Jim Rice

Editor, Sojourners magazine
Photo: Brandon Hook / Sojourners

Jim Rice, editor of Sojourners magazine, has been a member of Sojourners editorial staff since 1989. He has also served as director of Sojourners Outreach Ministry and as coordinator of Sojourners Peace Ministry. He currently serves as a Research Fellow for the New Media Project at Christian Theological Seminary.

Prior to joining Sojourners in 1982, Rice was an organizer for the Center for Peace Studies at Georgetown University. He was founder and co-director of Pax Christi: Washington's Peace Education Program and producer of the multimedia "Anatomy of the Nuclear Arms Race." In addition, Rice served on the founding National Committee, Executive Committee, and Direct Action Task Force of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, and he was treasurer of the Nuclear Weapons Education Fund. Before moving to Washington, D.C., Rice was the Hunger Action Coordinator for the Oregon Center for Peace and Justice in Portland, Oregon, and he spent two years as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. He is currently a member of the national advisory board for Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding.

Rice, a graduate of Seattle University, is a native of Richland, Washington, the bedroom community of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Rice was a long-time member of Sojourners Community, an intentional Christian renewal community located in inner-city Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Dawn, have two children, Jessica and Adam. He is a member of Hyattsville Mennonite Church outside of Washington.

Selected Sojourners articles by Jim Rice

'Simple is the New Chic'

In John Carr's view, Pope Francis is already shaking up the Catholic Church -- and the best is yet to come.

The Party of No Compromise

GOP attempts to circumvent the health-care law range from the inane to downright bullying.

Our Dolls, Our Selves

Even at their best, toys like the American Girls Dolls send a mix message.

Future's So Bright.

"Given the option of paying more for dirty power or paying less for clean power, what would you take?" May 2013

'A World Without Nuclear Weapons'

The way to stop is to stop. March 2013

Who Speaks for Catholics?

Before the election, several bishops went so far as to threaten their parishioners with eternal damnation if they voted for Obama. January 2013

Our Endorsement for President

The constraints on political engagement by nonprofits can be frustrating for those committed to social change. November 2012

'A Clash of Fanaticisms'

We'll never reach reconciliation between Christians and Muslims until we address root causes—and take on the haters. November 2012

Drones: War Crimes and Misdemeanors

Hey Pres. Obama: The Nobel Peace Prize committee is calling. They want their medal back. August 2012

Fairness for Whom?

Fairness matters, especially for people on society’s margins—and that conviction goes far beyond tax equity to every aspect of public policy. For people of the Book, it’s much more important than politics; it’s a matter of faith. June 2012

Obesity in a World of Hunger

A new definition of malnutrition is emerging, as formerly developing countries are globalized into “fast-food nation” lifestyles. May 2012

Are Voter-ID Laws Racist?

More than 5 million voters could be affected by new Voter-ID laws and (coincidentally?) a disproportionate number of them are people of color. April 2012

Occupy the Future

The Occupy movement has already established its legacy -- by changing the nation's conversation about wealth inequality.March 2012

'Power to the People'

Renewable energy sources aren't just safer than nuclear power -- they're also cheaper. June 2011

'Tear Down This Wall'

An interview with Palestinian Christian activist Sami Awad on why nonviolence is key to Middle East justice. May 2010

Composting with Worms (a “how-to” video)

Sojourners editor Jim Rice and his family have been composting with worms for more than a decade. In this video how-to, he shares 7 steps to composting with worms. December 2009

The Path to Peace in the Middle East

Lessons from Gaza. March 2009

The Meaning of 'Life'

Once thought to be in the pocket of the Religious Right, many American evangelicals today are discovering a deeper understanding of what it means to be pro-life. With Jeannie Choi. November 2008

The Roots of Justice Revival

During the Second Great Awakening, the fruits of conversion included social reform. April 2008

Loving our Neighbors

Christian-Muslim dialogue raises hope - and suspicion. April 2008

Being There

"God's Smuggler" Brother Andrew has an odd way of breaking down barriers between Christians and Muslims. But somehow it works. March 2008

Is Nuclear Power the Answer?

