Inside Story

Inside Story

We began work on this issue in autumn, an especially strange and fearful autumn around our Washington, D.C. home. War drums-coming out of nowhere in August, growing mysteriously, persistently louder-would have been anxiety enough. Then a gunman (or, as we now know, two gunmen) began shooting people in the Washington metro area, randomly and from a distance, killing them with single shots as they performed the most mundane daily tasks of American life. You know a situation is messed up when going shopping begins to feel like an act of brave defiance.

Along with fear was grief-for those killed and wounded in our area and around the world, and for friends and mentors who happened to pass on during this time-Chuck Matthei, a Sojourners founding board member, and longtime peace activist Richard McSorley, SJ. Rolling to war, ducking for cover, and choking back tears; it's enough to wear a soul out.

But every day-often in much, much worse circumstances-people of faith and conscience choose to hope, and choose to work that others may have hope. Some claim that hope through works of mercy: feeding, sheltering, clothing, comforting, and advocating for those who are impoverished, ill, mourning, imprisoned, or oppressed. Some fashion creations that speak beauty, truth, and goodness. Some act out their choice through prayer: in solitude; in the laying on of hands for those who need healing in heart, mind, or body; by joining the prayers of millions for peace, mercy, and justice. Some pursue hope by demonstrating and marching; by laying their bodies down in acts of civil disobedience; or by helping organize for causes, local, national, and international.

Humbled, we realize: How can we do less? So today we choose hope. -The Editors

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine January-February 2003
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Inside Story

Saddam Hussein with nuclear weapons would be a real threat. But even without Iraq as a member, the growing nuclear family-with the United States firmly at the helm-already provides a clear and present danger as politicians argue for the use of these previously "unthinkable" weapons. The Bush administration has a stated policy of "pre-emptive strikes" to counter other countries' nuclear programs, and the government's latest Nuclear Posture Review lays out plans for building new nuclear weapons and for a widening array of possible targets.

So nukes are back in the news, in some ways more frightening than ever. But, as author Jonathan Schell writes in this issue, nuclear weapons and the threat they pose never really went away, just out of public consciousness. Meanwhile, yesterday's weapons became the seeds of today's nuclear dilemma.

But history also holds stories of hope, from the test ban campaign of the early 1960s to the large-scale disarmament movement of the 1980s. And the churches have played a key role in these movements against nuclear insanity.

History has shown that prayer, organizing, and actions of conscience can educate the public and influence the governments of the world. The tools of hope and strategic nonviolence can unleash an unexpected power-a power that stands up even to nuclear weapons. -The Editors

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine November-December 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Inside Story

'Nonviolent resistance isn't about making a point, it's about taking power." Even many people who believe deeply in nonviolence might be taken aback by the bluntness of such a statement. Most students and practitioners of nonviolence know that just because it's a moral principle does not mean that its value is merely symbolic. Still, common popular images often focus on quixotic nonviolent gestures, not techniques that can be put to long-term, strategic use. It is too often brushed off as a noble, but ineffectual, approach to the problems of the real world. Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall, co-authors of A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict, absolutely reject such romanticizing and diminishment of nonviolent techniques. Nonviolence is powerful, they argue. Powerful enough to face off against even brutal dictators. In this issue, they make the case that civilian-based, nonviolent resistance by the Iraqi people is a viable, practical way to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

It's not the United States' right to decide unilaterally that Saddam should be "dethroned" and to launch a military invasion to do so (thus inflicting more suffering on an already beleaguered and sanction-weakened populace). It is, however, a decision that is the right of Iraqi citizens, who have been brutalized and repressed by Saddam for more than 20 years. Even under duress, they could demonstrate a force more powerful than our weaponry or Saddam's oppression. -The Editors

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine September-October 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Inside Story

We are an ecumenical publication (with nearly as many denominational and nondenominational affiliations floating around as we have staff people). But we all deeply feel the pain of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. While some of the systemic issues in the Catholic Church may be unique, abuse of power by clergy or lay leaders, sexual and otherwise, occurs in every strand of Christendom. Joan Chittister and Richard Rohr, two of our contributing editors who speak to the whole church from within the Catholic tradition, write in this issue about faithful ways forward.

