March 2013

Cover Story

Real interior silence, not just the absence of noise, is a foundational spiritual discipline. So why are we so resistant to enter into it?


This pledge, which draws on one used by Mahatma Gandhi's independence campaign in India, was used in the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1950s and '60s.
Today many people identify as "spiritual but not religious." Before it was trendy, Oswald Chambers, the man behind My Utmost for His Highest, did too.
Jim Balmer is an antiwar activist whose commitment to nonviolence has made him an advocate for a consistent ethic of life. Interview by Elizabeth Palmberg.
If we read 1 Peter's message to immigrants, exiles, and foreigners only as a metaphor, we risk missing the point.


Abortion rates have dropped, and many people of faith are very interested in the reasons why.
Anti-labor laws undermine unions in the Midwest. Will faith communities rise to the challenge?
A young immigration activist goes behind bars--on purpose--to shed light on Obama's deportation policies.


You should expect some side effects.
"You shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt."
It's more human to deny the evidence, attack the messengers, and try to delay any response.
Who speaks for God? Must be this guy...

Culture Watch

We shouldn't really expect the Oscars to grasp the point of history, though this year the films nominated for Best Picture are a fascinating snapshot of what ails—and could heal—us.
Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live & Die for Bigger Things by Ken Wytsma / Girl Rising / Summoned from the Margin: Homecoming of an African by Lamin Sanneh / Old Monk by Mary Lou Kownacki
Leonard Cohen as irreverent master of prayer.
Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda
Restless Fires: Young John Muir's Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf in 1867-68. Mercer University Press.
Chasing Gideon. The New Press.
Faith, Doubt, and Other Lines I've Crossed: Walking with the Unknown God. Jericho Books.
The best evidence against Murdoch is the existence of Fox News.
The Cry of Tamar: Violence Against Women and the Church's Response. Fortress Press.


Thank you for the January 2013 issue's strong emphasis on abolishing the death penalty ("Who Would Jesus Execute?" interview of Richard Viguerie by Jim Wallis;
I was struck by not only the wisdom but also the timeliness of Rev. James E. Atwood's "9mm Golden Calves" (January 2013). Americans are still reeling from the horror of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings.
Reflections on the Common Lectionary, Cycle C
As Jim Wallis pointed out in his January 2013 editorial "It's Time to End the Death Penalty," capital punishment is an affront to a "consistent ethic of life," which is usually understood as extending from
Hemorrhaging from the concertina / crown, brass knuckles, scourging, cigarette burns, / lurching the last meter of Golgotha

Web Extra

Modern passages from Oswald Chambers' classic devotional reader My Utmost for His Highest.
Who controls the airwaves?
An extended interview with addiction-recovery worker Jim Balmer.
The Obama administration is not living up to its promises. Sign a petition to put an end to low-priority deportations.
Be a witness against the bomb--share these graphics!