The Common Good
July-August 1998

Resources for Study and Action

by Marian Abrecht | July-August 1998

Debt Relief

Debt Relief
Jubilee 2000/USA Campaign
calls for the cancellation of debt as proclaimed in Leviticus 25:10-12: "And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants....That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you." For our time, this means the recognition of crushing international debt burdens in countries that borrowed heavily to become industrialized (see "For a Dignified Life," May-June 1998). Numerous church and secular organizations are cooperating to bring relief to those so burdened; a national conference will be held October 1-4 in Washington, D.C. An education packet is available for $5 (includes shipping). Send check or money order to Jubilee 2000/USA, 222 E. Capitol St. NE, Washington, DC 20003-1036; (202) 783-3566; coord@J2000usa.org.

When is Enough Enough?
Curing Affluenza is a series of six videos produced by United Methodist Communications that address the current American epidemic of shopping, overwork, debt, and the pursuit of more money. In the first video of the series, Abundant Life: What Is It? evangelist and educator Tony Campolo interacts with a small group to ask "when is enough enough?" With the widening global economic gap between rich and poor, Christians need to find ways to address a "disease called affluence." Endorsed by many of the major U.S. denominations, each video is available for $29.95; the whole series is $159.90; rentals are $18 each, from EcuFilm, 810 Twelfth Ave So., Nashville, TN 37203; 1-800-251-4091.

More Than Skin Deep
Hurtful racist remarks about skin color prompted one teacher to use suggestions from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s "Starting Small" with her first graders. Six colors of tempera paints were presented and each student mixed them to produce his or her skin tone. They discovered that each human skin is a combination of colors; none more important than any other. The "Starting Small" kit is free, one per institution by letterhead request, for early childhood administrators and teacher education department chairs from Teaching Tolerance, SPLC, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104.

Monitoring Welfare Reform
Pax Christi USA is calling attention to the need for responsible welfare reform at local, state, and national levels. They have produced a variety of study materials to assist concerned individuals and study groups. The packet includes instructions for tracking the effects of the new welfare reform legislation and for appropriate action. Available for $15 plus shipping (bulk rates are available) from Pax Christi USA, 532 West Eighth St., Erie, PA 16502-1343; (814) 453-4955.

Be All You Can Be?
Blood Makes the Grass Grow: Conscientious Objectors and the Gulf War is a 48-minute video that tells the intense story of six military recruits who had voluntarily enlisted but then appealed to become conscientious objectors when they came to believe, in training, that the Gulf war was immoral. They suffered threats ranging from dishonorable discharge to the death penalty, and some did receive prison sentences. This video contains valuable information for anyone concerned with basic issues of militarism in a democratic society. The video is $25 (includes shipping) from the National Youth and Militarism Program, American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; (215) 241-7176; youthmil@asfc.org. For sales to institutions, schools, and libraries, call The Video Project at 1-800-4-PLANET.

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