The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

The Top 10 Stories of January 24, 2012

Quote of the day.
"Corporate boards are tone deaf to the times, as are CEOs who justify this much compensation." - Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto Business School, on the growing number of CEOs making $50 million or more.
(USA Today)

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Sale Cereal

She bit her bottom lip first, then lifted her gaze to my unassuming face. When she started looking at me softly, like I was some sort of oft-beaten puppy, I knew what was coming.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered, “but your card’s been declined.” I offered a solution.

“Huh. Want to try it again?” Unsurprisingly, nothing changed, save her face, which only contorted more.

“Weird,” I said. The steam tauntingly danced on my cheeks. “Let me go check with my bank and figure it out.” I walked to a table, leaving the coffee, and pulled out my computer. After entering my username and password, my statement appeared on the screen.

“Available Balance: -$10.41,” it read.

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Atheism 2.0

“You may not agree with religion, but at the end of the day, religions are so subtle, so complicated, so intelligent in many ways that they're not fit to be abandoned to the religious alone; they're for all of us.” — Alain de Botton in his "Atheism 2.0" TED Talk

Watch de Botton's "Atheism 2.0" talk inside the blog ...

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GOP Nostalgia is a Symptom of Privilege

Author Melissa Harris-Perry recently appeared on “The Colbert Report” to speak about her new book, Sister Citizen, which examines a number of stereotypes of African-American women. As he often does, Colbert teed up a common conservative talking point about “going back to he good old days.” Perry’s response kept ringing in my head for days afterward.

She said that there is no time in American history you would want to go back to as a black girl.

The point is simple but compelling. Those in the position of privilege to write history are the ones whose story is most prominently told. So when we talk about going back to some better time, it’s with the lens of that same privilege that we’re looking back.

The fact is that, unless you’re a white, Christian, straight male, there’s little to look back to and say, “Yeah, I was better off back then.”

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Afternoon News Bytes: Jan. 23, 2012

Dear Mr. President: Another Chance To Fight Poverty (OPINION); Elections Morning Digest: Gabby Giffords Will Resign From Congress; This Week Occupy's Latest Target: Citizens United Where Money And Politics Collide; How The World Could—And Maybe Should—Intervene In Syria; Is Our Economy Healing?; Brown, Warren Agree To Anti-Super-PAC Pledge, Other Candidates Could Follow; Florida Primary 2012 Likely To Shift GOP Candidates' Focus To Environment; Candidates' Stance On Immigration Reform Scrutinized Ahead Of Florida Primary.

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The Top 10 Stories of January 23, 2012

Quote of the day.
"I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week. I''m getting better every day. My spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country." - Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, severely wounded by a gunshot a year ago, announcing her resignation from Congress.
(Arizona Republic)

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He Said, She Said: Driscoll's "Real Marriage" is Really Not

HE SAID: David Vanderveen

Real marriages develop from two people who are committed to making them work. The specifics of how two real people make one real marriage work is largely irrelevant given the freedom we have in Christ. Marriage is supposed to be a symbol of our relationship with God on earth.

We don’t need more multiple choice tests and true-and-false quizzes with black-and-white answers to bring heaven to earth; we need to put the love of the other first — with God at the core — to make our marriages work.

SHE SAID: Sarah Vanderveen

Real Marriage is a poorly written, poorly researched book by a well-meaning pastor who I believe is struggling with his own sexuality and sense of self-worth. I don’t know how else to explain his weirdly inappropriate fixation on masculinity and specific sexual practices, and his failure to address the complexity of human sexuality and relationships.

It feels to me like he doesn’t really want to understand the whole person, rather he just wants to cut straight to the salacious tidbits. I realize that’s how you sell a lot of books, but still. I get the distinct impression that Driscoll is not a man at peace.

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Why Every American Benefits from Food Stamps

Newt Gingrich now regularly refers to President Obama as the “Food Stamp President.” Why?

Since late 2007, caseloads for the program formerly known as Food Stamps (now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- SNAP) have risen sharply.

These numbers are significant; about 14.2 million more people have started receiving benefits under President Obama. Still, this is just behind the record number of 14.7 million additional recipients added under President George W. Bush.

So, what’s the significance? President Obama has had a lot shorter time in office than President Bush did, should we be worried?

When I look at the numbers, I’m not concerned about the growth of SNAP under President Obama, I’m surprised at it’s growth under President Bush.

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Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: Jan. 20, 2012

President Obama wishes Betty White a happy 90th birthday, Will Farrell's homemade commercials for Old Milwaukee, contest for Anne Rice's new novel, Megadeath bassist to become ordained Lutheran minister, and more.  

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Afternoon News Bytes: Jan. 20, 2012

One Nation Under God: Do You Need To Be A Good Christian To Be A Good President?; Faiths On The Trail: GOP Race Shows Historic Religious Diversity; Obama's Keystone Decision Is Something To Celebrate; Ideology Won't End Poverty (OPINION); There They Go Again (OPINION); Working Poor USA; Tony Perkins: Social Conservatives Are ‘Not Judgmental’.

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