The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Mal-Engagement, Disengagement, and Wise Engagement

I understand the sentiments shared by many voters in the recent Pew poll on faith and politics. The Chicago Tribune reports:

Social conservatives are growing more wary of church involvement in politics, joining moderates and liberals in their unease about blurring the [...]

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Talismans and Tokens

Summer Sundays with Phyllis Tickle

I'm not much for talismans or religious tokens in the usual sense of those things. I wear around my neck every day of my life a chain with four emblems or medals on it. One is a Celtic cross given me on my 65th birthday by my favorite college chum from more than a half-century ago. One is [...]

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A Multicultural Witness Against the 'Homogenous Unit Principle' (part 2, by Jin S. Kim)

[...continued from part 1]

The meaning of evangelism is the proclamation of good news to the world. How can we continue to exclude and avoid those with whom we are not comfortable and live into our evangelical calling at the same time? If we do not shed this primitive tendency, and yet heed the call to be evangelical, do we not risk exporting our ecclesial tribalism far and wide? How can [...]

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Death of Zambia's President -- and Zimbabwe's Negotiations

On Aug. 19, 2008, Zambia President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa died. His death was a loss not only to his nation but to the region. He was outspoken about the situation in Zimbabwe. It is ironic that his death was followed in a few days by the "death" of negotiations in Zimbabwe. The government has refused to concede power and will be opening parliament next week --"back to business." It is not clear at the moment what options the opposition party has [...]

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Two Questions of a Soon-to-be Immigrant

In a few weeks, I will make a life-changing journey. After 33 years of living in Northern Ireland, and for very good reasons, I am about to become an immigrant. I'm excited about this move, not least because I believe that doing something new is one of the best ways to grow as a human being.

But two questions come to mind as I prepare myself for leaving home.

The first is, "What will it feel like to be an immigrant?" Will I be welcomed by the people in my adopted [...]

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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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