The Common Good
Pope Francis in October. giulio napolitano /

Pope Francis' frank imagery prompted a flurry of playfully creative headlines that ranged from mocking to woeful. And the byproduct? The continued misinformation on what Catholics currently practice and what the Catholic Church actually teaches.

Puzzle of the globe with pieces missing. Image courtesy Maxx-Studio/shutterstock

Pope Francis is calling on world leaders, and all Catholics and people of good will, to act on global warming by releasing a historic papal encyclical on the matter this summer.

Resistance might not be the word that comes to mind in response to human trafficking. Most often people speak of “combatting” or “fighting” human trafficking. But when we consider human trafficking as social sin, one in which ordinary persons are complicit and connected, then resistance emerges as an appropriate moral response.

Hearts together making a rainbow. Image courtesy Yulia Grigoryeva/shutterstock.c

That anyone, most especially evangelicals, questions God’s — and by extension, the Christian community's — love and friendship for and with my Christ-professed gay and lesbian sisters and brothers breaks my heart. Christ-like friendship is the heart of the gospel; the ultimate risk belongs to Christ alone.

Two working oil pumps are silhouetted against the sky. Photo via Kokhanchikov /

I have started the process of divesting my retirement fund and other savings from fossil fuel companies. Will it make a “Big Oil” company close its doors? No, but it is an opportunity for me to live out my values and witness to my deepest beliefs. This is not just a symbolic act but a step toward living with integrity as a Christian.

Phil Haslanger in the solitary confinement cell. Photo courtesy Phil Haslanger

It’s not that I am regularly in prison or that I had behaved so badly. I was simply in a mock solitary cell located in the sanctuary of a church. I was only there for an hour. I knew I would be getting out. But that hour did offer a glimpse into the world of how solitary confinement is used – and abused – in our nation’s prisons.

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On The Blog

  • In 2010, the book, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, was released. At the time, I believe I gave this news about 0.3 percent of my attention, and 0.1 percent was spent lamenting terrible theology prevalent in the popular Christian book market. It came as no surprise when last week The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven retracted his story.
  • As long as we LGBTQ Christians are shoved into the shadows of this faith community, no evangelical parent with a closeted child is going to know of another way until it’s too late to take it. No LGBTQ child is going to have hope that there is place they belong. As long as we are unseen, families will continue to fall apart. Beautiful lives will continue to disappear.
  • It is not primarily American or European citizens who are losing their lives and livelihoods in the global terror epidemic.
  • The gospel message of Jesus is about love. God is love, and God wants us to reflect this reality to the world around us. But while Christians have been taught this simple reality for years, it’s easy to complicate the love of God. Here are five common ways we continually mess it up.
  • I don't think the world needs more armchair advocates … especially when our arguing or defending leads to the fracture of real-life relationships. I’m not saying we all need to passively waltz around the world's issues. No, I’m proposing we actively engage them — in two ways.
  • Whether it is described in the vocabulary of religion or more "secular" terms, violence — and in the case of torture, shockingly inhumane violence — is described as a necessary means for bringing about the good. This logic is at the heart of all religious violence, and it is a view that is alive and well today.

In The Magazine

Featured Blog Series

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness month. This series explores the nuances of the problem and features first-hand stories from survivors.