March-April 1996

Cover Story


As a social worker at Bread for the City and Zacchaeus Free Clinic, I have had many experiences with those who are suffering.
THE OLD TESTAMENT prophets claimed, and the New Testament witnesses affirmed, that a society will be judged (by God) most fundamentally by the way it has treated the poorest and most marginalized in its midst.
The rule of law in a free society is an expression of the social contract between the governed and government and between the people and each other.
It is wrong to make an idol out of the law.
Why would I, a peaceful, usually law-abiding grandmother of four (not even a parking ticket) break the habit of a lifetime and become the "little old lady in tennis shoes"...
The democratic tradition at its best has always had those who act on conscience in such ways that knowingly defy the immediacy of legal regulation.
The political leaders in place at this time are constructing social policy and vision that is fundamentally destructive of human life and well-being, particularly of those most marginalized by our governmental system.
Jesus made it clear that we must love our brothers and sisters as he loved us.
The principalities of urban violence.
Perhaps I can best explain why I knowingly chose to break the law by recalling a conversation I had with my 7-year-old daughter before she left for school on the morning of December 7.
The great deliverer of the Hebrew people was Moses.
The story of poverty must be told again and again until we all recognize a responsibility to search for solutions and develop a passion to work toward their implementation.
What do we do when conscience and the law are at odds?
Good parenting--the teaching of values--takes time.
The law is our mutually created instrument to protect impartially the common good and individual rights from abuses by individuals, groups, or the state.
The Bible gives very clear instructions that Christians should be subject to government authorities (Romans 13:1-4).
In many ways I feel like a hypocrite in regards to my actions at the Capitol.


The real-world effects of the just war theory.
Jean Sindab's life of commitment, prayer, and faithfulness.
Religion, values, and the public schools.
The Struggle for Canadian culture.
Twenty years of the Atlantic Life Community.
[Demi] Moore's strong flair for taking risks for jumbo-sized payouts showed up clearly when she dared to pose nude and pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair....


Nights are the worst. I toss and turn, seeking a blessed relief from consciousness that seems to come only at dawn.
A cook is a chemist. All manner of wizardry and wondrous reactions occur in the oven and the mixing bowl.
Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller once criticized Little League baseball for its interference in children's spontaneous play.
I did not expect a great blue heron to visit my neighborhood in northeast Atlanta.
When we heard the weather report predicting another snow storm on its way to Washington, D.C., our hearts sank.
After finally digging out from the 27 inches of snow that fell on the nation's capital-a city founded on a simple democratic principle: "What's a snowplow?"

Culture Watch

Richard Nixon got his 15 minutes of media redemption last year...from the grave.
The challenge of Dead Man Walking
Dinesh D'Souza and the end of rationality
For many in the Christian tradition, it's a common Lenten discipline to think about confession and complicity.
The surprises of spiritual homecoming.
John Dear on nonviolence and the nature of God.
Salvation, snake handling, and subcultures
Sherman Elexie sings the Reservation Blues
The letters of Thomas Merton.
Growing up female in modern America


OUR COVER ARTICLE, "Is Marriage Obsolete?" has its origins in one of those "highway" conversations, where you dig into the stuff of life while rolling over the interstate.
Diverse groups join together to oppose military flights in the Midwest.
I READ MICHAEL Smith's article ("Whose Kingdom?") in the November-December 1995 Sojourners with interest, but found it to be flavored with considerable unchristian rancor. 
MANY THANKS FOR the uplifting and amusing articles celebrating Daniel Berrigan's life.
Photojournalist Mev Puleo, whose work focused on the lives and struggles of the poor, died January 12, 1996, of a brain tumor. Puleo, who was 32 years old, received the 1995 U.S.
ROSEMARY RADFORD Ruether's analysis of the power, particularly social power, that traditional, non-inclusive names of God have on us in our perceptions of gender and our inclination toward sexis
On January 5, a firebomb destroyed the car of José Pertierra in Washington, D.C.
The Truth about Affirmative Action
I FOUND JIM RICE'S commentary, "Into Bosnia: Mixed motives and good fruit," in the January-February 1996 issue, to be unbalanced in its presentation of the facts.
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I CAN'T REMEMBER if I have ever read a magazine literally from cover to cover, but your November-December 1995 issue took the prize.
Conference gives network an energizing start.
I HAD JUST recently renewed my subscription to Sojourners when I picked up a copy of the January-February 1996 issue.
AS THE AUTHOR of Sojourners' "Life in Community" column, I must take exception to Ed Spivey's remarks about my lifestyle in his January-February 1996 "H'rumphs."
AS A 16-YEAR-OLD Christian, I found the commentary on Magic: The Gathering very refreshing
OUR COVER ARTICLE, "Is Marriage Obsolete?," by Elizabeth McAlister, has its origins in one of those "highway" conversations, where you dig into the stuff of life while rolling over the interstate.
My father liked to dance alone.
THANK YOU FOR focusing on the role of money in the American political system ("To the Highest Bidder: Stopping the Sellout of Democracy Before It's Too Late," November-December 1995).
The Inland Northwest, which includes eastern Washington and northern Idaho, is known more because of stories about Ruby Ridge and the Neo-Nazi headquarters in Hayden Lake, Idaho, than for its wooded tranquility.
Troubled by the scarcity of material from the nonviolent peace movement on the World Wide Web, three individuals are dedicating their skills to "help bring the powerful message of nonviolence on