This Month's Cover

Sojourners Magazine: August 2009

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The sports world has its share of controversies, outsized personalities, and high drama, but it’s also full of athletes who are activists against poverty, genocide, war, racism, and sexism. As sports commentator Dave Zirin points out in “Champions of Justice,” athletes from Muhammad Ali to Billie Jean King to Joey Cheek have called attention to social injustices and human rights issues throughout their careers.

“Empowered by God,” by Mimi Haddad, looks at a different aspect of our Christian story -- the powerful work and voices of women throughout our history. As Haddad writes, the ministry of the apostles and early evangelical women challenged cultural ideas and taboos about the “proper” role of women. These women, like many “jocks for justice,” remind us that our service to God is not based on gender, class, race, or ethnicity, but on our hearts, minds, souls -- and actions.

Cover Story

Athletes have long flexed their muscles against racism, sexism, and other forms of injustice.
Black athletes have shown the way for sports activism. An interview with Harry Edwards.


At age 29, Don McClanen founded the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Five ministries later, McClanen -- now 83 -- continues his remarkable journey.
A conversation with PBS host Tavis Smiley.
The rich history of evangelical feminism.


We can overcome obstetric fistula.
Despite the rhetoric, science and faith get along just fine.
Attack drones take a heavy civilian toll.
Troubled assets on Main Street.


In the Quran, it is written, “And anyone who saves a life, it shall be as if he saved the lives of all the people.”
’Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free, ’Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves
My life has taken me from a childhood in the burning Bronx to the Arctic Circle, through ghettos large and small, and to places I didn’t even know existed until I was well into my adulthood.
With all the mixed signals we’ve been getting these days about the use of torture, it’s hard to know what to believe.
Baseball has changed our family's life.
It’s summer here in the northern climes—and summer means the swimming pool.

Culture Watch

Smart people concocted a fantasy empire based on investing in other people’s debt.
Bio: Founder and CEO, Northern California Urban Development ( Blog: 
THE UNITED STATES as envisaged in cinema is often a fight club, a place where there are three kinds of people—the thieves who milk the system, the cops who try to catch them, and the rest of
Two multimedia projects see Africa as the planet's musical heart and soul.
Review: Boundless Faith: The Global Outreach of American Churches, by Robert Wuthnow. University of California Press.
Israeli filmmaker Simone Bitton on Rachel Corrie.


Last November’s election was the most racially and ethnically diverse in U.S. history, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
I have recently been pleasantly surprised to read more stories and blog posts that bring attention to rural causes.
In May, hundreds of people returned to tiny Postville, Iowa, to mark the first anniversary of the largest immigration raid in U.S.
Thank you for the wonderful issue on “The Green Economy” (May 2009).
Twenty years ago, on June 4, 1989, tanks rolled into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to suppress an estimated 100,000 peaceful protesters.
Regarding “What Actually Works” (by Glen Stassen, June 2009): As I began reading this article, I noticed that it was all in the past tense.
Regarding “Are Books Obsolete?” by Molly Marsh (May 2009): As a LEED accredited professional, I appreciate the necessity of sustainable practices to promote better health and well-being
that light kept me a year in its grip first my feet caught fire then my blood we moved at the edge of endlessness headless handless mouthless mind-
In April, 14 Christians were arrested at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, from where drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan are guided, in the first major U.S. public protest against combat drones.
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary for August.

Web Extra

For more on sports and human rights, check out these books:
With all the mixed signals we've been getting these days about the use of torture, it's hard to know what to believe.
Alvera Mickelson, a graduate of Wheaton College, recalls the days when women in ministry was not a controversial topic, but rather an accepted practice.
The film Throw Down Your Heart documen
Every weekday evening, viewers across the nation tune in to their local public television station to watch Tavis Smiley interview guests from every walk of life on his PBS show, Tavis Smiley
When you hear Playing for Change: Peace Through Music described, it sounds like a digital parlor trick.
Listen in as Francis Collins, author of The Language of God