This Month's Cover

Sojourners Magazine: June 2013

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THIS SUMMER, THE U.S. Supreme Court will issue its ruling in two same-sex marriage cases. But what about the institution of marriage itself? With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce, are we losing the ideal, and practice, of this covenantal commitment?

Our cover features suggest some answers. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite writes of the threats to marriage from economic conditions, domestic violence, and incarceration, as well as the glue of trust, commitment, and equality that holds it together. Leroy Barber offers lessons he and his wife have learned in 28 years of marriage, and Christian Piatt tells of his life as a “pastor’s wife” and the responses to that role reversal.
Stories of role reversals are also in the news about Pope Francis following his installation this spring. His decision to live in a guesthouse rather than the papal apartment, wear a simple white cassock rather than elaborate vestments, and wash the feet of 12 young people in a youth prison on Maundy Thursday, including women and Muslims, sent a strong message that this was a different, more humble pontiff, as Rose Marie Berger explores in her column.
As we commemorated the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter, Church of the Saviour co-founder Gordon Cosby, a longtime teacher, mentor, and friend with many of us at Sojourners and frequent contributor to these pages, went home to be with God. Jim Wallis reflects on Gordon’s life and ministry as one who simply wanted to be known as a follower of Jesus.
Now we celebrate Pentecost, the day when the first followers of Jesus left the shelter of their upper room and went out into the streets with a new message for the world. In our witness for social justice—immigration reform, reducing gun violence, reversing climate change, economic justice—may we have the same Spirit of boldness and hope that they did. 

Cover Story

Social, political, and economic forces can either undermine the institution of marriage–or foster a society where it thrives.
Five principles for a lasting marriage


Cincinnati's faith leaders cross denominational lines to stand up to a corporate bully.
The roles that Jesus plays in John's gospel echo those of women in first-century Palestine.
8 ways to stand against human trafficking
"I never imagined humanity could be stripped from a person like that."
When Mexican emigration and U.S. slavery intertwine
The stats say that women in the workplace – from seminaries to the boardroom – have become the norm, but being a stay-at-home dad is still considered a countercultural act (even in Portland).


How do we sustain our climate activism? It can't be about fear.
Local governments push for Pentagon spending cuts.
Where the U.S. meets Mexico, rhetoric often gets in the way of the facts.


How small my world gets when I'm not paying attention
To have the "poor one" at the center of the Catholic faith is right and just.
When wedding bells ring, don't forget the jello.
Thanks be to God for the life of Gordon Cosby.
Bridges don't fall from the sky; people build them.

Culture Watch

Who knew the Amish would become such a center of pop-cultural attention?
Four June 2013 culture recommendations from our editors
"Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission" by Amy Simpson
The beginning of wisdom proposed in the best documentaries is simply this: telling the truth, to ourselves and others, as best as we can.
Trethewey focuses her keen verbal gifts on the most sensitive nerve in American life.
"Laughter is Sacred Space: The Not-So-Typical Journey of a Mennonite Actor," Herald Press
"When 'Spiritual but Not Religious' Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church," Jericho Books
"Then Sings My Soul: The Culture of Southern Gospel Music," University of Illinois Press


Letter to the Editors
Letter to the Editors
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C
A poem: Mass in Las Choapas, Mexico
Letter to the Editors
Our May 2013 issue misidentified Dr. Janel Curry, quoted in “For God So Loved the World.” She is provost at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. Our apologies for the error.

Web Extra

Share your thoughts on what it takes to have a lasting marriage.
Resources to help you raise awareness about—and liberate—the slaves among us.
Three of the Pentagon's most wasteful programs
The Anna Louise Inn first opened in 1909. Built on the Taft family’s front yard, the Inn provided safe and affordable housing for women in Cincinnati. Since then, the Inn has become a revered Cincinnati institution. Click on the gallery below to view some images of the Inn’s history.