The Common Good

Recent Posts from Jim Wallis

The upcoming primary in South Carolina will be critical for both the Democrats and the Republicans, say the media pundits. And South Carolina is full of evangelicals, they also say. But they have absolutely no clue about what that means.


For example, the exit polls in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary have asked departing Republican voters if they are "evangelicals," but they don't ask the same question of exiting Democrats-therefore assuming there aren't any evangelicals [...]

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With the pivotal event of the Iowa Caucuses, news analyses have said that Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee are now the defining candidates of this campaign-even if they don't win their respective nominations. It appears Obama has a better chance to do that than Huckabee does, but there is no telling how far he can go and, win or not, he could help redefine the Republican Party. In Sunday's New York Times, Frank [...]

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Last night, Iowa voted for change - dramatic change

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This evening, the presidential election of 2008 officially begins with the Iowa caucuses-intense political contests taking place in every county of that Midwestern state. The national campaign, of course, has already been going on for many months (with the earliest start in the history of presidential politics), but now the endless polling will be replaced by actual election results in state caucuses and primaries. Iowa is the starting gun in the political battle that leads to the party [...]

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Christian support for the Iraq war raises the critical question: To whom do we belong?

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"The Church is the conscience of the state."

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We first published this reflection by Jim Wallis in 2002. It has since become our Christmas tradition, kind of our own Charlie Brown Christmas special, if you will. With the ongoing conflicts raging during each passing year, it remains tragically relevant.


Silent Night, by Stanley Weintraub, is the story of Christmas Eve, 1914, on the World War I battlefield in [...]

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The year of 1968 was very significant in my life, and a decisive one for the nation. It was the year when the hopes borne by the social movements of the 1950's and 60's were dashed by the assassinations of, first, Martin Luther King Jr., and then Robert F. Kennedy.


If Robert Kennedy had lived to become president on the inside (as he surely would have) and Martin Luther King Jr. had lived to lead a movement from the outside, the U.S. and the world might be very different today. But the [...]

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Nice piece this morning by James Carroll in The Boston Globe. He writes about what he calls "the radical militarization of foreign affairs."



A MAN bit a dog last week. Not just any man, and not just any [...]

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Joy and I woke up yesterday morning at 5:00 a.m. to the sounds of our screaming four-year-old, Jack, who was suffering from extreme abdominal pain. We tried to console and cuddle him, but to no avail. "Don't touch me, it really hurts!" he cried, when we tried to examine or gently rub his sore tummy. This was not like him at all; he is not an overreactive kid. We had to go get him at school that day because he was vomiting and had diarrhea. He had a quiet afternoon at home and went to sleep [...]

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Tuesday evening, Virginia Lohmann Bauman was ordained to the ministry at First Baptist Church in Granville, Ohio. Gini (as we know her) is Sojourners' Ohio Field Organizer. In her ordination paper for the American Baptist Churches, Gini wrote:



My faith journey began in my childhood and continues to evolve in wonderful and challenging ways. I am a preacher's kid, a wife, a mother, a lawyer, a mediator, a minister, an ecumenical [...]

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After months of increasing talk of military strikes against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, the Bush administration has suddenly received a dose of reality. In what news reports called A Blow to [...]

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The new 2007-2008 UN Human Development report is focused on "Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world." According to news stories, the report clearly links overcoming climate change with [...]

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It is time to work for common ground between evangelicals and progressives.

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Leaders from some 50 countries and organizations, including 12 Arab nations, are meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, today to begin negotiations for a peace agreement in the Middle East. News reports tell of " restrained optimism" that the event could lead to a Palestinian state.


The op-ed page of [...]

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In the news you might have missed over the Thanksgiving weekend, Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd decisively defeated Prime Minister John Howard in an important Australian election. Howard has long been one of the strongest supporters of President Bush's policies. Rudd, on the other hand, has already made it clear [...]

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What are you thankful for? It's a question often asked this Thanksgiving holiday season. Some think it's a little sappy, but I actually believe it's a very good question. And answering it is a good reminder of what's really important. Many of us are too often focused on what we'd like to change or be different, instead of remembering and being grateful for the blessings we already have in our lives.


So, what am I thankful for? I have been feeling very blessed these days. Joy and I are [...]

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Christianity and Islam comprise the world's largest communities of faith - 2.1 billion Christians and 1.5 billion Muslims. If these two religious traditions cannot find ways to keep peace between themselves, the world will be in very serious trouble. As Brian McLaren posted earlier on this blog, a group of 138 Muslim scholars and clerics recently sent an open letter to Christians around the world, [...]

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Thanksgiving is the time of year when American generosity is clearly visible. We make donations to our local food banks and homeless shelters and volunteer in soup kitchens. But do we really believe that is the solution to hunger?


Mark Winne, former director of Connecticut's Hartford Food System, answered the question in yesterday's Washington Post. In a piece titled

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A reader asked about my post yesterday:



You say that your opposition is close to making Christian ministry illegal. Would you care to elaborate on this? What sorts of ministries are being made illegal? Where is this being done? What laws are being [...]

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