Mitchell Atencio 9-21-2021

Immigrants and allies marched to the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 21 to urge lawmakers to ensure a pathway for citizenship. Photo: Sandy Ovalle / Sojourners.

Democrats had hoped to include a provision in President Joe Biden’s proposed $3.5 trillion budget that would have given citizenship to millions, including Dreamer immigrants, brought to the United States as children, who are protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. But on Sept. 19, Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough — a nonpartisan, unelected staff member who advises lawmakers about what is acceptable under the chamber's rules and precedents — advised against adding a provision for citizenship in the budget reconciliation process.

Jenna Barnett 9-15-2021

Adam Russell Taylor. Original photo by Candace Sanders, illustration by Mitchell Atencio.

Interestingly, when I revisited a lot of Dr. King’s speeches and civil rights history, [I noticed that he] would often mention Beloved Community, but there wasn't like a singular speech where he completely unpacked what the Beloved Community means. And so in one sense, it was almost like it was assumed that a lot of people understood what the concept meant, or maybe he was hoping that people would kind of fill in [the gaps] with their own values and priorities. And so I feel there is a need to recast the vision for the Beloved Community in more contemporary terms.

Julia Oller 9-14-2021

Bishop Megan Rohrer during their installation ceremony as the fifth bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Photo courtesy Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA. Photo credit to Gareth Gooch and Bill Wilson. 

Rev. Megan Rohrer became the first openly transgender bishop of any mainline denomination in the country during an installation ceremony Saturday in San Francisco.

Betsy Shirley 9-09-2021

The Oneida Community. "Oneida Community, 'raking bee'" by Walter Parenteau is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I often think about utopias as I unload the dishwasher.

Gina Ciliberto 9-08-2021

Coat of arms of the Holy See and Vatican City, the Emblem of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, and coat of arms for the Diocese of Canterbury. 

For the first time, the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion came together to issue a joint statement.

In “A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation,” Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury stressed that Christians need to take part in mitigating climate change. The statement urged individuals and public leaders to play their part in “choosing life” for the future of the planet, and warned of the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on poverty, and the importance of global cooperation.

Sandi Villarreal 9-08-2021

 The U.S flag and the Texas flag fly over the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

When the Supreme Court last week refused to block a new Texas law — which bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy and allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone who “aids or abets” someone getting an abortion after six weeks — faith groups like Texas Right to Life and the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops applauded.

But Rev. Erika Forbes, a spiritual adviser and one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit to block S.B. 8, called the law “a direct assault” on the religious liberty of clergy.

Joshua Eaton 9-07-2021

Christian singer Sean Feucht hosts a "Worship Protest" on the National Mall during the COVID-19 pandemic on Oct. 25, 2020, in Washington, D.C. By Nicole Glass Photography via Shutterstock.

Two concerts in the nation’s capital next week by conservative singer-songwriter and activist Sean Feucht have raised concerns about security after an event in Portland, Ore., last month ended in violence between far-right extremists and counterprotesters.

Betsy Shirley 9-03-2021

How we respond to an emergency says a lot about who we are. This week, faith-based groups started organizing for disaster relief before Hurricane Ida even made landfall, while health clinics in Texas did their best to help everyone they could before a new law imposed a state-wide ban on abortions.

Mitchell Atencio 9-02-2021

A soldier stands guard at Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan on December 8, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Wilson/Pool.

After 20 years of war and violence under four different presidents — and the deaths of more than 172,000 people — the United States withdrew its last troops from Afghanistan on Monday.

For many, ending the war in Afghanistan seems like a step toward a more peaceful future. But even in the process of ending a war, the United States has relied on violence to enforce its will.

Cassidy Klein 8-31-2021

“Self-portrait,” by Benjamin PowerGriffin. Photo courtesy of the artist.

With his knife, brightly colored paper, and the meditations of his heart, Benjamin PowerGriffin cuts “what prayer feels like, or what I yearn for it to feel like,” he said.

Gina Ciliberto 8-26-2021

Mutual aid illustration via Shutterstock.

Mutual aid — unlike charity — is based on reciprocity. While everyone who participates doesn’t contribute the same way, each person offers something. Proponents of mutual aid often stress that their involvement is not based on giving from their own excess, but practicing solidarity with their community. Most mutual aid is regionally based, as specific as a neighborhood or broad as large cities.

Gina Ciliberto 8-25-2021

Sister Elise García gives the presidential address at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious 2021 conference. Screenshot by Sojourners. 

