Illinois

Hannah Critchfield 5-02-2017

Chemberly Cummings, being sworn in as member of the Normal Town Council. Photo courtesy Chemberly Cummings.

When Arlene Hosea’s mother came to Normal, Ill., in the 1930s, she could not use a public swimming pool unless it was specifically designated as “colored.” This month, her daughter will take office as a Normal Township Trustee — the first person of color to ever hold the position. Arlene, the recently retired director of Illinois State University’s dining services, is one of two black women to have run for office in the city’s local elections last month. The other, Chemberly Cummings, is also the first person of color to serve in her position — yesterday, she was sworn is as a member of the Normal Town Council.

Image via RNS/UMNS/Mike DuBose

The United Methodist Church’s top court has ruled that the consecration of an openly gay pastor as bishop is against church law.

But, in a somewhat muddled ruling that could reflect the ongoing struggle to determine how great a role LGBTQ members can play in the second largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., the court also ruled that the Rev. Karen Oliveto, its first openly gay bishop, “remains in good standing.”

Lilly Fowler 3-13-2017

Image via RNS/Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

On a cold rainy morning, members of the American Indian tribes shouted “Water is sacred” and “Keep it in the soil; can’t drink oil” as they marched toward the White House.

The March 10 protest against the Dakota Access pipeline included hundreds of Native Americans, some dressed in traditional feather headbands and ponchos.

They beat drums and danced as they made their way through the streets.

Image via RNS/Emily McFarlan Miller

Does Pope Francis have a position on the Dakota Access Pipeline?

That’s one question he hasn’t been asked, and he might demur if pressed on such a specific issue. But in his landmark encyclical on the environment published last year, and in other statements, Francis has strongly supported arguments of the Native American-led resistance movement on three core issues: indigenous rights, water rights and protection of creation.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Darren Ornitz

“The picture is mixed,” said Besheer Mohamed, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center who specializes in religion.

“On the one hand, its seems clear that Muslims are a pretty small part of the population. On the other hand, they are concentrated in some states and metro areas that might increase their voting powers in those specific areas.”

Image via RNS/Wikimedia Commons/Christoffer Lukas Müller

Exit polls suggest 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for President-elect Donald Trump.

But support for Trump may have been less decisive on Christian college campuses, where most students are also white evangelicals.

Washington Post/ABC News poll, before the election, found the views of younger adults do not align with some older ones, when it comes to their beliefs about Trump supporters.

Maurice Possley 10-15-2012
Stained glass window of Jesus scourging, Nancy Bauer / Shutterstock.com

Stained glass window of Jesus scourging, Nancy Bauer / Shutterstock.com

In 2009, after moving to Southern California, a neighbor, Tom Rotert, who is an attorney, asked about my reporting on wrongful convictions and wrongful executions while I was at the Chicago Tribune.

I explained that along with my fellow reporter Steve Mills, we had documented numerous wrongful convictions in Illinois and the executions of two innocent men in Texas — Carlos DeLuna and Cameron Todd Willingham.

 “You know who the ultimate wrongful execution is, don’t you?” Rotert asked. “It was Jesus Christ. They killed the son of God.”

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ doesn’t come up very often in discussions about wrongful convictions in America, but as California voters prepare to go to the polls to vote on Proposition 34 which would ban the death penalty in this state, two lawyers — one from Chicago and one from Minneapolis — are doing exactly that.

Jack Palmer 5-30-2012

It all got a little much for Illinois State Rep. Mike Bost yesterday during a discussion in the State House on pension reform.

The Atlantic reports:

The longtime Republican representative from a southern Illinois district was mad as hell and he wasn't going to take it any more, unleashing an epic rant at Speaker Mike Madigan.

The top moments are undoubtedly early in the clip, when he tosses a bunch of papers in the air, then punches them on the way down; and when he shouts, "Let my people go!" But stay with it until the end for his excellent variation on the old rap-battle mic drop. Also worth noting: the faces on his colleagues around him, trying to maintain a sense of dignity, except the woman in the burgundy behind him who seems willing to indulge her amusement.

Watch the full rant below:

QR Blog Editor 5-30-2012

CBS reported yesterday:

Illinois hospitals would be required to provide free surgeries and other inpatient care to many uninsured poor people under a bill the Legislature passed Tuesday, a mandate already on the books in eight other states.

The Illinois Hospital Association supported the bill. Spokesman Danny Chun said patients affected already are being cared for in hospitals.
 
