The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

An International Day of Peace

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9).

Peacemaking is an important responsibility of people who follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Christianity requires that we, ourselves, become the living, breathing, flesh-and-blood manifestation of the teachings of Jesus. Our calling is to a radical obedience to Jesus' call to follow him (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship). The teachings of Jesus are extreme [...]

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A Multicultural Witness Against the 'Homogenous Unit Principle' (Part 1, by Jin S. Kim)

I am grateful for CNN's special report, "Black in America," as well as the subsequent article on church segregation on this 40th year after Dr. King's assassination. The article describes the "racial fatigue" that Christians of all colors seem to experience in these days of ever-increasing diversity. It sounds to me like the dynamics of a [...]

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Changing the Backyard

My two boys have an alley for a backyard. Luke (9) and Jack (5) are thoroughly urban kids, but I watched them, these past two weeks, fall in love with a natural world far different from their own in a magical place called Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island.

I came here a lot as a younger man. It was the home of lawyer-theologian William Stringfellow, one of my theological and political mentors, and it still has a little cottage on the back of the property that is used by [...]

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Race at the Olympics

I can't go anywhere these days without hearing about the Olympics ("Michael Phelps this, Michael Phelps that." Thank God my friend finally told me who Michael Phelps is). But it wasn't until I was over on Eugene Cho's blog the other day that my interest was thoroughly piqued. Cho posted a photo of the Spanish men's basketball team "making their eyes Chinese," [...]

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'The Jungle' in Postville Affects Us All

Agriprocessors, the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the U.S., has developed a longstanding reputation for abusing animals, workers, and laws. The abuses have been documented and decried by labor unions, religious leaders, animal rights groups, etc. Children as young as 13 work in dangerous conditions. Cows have their windpipes ripped out while they are still conscious and alive. Central Americans were hired illegally to work long hours with little pay. Untreated sewage has been dumped into the [...]

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A Look at Mary in August

My wife and I are starting the book of Luke for our devotional reading this week. The whole Christmas story comes up so fast, and it is a bit strange to consider the story in August. We talked about the extreme categorization of the Western church and how certain stories are usually told only at one time of the year. Well, not so now.

We thought if we can separate ourselves from the "assigned category" of Christmas and hear the story as a story -- not just as the propositional truth we are [...]

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Peach-Pit Philosophy

Summer Sundays with Phyllis Tickle

peachesThere's a great deal of conversation these days about the nature of human consciousness and, as a related issue, about the true definition of "human" and how it can be best described. There's so much such conversation, in fact, that it is essentially impossible (especially [...]

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Something is Brewing

The combined outcome of events happening at the moment is hard to predict, but something is brewing in the southern African region around the issue of Zimbabwe. Here are "the key ingredients" in this pot:

1. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), a group of regional leaders representing 14 countries in southern Africa, are meeting this weekend. Top on the agenda is the situation in Zimbabwe.

2. At this meeting there will be a change of leadership from the president of Zambia to [...]

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Working Against Torture

Torture is a moral issue. On Sept. 11-12, 2008, in Atlanta, Georgia, Christians will be sharing their grave concerns over the United States' position on this practice at "A National Summit on Torture: Religious Faith, Torture, and our National Soul."

In order to bring this subject to the forefront of the church's dialogue, Sojourners is proud to help sponsor the conference, alongside Mercer University, Evangelicals for Human Rights, and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture -- in [...]

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Response to Readers

I've been reading through the extensive comments on my blog post on abortion reduction and the Democratic Platform. As usual, the comments span the spectrum. But I found it puzzling that those who are so adamantly against the Democrats on abortion (as I have also been) seem so satisfied with the Republicans just repeating that abortion should be illegal, while the abortion rate never [...]

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