>Get your free trial issue today! In this issue of Sojourners: 1. Drugs: The war at home 2. Military recruiting of high-school students 3. Music to protest by 4. Universities that promote social justice 5. Reflections on the revised common lectionary 6. And much more >>Get your free trial issue today at: http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.sojomail_free POLITICALLY CONNECT ^top Five themes for the peace movement post-Iraq Rosemary Radford Ruether: [We have] to regroup and find a new basis on which to organize against the American military occupation of Iraq and its long-range purposes." Read the entire essay at: http://www.psr.edu/page.cfm?l=62&id=1427 SOUL WORKS ^top Where your treasure is... Return from existence to nonexistence! You are seeking the Lord and you belong to him. Nonexistence is a place of income; flee it not! This existence of more and less is a place of expenditure. - Jalaluddin Rumi Sojourners presents: Click here to view the presentation: http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=special.multimedia&content=colombia BOOMERANG ^top SojoMail readers contribute more postmodern messianic films: "The Terminator" - Chris Shore, Murrieta, California "Jesus of Montreal" - Marilyn Wiens, Winnipeg, Canada "Pay It Forward" - Anne Alba, Purcellville, Virginia "Brazil" - Ron Partridge, Kent, England "Dead Man Walking" and "Babbette's Feast" - Roger Bergman, Omaha, Nebraska "Brubaker" - Suzanne Cowles, Edmonton, Alberta "Lord of the Rings" - Melanie Young, Ontario, Canada "Star Trek II" and "Star Trek III" - Liz Wallis "Bless the Young" and "Joshua" - Steve Brown, United Kingdom ------------------- Peter Glaxton writes from Wales, United Kingdom: Thank you for all you've sent me since coming across SojoNet during the unfolding of the unjust war against Iraq. I am deeply disappointed as an Englishman that our prime minister chose to agree with your president's view that there was justification for progress to invasion without the agreement of the United Nations. Sadly this organisation has now had any of its remaining "teeth" drawn and can in future expect to be sidelined by more powerful agents when such should decide to pursue a course of its own preference. I believe this is a victory for the terrorists, so simply castrating the one international peace-pursuing agency in which there may have remained a reasonable hope.... [In regard to your Mother's Day appeal], I'm not able to offer any pecuniary benefit, but joyfully offer my soul and body, as a living sacrifice, to further help disseminate the worthwhile material SojoNet brings before my eyes. ---------------- Jeremy Peters writes from Chicago, Illinois: C'mon, Mark Fulop, fair play! You charge that David Batstone doesn't have an ethical voice because he was in a business media post during the Internet years. That's like saying Jimmy Carter can't speak morally about foreign policy because he was once president, or Noam Chomsky can't critique a pre-emptive strike against Iraq because MIT pays his salary, and MIT has provided invaluable research to the military. Who is "pure enough" to speak credibly, in your judgment? Did it ever occur to you that Batstone is such a lucid writer because he is engaged in a complex world? ---------------- Kymberli Ward writes from Weatherford, Oklahoma: Jim Wallis' article is, as usual, thought-provoking and well written. I would only add one comment. Not only are poor children being affected, but has anyone looked at the plight of the disabled? It seems that all the social outrage is directed toward children and the elderly - worthy causes, with all my heart - but being a disabled person in this country is an horrific experience. Although I am below federal poverty level, I am not entitled to Medicaid, housing assistance, food stamps, utility subsidies, ad nauseum, because I "make too much on disability." That is a direct quote from every agency I have contacted. Why? Because before becoming disabled, was a career person and paid an enormous amount of taxes over 25 years. Waiting for SSA to make their determination ate through all my savings, investments, retirement.... To say my priorities have changed would be a gross understatement. While we are discussing the "war on the poor," let's include the rest of us who are not only ignored and dismissed by the powers that be, but also