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Sojourners Magazine: November 2010

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Many readers were surprised by our September-October issue with Glenn Beck on the cover. Several took us to task for "spending time, energy, and words" on Beck, saying, "I keep hoping if we ignore him, he will go away.” Some ask why we pay attention to him at all. It is a fair question. After all, the critiques of social justice he offers are not particularly new, nor are they particularly insightful.

Unfortunately, we live in a time when up is being called down, when innuendo and misrepresentation are substituted for reasoned discourse, and when many Americans are deeply frustrated and angry. Under those conditions, fear and frustration often trump common sense. The nature of the times, coupled with our mission to articulate the biblical call to social justice, makes it imperative that we respond even to challenges like those tossed out by Glenn Beck.

We realize, of course, that hard-core Beck fans and hard-core libertarians are not going to change their minds, no matter what we say. Similarly, no amount of blustery assertion on Beck’s part is going to change the minds of those who rightly see social justice not as something one adds to the Christian life, but rather as part and parcel of what it means to follow the Crucified One.

In spite of—perhaps because of—Beck’s challenges, our constituency has grown, and more folks have become committed to biblically rooted social justice. For that we give thanks to God. And for these reasons, we will continue to see responding to challenges to the gospel’s call to justice as a centerpiece of our ministry.

Adam Taylor is the author of Mobilizing Hope: Faith-Inspired Activism for a Post-Civil Rights Generation.

Cover Story

Can libertarianism be reconciled with Christian faith?
For three decades, Washington, D.C.'s 'Family Place' has helped -- and welcomed -- the sojourners among us.
Lessons of solidarity and hope from the movement against AIDS.

Feature

7 Books for Bible geeks and other interested readers.
Writers who want to let both their faith and their creativity run free are finding a home in the Christian literary underground
Books on nonviolence, in theory and in practice.
When it comes to God and country, who are we? And who might we become?

Commentary

Christians should resist the election season's attack-mode politics of race.
This summer's financial reform victory shows that money doesn't always win.
To prevent future food-price bubbles, the world must stop gambling on hunger.

Columns

"For God so loved the world ..." Lately John 3:16 won't leave me alone. It hovers above my shoulder as I read The Washington Post. Really, God? You love this world?
My 5-year-old granddaughter lost her battle with cancer. We returned from a family vacation, where Ava was her usual playful, exuberant self, and the next day she complained of a headache.
After more than 200 years of constitutional democracy, it may be time to try something completely different.
President Obama announced at the end of August that "the American combat mission in Iraq has ended." Watching the speech and listening to the commentary, I was gripped by a deep sadness.
For more than 15 years, I didn't go to church (except for lots of visits in my professional capacity). When I was in my early 20s, the Episcopal church I attended regularly split.
The summer's weather can safely be described as biblical, in the sense that newspaper writers generally use the word -- that is, loud, scary, and dangerous.

Culture Watch

It happens every summer. Newsmakers go on vacation, real news gets slow, and novelty stories rush in to fill the vacuum. One summer it's child abductions; the next it's shark attacks.

Departments

I enjoyed reading Danny Duncan Collum's article ("Why Glenn Beck Hates Community Organizers").
The sidebar accompanying "Why Glenn Beck Hates Community Organizers" (by Danny Duncan Collum, September-October 2010) mentions how organizers have moved beyond Saul Alinsky’s tactic of "makin
Your article "The Persistence of Patriarchy" (by Anne Eggebroten, July 2010) said that at Grace Community Church "God is male, all the pastors, deacons, and elders are male, and women are taught to
Thank you for the excellent feature article on the reality of sex trafficking of minors in Atlanta ("Selling Our Children," by Letitia Campbell, August 2010).
His friend Martha's making soup, because you still / have to eat. Meanwhile, back in the Garden /
During November we reach the conclusion of the church year. We remember our dead and ponder the God of life. We begin Advent and the season of alert waiting for the newness that God will give.

Web Extra

Here is a list of resources that will help further develop an understanding of Ayn Rand's philosophy, view of religion, and connection to libertarianism and Tea Party ideology.
History, Strategy, and Community