The Common Good
July-August 1997

Resources for Study and Action

by Sandy Maben | July-August 1997

STOP MASS DEPORTATIONS

STOP MASS DEPORTATIONS

Last fall Congress passed a new immigration law that eliminated many options for refugees seeking asylum in the United States. It has raised the possibility of extensive deportations among the 200,000 Salvadorans and Guatemalans who came here during the 1980s to escape civil wars in which U.S. policy, money, and arms played a significant role (see "Yearning to Breathe Free," by Kari Jo Verhulst, page 12).

El Rescate, a Los Angeles group, is generating letters to the White House imploring President Clinton to give these displaced people a fair opportunity to obtain asylum. El Rescate also provides legal, financial, language, food, and shelter services to Central Americans in the Los Angeles area. To write a letter or offer other support, write them at 1340 S. Bonnie Brae, Los Angeles, CA 90006; or call (213) 387-3284.

WHY LIVE SIMPLY?

Simplicity as Compassion is the name of a new eight-week curriculum offered by Earth Ministry in Seattle. This Christian environmental organization engages individuals and congregations to "deepen our relationship with creation, and with the God of Creation." The curriculum reflects on voluntary simplicity from a Christian perspective, examining our society’s false idols such as materialism and status. Copies are $12 and can be ordered spiral-bound for each individual, or unbound as a master copy to photocopy for your group. Order from Earth Ministry, 1305 NE 47th St., Seattle, WA 98105; or call (206) 632-2426.

The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee has produced Low Income/Simple Living as War Tax Resistance, a new 20-page booklet that challenges us to consider lowering our income and simplifying our lifestyle in order to minimize or eliminate tax payments that support war efforts. The booklet discusses such topics as housing, health care, job sharing, and social security. Included are biographies of several folks who found unique ways to do this, both as tax resistance and as a path toward equality with those struggling to survive. Order for 50 cents each from NWTRCC, P.O. Box 774, Monroe, ME 04951; or call 1-800-269-7464.

SPEAKING OF TAXES...

The Peace Tax Fund Bill is proposed federal legislation that would allow conscientious objectors to war to direct the military portion of their federal taxes to a special fund, the United States Peace Tax Fund, for projects that enhance peace. To help with this effort, order Activist Guide: Speaking for Conscience ($9.95 plus $3 shipping), a 120-plus-page resource guide to assist local activists in working for passage of this bill. Call the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, 1-888-PEACETAX, or e-mail peacetaxfund@igc.org for more information.

ROOTED IN HISTORY

Larry Yates of Social Justice Connections has produced "The Roots of Our Activism: History You Can Organize To," a booklet designed to give young progressive activists a historical context for their work. It touches on the civil rights movement, Joe McCarthy, feminism, anti-nuclear activity, the nonviolence of Gandhi, etc., to help young activists understand how we got to where we are today. An extensive resource list for further study is included. Mail order for $7.95 from SJC, P.O. Box 4090, Arlington, VA 22204; call (703) 553-4440; or e-mail lamaryates@igc.apc.org for more information.

ECONOMIC JUSTICE. AN OXYMORON?

Christian Economic Networks is a group of concerned individuals who encourage radical reforms by establishing regional networks of small groups of production, retail outlets, and credit unions to create just economic systems. They recently published a 50-page pamphlet of the same name describing this process and critiquing our existing economic structures. Request a copy from Christian Economic Networks at 132 Lennox St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060, or Box 4509, Summerside, P.E.I., CANADA C1N 5J9.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)