The Common Good

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'Blue Like Jazz': The Sojourners Interview
Originally Posted: 03/21/2012 - 3:18pm | Type: Blog

Earlier this week, our intrepid blogger/reporter/resident-God-Nerd Christian Piatt sat down with the makers of the highly-anticipated film Blue Like Jazz — Donald Miller, director Steve Taylor and Marshall Al ...

Naomh Padraig: St. Patrick's Day, John O'Donohue and Blessing
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 6:24pm | Type: Blog

To bless someone, in the most literal sense of the word, is to confer your hopes to them. That's why so many traditional blessings begin with the word "may." To bl ...

She Said, He Said: On the Misogyny of the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 3:30pm | Type: Blog

On March 5, the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a confidant of FOX NewsChannel's Sean Hannity and frequent guest on his show, took to the airways on his "Exploring Your Destiny with Jesse Lee Peterson" ...

Violence, Women, Congress and the Bible
Originally Posted: 04/17/2012 - 4:09pm | Type: Blog

In the next few months I fear that polarized debate over issues concerning the lives and bodies of women will continue to stifle political and social progress in this country. Shame on Democrats and Republican ...

Spiritual Refugees, Mainline Protestants and Missed Opportunities
Originally Posted: 03/15/2012 - 3:24pm | Type: Blog

I've been speaking at many small colleges that have historical ties to the oldest mainline denominations in the U.S. I have been noticing something interesting: a terrific hunger for a deeper spirituality ...

Pastor Nadarkhani Remains on Death Row in Iran
Originally Posted: 03/14/2012 - 3:31pm | Type: Blog

After searching for a while, I found a post by the American Center for Law and Justice that confirmed what had become my hope: Reports of Nadarkhani's execution were false. L ...

LifeBuilders: Help Rebuild Lives (and Souls) in Detroit with the Click of a Mouse
Originally Posted: 03/14/2012 - 12:06pm | Type: Blog

"It's an exciting thing to grow spiritually, emotionally and physically here in the community," Larry Johnson says. "We're committed to showing the love and power of Jesus Christ and w ...

Violence Makes Losers of Us All
Originally Posted: 03/13/2012 - 11:46am | Type: Blog

If you were walking down the street and a stranger approached you and punched you in the face what would you want to do in that moment? Sure, this is an odd hypothetical situation, but really, answer the quest ...

Unresolved ... Like Jazz
Originally Posted: 03/13/2012 - 12:08pm | Type: Blog

What saves Blue Like Jazz, thankfully, is that it is a memoir with a difference. It isn’t a rose-tinted, romanticized account of some historical or celebrated figure. It is the memoir of someone who is very mu ...

Top Ten Reasons Why I (Heart) Kristin Chenoweth
Originally Posted: 03/13/2012 - 3:46am | Type: Blog

"I'm a very controversial figure in the Christian world. I don't believe if you're gay or you have a drink or you dance, you're going to hell. I don't think that's the kind o ...

We Take Requests: Bono's Address to the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast
Originally Posted: 03/10/2012 - 11:27am | Type: Blog

You asked for it. So here it is — an oldie but a goodie: Bono's keynote address at the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast. You asked for it. So here it is — an oldie but a go ...

Pat Robertson: What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been
Originally Posted: 03/07/2012 - 12:31pm | Type: Blog

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. A million monkeys typing for a million years would eventually produce Shakespeare. And once in a blue moon, Televangelist and 700 Club head Pat Robertson and ...

Santorum's Secret Army: Home-Schoolers
Originally Posted: 04/17/2012 - 4:14pm | Type: Blog

Strapped for cash and staff, Rick Santorum has enlisted a ragtag but politically potent army to keep his campaign afloat: home-schoolers. Strapped for cash and staff, Rick Santoru ...

Refugee Defies Deportation, Seeks Sanctuary at Church
Originally Posted: 03/06/2012 - 7:00am | Type: Blog

HIGHLAND PARK, N.J. — Saul Timisela was ordered to report to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Newark early on the morning of March 1 to be deported. Instead, the Indonesian Christian took sanctuary ...

Is God Dead?
Originally Posted: 03/04/2012 - 8:36pm | Type: Blog

There was a movement back in the 1960s that many of us only have read about, while others vividly remember. Philosophers and theologians explored what was labeled the “Death of God” movement. Interest in the s ...

“Pray For Us”: How Can We Pray Effectively for the People of Syria?
Originally Posted: 03/02/2012 - 4:33pm | Type: Blog

A headline from Reuters stopped me in my tracks earlier this week. It read, ‘"Pray for us" say Syria rebels as army closes in’." I was struck by how moving I found this statement, this plea. ...

An Excerpt from Christian Piatt's New Memoir 'PregMANcy': The Pee Stick
Originally Posted: 03/02/2012 - 12:57pm | Type: Blog

“Screw it.” These two words are what started the baby ball rolling in the Piatt household, back in January. After months of counseling, discernment, weepy nights and sleepless mornings, I submitted, succumbed ...

