civil

Melissa Rogers 05-31-2012

In the wake of President Obama's declaration of his personal support for the right of same-sex couples to marry under civil law, the nation is understandably focused on debating the merits of this position. Three related points from President Obama's announcement, however, deserve our attention as well.

First, President Obama noted that there is an important difference between civil marriage and religious marriage. The state defines civil marriage, which serves as the gateway for a wide variety of government benefits, rights and privileges. Religious marriage, on the other hand, is defined solely by religious communities.

These categories may be fuzzy in our minds because current law not only respects the ability of clergy and religious communities to define and bless religious marriage, it also allows clergy to solemnize civil marriage. That's why one often hears a minister conclude a wedding by saying, "By the authority vested in me by the state of X, I now pronounce you husband and wife."

Setting aside the oddity of a minister claiming the authority of the state rather than a higher power, the fact that the state allows clergy to bring a civil marriage into being does not mean it can require clergy to bless or recognize any relationship the state defines as civil marriage.

Jim Wallis 11-03-2011

People of faith -- including evangelical Christians -- will be voting both ways in the upcoming election. It is simply not true that they will be voting only on one or two issues.

And, if evangelicals focus on many of the issues central to their faith, rather than becoming partisan cheerleaders, they might be able to raise some critical issues in this election and to hold both sides more accountable, even in a campaign that both Richard and I suspect will be one of the ugliest in U.S. history.

At the end of the evening, Amy remarked that if the upcoming election debates were as civil and substantive as this evening was, we would all be very grateful.

Duane Shank 09-22-2011
[caption id="attachment_33860" align="alignright" width="169" caption="Sen. Charles Percy"][/caption]
Duane Shank 09-07-2011

Two long pieces this weekend described "one hell of a killing machine," and "the dark matter

Michael Nagler 08-23-2011

The recent British film In Our Name is a returning-soldier drama featuring a married woman, Suzy, who leaves her husband and little girl to fight in Iraq. Because she's involved in the killing of a little girl during her tour-this part is based on a true story, but it happened to a man -- she returns home only to steadily fall apart under the stress of soul-destroying anxieties.

Rose Marie Berger 07-25-2011

I'm getting arrested on Aug. 29 at the White House. It's time to put my body where my soul is -- defending God's creation.

A interreligious contingent has chosen Aug. 29 as our arrest day. Jews, Muslims, Christians, and others will train together on Aug. 28 and then worship and risk arrest together on Aug. 29.

This is part of a two-week campaign (Aug. 20-Sept. 3) in which leading environmentalists including Wendell Berry, Naomi Klein, and Bill McKibben will join a peaceful campaign of civil disobedience to block the approval of a dirty oil pipeline that will cross the United States. As one Canadian wrote, "This [pipeline] will make the Great Wall of China look like Tom Sawyer's picket fence." Bill McKibben explained further in an earlier blog on God's Politics:

Duane Shank 03-29-2011
Last evening, President Obama forcefully defended his decision to launch airstrikes against Libya in or
Troy Jackson 03-07-2011
Forty-six years ago, civil rights activists in Selma, Alabama began what they hoped would be a 50-mile march to the state capital of Mo
Daoud Kuttab 02-18-2011
Ten years ago, I established AmmanNet, the Arab world's first Internet radio that used technology to create audio and text content freely.
Lynne Hybels 02-04-2011
Here is a new update from my friend, Wafik Wahba, Associate Professor of Global Christianity at Tyndale University and Seminary.
Jim Rice 02-03-2011
This Sunday would be Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, and the predictable tributes have come from across the political spectrum.
Vanessa Ortiz 01-31-2011
"All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable." -- Henr
We are both evangelical Christians who believe that our treatment of the poor, weak, and most vulnerable is how a society is best biblically measured.
Troy Jackson 12-07-2010
Last Wednesday, December 1 marked the 55th anniversary of the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott and a movemen
Max Kuecker 11-15-2010

It was five days before the mid-term elections. The race to fill President Obama's senate seat was neck-and-neck. On one side, Alexi Giannoulias strongly supported comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act.

Well, we made it to Election Day -- time to pack up the ol' Truth and Civility campaign until the next election

Patricia Kilby 10-28-2010

[Editor's Note: Welcome to Sojourner's Truth and Civility Election Watch Honor Roll. This post is part of a series of submissions from our constituents that highlight organizations and individuals engaging in positive, honest discourse.]

Jim Wallis 10-28-2010

Dear Candidate, Party Organization, PAC, Super-PAC or any Committee that happens to be contributing to the non-stop political ads that have flooded my TV:

the Web Editors 10-27-2010

[Editor's Note: Welcome to Sojourner's Truth and Civility Election Watch Honor Roll. This post is part of a series of submissions from our constituents that highlight organizations and individuals engaging in positive, honest discourse.]

When the nation is the object of one's highest concern; when national documents are considered holy scripture; when the nation's founders and historical figures are lifted to the status of demi-god

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