humiliated, denigrated, and stigmatized. ---------------- Karen Davison writes from Shepherdstown, West Virgina: I knew the idea of faith-based initiatives was bogus from the start. It is just a cynical way of relieving the conscience-less super-rich from paying taxes to help the disadvantaged. Instead, it feeds on the consciences of true people of faith who will contribute from their own pockets and impoverish themselves rather than allowing the great needs of the poor to go unaddressed. ---------------- Kirstin Wymore writes from Brooklyn Center, Minnesota: I agree wholeheartedly with what Jim Wallis says: The economic downturn does have a great effect on the poor and the lower classes. I see this; it affects my family, my friends, my neighbors, and my own life. While the challenge to organize and work to change government policies is exciting, I wonder if other efforts would be more worthwhile. Rather than trying to change an administration that more than likely will not budge, Christians who are passionate for social justice can seize this opportunity in another way. We can use what is happening in the U.S. today - economic hardships - to revive the church's call for justice and Jesus' cry to care for the poor. The church in America is wealthy; that wealth needs to be tapped. We can care for people, and we can work to get people moving; we do not need the government or its money. We can do programs on our own, we can start things, we can help people...the opportunities are endless. Challenge the leadership of our nation? Yes. But also challenge our churches and their leadership who are not challenging the people to follow Jesus. ----------------- Margie Dahl writes from Bendigo, Victoria, Australia: I was confused about war with Iraq. Australia has followed the U.S. like a little dog on a lead, but what's it all about? First they told us it was because Iraq had not complied with U.N. Security Council resolutions. But neither have Israel or Zimbabwe and we didn't invade them. Then they told us it was because Iraq was involved in terrorism. But no terrorists in New York or Bali came from Iraq. They came from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia, and we didn't invade them. Then they told us it was because Iraq might have weapons of mass destruction. But Pakistan, India, and France certainly have weapons of mass destruction, and we didn't invade them. Then they told us it was to "restore" democracy to Iraq. (Let's leave aside the logical impossibility of restoring something that never was). But China does not have a Western-style democracy, and we didn't invade there. Then they told us it was a humanitarian cause, to promote human rights. But human rights are violated in Guatemala and other countries in Latin America, and we didn't invade there. Now at last a little light is being shed. The U.S. is fighting over the carcass of Iraq before it is even dead - only U.S. firms are going to be allowed to have a share in the rebuilding. But we might get a few crumbs that fall off the table. Well done, little Johnny! ----------------- Ed Weber writes from Silver Spring, Maryland: Given: War is not the answer Also given: The absence of war is not always peace Question: What is the answer? The most difficult time lies ahead for the invaders and for the folks in Iraq. Prayers and alternatives seem to be appropriate now more than ever. After a major rebuilding effort, maybe it would be best to quietly fade into the sand, return home, and focus on internal affairs and let the U.N. and other peacekeepers assume a major role. ------------------- Huw Spanner writes from Harrow, England: Pete Stephens, a fellow Briton, suggests that the reason why the U.S. took 24 weeks to intervene when Iraq invaded Kuwait but took 26 years when Indonesia annexed East Timor was oil. I don't think it helps to reduce our analysis of foreign policy to such crudities. We can condemn the way countries behave internationally without having to caricature them. My understanding is that Indonesia was allowed to annex East Timor in the depths of the Cold War because there were fears that the island might fall under the influence of the Communist bloc. Not only does it have oil and gas reserves in its territorial waters (it is thought that one reason why Australia subsequently recognised Indonesia's sovereignty over East Timor was that she was granted 50% of