Proponents claim that nuclear energy is the power source of the future - clean, green, and safe. Are they right? Cover feature. August 2007

A Rubicon Crossed

The church consensus is solidifying on the need to save the planet. April 2007

Gandhi For Today

How would Mahatma Gandhi confront terrorism today? And what action would the apostle of nonviolence take in response to the wars waged in the name of anti-terrorism? A review of David Cortright’s “Gandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence for an Age of Terrorism.” December 2006

Hope Amid the Ruins

Out of the carnage of Middle East war, can real peace ever be achieved? September/October 2006

Nonviolence is Our Only Hope

In the Middle East, only justice for all is justice at all. August 2005

Reagan's Legacy

On mourning in America. August 2004

The Burden of Truth. An interview with two former CIA analysts on the lies behind the Iraq war and the heavy weight of conscience. November-December 2003

"School Choice" Passes a Test. A victory for vouchers -- but who wins? September-October 2002

Sins of the Fathers. The deepest guilt is the church's. May-June 2002

Unfoolish Consistency. Moral principles, not politics, guide the bishops. January-February 2001

Core Values. The Broetjes, owners of the largest apple orchard in Washington state, had a crazy idea -- to treat their workers like people. November-December 2000

A Blank Check for China? China is the current battleground -- as Seattle was last fall -- over the rules of global trade. May-June 2000

Sandino Lives! Actually, even in Nicaragua, revolutionary fervor isn't what it used to be. March-April 2000

Rome Not Quite Ready for Women Priests. November-December 1998

Whatever Happened to Lt. Calley? November-December 1998

A Squandered Opportunity. The biggest obstacle to Palestinian Democracy may well be the emerging state's founding father, Yasir Arafat. July-August 1997

Why Play? Contemplation, freedom, and the spirit of leisure. January-February 1997

Bernardin's Most Important Year. November-December 1996

Beyond the Nuclear Test Ban. November-December 1996

Crack, Contras, and the CIA. November-December 1996

With "Friends" Like These. What to do about sleazy TV? May-June 1996

Justifying the Next War. The real-world effects of the just war theory. March-April 1996

Into Bosnia. Mixed motives and good fruit. January-February 1996

Getting Beyond Labels. Serpents, doves, and the Religious Right. March-April 1995

"Cautious Optimism" on Haiti. Reconciliation in Haiti must be preceded by repentance and rooted in truth. November 1994

The Armor of Righteousness. The Christian Right makes its bid for the political mainstream. November 1994

Where Angels Fear to Tread. November 1994

Shifting Terrain in Korea. Without Jimmy Carter's risky pilgrimage, the world would be a more dangerous place. September-October 1994

Too Many People? The unavoidable reality is that where there is severe poverty, adding more people makes the suffering worse. August 1994

Seeking Common Ground on Abortion. July 1994

The Last Comeback of Richard Nixon. July 1994

World Bank/IMF: 50 Years Is Enough. The Bank will not change its economic model without outside pressure. July 1994

When Dignity Is Assaulted. Biblically based Christians must forcefully oppose this deceptive, homophobic campaign of the Far Right. February-March 1994

NAFTA's Fatal Flaws. December 1993

Be Like Mike? Michael Jordan or Madonna may be worth talking about, but they arguably serve no principle beyond themselves. September-October 1993

Saying No to Bigotry. Why the church must stand up for gay rights. February-March 1993

Cultures in Conflict. Inner-city tensions explode on the streets of Washington, D.C. . July 1991

SDI-Lite: Old Wine in New Skins. May 1991

On The Front Lines Of Resistance. Conscientious objectors struggle for recognition. April 1991

Mistakes Were Made…. Will the Nuclear Industry's Post-Cold War PR Campaign Work? January 1991

Posts By This Author

Hope, Postponed

by Jim Rice 10-28-2015
What will it take to interrupt the spiral of violence?


THE IMAGE OF Palestinian teenagers pulling out knives and attempting to stab heavily armed, flak-jacketed Israeli soldiers—or civilians, right in front of the soldiers—serves as a sad metaphor for Israel-Palestine these days. The desperation, the futility, the massive disproportionality of firepower—it’s all there.

Of course, what really happened in recent violent incidents is subject to contentious dispute, as is so much else in the region. Take, for instance, a mid-October clash in East Jerusalem. The Israeli police gave their version of events: Border police officers confronted a Palestinian man, who pulled a knife and tried to stab them. They fired at him to “neutralize” the attack, and he died of his injuries.

The Palestinian News and Information Agency’s version added significant details: The “man” killed by Israeli soldiers was actually a 16-year-old named Muta’az Owaisat, and the agency reported that the police quickly imposed a military cordon to keep journalists from the scene, near an “illegal Israeli settlement.” The report added, “Earlier Saturday, an 18-year-old Palestinian ... was shot by an Israeli setter in central Hebron, in the southern Western Bank, where he was left to die by Israeli soldiers who prevented paramedics from administering medical assistance to him.”

