The Common Good

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The Importance of Sharing Our Stuff

"And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children." --Matthew 14:13-21

Immediately before the story of the feeding of the 5,000 is a description of a very different sort of meal: John the Baptizer's head on a platter. And just as women and children are included among the multitude fed on the beach (a detail unique to Matthew's version of the story), the female sex is also represented in the account of John's demise: Herodias, sister-in-law of Herod, asks for the head of the Baptist; her nameless daughter, with no detectable squeamishness, delivers the request to the king and serves up the plated head to her mother. (That women in all of their moral complexity are present throughout Matthew's gospel - recall also the women who appear in the genealogy of Jesus in chapter one -- is an observation worthy of closer scrutiny. See, for instance, Jane Kopas's 1990 essay in Theology Today).

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What Do People of Faith Have To Say About Torture?

In 1998, when former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan announced June 26 as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, he stated, "This is a day on which we pay our respects to those who have endured the unimaginable. This is an occasion for the world to speak up against the unspeakable."

Earlier this month, The National Religious Campaign Against Torture, one of the founders of Torture Awareness Month, as discussed in Robin Kirk's July 2011 Sojourners article, released a video of interreligious leaders speaking against torture, as well as faith-based study guides that frame opposition to torture. Sojourners also asked Robin Kirk, executive director of the Duke Human Rights Center, to write "The Body in Pain: What do people of faith have to say about torture?" for our July issue.

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Remembering the Real, Radical Martin Luther King

"I had no idea Martin Luther King was a radical!" These shocked words were spoken to me this weekend after an activist training I'd been running in Sydney. I had the privilege to be part of the Make Poverty History "action lab" -- a "teach-in" for 15 young anti-poverty activists chosen from each state of Australia.

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The Truth of Tax Transparency Will Set Us Free

It's started. I saw my first ad for a tax help company on TV yesterday, and I received an email recently about using an online service to settle my bill with the government.
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Four Reasons Not to Mess with Payroll Taxes

Now that President Obama's people have sent out glowing press releases about how wonderful the proposed tax agreement is (
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Kids Need All the Positive Words They Can Get

Recently a bunch of people e-mailed me the same New York Times column, which cited a variety of scientific research s
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Inspiring Fatherhood

More than the primaries, general election, board meetings, or the budget fight on Capitol Hill, this past week was a high-intensity roller coaster for me. It was Little League playoffs.
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The Legacy of an Eco-Prophet: Remembering Thomas Berry

Today's most pressing task for humanity, I believe, is to halt the current environmental crisis.
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Gender, Genetics, and God

"The difference between men and women," the humorist Dave Barry says, "is that, if given the choice between saving the life of an infant or catching a fly ball, a woman will automatically choose to
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