"Many hospitals are now voluntarily providing charity care that would meet the requirements of this proposed legislation," Chun said. "However, there are some hospitals, which would have to do more charity care."
 
Read the full story here
James Colten 11-18-2011
Non-Violence Gun Sculpture in Sweden. Image by Francois Polito via Wiki Commons.

Non-Violence Gun Sculpture in Sweden. Image by Francois Polito via Wiki Commons. (double licence GFDL et Creative Commons CC-BY-

The House of Representatives just passed a law that would allow gun-owners to carry their guns through other states based on the Constitutional right to bear arms (as opposed to the right to bear legs — once global warming kicks it up a notch expect to see this one on the floor soon).

As a native Illinoisan, I’m not sure how I should feel about this bill. Illinois is one of two states (not including Washington D.C.) that don’t have concealed carry provisions. This provision would allow Missourians and Michiganders and people from Indiana to waltz right through our state with their guns as they please. I see the merit and legality to the 2nd Amendment, yet at the same time, I recognize we have a gun violence problem in America. 

Here’s how dialogue around gun control goes these days:

For: Guns kill people.

Against: Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

For: People kill people using guns

Against: And the Second Amendment?

For: Shoot… No, wait!   

Joshua Witchger 10-05-2011

800px-Day_2_Occupy_Wall_Street_2011_Shankbone

We've compiled a list of links where you can learn more about the genesis of the #OccupyWallStreet movement, including links to news reports, organizations involved in formenting the movement and local groups in every state where you can get involved close to home (if you don't live in Lower Manhattan.)

Duane Shank 9-22-2011
[caption id="attachment_33860" align="alignright" width="169" caption="Sen. Charles Percy"][/caption]
Cathleen Falsani 9-19-2011

cathicowgirl1They call me ..."God Girl."*

And I'll be your new tour guide here at God's Politics.

Some of you may know me by my more official byline, Cathleen Falsani. I've been a contributing editor and columnist for Sojourners Magazine for several years now, writing a column every other month called "Godstuff" and also have contributed from time to time to this'a'here blog.

Timothy King 8-16-2011

The first few nights weren't so bad. It was on the fourth night, the night it rained, that it got to me. I had just spent the past week sleeping on the sidewalk in front of the Illinois state Capitol building in Springfield. Throughout the week, young people of faith, college students, as well as homeless and formerly homeless youth traveled from Chicago to Springfield. Some slept on the sidewalks at night, and others came solely to lobby their legislators. We were all there for the same reason -- because each year nearly 25,000 youth experience homelessness in the state of Illinois. Not only were there not the resources to help these youth, but most legislators and most of the general public didn't even realize the problem existed.

In the past few weeks, I've written about a lot of full-page ads. This full-page ad is different. Too often, homeless youth have been invisible. The Ali Forney Center, a service provider for LGBT homeless youth, has a full-page ad in this month's issue of Sojourners magazine. GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Association Against Defamation, connected the Ali Forney Center to Sojourners, as a part of an advertising campaign the Ali Forney Center is running. The ad highlights that up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. I have talked with many teens who became homeless because they were kicked out of their homes or ran away from abuse by their parents because of their sexual identity. After their homes became dangerous, they went to the streets, where many were attacked and some were trafficked or forced into prostitution.

Jeannie Choi 8-05-2011

1100805-moveHere's a little round up of links from around the Web you may have missed this week:

  • These videos will surely make you want to travel the world: Move, Learn, Eat.
  • Any Bon Iver fans? I missed their D.C. concert, but here it is recorded.
Jim Wallis 5-19-2011

Just over one month ago, a few dozen fired employees demonstrated outside a Chipotle one block from Sojourners' office. The employees reported that they were taken to the back of the store during their 30-minute break and were dismissed without warning.

Jake Olzen 4-12-2011

The immigrant rights movement is getting extreme. In the past two years, in addition to some of the largest mass gatherings in the country, undocumented students and their allies have shifted their protest from street marches to civil disobedience.

Jake Olzen 2-21-2011
A week after a shocked world reveled in Egypt's incredible moment of freedom and people power, Wisconsin is reviving its own unique tradition of people power and creative protest.
Lynne Hybels 2-15-2011

Last week, I received this photo of Maggie, an Egyptian Christian friend who is a documentary filmmaker. When I asked her if I could post the photo on my blog, she sent me this email in return:

LaVonne Neff 1-07-2011
"The Obama administration, reversing course, will revise a Medicare regulation to delete references to end-of-life planning as part of the annual physical examinations covered under the new health

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