The Common Good

Deseret News

Deseret News Press Items
The impending execution of Georgia death-row inmate Kelly Gissendaner has an international audience.
Tension between protesters and police officers boiled over again this week in Ferguson, Missouri. Dozens of people were arrested, including prominent faith leaders like scholar and activist Cornel West and Rev. Jim Wallis, president and founder of Sojourners magazine.
But a blogger for Sojourners worries that talking about compensation packages distracts from a pastor's true purpose: serving God. "Seminaries are places for the formation of pastors, not employees. I am afraid, however, that we have lost the sense of that," wrote Tripp Hudgins, the director of admissions at American Baptist Seminary of the West. "Have we lost our middle-class status? I wonder why we had it in the first place."
The eighth commandment, against stealing, takes me back to a 24-pack of crayons stolen from my third-grade desk. Many assumed my classmate Peg took them. She was full of spunk and from “the other side of the tracks.” I liked Peg, not least because her nickname for me was “peaches.”
Sojourners, a Washington-based anti-poverty group, is also hoping attention to these issues flows into the mainstream, according to RNS. The group’s founder, Jim Wallis, told RNS the stories in “12 Years a Slave” aren’t so different from what happens in everyday life today.
Jim Wallis, president of the Christian social justice group Sojourners, explained on his blog that allowing the government to shut down violates the Bible's teachings on the role of government. "Government is meant to protect its people’s safety, security and peace, and promote the common good of a society — and even collect taxes for those purposes," Wallis wrote, citing chapter and verse. "The scriptures also make it clear that governmental authority is responsible for fairness and justice and particularly responsible to protect the poor and vulnerable."
Representatives from Church World Service, Sojourners, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the Islamic Society of North America joined Beckmann at Monday's press conference.
The 65 primary signatories to the Circle of Protection represent a wide array of denominations and groups: Catholics, Protestants, conservatives, liberals, whites, blacks and Latinos — including the National Association of Evangelicals, the Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Christian social justice organization Sojourners.
"We've already written the text. The narrative is there. Just follow it, and put it on a national stage," Mero said during the National Immigration Forum's National Strategy Session conducted Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Some 450 faith, law enforcement and business leaders are taking part in the meetings to urge the incoming Congress and the Obama administration to make immigration reform a priority in 2013.
"The decision to strike down key provisions of this legislation is a victory for everyone in the faith community who seeks to follow the Bible's call for concern for the vulnerable and 'stranger' among us," said Rev. Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, a national Christian organization committed to social justice. "Arizona's immoral legislation threatened families, harmed children and made it difficult for law enforcement to safeguard the communities they swore to protect."