An anecdote in The Washington Post illustrated the senselessness of the violence: “As an atmosphere of fear and vengeance spread, a young Jewish Israeli stalked an Ikea parking lot in Kiryat Ata, a town in northern Israel, apparently looking for Arabs to attack,” the Post reported. “He repeatedly stabbed a man who turned out to be Jewish himself.”

A lot of ink is spent explaining what “caused” these latest outbreaks—it’s usually summarized as Israel’s attempts to restrict Palestinians from entering the area of East Jerusalem that houses the al-Aqsa Mosque (and the Temple Mount). But in some ways, looking for a single precipitating cause misses the point. Sometimes, such eruptions are simply a case of a people saying, “I’m not going to take this anymore.”

The Day the World Changed

by Jim Rice 08-06-2015
Marking 70 Years Since Hiroshima

Hiroshima, Japan after the atomic bomb was dropped. Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com

The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by any civilized standards, represented one of the moral low-points in human history. After all, by very conservative estimates, 135,000 people died from the atomic blasts—most of them civilians, the victims of the intentional targeting of cities. Think about that—these weren’t military targets, but cities full of men, women, and children, going about their lives, destroyed in seconds by the most destructive weapons ever invented.

But the point of memorializing isn’t about the past. It’s about ensuring such things happen “never again.”

Divest from Occupation: 'We Think Israel Can Do Better'

by Jim Rice 05-11-2015

Church bodies in the U.S. are removing financhial support for the occupation of Palestinian territory—but some Jewish groups still see divestment as delegitimizing Israel itself. 

Nuclear Weapons: Time for Abolition

by Jim Rice 02-05-2015

According to the Vatican, “The very possession of nuclear weapons, even for purposes of deterrence, is morally problematic.”

On a Firm Foundation

by Jim Rice 01-05-2015

Five years after the hemisphere's most catastrophic disaster in a century, Haiti seeks to build back better. 

Vatican on Nuclear Disarmament: 'Time for Abolition'

by Jim Rice 12-08-2014
The Vatican has urged abolition of the world's 17,000 nuclear weapons. Image cou

The Vatican has urged abolition of the world's 17,000 nuclear weapons. Image courtesy Oleksiy Mark/shutterstock.com

This week, at a conference in Vienna, Austria on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, Pope Francis issued a statement declaring that "nuclear deterrence cannot be the basis for peaceful coexistence between states."

A Vatican official told Sojourners in Vienna that the Holy See is seriously discussing whether the possession of nuclear weapons can be morally justified in our current multipolar world. The official quoted Pope John XXIII, who said "Nuclear weapons should be banned," and said that the time has come to embrace nuclear abolition.  

The Vatican statement, titled "Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition," argued that "the structure of nuclear deterrence is less stable and more worrisome than at the height of the Cold War," and said that "the very possession of nuclear weapons, even for purposes of deterrence, is morally problematic."  

Since the beginning of the Cold War in the aftermath of World War II, the fundamental moral rationale for the possession of nuclear weapons has been the concept of deterrence. Simply put, the threat of massive annihilation rendered these weapons unusable — the very threat of such unacceptable destruction would, in theory, deter their use.  


'War is Terrorism'

by Jim Rice 07-09-2014

The targeting of tens of thousands of civilians was a barbaric act.

Cherish Each Moment — Even the Sucky Ones

by Jim Rice 05-12-2014

Elizabeth Palmberg (photo by Heather Wilson)

"If communion isn't a little edgy, you may not be doing it right." -- A tribute to Elizabeth Palmberg (1970-2014)

Profiles in Courage

by Jim Rice 01-05-2014

Yousef Bashir: Victim of violence, advocate for nonviolence. Photo courtesy of Northeastern University

"When someone is faced with a gun and chooses to respond with respect and love, that's hope."

The Mythical World of Tom Clancy

by Jim Rice 10-04-2013
Tom Clancy novels, cdrummbks / Flickr.com

Tom Clancy novels, cdrummbks / Flickr.com

The books of Tom Clancy, who passed away this week, contain some of the most detailed description of military weaponry and procedures the public is likely to see. And people want to believe it: Clancy’s world is one in which technology can provide security and the so-called experts can be trusted to protect us. He takes a complex world and doesn’t merely simplify it, but rather creates super humans and super machines that can manage the world’s complexities.