The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Is Facebook Changing the World?

In recent weeks, Facebook and other social media have clearly demonstrated their capacity to do far more than just allow us to keep in touch with our family and friends. They have proven to be powerful organizing tools, capable of assisting in the creation of broad international movements for social change. Social media has proven to be a particularly powerful tool in countries in which basic democratic rights such as a free press and the right to assembly are severely restricted. At the same time, Facebook and YouTube are increasingly rendering international borders as meaningless. Western media coverage of the recent popular uprising in Egypt consistently emphasized the catalytic role of Facebook in galvanizing youth and young adults to take action against an entrenched regime that had long been viewed as impenetrable. In the days after Mubarak's departure, both the New York Times and The Los Angeles Times published lead stories describing the role of certain Facebook pages in not only serving as a call to action, but as a space in which emerging activists in Tunisia and Egypt were able to share lessons with each other. These young activists had not only managed to evade the reach of both nations' security police, they had also sidelined older opposition parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

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Sojourners Supporters and Partners Challenge Congress on Budget Cuts

Thanks to Sojourners supporters and our partners, there is a full page ad in Politico today asking Congress, "What Would Jesus
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Budgets Are Still Moral Documents

The "What Would Jesus Cut?" campaign, launched by Jim Wallis and the good people of Sojourners, assumes that
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What Would Jesus Cut? Who Would Jesus Bomb?

Growing up in the Bible belt in east Tennessee, I can remember an entire campaign built around "What Would Jesus Do?" There were WWJD bracelets, stickers, and T-shirts everywhere.
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'Judge, Appeal To Your Inner Self!'

I spent all day Saturday at a middle-school debate tournament. My seventh-grade son Luke loves being on his middle school baseball team, but also on the debate team, and this weekend his school competed with ten others. It was fascinating to watch and fun to be there. The topics of debate included statements such as, "All private citizens should be prohibited from owning a hand gun," and "Social media networks should have a minimum age of 18 or older to be a member." They have previously taken up subjects like "Should the U. S. leave Afghanistan?" "Is torture ever justified?" and "Should the Redskins (our local NFL football team) change their name?" Joy and I thought it was pretty cool that a public middle school would even have a debate team, with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders taking up subjects like that, and it helped draw us to Alice Deal Middle School.

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Friday Links Round Up: Books. Pizza. Women Writers.

Books. Pizza. Women Writers. Here's a little round up of links from around the web you may have missed this week:
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Matthew Kelty and the Beauty of a Good Death

Writer and Trappist monk Matthew Kelty died last week at age 95. His is an example of a good life and a good death.
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From the Streets of Madison: A Crash-Course on Collective Action

Before last week, we'd rarely thought about unions or union rights, but living in Madison these days, it seems that we hardly make it through an hour without hearing the words "unions" and "collective bargaining." In the past week, we've tried to give ourselves a crash course on what e
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This is Not Fiscal Conservatism. It's Just Politics.

The current budget and deficit debate in America is now dominating the daily headlines. There is even talk of shutting down the government if the budget-cutters don't get their way.
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The Economics of Anxiety

One of the steadfast realities of following the lectionary is the predictable rhythm of its three-year cycle of readings. Preparing a sermon for Baptism of the Lord Sunday in 2011?
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