the drilling royalties), but it has a strategic military position commanding a primary route for U.S. submarines to the Soviet Far East. Back then, there were many people who saw the future of humankind as a ruthless contest for global supremacy between us and the Communists. This does not make the sacrifice of East Timor and its people to "our" interests any less wicked, but it does, perhaps, suggest that the black in Pete Stephens' black-and-white picture of things was not as simple as he suggests. --------------- Ed Stewart writes from Fresno, California: I was a bit disappointed to see Sojourners piling on Bill Bennett in Funny Business (5/7/03). Although it was humorously done, it was unfortunate to see one group that claims Christianity putting down an individual who claims Christianity. I don't think Bill Bennett should get a free pass on this issue, but it seems quite childish for Sojourners to join the rest of the mockers. We can do better. -------------- David Westaway writes from Ballarat, Australia: I found the attempt at humor by Ed Spivey Jr. at the expense of Bill Bennett to be in very poor taste. Many people have the seeds of addiction within them, whether it be gambling, pornography, drug/alcohol or living a lavish lifestyle. If Bill Bennett has proven fallible, we, as Christians, should not glory in his mistakes. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. -------------- Mark Walters writes from Dallas, Texas: Kudos to Ed Spivey for his political satire. Bill Bennett built his career holding up his own virtues and slamming those who hold to a different set of standards. Spivey reminds us that hubris has no place in virtues. ----------------- Boomerang is an open forum for all kinds of views. The views expressed are not necessarily those of Sojourners. Want to make your voice heard? Send Boomerang e-mails to the editor: boomerang@sojo.net NEW Online Forums Interact with other Sojourners readers on these controversial topics: The War at Home Have we reached the point where the drug war causes more harm than the drugs themselves? http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=get_connected.forums&mode=display&forum_id=38 'Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace, Anti-Occupation' Is there anti-Semitism in the anti-war movement? http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=get_connected.forums&mode=display&forum_id=39 CULTURE WATCH ^top British folk rock: The good, the bad, and the ugly by Mike McGuirk "Hopefully you will find [my] discography helpful in doing a little exploring of this sometimes annoying, often overlooked, and at times quite subversive sub-genre. This is by no means a comprehensive look at the British folk-rock scene, so calm down." Go to: http://www.sfbg.com/noise/32-03/british_folk.html WEB SCENE ^top *A model of nation-building for the citizens of Iraq The Center for Economic and Social Justice offers a radically democratic plan for economic development and "nation-building" in Iraq. http://www.globaljusticemovement.org/subpages_ongoing_act/iraq_just.htm *Photo essay: Helping the kids of Baghdad Sojourners is a partner in All Our Children, a fund to aid the kids of Baghdad. Here's a photo essay on some of its projects: http://www.allourchildren.org/stories/iraqichildren/photo_essay.html *Pictures of looted Iraqi museum artifacts See pictures of priceless historical artifacts now gone from Iraqi museums: http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/IRAQ/iraq.html GIVE TO SOJOURNERS Donate now to support our work. SOJOMAIL STAFF David Batstone Executive Editor Molly Marsh Assistant Editor Ryan Beiler Web Editor Kate Bowman Internet Assistant Tucker Ball Marketing Director Larry Bellinger Advertising Manager Bob Sabath Chief Technologist CONTACT US SojournersT 202.328.8842 2401 15th Street NWF 202.328.8757 Washington, DC 20009 http://www.sojo.net For more information, e-mail us:info@sojo.net Copyright (c) 2003 Sojourners. All Rights Reserved. SojoMail material may be freely distributed, as long as it bears the following attribution: Source: Sojourners 2003 (c) http://www.sojo.net ARCHIVES Browse | Search SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe | Unubscribe | Change Email Format SOJOMAIL IS A SPAM-FREE ZONE Sojourners won't trade, sell, or give away your address. Read our privacy policy. "/>
The Common Good