Representative of our ecumenical nature, we belong to two different religious press associations: the Associated Church Press (ACP) and the Evangelical Press Association (EPA). This spring we were honored by both groups in their annual awards ceremonies for 2001. From ACP we received five first-place awards, including Best in Class in the general interest magazine category, best redesign (Ed Spivey Jr., art director), and top honors in department ("Between the Lines," by Rose Marie Berger and Jodi Hochstedler), media review section ("Culture Watch," edited by Molly Marsh), and poetry ("Possible Answers to Prayer," by Scott Cairns).

In the EPA competition, we placed first in the categories of general article ("God Is My Palm Pilot," by Bill Wylie-Kellermann and David Batstone) and column ("Macrowave," by David Batstone). In addition, we received seven other awards from ACP and three from EPA.

We mention all of this not to brag, but to thank all of the writers and artists who contribute to our pages and all those who read, subscribe, and support us with your prayer, critical attention, and financial gifts. It is a blessing to have and share good work: Thank you.-The Editors

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine July-August 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Inside Story

It might seem that "globalization" didn't exist before the widely publicized protests in Seattle during the November 1999 WTO meetings. But economist Richard Parker asserts that it was around a little bit earlier than that-say, several thousand years ago, when our prehistoric ancestors began wandering out of Africa. The current round of globalization, of course, is much younger than that-only about 500 years old, by Parker's reckoning. Looking back, we can see how others have worked to mitigate the destructive forces of global change and even steer it toward a positive good-important tools as we confront a global future.

Speaking of making positive global connections, we established a "partnership" last year with the Pura Vida Coffee company in Seattle because of our common values and goals, and together we produce "SojoBlend" coffee. Maybe the jolt of caffeine helped us think more clearly, because we soon realized that their innovative business model would make for an interesting and hopeful magazine profile. Pura Vida co-founder John Sage now puts his previous business experience with Microsoft and Starbucks to a very different use. Holly Lebowitz Rossi explains how Sage and partner Chris Dearnley turn profits into computer centers for Costa Rican children, good news for those who seek justice with their java.

And, as always, there's plenty more in these pages: efforts to make the church green, Martha Stewart-induced musings, sacred sexuality, as well as news, views, and reviews, from near and far. -The Editors

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine May-June 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Inside Story

At times we've discussed running articles on "pastoring in boom and bust"-about the different challenges that arise for pastors depending on how their congregations are being affected by economic trends. In this issue, noted preacher and writer Will Willimon takes on a related topic-the tensions and contradictions that he feels in preaching the gospel amidst wealth. Even now, as the U.S. economy is more bust than boom, we look around and find an apparent twist on scripture: The rich, it seems, we have with us always.

Need a fix of hope? We commend to you the feature on the inspiring ways several young adults are living out their faith and doing a little world-changing while they're at it. We originally planned to run this article last fall, then delayed it to allow for coverage of the events of Sept. 11 and their aftermath. That's led to jokes among staff that we'll have to change the article description from "young Christian activists" to "middle-aged Christian activists." Although one person who's included in the article offered to send a new photo-since he now has gray hairs-we're sticking by the original description.

However, we are aware that prophets, servants, and shake-'em-up activists come in all ages, so we'll be keeping our eyes out for future opportunities to tell the stories of radical elders and mid-life movers, as well as more sons and daughters with dreams and visions.

-The Editors

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine March-April 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Inside Story

The times are strange and uncertain. So we are responding the same way we would at any other time: By searching our souls, with the assistance of Kathleen Norris and Richard Rohr, OFM. By wrestling with principles of justice and peace in editor Jim Wallis' article on the "hard questions" we face. By seeking, with the guidance of Joan Chittister, OSB, to put our own house, the church, more in order with God's vision of the full humanity of women and the call to discipleship. By finding hope in both history and the future, through the stories of the children of activist parents. By pondering art and culture that offers us solace, challenge, and wisdom in varied, passionate ways.

