilting an End to AIDS

ONE and (RED) have started a community art project of sorts, known as the (2015)QUILT. Driven by the goal to have an HIV/AIDS free generation by 2015, ONE and (RED) are focusing on the 1,000 babies born every day to mothers who have HIV/AIDS. The crux is this: get the 1.4 million pregnant women who are HIV positive on meds that cost $0.40 a day (you read that correctly), 98 percent of their babies won’t have HIV/AIDS transferred to them, and soon enough, we have a healthy generation. How easy does that sound?

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The Top 10 Stories of December 1, 2011

Quote of the day.
“When the history books are written, they will show that millions of people owe their lives to the Yankee tax dollar, to just a fraction of an aid budget that is itself less than 1 percent of the federal budget.” - Bono on World AIDS Day.
(New York Times)

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Evangelical Consistency and the 2012 Elections

Unfortunately, many people who go to church on Sunday are more influenced by what they see on cable TV than by the Bible. I hear that lament from pastors all the time. Too many of their congregant’s political priorities are determined by a party or ideology – not the Word of God. Their identities are shaped by marketing and media campaigns that manufacture a view of the world in order to maximize their own power and profit.

The antidote is simple. Christians need to read their Bibles more. It makes a difference.

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The Afternoon News: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011

Justice Groups Start Work On 'Common Good' Platform For 2012 Election; The 5 Biggest Failures Of The 112th Congress; An AIDS-Free Generation; At Occupy LA Eviction, Police Restrict Media CoverageThousands Of Immigrant Kids Ask Obama To Stop Deportations; Evangelism And Environmentalism: A Time To Act (OPINION); When Rehab Is Cut -- You Hurt Too.

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Groaning for Justice

If we look at what is happening this week – elections in Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo, an aid effectiveness conference in South Korea, the continuing Arab Spring in Syria and beyond, World Aids Day Thursday – and in the coming weeks -- the U.N. climate change conference, COP17 -- we cannot pretend that these events have no impact on our lives here and now.

Every one of these events is a matter of justice. The citizens of Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo deserve the opportunity to express freely, without fear of intimidation or violence, how they believe their country should be governed. Having spent some time in the region, I believe that the people of the DRC deserve more than any other to live in a country where they are safe and secure.

How we assist other countries in their development is an issue of justice.

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The Morning News: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011

Private Sector Adds 206,000 Jobs In November; Police Clear Occupy Camps In Los Angeles, Philly; Churches Help Occupy Movement Survive Crackdowns, Winter; Study: Even With More Kids In Poverty, Number Of Uninsured Children Fell 14 Percent Over 3 Years; Poverty Soars For Students In D.C., Montgomery County; Anonymous Iowa Christian Group Launches Attack On Gingrich; Should Fair Trade Certify Giants Like Nestle and Folger's?; Long Lines For Free Holiday Food Vouchers.

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The Top 10 Stories of November 30, 2011

Quote of the day.
"Churches traditionally do charity pretty well, and this is a moment where that charity gets transformed into justice work and they can start to see that there are underlying causes here that we need to address." - Rev. Michael Ellick, a pastor at Judson Memorial Church in New York City on why churches should support the Occupy movement.
(RNS/Huffington Post)

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