The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Race, Religion, and the Election

The New Year began with bang. When it comes to presidential politics, we certainly saw some new beginnings. Sen. Barack Obama made history by becoming the first African American to win in Iowa, making him the clear front-runner (well, at least for a week or so). But after Sen. Clinton won New Hampshire, not only did it become clear that this would be one of the most interesting and most-watched presidential races in history, something else rose to the surface. We were reminded that while [...]

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Signs of Real Hope for Social Change

John Sayles' comments about how film can be a vehicle for social change got me thinking about the positive signs of social change I've been observing recently as a journalist. Simply put, a global spirit seems to abound these days that infuses religion, politics, and the culture at large and transcends organizations and individuals.


On Jan. 21, I attended a lunch hosted by

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The Limits of Pollsters, Pundits and, Yes, Politics

This early primary election season has clearly demonstrated the limits of the pollster's predictions, the pundit's prognostications, and the ability of politics to really address our deepest problems.


The polls have gotten it wrong several times now. And the political commentators have wrongly told us what was going or not going to happen so many times that many have just stopped listening. Obama would never catch up to Clinton's inevitability - then he won Iowa. The Clinton dynasty [...]

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Video: Jim Wallis on "A Daily Show with Jon Stewart"

Jim talks about the new movements in faith and politics described in his latest book, The Great Awakening.
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Interview with John Sayles on Religion, Race, and Rock and Roll

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview John Sayles about his movie Honeydripper, a multilayered and complex account of the birth of rock and roll in the Deep South. Following is an excerpt from our conversation. (The full interview with John Sayles will be published in a forthcoming issue of The [...]

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Beliefnet Survey on Religion and Politics

Faith and politics continues to be a major storyline in the election campaigning. Beliefnet is interested in what you think about the mix of religion and politics in this year's election. Click here and check out the survey on Religion and [...]

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Listening to MLK

Mary Nelson just posted on MLK's Riverside speech, but I have some reflections to add. I'll admit that I took a "day off" yesterday instead of a "day on," making a four-day weekend backpacking trip in the Adirondacks with some buddies. But I did [...]

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MLK's Unfinished Revolution

Martin Luther King's sermon at Riverside Church linked the devastating Vietnam war to the struggle over poverty. I began working that year in an under-resourced community and wore a "Bread not Bombs" sweatshirt to anti-war demonstrations. Sadly, not much has changed. The amount spent on the Iraq war (CBO estimate $9 billion a month, up to $1 trillion total), if directed elsewhere, would virtually ensure [...]

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Why I Wrote "The Great Awakening"

God's Politics called on people to take back their faith after it had been "hijacked" by the Religious Right. Millions of Christ­ians have done just that, and now the question is what are we going to do with our faith, now that we have it back? My new book, The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith and Politics in a Post-Religious Right America, addresses that question.

My friend E.J. Dionne Jr., a [...]

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Sweeney Todd and the Spiral of Violence

Tim Burton's striking and gruesome film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical 'Sweeney Todd' made me feel alternately impressed by Johnny Depp's singing talent and wince at the violence. The story of a 19th century barber who avenges the loss of his wife and daughter by providing the closest shave ever to a litany of customers including the judge who caused his pain left me preoccupied by [...]

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