Buying With Our Principles

Sojomail - May 14, 2003

www.sojo.net05.14.2003
Quote of the Week Hasidic proverb
Batteries Not Included David Batstone: Aaron Feuerstein puts out the fleece
Passings Remembering Walter Sisulu
By the Numbers Mainline Protestants reeling
Funny Business Turning an old leaf
Politically Connect Rosemary Radford Ruether: Five themes for the peace movement post-Iraq
Soul Works Rumi: Where your treasure is...
Boomerang SojoMail readers hit reply
Culture Watch British folk rock: The good, the bad, and the ugly
Web Scene A model of nation-building for the citizens of Iraq | Photo essay: Helping the kids of Baghdad | Pictures of looted Iraqi museum artifacts

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR - tell friends, family, and others about this free, weekly email-zine of Sojourners: http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=SojoMail.share


QUOTE OF THE WEEK ^top

The community of the living is the carriage of the Lord.

- Hasidic proverb

BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED ^top
Aaron Feuerstein puts out the fleece
by David Batstone

Malden Mills Industries is one of New England's last large textile mills. Its roots go back to 1906, when the grandfather of the current owner, Aaron Feuerstein, established a small mill in Malden, Massachusetts. Feuerstein expanded and moved the operation down the road a few miles to the town of Lawrence in 1956 when most of New England's other textile mills were migrating to the U.S. South to find cheap labor. Feuerstein believed his competitors were making a mistake: competitive advantage cannot be narrowed to the cost of labor. He staked his future on a highly skilled labor force.

During his long reign as owner, Feuerstein has had more lives than a cat. Like most other commodity industries, textiles pass through periodic financial cycles. In 1981, the company filed for bankruptcy protection, and Feuerstein reorganized without giving up any of his owner equity. Then a fire destroyed much of the mill in 1995, and the 70-year-old Feuerstein never gave a thought to cashing out the insurance money for his own private nest egg. As he told me in an interview last year, "It would have been an unconscionable act to put 3,000 [workers] out on the streets." While the plant was in reconstruction, he kept paying worker salaries for three months and health benefits for six months. Although it put his financials in a deep hole, the company survived.

Malden Mills is now in bankruptcy court again. A flood of cheap fleece has flooded the U.S. market, most of it produced in manufacturing plants in Asia. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that unless Feuerstein can raise $92 million by mid-summer to buy out his creditors, he will lose total control of the company. He claims he is presently about $10 million short of his fundraising goal.

In Saving the Corporate Soul, I feature Feuerstein's remarkable leadership at the helm of his company. From our conversations I teased out seven principles that lie at the heart of his business philosophy:

1. A worker is an asset, not an expense.
2. Skilled labor offers a sharper competitive edge than cheap labor.
3. A business has a moral responsibility to sustain its community.
4. Workers accept justifiable layoffs but resent job weeding.
5. Management commitment yields worker loyalty.
6. Customers respond to quality and innovation above price.
7. Profit is only one among many values a company strives to maximize.

In several events since the publication of the book, I have been challenged about whether Malden Mills' latest financial troubles prove that a company cannot act with soul. In other words, are Feuerstein's values outmoded?

The answer to that question, in large part, depends on us. Feuerstein has fulfilled his part of the social contract. Now it's our turn. The towns of Lawrence and nearby Methuen, along with the state of Massachusetts, have tentatively agreed - in recognition of the contribution Malden Mills has made to the community - to lend the company $10 million in federal economic development money, according to the Wall Street Journal. That's a start. Other principled lenders need to step up to the plate as well.

And then there's the rest of us. Few of us are big-time investors, but we are consumers. Are we principled enough to look beyond price to evaluate the source, quality, and values of the goods we buy? If so, maybe it's time to buy a Polartec jacket instead of the fleece hanging on the rack at Wal-Mart. Check out:

http://www.polartec.com/where/

To get more persepective from David Batstone, go to:

http://www.sojo.net/davidbatstone


Stop the Attack on the Working Poor!

As military spending increases and politicians argue for expensive tax cuts that benefit the wealthy, the needs of poor people are being ignored. Funding for programs that assist those who Jesus called "the least of these" is being cut. Your elected leaders in Washington can stop this, but they need to hear from you.