Theologian Told TIME, `God is Dead,' Dies at 87
Originally Posted: 03/02/2012 - 12:24pm | Type: Blog

William Hamilton, the retired theologian who declared in the 1960s that God was dead, died Tuesday in his downtown Portland apartment. He was 87. PORTLAND, Ore. — William Hamilton ...

They're Baaa-aaack: Return of the Christocrats (Who Never Really Went Away)
Originally Posted: 03/02/2012 - 10:49am | Type: Blog

The truth, however, is that the religious right, Christian Reconstructionism and Dominionism have never gone away. And now they're back — "big time," as Dick Cheney might say. ...

Ten Commandments Judge Wants His Old Job Back
Originally Posted: 02/29/2012 - 7:18am | Type: Blog

MOBILE, Ala. — You might think a candidate's ouster from the post he is seeking to regain would play a central role in a statewide election. Yet Republican Roy Moore's forced exit, almost a decad ...

Franklin Graham Apologizes for Questioning Obama's Christian Faith
Originally Posted: 02/29/2012 - 6:44am | Type: Blog

Evangelist Franklin Graham has apologized to President Obama for questioning his Christian faith and said religion has "nothing to do" with Graham's decision not to support Obama's re-elect ...

If It's Armageddon, Do I Have to Do My Homework?
Originally Posted: 02/28/2012 - 8:36am | Type: Blog

The world has never been short on doomsday prophets, intent on predicting the end of days. And it has reached fetishist proportions this year with the end of the Mayan calendar. M ...

Piper's Tweets About Gays: Dude, Where Is the Love?
Originally Posted: 02/27/2012 - 9:00am | Type: Blog

It seems Piper has a Twitter problem. Maybe he doesn’t see it as such, because with fewer than 140 characters, he can stir up quite a storm of controversy. But considering the damage that can be done with so f ...

TRANSCRIPT: Barack Obama and The God Factor Interview
Originally Posted: 02/22/2012 - 5:43pm | Type: Blog

In 2004 I met then-State Sen. Barack Obama at Café Baci, a small coffee shop in Chicago. We spoke for more than an hour. He came alone. No handler, no spokesperson, no notes. He seemed to be relaxed and at eas ...

Southern Baptists Mull Whether 'Southern' Still Fits
Originally Posted: 02/17/2012 - 8:30am | Type: Blog

The Rev. Jerry Henry, pastor of First Baptist Church Fairhope, Ala., has struggled with whether the Southern Baptist Convention should change its name to reflect greater geographic diversity. ...

Jeremy Lin and the 'Messiah Formula'
Originally Posted: 02/17/2012 - 8:00am | Type: Blog

The question all this raises for me is: What’s behind our tendency to make messiahs out of people? There’s is actually a bit of a formula to it, stretching all the way back to the days of Jesus. ...

Faithful America to MSNBC: Stop Inviting Tony Perkins to Speak for Christians. He Doesn't.
Originally Posted: 02/16/2012 - 8:03pm | Type: Blog

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, New York faith leaders, and members of Faithful America delivered a petition with 20,000 signatures to MSNBC studios in New York City's Rockefeller Center on Tuesday askin ...

U.K. Innkeepers Fined for Turning Away Gay Couple
Originally Posted: 02/16/2012 - 1:07pm | Type: Blog

LONDON — Britain's Court of Appeal has ordered a pair of Christian innkeepers to pay 3,600 pounds ($5,800) in damages to a gay couple that was told they could not share a room in the couple's guestho ...

Company Touts 'Medical Tourism" in Israel for Sick Pilgrims
Originally Posted: 02/16/2012 - 12:23pm | Type: Blog

JERUSALEM — Every year, thousands of Americans travel abroad for less-expensive fertility treatments, hip replacements and other medical procedures. Now, an Israel-based tourism company is offering a package t ...

Poll Digest – What We Are Being Told About What We Think (This Week, at Least)
Originally Posted: 02/15/2012 - 5:44pm | Type: Blog

Two new polls have been released this week that have caught the eye – one from The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the second from Rasmussen. Both show shifts in the number of people supporting GOP P ...

'This is the Life': The Lost Episode
Originally Posted: 02/15/2012 - 3:30pm | Type: Blog

Unexpected grace was exactly what I found when at last, at the age of forty-three, I decided to go searching for that program, and that episode. When I was growing up, my family ...

Just Say It: Be God's Love, Grace and Mercy Today
Originally Posted: 02/14/2012 - 3:05pm | Type: Blog

"You and I have the power to change someone’s day. And so I am going to challenge you, on this Valentine’s Day, to not only tell family members you love them, but also others whom you care for." ...

Remembering "Nippy": Houston's Church Mourns the Death of a Famous Daughter
Originally Posted: 02/14/2012 - 11:20am | Type: Blog

Anyone who knew Houston understands that her talent came from one place, the God she served at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. This is where it all started for its daughter, where she was the darling of ...

