Jenna Barnett 4-04-2017

For those who are counting, that’s 94 days. Ninety-four reminders of the stubbornly persistent — and plateauing — pay gap between men and women. According to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average full-time working woman earns 20 percent less than the average full-time working man. The disparity grows starker for women of color: Black women make 37 percent less than men, and Latinas make 46 percent less. This disparity is wide enough to push some people to activism, and others to try to understand why this gap exists.

Jim Simpson 4-03-2017

Jim Wallis and I were talking about baseball recently. He claimed that baseball is great because at the start of every season, 10 to 15 teams genuinely believe in their chances of advancing to the World Series. How does baseball do that? How does the league ensure strong competition and parity?

It is the tragedy of Christianity that the first hate crime in our constellation of texts is Matthew’s, in his telling the story of the passion. Jesus was a great teacher, an inspiring healer, and a man whose radical compassion touched everyone — women without honor, under-employed fisher folk, Roman soldiers, gentiles, Samaritans, scholarly Pharisees. The hearts of Palestinian Jews flocked to him, and this terrified the Romans. They tried to abort his movement by making his death a spectacle of cruelty and unutterable degradation.

Tripp Hudgins 3-30-2017

I am still surprised by the ubiquity of certain attitudes around gender and sexuality, specifically whether married men should have any kind of relationship at all (friendly, etc.) with members of the opposite sex. Forget for the moment the myopic gender construction involved in that particular problem. Let's just take it at face value. Married men must be supervised at all times lest they be tempted to break their marital vows — or run the risk of appearing to break their marital vows.

Jim Wallis 3-30-2017

Jim Wallis speaks at U.S. Capitol vigil on March 29. Photo by JP Keenan / Sojourners

We celebrated the failure of a cruel bill. We celebrated our powerful unity across other theological and political differences and our clear opposition to cutting the poor out of the critical budget decisions which now lie ahead. Yes, we celebrated. But we remain vigilant.

Smoke from an airstrike rises behind food distribution in west Mosul. Image courtesy Preemptive Love Coalition.

Every time more civilians are killed, it gives further weight to the idea that we have lowered value of human life — or at least, the value placed on Iraqi lives. Imagine the response, by comparison, if 200 American aid workers were killed in an errant strike. The seemingly low threshold for civilian safety makes the fight against ISIS harder, not easier. It makes ISIS propaganda more believable. At the very moment when ISIS should be gasping its final breath, these incidents inject life into their militancy.

Image via RNS/European Union 2016 - European Parliament/Pietro Naj-Oleari

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks made a name for himself as chief rabbi of Great Britain for nearly a quarter-century, a time of great tumult that included the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the influx of millions of Muslims into Europe, and the ongoing pressures to absorb and assimilate newcomers into a mostly secular society.

As chief rabbi, from 1991 to 2013, he stressed an appreciation and respect of all faiths, with an emphasis on interfaith work that brings people together, while allowing each faith its own particularity.

Jenna Barnett 3-29-2017

Women sewing American Flags in Brooklyn on July 24, 1940. Photo: Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, by Margaret Bourke-White

Bourke-White traveled the world in search of complete stories: from Depression-era Hooverville to partitioning India to Apartheid-era South Africa to Nazi Germany. She became the first female war photojournalist and the first photographer for LIFE. After surviving a helicopter crash and getting stranded in the Arctic, Bourke-White’s colleagues declared her “Maggie the Indestructible.”

Stephen Mattson 3-28-2017

As presidential orders and administrative policies continue to scale back environmental protections, it’s important for Christians to realize that this is a vitally important spiritual issue. Many Christians ignore environmental issues because they don’t view it as an important faith-related concern — but what if environmentalism was essential to evangelism? In many ways, taking care of our environment is a direct form of evangelism, but many Christians have yet to realize — and even reject — this truth.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Max Rossi

During our nearly 40 years of friendship, I led several interreligious missions with Keeler, including meetings with then-Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. We co-led trips to Israel, including a visit to a civilian bomb shelter, and a poignant painful pilgrimage to the infamous death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Sometimes public figures can seem distant and impersonal, but that was never the case with the always gracious and welcoming Keeler.

Kaitlin Curtice 3-28-2017

I began writing letters. One hand-written letter a week, delivered to the White House door, so that he’ll know we are here, so that he’ll know our story exists and that we are not to be ignored. I’m not saying that as a liberal I feel ignored; I’m saying that I don’t want to be ignored as a human being, as a citizen, as a woman, as a mother, as a Native American, as a Christian.

Lucy Hadley 3-27-2017

The statue will live on Wall Street for a year, after popular support pressured to city to allow the statue beyond its one-week permit. The extension is a small victory. But her removal next year will be a quieter, yet no less important visual: Wall Street’s unwillingness to feature women in a public space without an end date.

Image via RNS/Creative Commons

Legally, the federal civil suit the mother and the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation recently filed against Mercer County schools is clear-cut: It is unconstitutional to preach the Bible to students in school. But there’s another pressing reason to keep these classes out of public schools: to prevent ostracizing of religious minorities and atheists. 

Storm Swain 3-27-2017

Image via Ron Frank/Shutterstock.com

It would be much easier to let the face of the tomb be a scriptural story, so we could talk about terror and grief at arm’s length. But if we strip the story of humanity, we have no recourse but to fall into Christian platitudes that have no resilience in the face of real pain and grief.

Stephen Mattson 3-24-2017

The problem for many Christians is that instead of asking themselves, “What would Jesus Do?” they ask, “What does the Bible say is permissible?” At first glance these two questions don’t seem radically different, but the applications are often contradictory to each other.

We are awakening now to at least some of the consequences of devoting our dollars toward death. As we contemplate the toll that endless war is taking on education, the environment, housing, and healthcare, may our hearts expand in empathy — not only to our immediate neighbors, but to our neighbors around the world. None of us can afford to lose any more.

Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. Let us invest our treasure in building one another up — here, and around the world — that we may mend our hearts and resurrect our humanity.

Stephen Mattson 3-13-2014
Cross on top of $100 bills, StockThings / Shutterstock.com

Cross on top of $100 bills, StockThings / Shutterstock.com

It’s sometimes cliché for Christians to warn about the dangers of idolizing wealth and money, but the negative impact it can have on our faith is often more subtle than we realize. Here are a few ways it covertly manipulates our spirituality