The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

A Church Sanctuary for the Occupy Movement

It’s time to invite the Occupy Movement to church!

And Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion. Have some of the young protesters — the “99ers” as they’re becoming known — from this rapidly growing movement over for a big holiday dinner!

Our faith communities and organizations should swing their doors wide and greet the Occupiers with open arms, offering them a feast to say “thank you” for having the courage to raise the very religious and biblical issue of growing inequality in our society.

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The Top 10 Stories of November 17, 2011

Quote of the day.
“Given all the concern about childhood obesity, Congress should be helping schools serve healthier foods, not hurting that effort.”  Margo Wootan, a director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, on Congress overturning a USDA effort to limit the starchy vegetables and tomato paste served in school lunches, allowing school cafeterias to continue offering pizza and french fries.
(Washington Post)

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Voices from the Human Circles of Protection: Stefan Fritz in Chicago

Stefan Fritz, a second-year seminary student at North Park Theological Seminary, speaks to Covenant Media Services on November 16, 2011 about North Park University Justice League discussing their partnership with the Sojourners Circle of Protection campaign.

"The time has come to put actions to our prayers, our values and act our morals," Fritz said. "And it's time for us to call upon our political leaders to act justly....We will fight together to protect these social programs that our country needs so desperately."

Watch video of Fritz's interview about today's Human Circle of Protection action in Chicago inside.

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Human Circles of Protection: Jim Wallis Visits the Chicago Circle at North Park University

Sojourners' CEO Jim Wallis visited Chicago's North Park University today to march with students, faculty, and staff to form a “Human Circle of Protection” at the North Park Friendship Center. Jim shared his thoughts with Covenant Media Services after the march.

"We are saying, 'God is watching how you decide to cut a deficit,'" Wallis said." A deficit is a moral issue. But how we cut it — what we do, who suffers, who bears the pain of it — is a moral issue too."

Watch video of Jim's intervirew with Covenant Media inside.

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The Jesuit Jester

For years, I've liked to call the Rev. Jim Martin, author of the new book Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life, "my favorite Jesuit."

I'm certainly not alone in my fondness for Martin and his wry spirituality.

Stephen Colbert is so enamored of the exceptionally clever cleric's wit and wisdom that he made Martin the official chaplain of the Colbert Nation. (Click HERE to see some of Father Jim's past appearances on "The Colbert Report.")

Martin, culture editor of America magazine and a prolific writer whose previous books include My Life With the Saints, A Jesuit Off-Broadway and last year's The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life, has an uncommon gift for making faith — and even religion — both accessible,  genuinely hip and if not fun, exactly, at least enjoyable.

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Colbert on OWS Evictions: "Linking Arms is a Dangerous Act of Aggression."

"The founders never intended indefinite free speech. They assumed after two weeks any protest would be wiped out by small pox.” — Stephen Colbert

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The Latest News on Occupy Wall Street: Wednesday November 16, 2011

The latest news on the Occupy Wall Street movement this morning includes: Occupy Wall Street camps are today's Hoovervilles. At Zuccotti Park, police protect the 1 percent. The New OWS: Reset button or game over? Harsh NYPD action against OWS might energize the movement. Alec Baldwin on "What Occupy Wall Street Has Taught Me." Olbermann condemns Bloomberg. President Obama says each city must decide for itself how to handle OWS protests. Occupy Wall Street and the return of law and order politics. The Straw Man cometh to Zuccotti Park. Militarizing police forces from Oakland to NYC. And more.

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The Top 10 Stories of November 16, 2011

Quote of the day.
“I have no interest in retail; I have no interest in opening a bookstore. But I also have no interest in living in a city without a bookstore.”  Ann Patchett, best-selling author, on why she is opening a bookstore in Nashville after several popular stores recently closed.
(New York Times)

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'Ǎhk-Toong Bāy-Bi Covered': New U2 Album Aids Victims of East Africa Famine

The band may be taking a well-deserved break from touring and recording, but U2 fans still have a new album to relish just in time for Thanksgiving.

Ǎhk-Toong Bāy-Bi Covered  features cover versions of U2's famed 1991 album Achtung Baby featuring renditions by Snow Patrol, The Fray,  Patti Smith, Damien Rice, Depeche Mode, Jack White, The Killers and others.

And all proceeds from the album's sales will go to help some of the estimated 13.3 million Africans suffering through the worst drought and famine in 60 years.

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‘Seeing Through Heaven’s Eyes’ – Charismatic Christianity 2.0?

Unlike the earlier turn-of-the-20th-century Pentecostal movement, which created a plethora of new denominations, the Charismatic Movement  — with its emphasis on the felt-presence of the Holy Spirit, intimate worship, healings, and spiritual gifts as written about in the New Testament — united Lutherans and Catholics, East Orthodox and Episcopalians, promising in its early years to utterly remake ecumenical dialogues into a fully-felt move of the Spirit.

These heady early days inspired everyone from the Jesus Movement to Richard Rohr and many believed that a new fullness of Christian faith was being formed.

Then, as often happens as new movements grow and spread, things got messy. Denominational officials became suspicious; new denominations like the Vineyard were born, attracting new Christians such as Bob Dylan.

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