January 2013

Cover Story

Jim Wallis interviews Richard Viguerie, a law-and-order conservative, on the death penalty and prison reform.


Across the political and religious spectrum, Americans are rethinking the death penalty. Here are some reasons why:
A small congregation in Kentucky demonstrates how your church may have more money—and power—than you think.
Your congregation—large or small—has more to invest than you might expect.
The new Louisville Loan Club is a way to protect people from the shark pool of payday lenders.
Building community and clout through congregation-based organizing.
Theological considerations should frame the Christian response to capital punishment.
Among democratic nations, the United States has the highest death penalty rate in the world. As the only G8 country to regularly use capital punishment, the United States joins China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, North Korea, and Yemen as the world's leaders in executions.


The U.S. should repent of seeing guns as sacred; sane laws would be a start.
Big Money's corrupting influence on the elections is way out of hand. Here's how to fix it.
We should honor slain diplomats by keeping the flame of diplomacy alive.


May God cause us to cry out to those mountains of injustice, "Oh freedom!"
Attitudes toward capital punishment are changing, including among conservatives.
Superstorm Sandy left behind an indelible image of the future.
What's next, frogs and locusts?
Before the election, several bishops went so far as to threaten their parishioners with eternal damnation if they voted for Obama.

Culture Watch

The Catonsville Nine: A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era. Oxford University Press
The Walmart workforce has begun to publicly rattle its chains.
Three of the best films of the year: Samsara, Looper, and Seven Psychopaths.
The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. SmileyBooks
Betsy Shirley talks to author Francisco X. Stork about helping young adults ask the hard questions.
I Told My Soul to Sing: Finding God with Emily Dickinson by Kristin LeMay / Grace and Mercy by Jonathan Butler / Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade by Sharon Leslie Morgan and Thomas Norman DeWolf / We Are Not Ghosts by Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young
Adapted from "Women as Compassionate Champions: The Doers and the Leaders," by Nyambura J. Njorage, in Women, HIV, and the Church: In Search of Refuge.


Regarding Jim Wallis' article "How to Choose a President" (November 2012): To me it is not Christian to cut vital services such as Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security; there are people who are really hurting
Cathleen Falsani's interview with Eugene Peterson ("The Pastor's Message," November 2012) contained excellent thoughts.
Reflections on the Common Lectionary, Cycle C
Most agree that public education can and should be improved ("Beyond 'Superman,'" by Nicole Baker Fulgham, September-October 2012).
Something called a GiveBox appeared / this fall on Falckensteinstrasse, and my first gift
Kelvin Hazangwi, executive director, Padare/Enkundleni Men's Forum on Gender in Harare, Zimbabwe