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Magazine

Sojourners Magazine: June 2014

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IN THE LATE 1970s and early ’80s, Denise Giardina became involved with Sojourners while a seminary student, ultimately becoming a member of the community. During that time, she spent the evenings in her room writing what became her first novel, Good King Harry. And despite the intentionality of the community, no one knew she was working on a book until she had finished. It was followed by five more novels and numerous awards.

In this issue, our Culture Watch section features an interview with Giardina, now a teacher of creative writing and Episcopal deacon. She lives in West Virginia, where she was born and where several of her later novels were set. In the interview, she describes the social/political problems of that state, and why she is still committed to change. “My soul is deeply invested in this place,” she says.

We also look at the connection between the 1980s Religious Right and today’s new militant atheism. Randall Balmer points out that religious and secular fundamentalism, despite their different grounding, share some characteristics, as the rise of the first helped lead to the rise of the second. Both have a dualistic view of the world that refuses to accept ambiguities, is marked by intolerance, and resists common ground.

Our cover feature by Julienne Gage tells the hopeful story of a new church-based movement mobilizing to provide foster homes for the 400,000 children who need them. Elsewhere in this issue, environmental scientist Cal DeWitt explains the true significance of the Keystone XL pipeline and the importance of “maintaining Earth as a habitable abode.”

After all, it is our home, and for us there is no foster home possible.

Cover Story

Churches in the "127 Movement" are opening their hearts, homes, and families to welcome children in the foster care system.

Feature

How to talk with our children about homelessness
As we put creation's author to the test—with projects like the Keystone XL pipeline—there will be consequences.
How U.S. evangelicals rejected one of their own—and helped spawn the "New Atheism"

Commentary

Why are so many college graduates underemployed?
After long delays in relief operations, rebuilding in the Philippines slowly continues.
The Supreme Court continues to dismantle campaign finance reform.

Columns

"If communion isn't a little edgy, you may not be doing it right." —A tribute to Elizabeth Palmberg (1970-2014)
Christ's upside-down kingdom offers a different and subversive message: Lose your life and you'll find it.
The civil right of equal opportunity never ensured the human right of equal access.
...although maybe we should have kept a little for ourselves.
We need to show that the zeitgeist is changing, and that there's a steep price for fooling us.

Culture Watch

The problem is not with the ark, but with the ark mentality it represents.
"Music as Prayer: The Theology and Practice of Church Music," by Thomas H. Troeger
To build a new world, sometimes you have to tear the old one down.
"The Earth Manifesto: Saving Nature with Engaged Ecology," by David Tracey and "A Political Theology of Climate Change," by Michael S. Northcott
Excerpt from "God and the Gay Christian" by Matthew Vines, Convergent Books
​​​​​​​Four June 2014 culture recommendations from our editors
A conversation with novelist and activist Denise Giardina

Departments

Letter to the Editors
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle A

Web Extra

Follow the gripping story of a young girl taken from her home and placed into foster care.
A slideshow of the rebuilding efforts in Tacloban City, Philippines, in the wake of Haiyan
Musician Nicole C. Mullen and theologian Ellen F. Davis articulate the goodness of God in their own unique ways.
Matthew Vines sits down with Sojourners to discuss his first book, "God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships."
Select works by our dear friend and colleague Elizabeth Palmberg  
A map of the proposed route for the Keystone XL pipeline