Sojourners urges you to send a message to key leaders, urging them to protect the working poor. Go to: http://www.sojo.net/action


PASSINGS ^top
Remembering Walter Sisulu, father of South Africa's liberation

Nelson Mandela is now the only one left. Of the three-man partnership that forged the African National Congress into a revolutionary tool for liberating black South Africans - then transformed it into a ruling party of the continent's most successful democracy - Mandela now stands alone. Oliver Tambo, the professor and strategist, who held the ANC together during long years in exile, died in 1993. And now Walter Sisulu, who brought Mandela into the party in the 1940s and continued mentoring him the next half century, has passed on to history.

To read more, see:

http://www.africana.com/articles/daily/bw20030506sisulu.asp

BY THE NUMBERS ^top
Mainline Protestants reeling
by Gary Stern

A Journal News review of the five most prominent mainline denominations shows that their membership in New York City and the surrounding suburbs has fallen by 45 percent since the heyday of 1960, when the spiritual descendants of Luther, Calvin, and Wesley composed the white-bread religious mainstream.

To read more, go to:

http://www.nynews.com/newsroom/050403/a0104mainline.html

FUNNY BUSINESS ^top
Turning an old leaf

A little boy opened the big old family Bible with fascination, looking at the old pages as he turned them. Then something fell out of the Bible and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed between the pages.

"Mama, look what I found," the boy called out. "What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy's voice he answered, "It's Adam's suit!!"


SojournersThere's a free copy of the May-June issue of Sojourners reserved in your name! >>Get your free trial issue today!

In this issue of Sojourners:
1. Drugs: The war at home
2. Military recruiting of high-school students
3. Music to protest by
4. Universities that promote social justice
5. Reflections on the revised common lectionary
6. And much more

>>Get your free trial issue today at:
http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.sojomail_free


POLITICALLY CONNECT ^top
Five themes for the peace movement post-Iraq

Rosemary Radford Ruether: [We have] to regroup and find a new basis on which to organize against the American military occupation of Iraq and its long-range purposes." Read the entire essay at:

http://www.psr.edu/page.cfm?l=62&id=1427

SOUL WORKS ^top
Where your treasure is...

Return from existence to nonexistence!
You are seeking the Lord
and you belong to him.
Nonexistence is a place of income;
flee it not! This existence of more and less
is a place of expenditure.

- Jalaluddin Rumi


Sojourners presents:

Suffering Servants: A multimedia presentation on Colombia's churches

Click here to view the presentation:
http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=special.multimedia&content=colombia


BOOMERANG ^top

SojoMail readers contribute more postmodern messianic films:

"The Terminator" - Chris Shore, Murrieta, California
"Jesus of Montreal" - Marilyn Wiens, Winnipeg, Canada
"Pay It Forward" - Anne Alba, Purcellville, Virginia
"Brazil" - Ron Partridge, Kent, England
"Dead Man Walking" and "Babbette's Feast" - Roger Bergman, Omaha, Nebraska
"Brubaker" - Suzanne Cowles, Edmonton, Alberta
"Lord of the Rings" - Melanie Young, Ontario, Canada
"Star Trek II" and "Star Trek III" - Liz Wallis
"Bless the Young" and "Joshua" - Steve Brown, United Kingdom

-------------------

Peter Glaxton writes from Wales, United Kingdom:

Thank you for all you've sent me since coming across SojoNet during the unfolding of the unjust war against Iraq. I am deeply disappointed as an Englishman that our prime minister chose to agree with your president's view that there was justification for progress to invasion without the agreement of the United Nations. Sadly this organisation has now had any of its remaining "teeth" drawn and can in future expect to be sidelined by more powerful agents when such should decide to pursue a course of its own preference. I believe this is a victory for the terrorists, so simply castrating the one international peace-pursuing agency in which there may have remained a reasonable hope.... [In regard to your Mother's Day appeal], I'm not able to offer any pecuniary benefit, but joyfully offer my soul and body, as a living sacrifice, to further help disseminate the worthwhile material SojoNet brings before my eyes.

