Jim Wallis 3-30-2017

Faith leaders pray at the U.S. Capitol. Image 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.

Image via RNS/Graphic courtesy of LifeWay Research

“It seems like most congregations are eager for somebody else to do the work of reconciliation,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, “rather than embrace it for themselves.”

The vast majority of pastors (90 percent) said their churches would welcome a sermon about racial reconciliation. But almost three-quarters of pastors — 73 percent — say they have not been encouraged by church leaders to preach about reconciliation. A quarter (26 percent) said they have been urged to address the issue from the pulpit.

the Web Editors 3-30-2017

In the last year, dozens of organizations — from Google, Apple, and Microsoft to the NBA, Bruce Springsteen, and Nick Jonas — have pulled their money from the state in protest of the bill. Word of the new deal reportedly came hours before the NCAA was set to pull any future championship basketball games from the state for the foreseeable future. 

Image via RNS/Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World

With ashes on their foreheads, sackcloth draped around their necks, and the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, Christians leaders used the words “evil” and “immoral” to describe the federal budget cuts President Trump has proposed and many Republican lawmakers favor.

“It is a time for lamentation,” said the Rev. David Beckmann, explaining the symbols of grief the clergy brought to Capitol Hill on March 29.

Tom James, Reuters 3-29-2017

The skyline of Seattle, Wash., is seen in a picture taken March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Redmond/File Photo

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told reporters the Constitution forbade the federal government from pressuring cities, “yet that is exactly what the president’s order does. Once again, this new administration has decided to bully.”

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/Rome's Archaeological Superintendency

Italian archaeologists have discovered the remains of 38 skeletons buried in a Jewish cemetery in Rome more than 500 years ago, offering further evidence of their ubiquity and persecution under papal rule.

The well-preserved skeletons were found during excavations beneath a building, in an area identified on ancient maps as “Campus Iudeorum” — Latin for “Field of Jews” — in the Trastevere quarter of Rome, just across the Tiber River from the Italian capital.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up an executive order on "Energy Independence," eliminating Obama-era climate change regulations, during a signing ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington, U.S., March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe, located in southern Montana, said the administration lifted the moratorium without hearing the tribe's concerns about the impact the coal-leasing program has on the tribe, its members, and lands.

Image via RNS/Reuters/James Lawler Duggan

In Trump’s first nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, abortion foes were convinced they had the jurist who would fulfill Trump’s campaign promise to appoint justices who would deliver the reversal they have worked decades to achieve. But now, after last week’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, some are voicing concern that Gorsuch might not be such a reliable anti-Roe vote after all.

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.

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