The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

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?
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The Top 10 Stories of May 9, 2011

Quote of the day.
"We're an Army that's in uncharted territory here. We have never fought for this long with an all-volunteer force that's 1% of the population." - Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, on a new study concluding that U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan are experiencing some of the greatest psychological stress and lowest morale in five years of fighting.
(USA Today)

1. Faith-based disaster relief.
"When it comes to disaster relief, the link between church and state has never been stronger than during the most recent storms in the South, say federal officials and the leaders of faith-based disaster relief work."
(New York Times)

2. Muslim-Christian violence in Egypt.
"Muslim-Christian sectarian violence intensified in Egypt this weekend, spurring an emergency meeting of the Cabinet and public exhortations from Coptic Christians for international protection."
(CNN Belief Blog)

3. Obama security team divided on raid.
"President Obama faced sharply divided counsel and, to his mind, barely better-than-even odds of success when he ordered the commando raid last week that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the president said in an interview broadcast Sunday."
(Washington Post)

4. Taliban considering options.
"The U.S. killing of the Al Qaeda leader may give the Afghan militants incentive to negotiate. But the aftermath of his death could just as easily embolden them in their war against the West."
(Los Angeles Times)

5. Afghanistan-attack on Kandahar.
"Security forces said to be close to quelling Taliban assault that has left at least 22 people dead in Kandahar city."
(Al Jazeera)

6. Border crossing by cellphone.
"Guides still accompany the bulk of the migrants crossing the border, activists and Border Patrol agents say. Those guides are in regular radio contact with confederates, who warn of trouble ahead. But the Border Patrol has been noticing cases of migrants crossing alone but in cell contact with guides."
(New York Times)

7. Syria escalates crackdown.
"A military crackdown on Syria’s seven-week uprising escalated Sunday, with reinforcements sent to two cities, more forces deployed in a southern town and nearly all communications severed to besieged locales."
(New York Times)

8. Libya-supplies low in Misurata.
"Food and fuel supplies are running low in the besieged western Libyan city of Misurata, where government shelling and rocket strikes on the port have slowed humanitarian deliveries."
(Los Angeles Times)

9. Mississippi flood to crest Monday.
"Forecasters say the Mississippi River could crest late Monday at Memphis -- hours sooner than previously predicted -- but the mayor says the city’s ready for it."
(Chicago Sun-Times/AP)

10. Japan closes nuclear reactors.
"A Japanese utility agreed Monday to shutter three nuclear reactors at a coastal power plant while it builds a seawall and improves other tsunami defenses there."
(Associated Press)

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Friday Links Round Up: Mothers. Staples. Swings.

Mothers. Staples. Swings. Here's a little round up of links from around the Web you may have missed this week:
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A Mother's Day for Peace

Julia Ward Howe, best known for writing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in 1862, began working to heal the wounds of the Civil War once the war had ended.
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Living the Resurrection on Mother's Day

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, "Woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." (John 19:24-27)

Mother's Day is always fun when the kids are young -- the homemade crafts, the valiant efforts of breakfast making, and the conscientious attention a mother receives in contrast to the usual "being taken for granted" and "aww mom, do I have to" gestures. My son is a sweet boy -- caring, empathetic, and a rule follower. When I was pregnant with him, it was as if this little organism had invaded my whole body. I felt pregnant from head to toe -- migraines, severe morning sickness, bloody noses, swelled feet, strong cravings for watermelon, and oh yeah ... my favorite: constipation. Sorry if that is sharing too much, but like I said, I was literally pregnant from head to toe.

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Books, Films, and Studies on the Surprising Power of Nonviolence

At Sojourners, we have always been advocates of principled nonviolence. But all too often, conventional wisdom has seen nonviolence as passivity, even in the face of injustice.
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Geronimo: A Revealing Code Name

A few days ago on my personal blog, I asked this question in response to the celebrations
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Christians Must Call For This War to End

There is no more room or time for excuses.
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The Violence We Live By

"However much we try to distinguish between morally good and morally evil ways of killing, our attempts are beset with contradictions, and these contradictions remain a fragile part of our mode
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Afghanistan Weekly Digest: Afghan Mothers. Taliban. Osama bin Laden

[Editors' note: As part of Sojourners' campaign to end the war in Afghanistan, we will run a weekly Afghanistan news digest to educate our readers about the latest n
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