Even more than usual, easy answers and quick fixes seem inadequate. While in the long run that may be all to the good, who among us would mind just a small easy answer or two? But we are in a season of questions, and faith seems to be calling us to abide with those questions, not to rush to answers, resolutions, or explanations. As Richard Rohr so elegantly puts it, this is sacred space-but "no fun."

The song says that while we don't know what the future holds, we know who holds the future. What can any of us do except live accordingly? We hope this issue helps you negotiate it all, the day-to-day and the timeless. -The Editors

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine January-February 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Inside Story

Like the rest of America, we were dazed and shattered by the events of Tuesday morning, Sept. 11. Our office library had a CNN corner and a prayer corner with a lit candle and Bible ready for anyone able to focus enough to read it. But prayers and flickering TV images and names (the cousin, friend, friend of a friend who might be in lower Manhattan, on the wrong side of the Pentagon, or flying to California) mingled freely. Wordless, broken, angry, contrite, terrified, and wailing prayers: Prayers too familiar in much of the rest of the world came close to home.

Then we did what we do: We turned our prayers toward our work and let them shape and change it. Just days before deadline, we put aside our planned cover articles and asked several trusted Sojourners contributors to give their perspectives on this changed, terror-charged world. How might we move forward from this point in God's love, mercy, and justice?

Our writers had the difficult task of writing in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 events, and yet bringing a word that will help us move forward in the days and months to come. We think they've indeed offered wisdom and insight and-even in these darkening times-a word of hope.

As we went to press, we were stunned by the news of the Oct. 1 death of Lisa Y. Sullivan, the founder and president of LISTEN Inc. (see Sojourners, March-April 2001) and a member of our board. Our prayers are with her family and friends and the many young people she mentored. -The Editors

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine November-December 2001
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Inside Story

This issue of Sojourners marks our 30th anniversary (yes, Sojourners is older than some of our staff-it's even older than some of the leftovers in our office refrigerator). Our graphic spread is a Sojourners timeline-if you're one of our newer readers you can see a bit of where we've been. If you've been with us along the way, maybe it will spark some memories (if not nostalgia for 1970s fashions).

One entry on our timeline is the beginning of the Palestinian intifada in 1987. Somberly, but not without hope, we again find ourselves covering the struggle for a just peace for all the people of the Middle East. Jim Wallis offers a firsthand account of his recent visit, and his thoughts on how to nurture the nonviolence movement in the region. We also have the testimonies of and about people-Palestinian and Israeli, of varied faiths-who are putting their lives on the line for peace and human rights.

Whether you've read us for one issue or 200, we're glad you're along for the ride. We look forward to another 30 years together.

–The Editors

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine September-October 2001
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Inside Story

Sojourners board meetings are important to those of us on staff for a number of reasons. Twice a year, these meetings bring a great group of women and men together in our office library, with opportunities for us to talk, eat, and pray with them in between the business. We appreciate that the board both challenges and supports us.

At last summer's meeting, they even provided us with this issue's cover story. The topic of expanding Sojourners' presence in cyberspace evolved into a conversation among board members about Internet-organized protests, the digital divide, prayer in a wired (and wireless) age, and the potential blessings and curses of rapidly advancing technology. Noting the passion in the room, someone said, Hey this might make a good article. Luckily, some editors were handy, so two of the main participants, David Batstone and Bill Wylie-Kellermann, were recruited to bring the themes of that discussion into a written exchange.

The result is not a cut-and-dried debate, but free-flowing give and take. You can join in that flow by checking out a longer version of Bill and David's exchange available exclusively online. You can also find results from the annual Associate Church Press Awards competition, in which Sojourners was honored with Best-in-Class and 10 other awards.

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine July-August 2001
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Pages

Subscribe