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Sojourners Magazine: May 2015

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OUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR to the north has a well-deserved reputation for civility and hospitality, not to mention great health care available to all. But a dirty secret has emerged: Some of the worst mining companies in the world are Canadian. In this issue of Sojourners, Canadian writer and Anglican priest Emilie Teresa Smith investigates the extensive harm Canadian mining firms have brought upon Indigenous people and the environment. If you thought the Keystone XL pipeline was the only blot on Canada’s good character, its business model in exploiting mineral resources of developing countries is even worse.

While political partisanship in Wash-ington, D.C., has obstructed meaningful reform of our broken immigration system, churches on the border are having a direct impact on the people whose lives are on the line. David Cramer writes about Christian organizations in the Rio Grande Valley banding together to provide comfort, food, and shelter to undocumented families. Led by Catholic Charities in McAllen, Texas, the churches seek to serve, not to make a political statement, yet their compassion is attracting the attention of national media and changing the conversation from political to humanitarian.

As sexual assaults on college campuses continue to stir national conversations, Lyndsey Christoffersen directs our attention to another place where sexual assault too often goes unnoticed: our churches. Examining the ways "modesty talks" and Bible stories can seem to endorse victim-blaming behavior, she calls the church to speak candidly about sexual sin in scripture and in our communities.

Susan Windley-Daoust also has a word for the church: Though we love to be a “voice for the voiceless,” a renewed theology of the body means stepping aside and allowing people who live with disabilities to speak for themselves. 

Cover Story

Steve Allen / Shutterstock
Canadians are supposed to be the good guys in the story. Well, not anymore. 


There's liberating, countercultural potential when the black church and Anabaptist traditions meet. 
Mindmo / Shutterstock
From "modest is hottest" to misreading sexual violence in the Bible, Christians have a checkered history regarding rape culture. 
Baloncici / Shutterstock
What do people with disabilities need from the church? 
Fifty years of bloody conflict, economic greed, and environmental devastation 
Churches on the U.S.-Mexico border are making a statement about immigration—by working together to meet humanitarian need. 
For 50 years, people with and without developmental disabilities have shared life in L'Arche communities. 


The "me first" attitude of anti-vaxxers puts others at risk. 
The battle for hearts and minds continues, 50 years later. 
Paid sick leave helps not only the workers but businesses as well.


The 2016 election is an opportunity for a new dialogue on eliminating extreme poverty, at home and abroad. the Koch brothers, who have really nice bootstraps. 
We're like the bad babysitter who takes the 2-year-old out for a tattoo and some piercings. 
We watched our white peers accept the same salaries but somehow take vacations and buy homes—while we scrimped to pay rent.   

Culture Watch

"Remnants: A Memoir of Spirit, Activism, and Mothering" by Rosemarie Freeney Harding 
You wouldn't know it from the headlines, but things are getting better. 
Four May 2015 culture recommendations from our editors
The extraordinary film Leviathan takes place in a tiny coastal town on the other side of the world, but it relates to all our dreams and fears.
"One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America" by Kevin Kruse 
"Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End" by Atul Gawande 
Singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley paints a heartbreaking picture of what Appalachia has become. 
"The Radical King" by Martin Luther King Jr., edited by Cornel West

Web Extra

In recognition of National Poetry Month’s “Poetry in Our Pocket Day,” and in celebration of Sojourners’ historical love of poetry, our staff selected some favorite poems. 
An interactive map showing Canadian mining locations