The Common Good
December 2005
Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Ark-Type: In September, evangelical and Jewish scientists, ethicists, and environmentalists launched the “Noah Alliance” to protect and strengthen the Endangered Species Act. “[W]e don’t have to agree on how the world was created in order to join forces to protect all creatures on Earth,” said Cal DeWitt, president of the Academy of Evangelical Scientists and Ethicists.

Nickel & Dimed: Essayist Barbara Ehrenreich (right) addressed more than 2,100 people at the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America conference in July, challenging them to fight U.S. poverty, which primarily affects women. “I don’t know of any faith or ethical system that requires the poor to pay alms to the rich,” she said.

Ladies First?: The Church of England voted in June “for removing the legal obstacles to the ordination of women” as bishops, and to figure out how to deal with those who “cannot accept the ordination of women to the episcopate on theological grounds.” Fourteen of the world’s 38 Anglican provinces already ordain female bishops.

Healthy Choice: More than 1,500 health workers from 83 countries gathered this summer for the second People’s Health Assembly in Ecuador. The delegates, many from religious and indigenous organizations, focused on abolishing patents on essential medicines, the safety of medical personnel in military conflicts, and launching the International People’s Health University.

Café Égalité: The United Church of Christ voted in July to become a fair-trade denomination in keeping with its values of worker justice and environmental stewardship. UCC “fellowship hours” will now provide fair-trade coffee and offer it for sale to its 1.5 million congregants.

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