The Common Good

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post Press Items
The president and Dubois worked together on issues of church-state relations early on, starting with a speech that the then-Senator Obama gave in 2006 at Jim Wallis' Call to Renewal Conference. "It's a speech that I worked closely with him on. He laid out the parameters for engaging religion in public life in a way that respects the central role that religion has played in our history and continues to play in the lives of million of Americans, and also respects our constitution and the important separation between church and state. "
The battles over immigration reform and race have weighed heavily on me this summer. They have each become a symbol and a test, for me, of whether we can resurrect "the common good" in this nation.
Lisa Sharon Harper, Director of Mobilizing for Sojourners, is an African American evangelical leader who cares deeply about the church and God's heart for racial, economic, and gender justice. Devoted to the Scriptures, Harper takes to heart the words of Isaiah, "Learn to do right; seek justice." (Isaiah 1:17). In a recent interview, she described her response upon learning the news of the verdict: "Shocked. Absolutely shocked... I went to sleep that night feeling numb. I slept hard that night. Then, as soon as I woke up the next morning, I started crying. Weeping. It hit me. The reality of the moment really hit me."
Sojourners president Jim Wallis was recently a guest on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. In the course of the show Maher confronted Wallis on the Bible, asking him some very pointed questions about some of its more troubling texts. You can watch the exchange here:
"This is a day that the Lord has made." Those words begin a very popular worship song among evangelical Christians. And they were the first words that came to my mind when I stood alongside the widest spectrum of evangelical leaders we have ever seen at a gathering yesterday morning on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. We were there to lead a day of prayer and discussion with the leaders of the House of Representatives about the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform -- more specifically to fix a system that is not only broken, but cruel for millions of people.
The acquittal of a person who is not black for the killing or beating of a black person is nothing new: Remember Yusef Hawkins. Remember Rodney King. Remember Amadu Diallo. Remember Alex Moore. Remember Latasha Harlins. Remember Sean Bell. Remember... remember... remember.
They distributed a list (see below) of 121 Republicans whom they see as persuadable on immigration reform. Groups in attendance included Republicans for Immigration Reform, the Mark Zuckerberg-founded, the faith group Sojourners and others, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting. The list largely aligns with the targets of other reform groups.
It's time for white people -- especially white parents -- to listen, to learn, and to speak out on the terribly painful loss of Trayvon Martin.
"Our life together can be better." That's the message in Rev. Jim Wallis' latest book, 'On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned About Serving the Common Good.'
What do I love about America? I love the land, one of the most spectacularly beautiful countries in the world (and I've visited many of them). I love walking our long stretches of beaches, hiking our majestic mountains, seeing the desert skies, walking beside the rivers, sailing along the coasts, and visiting hundreds of lakes in my home state of Michigan, where I camped as a kid. I even love some of our big cities! "O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plains." I love our many diverse cultures, including their music, their food, their art, their sports, and their particular stories and histories.