The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Obama, Perkins, Palin, and a Plea for Christian Civility

Whew. Take a breath, Christians! I just read all the comments to my post Friday on Barack Obama's historic acceptance speech of a major party's nomination to the highest office in the country -- the first African American to have achieved that American milestone. The post was about the historical significance of that event and speech, especially on the very day of the 45 anniversary of Dr. Martin [...]

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New Life from an Old Hymn

Summer Sundays with Phyllis Tickle

Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra, Florida, is the kind of church every pastor, rector, or preacher dreams of. It’s got children running about everywhere. It’s building yet another parking lot for reasons that are [...]

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An Historic Speech

Yesterday morning, I started what would become an historic day with my favorite historian. As a young man, Vincent Harding was part of the inner circle of the southern freedom movement with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and later became one of the civil rights movement's best chroniclers and interpreters. Vincent has also been a mentor and trusted friend to me and to Sojourners for many years.

Vincent Harding was there at the Democratic Convention in 1964 when the party refused to seat [...]

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Reconciliation's Challenge for New Monastic Communities

[see all posts in this conversation on New Monastics and race.]

In August 2006, before having ever heard the term "new monasticism," my husband, Jason, and I founded Radical Living, an intentional community in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. When I (Vonetta) was 12 years old, I emigrated from Guyana to [...]

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Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones

"Vote Out Poverty! Vote Out Poverty!" shouted the diverse group of clergy and faith leaders as they marched in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, at our ecumenical public witness event last October. That was the last time I saw Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) in person; she stood on the podium in the crisp October sunshine waiting for the crowd to arrive.

We had invited several [...]

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A Cleveland Original

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a Cleveland original. Stephanie never cared about “style points.” She only cared about passing public policy that served the common good. No one matched her passion, energy, or voice for the poor and vulnerable. Everyone wanted her on their side. She was ever present in her 11th Congressional District and was tireless in her advocacy for victims of predatory lending, the uninsured, the unemployed, and children. The news [...]

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Charlie Wilson's Warning

Coinciding with the visit of a dear friend who's spent the past few years working in Afghanistan for both development NGOs and (non-U.S.) government agencies, the DVD of Charlie Wilson's War recently arrived from Netflix. My friend recommends it. Also, I [heart] Philip Seymour Hoffman. And I can tolerate Tom Hanks in appropriate doses. But an

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Rev. Otis Moss on Prophetic Faith

Somebody came up to me in Denver and said, "At the Democratic Convention of 2008, faith is cool!" That is indeed a big change from recent years. As I have been saying at the many "faith forums" in Denver, faith must have a different and better role than it has had in politics these last few decades.

And I have been encouraged by the more "prophetic" role that faith has played here, deeper than the partisan use of faith in recent memory. At one of those faith panels, Rev. Otis Moss [...]

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Fannie Lou Hamer's America, 44 Years Later (by Burns Strider)

I am overwhelmed at the historic nature of what's happening this week, and it's important that we all think about this. It's important for me as a Mississippian. For me, I can't stop thinking of the Mississippi Freedom Democrats and Fannie Lou Hamer. I wish Hamer could be here.

In 1964 the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) arrived at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City with the goal of unseating the "regular Democrats" and representing their fellow Democrats [...]

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A 'Postmodern Negro' Perspective on Not Voting

I'm voting in this election, not with naivete but with sincere enthusiasm. Not with any messianic hopes, but with a deep sense of moral responsibility as a shareholder or steward of the richest, most dominant, and most well-armed nation in the world. I had another long talk with a friend a couple weeks back who, on religious grounds, is passionately against voting. He had read my earlier posts on the [...]

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