----------------

Jeremy Peters writes from Chicago, Illinois:

C'mon, Mark Fulop, fair play! You charge that David Batstone doesn't have an ethical voice because he was in a business media post during the Internet years. That's like saying Jimmy Carter can't speak morally about foreign policy because he was once president, or Noam Chomsky can't critique a pre-emptive strike against Iraq because MIT pays his salary, and MIT has provided invaluable research to the military. Who is "pure enough" to speak credibly, in your judgment? Did it ever occur to you that Batstone is such a lucid writer because he is engaged in a complex world?

----------------

Kymberli Ward writes from Weatherford, Oklahoma:

Jim Wallis' article is, as usual, thought-provoking and well written. I would only add one comment. Not only are poor children being affected, but has anyone looked at the plight of the disabled? It seems that all the social outrage is directed toward children and the elderly - worthy causes, with all my heart - but being a disabled person in this country is an horrific experience. Although I am below federal poverty level, I am not entitled to Medicaid, housing assistance, food stamps, utility subsidies, ad nauseum, because I "make too much on disability." That is a direct quote from every agency I have contacted. Why? Because before becoming disabled, was a career person and paid an enormous amount of taxes over 25 years. Waiting for SSA to make their determination ate through all my savings, investments, retirement.... To say my priorities have changed would be a gross understatement. While we are discussing the "war on the poor," let's include the rest of us who are not only ignored and dismissed by the powers that be, but also humiliated, denigrated, and stigmatized.

----------------

Karen Davison writes from Shepherdstown, West Virgina:

I knew the idea of faith-based initiatives was bogus from the start. It is just a cynical way of relieving the conscience-less super-rich from paying taxes to help the disadvantaged. Instead, it feeds on the consciences of true people of faith who will contribute from their own pockets and impoverish themselves rather than allowing the great needs of the poor to go unaddressed.

----------------

Kirstin Wymore writes from Brooklyn Center, Minnesota:

I agree wholeheartedly with what Jim Wallis says: The economic downturn does have a great effect on the poor and the lower classes. I see this; it affects my family, my friends, my neighbors, and my own life. While the challenge to organize and work to change government policies is exciting, I wonder if other efforts would be more worthwhile. Rather than trying to change an administration that more than likely will not budge, Christians who are passionate for social justice can seize this opportunity in another way. We can use what is happening in the U.S. today - economic hardships - to revive the church's call for justice and Jesus' cry to care for the poor. The church in America is wealthy; that wealth needs to be tapped. We can care for people, and we can work to get people moving; we do not need the government or its money. We can do programs on our own, we can start things, we can help people...the opportunities are endless. Challenge the leadership of our nation? Yes. But also challenge our churches and their leadership who are not challenging the people to follow Jesus.

-----------------

Margie Dahl writes from Bendigo, Victoria, Australia:

I was confused about war with Iraq. Australia has followed the U.S. like a little dog on a lead, but what's it all about?

First they told us it was because Iraq had not complied with U.N. Security Council resolutions. But neither have Israel or Zimbabwe and we didn't invade them. Then they told us it was because Iraq was involved in terrorism. But no terrorists in New York or Bali came from Iraq. They came from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia, and we didn't invade them. Then they told us it was because Iraq might have weapons of mass destruction. But Pakistan, India, and France certainly have weapons of mass destruction, and we didn't invade them. Then they told us it was to "restore" democracy to Iraq. (Let's leave aside the logical impossibility of restoring something that never was). But China does not have a Western-style democracy, and we didn't invade there. Then they told us it was a humanitarian cause, to promote human rights. But human rights are violated in Guatemala and other countries in Latin America, and we didn't invade there. Now at last a little light is being shed. The U.S. is fighting over the carcass of Iraq before it is even dead - only U.S. firms are going to be allowed to have a share in the rebuilding. But we might get a few crumbs that fall off the table. Well done, little Johnny!

-----------------

Ed Weber writes from Silver Spring, Maryland:

Given: War is not the answer
Also given: The absence of war is not always peace
Question: What is the answer?

