general

Nontando Hadebe 8-22-2008

On Aug. 19, 2008, Zambia President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa died. His death was a loss not only to his nation but to the region. He was outspoken about the situation in Zimbabwe. It is ironic that his death was followed in a few days by the "death" of negotiations in Zimbabwe. The government has refused to concede power and will be opening parliament next week --"back to business." It is not clear at the moment what options the opposition party has [...]

Gareth Higgins 8-22-2008

In a few weeks, I will make a life-changing journey. After 33 years of living in Northern Ireland, and for very good reasons, I am about to become an immigrant. I'm excited about this move, not least because I believe that doing something new is one of the best ways to grow as a human being.

But two questions come to mind as I prepare myself for leaving home.

The first is, "What will it feel like to be an immigrant?" Will I be welcomed by the people in my adopted [...]

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9).

Peacemaking is an important responsibility of people who follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Christianity requires that we, ourselves, become the living, breathing, flesh-and-blood manifestation of the teachings of Jesus. Our calling is to a radical obedience to Jesus' call to follow him (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship). The teachings of Jesus are extreme [...]

Administrator 8-21-2008

I am grateful for CNN's special report, "Black in America," as well as the subsequent article on church segregation on this 40th year after Dr. King's assassination. The article describes the "racial fatigue" that Christians of all colors seem to experience in these days of ever-increasing diversity. It sounds to me like the dynamics of a [...]

Jim Wallis 8-21-2008

My two boys have an alley for a backyard. Luke (9) and Jack (5) are thoroughly urban kids, but I watched them, these past two weeks, fall in love with a natural world far different from their own in a magical place called Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island.

I came here a lot as a younger man. It was the home of lawyer-theologian William Stringfellow, one of my theological and political mentors, and it still has a little cottage on the back of the property that is used by [...]

Katie Van Loo 8-20-2008

I can't go anywhere these days without hearing about the Olympics ("Michael Phelps this, Michael Phelps that." Thank God my friend finally told me who Michael Phelps is). But it wasn't until I was over on Eugene Cho's blog the other day that my interest was thoroughly piqued. Cho posted a photo of the Spanish men's basketball team "making their eyes Chinese," [...]

Brian Brandsmeier 8-20-2008

Agriprocessors, the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the U.S., has developed a longstanding reputation for abusing animals, workers, and laws. The abuses have been documented and decried by labor unions, religious leaders, animal rights groups, etc. Children as young as 13 work in dangerous conditions. Cows have their windpipes ripped out while they are still conscious and alive. Central Americans were hired illegally to work long hours with little pay. Untreated sewage has been dumped into the [...]

Randy Woodley 8-19-2008

My wife and I are starting the book of Luke for our devotional reading this week. The whole Christmas story comes up so fast, and it is a bit strange to consider the story in August. We talked about the extreme categorization of the Western church and how certain stories are usually told only at one time of the year. Well, not so now.

We thought if we can separate ourselves from the "assigned category" of Christmas and hear the story as a story -- not just as the propositional truth we are [...]

Nontando Hadebe 8-16-2008

The combined outcome of events happening at the moment is hard to predict, but something is brewing in the southern African region around the issue of Zimbabwe. Here are "the key ingredients" in this pot:

1. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), a group of regional leaders representing 14 countries in southern Africa, are meeting this weekend. Top on the agenda is the situation in Zimbabwe.

2. At this meeting there will be a change of leadership from the president of Zambia to [...]

Charles Gutenson 8-16-2008

Torture is a moral issue. On Sept. 11-12, 2008, in Atlanta, Georgia, Christians will be sharing their grave concerns over the United States' position on this practice at "A National Summit on Torture: Religious Faith, Torture, and our National Soul."

In order to bring this subject to the forefront of the church's dialogue, Sojourners is proud to help sponsor the conference, alongside Mercer University, Evangelicals for Human Rights, and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture -- in [...]

Jim Wallis 8-14-2008

Abortion is a moral issue, felt deeply on all sides of the debate. That debate has also been deeply divisive, becoming a "third rail" of American politics. It often influences outcomes of elections, and therefore the direction of the country in other important policy areas. Consistent polling shows that most are between the polarized extremes, simplistically named "pro-life" and "pro-choice." A majority is both concerned, even alarmed, about the abortion rate in America, yet is hesitant to [...]

Jim Wallis 8-14-2008

In the Sojourners/CNN candidate forum in June of 2007, John Edwards said, "I sin every day," in response to a question on sin and forgiveness. Some journalists thought that was a throwaway line from a politician. But as the nation shockingly heard one week ago, Edwards was speaking honestly and even confessionally. Here was a man in a good and strong marriage, known to be a wonderful father, and yet last Friday he painfully and publicly confessed to the terrible mistake of an affair with [...]

Rev. Romal J. Tune 8-11-2008

As we draw closer to the candidate forum at Saddleback Church, I've had several conversations with clergy on the West Coast. Many are wondering if candidates will be asked about abortion and gay marriage. In California there is a ballot initiative on gay marriage, and I'm also hearing that this issue is on the ballot in Florida. No matter how much some people don't want to talk about it, these issues are not going away [...]

Elizabeth Palmberg 8-08-2008

Looks like Joey Cheek -- a winter Olympics medalist who co-founded the organization Team Darfur to protest the genocide incited by the regime in Khartoum -- will not be going to Beijing in support of the Team Darfur athletes about to compete in the Olympics. China, which buys Sudan's oil and often runs interference for the Khartoum regime in the U.N. Security Council, has revoked Cheek's visa and told him to stay out.

But, to paraphrase Matthew 15, it's not what goes into [...]

Administrator 8-06-2008

Almost midnight. Dark.

I'm entangled in wrinkled sheets, slowly being strangled by an obscenely cheap pink burial cloth. The brown comforter I kicked to the floor looks as lonely as a mound of dirt. It's the color of dead leaves. Blush-colored blossoms, void of scent, skitter across its surface. [...]

Administrator 8-06-2008

Almost midnight. Dark.

I'm entangled in wrinkled sheets, slowly being strangled by an obscenely cheap pink burial cloth. The brown comforter I kicked to the floor looks as lonely as a mound of dirt. It's the color of dead leaves. Blush-colored blossoms, void of scent, skitter across its surface. [...]

Phyllis Tickle 8-03-2008

Summer Sundays with Phyllis Tickle

Next Wednesday is the Feast of the Transfiguration. What that means is that next Wednesday is a major holy day for Christians like me who fall into what is commonly referred to as the "liturgical" category of the faith. That rather ponderous label is a [...]

Craig Detweiler 7-31-2008

Tragically, the culture war crossed over fighting words to shooting bullets. Once again, a community of faith was caught in the crossfire. While 25 children sang songs from "Annie," a gunman fired three shotgun blasts inside the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. The seven people shot and two people murdered on Sunday morning are the latest victims of the culture war.

Sadly, this wasn't the first shooting to occur at a house of worship in the [...]

Craig Detweiler 7-31-2008

Tragically, the culture war crossed over fighting words to shooting bullets. Once again, a community of faith was caught in the crossfire. While 25 children sang songs from "Annie," a gunman fired three shotgun blasts inside the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. The seven people shot and two people murdered on Sunday morning are the latest victims of the culture war.

Sadly, this wasn't the first shooting to occur at a house of worship in the [...]

Some compelling quotes from a recent Rand Corp. study caught my eye in today's Washington Post -- the emphasis is added:

The Bush administration's terrorism-fighting strategy has not significantly undermined al-Qaeda's capabilities, according to a major new study that argues the struggle against terrorism is better waged by law enforcement agencies [...]

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