The Huffington Post Press Items
Violence against women is the most prevalent and the most hidden injustice in our world today. From rape as a weapon of war, to human trafficking, to the attack of a young girl seeking an education, the treatment of women and girls across the globe is in a state of crisis.
For what have I been working? I have worked and still work for, what Pastor Jim Wallis might call, "the common good."
This week marked six months since Superstorm Sandy left entire communities devastated, families homeless, and many with little hope. But in the midst of this natural disaster, many banded together. As is true with many of our nation's tragedies, recent and throughout our history, communities form and hope emerges amid struggle. Sandy taught us about resilience. It showed us what it truly means to reach out, serve, and love our neighbor.
What would it mean to be on God's side? Rev. Wallis's answer is to focus on the common good: Not just in politics, but in all the decisions we make in our personal, family, vocational, financial, communal, and public lives. That old but always new ethic simply says we must care for more than ourselves or our own group. We must care for our neighbor as well, and for the health of the life we share with one another. It echoes a very basic tenet of Christianity and other faiths -- love your neighbor as yourself -- still the most transformational ethic in history.
Stories are what change the world, more than just ideas. And that's what I am seeing and hearing on the road -- stories that will change people for the common good. Nobody outside of Washington trusts Washington because there are no more human stories -- just money and the calculations of power.
I hear it over and over again both during my conversations on the road, and as I skim the headlines each day, that we are in a battle for the common good.
It could last several weeks, but family members of victims and survivors of gun violence are planning to hold a round-the-clock vigil on Capitol Hill until the Senate passes gun policy reform.
I was very moved by Arianna Huffington's recent piece called "God, Cellphones, Quarterly Earnings and the Search for the Common Good." It's wrapped around the release of Jim Wallis's book, On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned About Serving the Common Good and challenges all of us to give some serious thought as to how we all might live more aware of "our greater common good."
Today, on the National Mall, I stood with fellow faith leaders, including clergy from Newtown, to remember lives lost at Sandy Hook elementary school and the 3,364 gun deaths that have happened since.
In front of 3,300 mock grave markers representing Americans who have died from gun violence since the Newtown tragedy, the Rev. Matt Crebbin will stand on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Thursday to pray for expanded federal gun control legislation.