Activism

Nathan Schneider 7-18-2011

Behind Bars. Fremantle Prisonphoto © 2009 Amanda Slater | more info (via: Wylio)On the first day of this month, inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison, joined by inmates in other prisons around the state, began a hunger strike to protest "inhumane and torturous conditions" in the Security Housing Unit, which holds inmates in solitary confinement for decades at a time. They're still at it; the state has admitted that as many as 6,600 inmates around the state have participated in the strike. Last week, corrections officials offered the prisoners a proposed deal, which they unanimously rejected.

This comes after a Supreme Court decision in May that ordered California to reduce its prison population, as overcrowding was causing "needless suffering and death."

Part of what's making the standoff worse is the belief that the strike is, in essence, a form of gang activity. For one thing, as Colin Dayan noted in passing in a New York Times op-ed, "How they have managed to communicate with each other is anyone's guess." The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), though, isn't so stumped.

Eugene Cho 7-15-2011

1100715-circleofprotectionSeveral weeks ago (right before I left for my sabbatical), I joined with six other pastors from around the country -- in partnership with Sojourners -- to draft an open letter to Congress and President Barack Obama regarding the budget and the proposals to cut certain programs that aid the poor in our country. Our hope was to invite at least 1,000 pastors to join us in signing this document.

As of today, we've had nearly 5,000 pastors and Christian leaders from all 50 states join us in signing this open letter, and we hope to keep adding voices and signatures. As a pastor and Christian leader will you add your voice to let our political leaders know that you stand with the poor?

Read the letter below and if you resonate with our message, please sign your name.

Jim Wallis 7-14-2011

The way you think and feel about the world is shaped by what you see when you get out of bed in the morning. I remember hearing this from civil rights activists. It simply means that perspective is hugely determined by place, context, and vantage point. This is profoundly true for me and most of the people I've ever met. You see the world from the place you live.

Part of the problem in the current budget impasse in Washington, D.C. is the perspectives of the politicians in the debate. Every morning they see and hear each other; the gladiator ring of national politics; the Washington media; their donors; their ideological base; and their latest poll ratings.

Timothy King 7-13-2011

As the federal debt ceiling standoff threatens to cause an economic catastrophe for our nation, more than 4,000 pastors across the country are opposing proposed immoral budget cuts that harm the most vulnerable people in their congregations and communities. An open letter to Congress and the president ran today as a full page ad in Politico. (You can view the ad and full list of signers here.) We were amazed by the huge response this letter generated. We hoped to find 1,000 pastors willing to speak out with us, and in just 2 weeks more than 4,000 clergy joined our campaign.

Christine Sine 7-12-2011

According to an article at GreenBiz.com, the company Unilever's push toward sustainability encountered a major obstacle in changing people's habits: the amount of time folks took to take a shower. Many of us not only shower too frequently (there is evidence that suggests that daily showers are not always good for us), but many of us also spend far too long in the shower.

Nathan Schneider 7-08-2011

Over lunch last week, during the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict's Fletcher Summer Institute, I had the chance to talk with civil rights movement leader James Lawson with a recorder on. It wasn't hard to get him going; he had been talking about organizing and nonviolence training all week. 

Jeannie Choi 7-06-2011

In November 2009, Bernard Pastor, an 18-year-old undocumented student in Ohio, was stopped by police for a minor traffic violation and detained. ICE held Pastor in federal detention with plans to deport him to his native Guatemala, though his parents had left Guatemala with Pastor when he was 3 years old.

Tom Andrews 7-05-2011

We cannot allow the history of a brutal genocide to repeat itself in Sudan, nor denial and inaction to repeat itself in Washington, D.C., but both are happening at this very moment

Heather Wilson 7-01-2011

Fed up and worn out from the grind of life in D.C., I decided to head to Shakori Hills, North Carolina for the Wild Goose Festival last weekend.

Claire Lorentzen 7-01-2011

At the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina last weekend, I was able to speak with Anna Clark, author of Green, American Style, president and founder of EarthPeople, a green consulting firm, and a contributor to Taking Flight: Reclaiming the Female Half of God's Image Through Advocacy and Renewal. Anna has a heart for equipping churches to make small and big changes for the sake of creation care and stewardship of the earth's resources. How can Christians do this, you ask? Read our conversation to find out.

Lauren F. Winner 7-01-2011

Lauren F. Winner reviews The Furnace of Affliction: Prison and Religion in Antebellum America, by Jennifer Graber. UNC Press.

Jason Howard 7-01-2011

Humanitarian, award winning actress, and best-selling author Ashley Judd reflects on her faith and "true calling" -- social justice activism.

Jason Howard 6-21-2011
It's noon on the West Coast, and Ashley Judd is scurrying to make a live on-air interview with a National Public Radio local affiliate in Berkeley.
Bill McKibben 6-20-2011
I think I know the ugliest word in the English language -- a neologism, actually, coined to describe the technique for pumping liquid at high pressure into rock to open up cracks so that natural ga
Jim Wallis 6-16-2011

We are looking for 1,000 pastors to debunk a myth based on the political assertion that government doesn't have any responsibility to poor people. The myth is that churches and charities alone could take care of the problems of poverty -- especially if we slashed people's taxes. Both this assertion and myth contradict the biblical imperative to hold societies and rulers responsible for how they treat the poor, and ignore the Christian tradition of holding governments accountable to those in need. Faith-based organizations and government have had effective and healthy partnerships, and ultimately, the assertion and myth have more to do with libertarian political ideology, than good theology.

Lynne Hybels 6-14-2011
In 2008, as I heard the increasing public rhetoric of hostility emanating from the Middle East, I found myself wondering what Jesus would say and do if he were here in the flesh today.
Phil Haslanger 6-13-2011
Jesus never said anything about collective bargaining. He never called for the continuation of the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers.
Julie Clawson 6-10-2011
I was at the pool with the kids recently and couldn't help but overhear a very loud and opinionated conversation happening near me.
Mike Morrell 6-06-2011
North Carolina, host state for the inaugural Wild Goose Festival, has many things going for it.

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