Every year the Leadership Conference for Women Religious, an association made up of leaders of institutes for Catholic sisters in the United States, hosts an international assembly. This year, it opened with an apology.

Mitchell Atencio 8-25-2021

Dr. Deborah Turner of the League of Women Voters (LWV), Rabbi Jonah Pesner of Religious Action Network, Virginia Kase Solomón of LWV, Rev. Melvin Wilson of Saint Matthew AME Church, and Ben Jealous of People for the American Way lead a civil disobedience action during a voting rights rally at the White House. LWV, People for the American Way, Black Voters Matter, and many other organizations hosted the rally to pressure Congress and President Biden to protect voting rights after many states passed laws to make voting more difficult for minorities. Photo by Allison Bailey/NurPhoto via Reuters.

The House of Representatives passed HR 4, known as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advacement Act, 219-212, which faith leaders and other voting rights advocates believe is a crucial step in voter protection.

“Tireless hours by members of Congress and civil rights leaders have brought the issue of federally mandated voter suppression to the forefront of conversations around American democracy,” Rev. Al Sharpton said in a news release through March On For Voting Rights. “This is only the start of the fight to move farther and farther away from the Jim Crow Era.”

Gina Ciliberto 8-16-2021

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the crisis in Afghanistan during a speech in the East Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

On Monday, as the Taliban took over many parts of Afghanistan, President Joe Biden announced the United States intends to “transport out thousands of American citizens and civilian personnel,” as well as Afghans who are eligible for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) and their families.

A view shows Highway 89 with burned trees on one side and unburned trees on the other at the site of the Dixie Fire, a wildfire near the town of Greenville, California, August 7, 2021. REUTERS/Fred Greaves.

The United Nations panel on climate change told the world on Monday that global warming was dangerously close to being out of control – and that humans were “unequivocally” to blame.

Already, greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are high enough to guarantee climate disruption for decades if not centuries, the report from the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned.

Andrew J. Wight 8-05-2021

Coffee farmer Aceneth Bedoya and her daughter Alejandra (foreground), rake dried natural coffee at their farm in Vereda Nazareno, Planadas, Tolima, Colombia on June 17, 2021. Andrew J. Wight for Sojourners

Alejandra Bedoya, 14, shows visitors around her family coffee farm in southwest Colombia: The steep hills are dark green with coffee bushes, the air is alive with birdsong and the coffee drying in the sun emits a sweet, rich fragrance.

Things haven’t always been tranquil in southern Tolima, which is not too far from the birthplace of the now-demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerilla group. The FARC and Colombian government were embroiled in more than 50 years of open conflict until a peace deal in 2016.

Mark Dovich, Hazel Tang 8-03-2021

Rev. Angela B. Martin, who was arrested during a National Moral Monday Action demonstration and march, displays her arrest ticket on Aug. 2, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Hazel Tang for Sojourners.

Around 500 voting rights activists and faith leaders sat outside the Hart Senate Office Building singing hymns, protesting poverty, and calling for federal protection of voting rights on Monday. The actions were a part of the Poor People's Campaign’s National Moral Monday Action, and organizers said U.S. Capitol Police arrested around 200 people over the course of the protest.

Gina Ciliberto 8-02-2021
A church sign stating that online Sunday services are being held via Facebook.

Praying on Facebook differs from praying in church: In a physical church, it’s understood that prayers will be kept confidential within the community. On Facebook, however, prayers are shared with other members of the Facebook group and the content of a prayer request becomes another source of data Facebook can use to send targeted advertisements. Though this practice is outlined in Facebook’s terms and conditions, tech experts question whether those who use the prayer feature are aware of this.

Former U.S. Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick arrives for a meeting at the Vatican March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi/

Former Roman Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been charged with sexual assault, Massachusetts court records show, the first time that the defrocked priest has faced criminal prosecution after multiple claims of sexual abuse.

A lengthy Vatican report released in November 2020 found that McCarrick had risen through the church's ranks despite persistent rumors of sexual misconduct, including a 2000 promotion to the position of archbishop of Washington, D.C, by Pope John Paul II.

The members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photo in Washington, D.C. on April 23, 2021. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS

A Reuters analysis of emergency applications over the past 12 months offers a glimpse into the full range of parties seeking urgent relief from the top U.S. judicial body through the shadow docket. The justices have increasingly relied upon this process to make rulings in a wide array of cases without the normal deliberative process involving public oral arguments and extensive written decisions.