No Pews, No Suits, No Problem.
Originally Posted: 02/14/2012 - 11:07am | Type: Blog

They may not have steeples or stained glass, but the nontraditional churches say they are finding success tapping into a segment of society that may otherwise have been lost. At these churches, attendees often ...

What They're Saying About the Contraception Compromise
Originally Posted: 02/12/2012 - 10:36am | Type: Blog

President Obama on Friday said that all insurers — not all religious institutions — will be required to offer free contraceptive services to women. Here's what people are saying about it: ...

Haley Barbour's Unintentional Lesson: Keep Religion and Governance Separate
Originally Posted: 02/10/2012 - 3:12pm | Type: Blog

To my eyes, Gov. Barbour unfairly (and illegally?) predetermined who was eligible to be pardoned based upon their professing the adoption of his religion. Suppose there are two in ...

Today in God: Feb. 10, 2012
Originally Posted: 02/10/2012 - 11:33am | Type: Blog

Nuns vs. strippers. Oprah and Hasidim. A Christian TMZ.com? Muslim tweeter is in trouble. Female backlash against the GOP. Catholic television network EWTN files a lawsuit against the contraception mandate. Sa ...

Welcoming the Stranger: Immigration and G92
Originally Posted: 02/08/2012 - 12:55pm | Type: Blog

Whether what is happening in Alabama as a result of this law — and, as the program reveals, a great deal is happening, even if most of us outside of the state aren’t paying attention — was the intention of the ...

At Stake: Religious Liberty
Originally Posted: 02/08/2012 - 12:15pm | Type: Blog

I care because this matter touches upon the religious freedom of us all. I care because InterVarsity is engaged in a parallel struggle. Over the past 18 months, our status as a recognized student organization ...

Poll: Americans support contraception coverage, divided over religious exemptions
Originally Posted: 02/07/2012 - 2:46pm | Type: Blog

A majority of Americans — including Catholics — believe that employers should be required to provide employee health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost, according to a new survey. ...

'Dexter Theology': Shedding Blood in God's Name
Originally Posted: 02/07/2012 - 1:10pm | Type: Blog

It’s common in western culture to objectify the Islamic faith, cherry-picking texts from their scripture and plucking choice sound-bytes from extremist leaders, to portray the whole of the religion as inherent ...

UK Watchdog Group Bans Christian Ads, Says Divine Healing=False Advertising
Originally Posted: 02/07/2012 - 12:52pm | Type: Blog

LONDON — Britain's powerful media advertising watchdog has banned a Christian group from claiming on its website and brochures that God's cure-all powers can heal a string of medical ailments.The Ad ...

Military Chaplains Heed Call to Serve God and Country
Originally Posted: 02/07/2012 - 12:37pm | Type: Blog

"God, I think, had better plans for me," Balbale said, looking back. And so it is for a number of military chaplains who, by twists of fate or perhaps divine Providence, found their calling to become ...

Eddie Long's Bizarre 'Kingship' Ceremony
Originally Posted: 02/06/2012 - 12:09am | Type: Blog

Atlanta-area megachurch pastor Eddie Long has had his share of headlines, many of them not good. Now he's making news — and raising eyebrows — again with a "kingship" ceremony that can only be d ...

Christian 'Exorcism' Leads to Gay Teen's Suicide
Originally Posted: 02/03/2012 - 7:57am | Type: Blog

Eric James Borges was teased his entire life for being different. Though he didn’t come out publicly until his sophomore year of college, he recalls emotional and physical abuse as far back as kindergarten for ...

No. Tim Tebow Will Not Show You His Underpants.
Originally Posted: 02/02/2012 - 10:00pm | Type: Blog

Whether it's a matter of faith, common decency or just good manners, Tebow's choice not to disrobe for Jockey isn't a reason for anyone else to get his (or her) undies in a bundle. ...

Obama Says Faith Mandates Him to Care for The Poor
Originally Posted: 02/02/2012 - 6:12pm | Type: Blog

President Obama connected his faith with his policies toward the poor at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday (2/2/12), a subtle but sharp contrast to remarks made by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney the ...

The Postmillennial President
Originally Posted: 02/02/2012 - 4:09pm | Type: Blog

At this morning's National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama made clear just how pure a postmillennialist Midwestern mainline Protestant he is. He spoke of how we as individuals acting in community " ...

Occupy Breakfast
Originally Posted: 01/30/2012 - 12:44pm | Type: Blog

Our political class does not hear the prayers of the poor, they hear the "prayers" of corporate lobbyists who fund their campaigns. And they hear the prayers of Christians such as Doug Coe and The Fa ...

Defining "Evangelical" and Other Unsolved Mysteries
Originally Posted: 01/19/2012 - 12:47pm | Type: Blog

I understand the interest in us evangelicals, I really do. The way much of the mainstream media covers our communities in the news can make us seem like a puzzling subspecies of the American population, not un ...