The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Tripp Hudgins' First Thoughts: Today, I Wear Green.

Jim Henson spent his life, like Mr. Rogers (a Presbyterian minister), trying to say to us and our children, "Hey, you're special and you're good." How is this a bad thing?

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Bring the Troops Home

President Obama’s announced plan has U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The American people, and now the U.S. Senate want them home sooner. As we watch the last U.S. troops leaving Iraq, there are still nearly 100,000 remaining in Afghanistan. Nearly 2,000 have died, and the cost is now nearly $500 billion. 

After a decade, it’s time to bring also them home.

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The Afternoon News: Monday, Dec. 5, 2011

Ron Paul Defends The 99 Percent: ‘It’s A Very Healthy Movement’; SWAT Raids, Stun Guns, And Pepper Spray: Why The Government Is Ramping Up The Use Of Force; GOP Needs To Address Immigration In A 'Humane' Way; Gap Between Rich And Poor Widening Across The Developed World, As Bankers And Executives Reap More Income; Challenges At The Cutting Edge Of Fighting Global Poverty; Baby Boomers Heading Back To Seminary; Worst Year Ever For Greenhouse Gases.

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"The Muppets": Triumphant Return of Beloved Frog or Insidious Communist Propaganda??

What could Bolling and Gainor have against The Muppets?

What could the movie have done to cause so much offense?

I mean, Sam Eagle got loads of screen time.

Did Fozzie make the GOP presidential candidates the punch line to one of his high-caliber jokes?

Did Bolling Statler and Waldorf heckle Bolling and Gainor?

Were the Fox talking heads offended that the greatest love affair of modern times is between a frog and a pig?

Or perhaps they detected a tacit nod of approval to the gay community in the Muppets' cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" even if it didn't make it into the film?

 

See video
. It turns out that The Muppets committed a far more serious transgression — the gravest of sins — it poked fun at corporate America.

That’s right, poor defenseless corporate America — in this case, the particularly vulnerable oil industry — faced the mighty wrath and unmitigated cruelty of felted bullies.

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Project Safe Surrender

Last week, 2001 cases were resolved — many were dropped and others left offenders with minor fines. People who showed up to the event also received resources and assistance for services related to health, housing, employment, and education. 

While the program is not explicitly religious, church and clergy involvement shed light on the Christian spirit of the initiative. Project Safe Surrender is not quite Jubilee— offenders aren’t guaranteed amnesty — but there is a taste of the Resurrection.

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Prayers for Burma

Last year in a blog post here on God's Politics, I suggested that believers pray for the world’s bad actors, among them, the Burmese generals and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. 

Someone must have prayed. 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Burma, the first time in many years that a high-ranking American official has visited that country. President Obama has decided to send her to assess the situation after seeing signs of hope that the human rights situation is getting better.

In May 2009, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest. Today, she has been released and the pro-democracy party that she represents has registered with the government. It plans to participate in upcoming elections.

Time Magazine reports that Burma’s new rulers are easing restrictions on media coverage. It has not, however released the large numbers of political prisoners it is holding, and it even fails to acknowledge that it is holding political prisoners.

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Susan Isaacs Anwers "What is an Evangelical?"

I first heard the term "evangelical" in the 1980s, about the time the Swaggarts and Bakkers were imploding. Christianity needed a new name for sane, intellectually sound faith.

"Born-again" had been sullied by the televangelists and worn out by Debbie Boone’s explanation of how she justified singing the lyrics to “You Light Up My Life.”

"Jesus Freak" had died with the Peace movement.

We needed another word to separate true Christians from fake ones; sheep from goats; serious believers from those who merely checked the “Christian” box on their driver’s license application because Jew, Muslim or Ekkankar didn’t apply. 

(Sometimes I wonder if all the denominations in Christendom are merely a list of the nomenclature we’ve used to separate Us from Them.)

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The Morning News: Monday, Dec. 5, 2011

Democrats See Opening To Attract Religious Voters In 2012 Election; Does Inequality Matter?; From Occupy To Progressive Renewal: Demanding The Just Society; Occupy Movement A Reminder Of What We Value; The Annual 'War On Christmas' Shows How A Faith That Once United America Now Divides It; Religious Leaders Target Repeal Of N.C. Death Penalty Law; Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church: Kentucky Congregation Overturns Ban On Interracial Couples.

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The Top 10 Stories of December 5, 2011

Quote of the day.
“You get desensitized to young people being killed. You become numb to it. Being up here has helped me realize it's not normal." - Rev. Corey Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church in Chicago, who is living in a tent atop an old motel as part of an effort to buy the building and convert the property into a community center for young people.
(Chicago Tribune)

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Hit the Hallelujah Button: A Soulful "Hallelujah"

Each day leading until Christmas we will post a different video rendition of the "Hallelujah Chorus" for your holiday enjoyment and edification.

Day 3's installment comes from the Just in Time Vocal Jazz "JOURNEYS" Concert, December 2009, performing their rendition of the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Quincy Jones' gospel-infused interpretation of the Handel classic.

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