The most difficult time lies ahead for the invaders and for the folks in Iraq. Prayers and alternatives seem to be appropriate now more than ever. After a major rebuilding effort, maybe it would be best to quietly fade into the sand, return home, and focus on internal affairs and let the U.N. and other peacekeepers assume a major role.

-------------------

Huw Spanner writes from Harrow, England:

Pete Stephens, a fellow Briton, suggests that the reason why the U.S. took 24 weeks to intervene when Iraq invaded Kuwait but took 26 years when Indonesia annexed East Timor was oil. I don't think it helps to reduce our analysis of foreign policy to such crudities. We can condemn the way countries behave internationally without having to caricature them. My understanding is that Indonesia was allowed to annex East Timor in the depths of the Cold War because there were fears that the island might fall under the influence of the Communist bloc. Not only does it have oil and gas reserves in its territorial waters (it is thought that one reason why Australia subsequently recognised Indonesia's sovereignty over East Timor was that she was granted 50% of the drilling royalties), but it has a strategic military position commanding a primary route for U.S. submarines to the Soviet Far East. Back then, there were many people who saw the future of humankind as a ruthless contest for global supremacy between us and the Communists. This does not make the sacrifice of East Timor and its people to "our" interests any less wicked, but it does, perhaps, suggest that the black in Pete Stephens' black-and-white picture of things was not as simple as he suggests.

---------------

Ed Stewart writes from Fresno, California:

I was a bit disappointed to see Sojourners piling on Bill Bennett in Funny Business (5/7/03). Although it was humorously done, it was unfortunate to see one group that claims Christianity putting down an individual who claims Christianity. I don't think Bill Bennett should get a free pass on this issue, but it seems quite childish for Sojourners to join the rest of the mockers. We can do better.

--------------

David Westaway writes from Ballarat, Australia:

I found the attempt at humor by Ed Spivey Jr. at the expense of Bill Bennett to be in very poor taste. Many people have the seeds of addiction within them, whether it be gambling, pornography, drug/alcohol or living a lavish lifestyle. If Bill Bennett has proven fallible, we, as Christians, should not glory in his mistakes. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

--------------

Mark Walters writes from Dallas, Texas:

Kudos to Ed Spivey for his political satire. Bill Bennett built his career holding up his own virtues and slamming those who hold to a different set of standards. Spivey reminds us that hubris has no place in virtues.

-----------------

Boomerang is an open forum for all kinds of views. The views expressed are not necessarily those of Sojourners. Want to make your voice heard? Send Boomerang e-mails to the editor:

boomerang@sojo.net


Forums

NEW Online Forums

Interact with other Sojourners readers on these controversial topics:

The War at Home
Have we reached the point where the drug war causes more harm than the drugs themselves?
http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=get_connected.forums&mode=display&forum_id=38

'Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace, Anti-Occupation'
Is there anti-Semitism in the anti-war movement?
http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=get_connected.forums&mode=display&forum_id=39


CULTURE WATCH ^top
British folk rock: The good, the bad, and the ugly
by Mike McGuirk

"Hopefully you will find [my] discography helpful in doing a little exploring of this sometimes annoying, often overlooked, and at times quite subversive sub-genre. This is by no means a comprehensive look at the British folk-rock scene, so calm down." Go to:

http://www.sfbg.com/noise/32-03/british_folk.html

WEB SCENE ^top
*A model of nation-building for the citizens of Iraq

The Center for Economic and Social Justice offers a radically democratic plan for economic development and "nation-building" in Iraq.

http://www.globaljusticemovement.org/subpages_ongoing_act/iraq_just.htm


*Photo essay: Helping the kids of Baghdad

Sojourners is a partner in All Our Children, a fund to aid the kids of Baghdad. Here's a photo essay on some of its projects:

http://www.allourchildren.org/stories/iraqichildren/photo_essay.html


*Pictures of looted Iraqi museum artifacts

See pictures of priceless historical artifacts now gone from Iraqi museums:

http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/IRAQ/iraq.html



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