A few years back 50 Cent starred in the movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" about a young drug dealer who leaves his dealing to pursue a career as a rap star. The contrast is stark: utter poverty or incredible wealth. No matter the level of material poverty or wealth, believing that more "toys" is the goal will never overcome widespread poverty.
I ran into an acquaintance here at Pentecost 2008 who reminded me of how this "get rich or die trying" message is ingrained in our psychology at [...]
As I attended Pentecost 2008 I was reminded that Dr. King's Poor People's Campaign is celebrating its 40th anniversary. On Friday, Mary Nelson (Board Member of CCDA) and I facilitated a workshop on "Building the Beloved Community." Building the Beloved Community was one of the central messages of Dr. King's ministry. The Poor People's Campaign of 1968 [...]
Beliefnet invited Jim Wallis for a "blogalogue" with David Klinghoffer, author of How Would God Vote? Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Conservative. Here's Jim's response to David's first post, "Let's Clarify the Politics of the Bible."
Thanks for your post, David. I'm looking forward to this discussion with [...]
I'll be attending Sojourners' Pentecost conference this weekend. Why am I excited? What am I expecting? I'm looking forward to honesty about the challenges we face when we are serious about overcoming poverty.
One of my greatest struggles around large issues like poverty is that I either feel like I'm not informed well enough or that I'm not doing enough. On one hand, I talk in [...]
I feel like I try so hard and I'm not sure what I'm actually doing. That is one reason why I wanted to go to Pentecost 2008: Training for Change. I want to be part of something bigger and know that we as a larger group have the passion to really do something. I've been sick of the way things are going and how, it seems, the church is growing cold in many ways. It makes my stomach sick to [...]
1. not guided by conscience; unscrupulous.
2. not in accordance with what is just or reasonable: unconscionable behavior.
3. excessive; extortionate: an unconscionable profit.
I have had some "unconscionable" things on my mind a lot lately as I have been working with the 20-somethings who make up Orlando Food Not Bombs and University of [...]
I don't want to assume that readers automatically know who Steven Curtis Chapman is, but if you've been surfing the Web recently, it's very likely you may have seen the name. Chapman is one of the most visible and influential figures of the Christian music genre. As of 2007, he has sold more than 10 million albums, has nine gold and platinum albums, and won five Grammy awards.
Four years ago, Call to Renewal conducted a 12-day "Rolling to Overcome Poverty" bus tour to say that poverty was a religious and electoral issue. Despite our best efforts, the word was rarely spoken in either campaign, or in the presidential debates. This year, it's already different.
On Wednesday, John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama, which, of course, made headlines across the country. But at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, rally where the two men spoke, something even more important [...]
Last evening, I was privileged to be one of the religious leaders asked to participate in the Compassion Forum, sponsored by Faith in Public Life and broadcast by CNN from Messiah College. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama participated; Sen. John McCain declined.
The religious leaders asked questions of real substance, focusing on difficult and important policy choices. We are not so much interested in the personal testimonies [...]
For as long as I can remember, I've ended my letters and e-mails with the encouragement "Keep the faith." I must have picked that up from my father, since he's the only person I know who signs off the same way. It might have been more lucrative for me to have picked up "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming!" instead, but I've always preferred the flexibility of the simpler phrase. Not everyone who hopes for God's grace is a Christian, after all, and we who are surely hope for more than that. We [...]
When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, he was trying to move the country to take on the moral issue of economic injustice. And, for the first time in many years, the remembrances of King's death (this one the 40th anniversary) urged the nation to do the same. Usually the nation's anniversary celebrations freeze-frame King as the nation's greatest civil rights leader whose famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 was the extent of his message. Later calls for [...]
I want to personally invite you to Washington, D.C., on June 13 through 16 to participate in Pentecost 2008: Training for Change. For more than a decade, we have held an annual mobilization around the time of Pentecost to lift up a vision of overcoming poverty to the nation. I believe that with your help we can make this a pivotal year of elevating poverty to the top of the national agenda, [...]
Friday, April 4, 2008, marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was 39-years-old, yet had already spent 15 years in a grassroots movement that radically reshaped the racial landscape in the U.S. He was not only a great preacher and civil rights leader, a Nobel Peace prize winner, and a courageous voice for peace and justice - King was also a [...]
I have become increasingly convinced that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has become the victim of identity theft. Too often we domesticate King, sanitizing his radical message and selectively choosing his words. Our nation embraces the King of Montgomery and Selma but suffers amnesia about the King of Memphis who called for a living wage, or the King of Riverside who spoke out boldly against the war in Vietnam. Dr. King would be deeply disturbed by the crass materialism and naked narcissism of [...]
No words can really communicate the essence of what we are doing here. For that, you'd need Smell-O-Vision.
In case you didn't know, Smell-O-Vision was a system developed in the 1950s that released odors during the projection of a movie so that the viewer could actually smell what was happening onscreen. Thirty years later, cult filmmaker John Waters tried the same thing with scratch [...]