The Common Good

Blog Posts By God's Politics Editor

Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 3 days ago
"There is no time left for anything but to make peace work a dimension of our every waking activity." - Elise Boulding Elise Boulding + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 3 days ago
A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’ - Mark 3:32-35 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 3 days ago
God, may we strive to live an authentic life of faith, accepting God's loving invitation to relationship. May God the Holy Spirit grant us wisdom and direction through the example of faithful people who live God's gift of life to the fullest. We honor the could of witness that surround your heavenly throne. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 4 days ago
American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at Manhattan’s Dalton School, the documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class, and opportunity. American Promise is an Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 4 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 4 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 4 days ago
 Lord, hear our prayer for the Church. May our lives be faithful to the new covenant God has established for us through God's own Son, who calls us by name to share in his mission of the good news. Send us your Spirit to help make us faithful to the covenant as we follow the way of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 5 days ago
The Criminal Justice Degree Hub released an infographic on mass incarceration in the U.S. titled "Locked Up In America." According to the extensive graphic, the U.S. has 5 percent of the world's population and 25 percent of the world's prisoners.Check out the graphic here. 
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 5 days ago
 "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr. + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 5 days ago
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest. - Psalm 22:1-2 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 5 days ago
Bring us to repentance, Lord. We pray for the Church, that we may find healing when we fall short of acting as the body of Christ. We pray for true spiritual conversion in our hearts, that the Spirit of God may guide us to change our selfish ways and turn more fully toward God. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 6 days ago
While it's not uncommon to hear the terms "Tea Party" and "libertarian" uttered in the same descriptor, a new survey shows the gap between the two movements. According to the new American Values Survey, an annual release from the Public Religion Research Institute, a full 61 percent of libertarians do not consider themselves part of the Tea Party.“While conventional wisdom has assumed that the Tea Party movement is fueled by libertarian convictions, most libertarians see themselves as outside of the Tea Party movement. Notably, libertarians are also half as likely as those who identify with the Tea Party movement to see themselves as part of the older Christian right movement," said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI, in a news release.In fact, only one in five libertarians claim affiliation with the religious right or conservative Christianity — a claim that more than half of Tea Party adherents would make.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 6 days ago
"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands." - Robert M. Persig Robert M. Persig + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 6 days ago
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions. Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple. - Psalm 65:3-4 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 38 weeks 6 days ago
God, we keep inventing ourselves and our underneath selves turn out to be less than adequate and we wish we were other than we are. We juggle your good purposes and our hidden yearnings and try to serve two masters, try to live two narratives, try to live two dreams, and we are weary. Gives us patience and stead fastness as we process the ragged edges of our lives. Amen. -Adapted from Prayers for a Priviledged People by Walter Brueggemann
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 17 hours ago
Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perserveance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. - Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 17 hours ago
For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from [God]. [God] alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. - Psalm 62:5-6 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 17 hours ago
Set our hears aflame, Lord! We pray for the fractured body of Christ, may the Spirit of God continue to inspire us to reach unity. May the Christian life we share together find many authentic forms of expression in our worship, teach, fellowship, service, and ministries.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 3 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 3 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 3 days ago
God in heaven, and empower us through the Spirit to become heralds of your reign to those aroudn us. We pray for openness to the movement of the Spirit in our lives, may we readily embody the fruits of the Spirit in our relationships. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 3 days ago
1. All of Christendom Responds to Mark Driscoll's Jesus Was Not a 'Pansy' Remarks But this one in particular, from Eternity Bible College's blog, comes from a writer who views himself as generally likeminded to Driscoll. And yet he states,"Mark’s assumption that pacifists are pansies is historically naïve, theologically horrendous, and shows that Mark’s been more influenced by the worldview of those who put Jesus on the cross rather than the One who hung on it."2. Women Gain as Gender Gap 'Narrows' According to a World Economic Forum report, the gap between men and women has decreased in most places around the world, taking into account political participation, economic equality, and rights to health and education. Check out which countries made the top 20, and which are sadly lagging behind … like … 3. Saudi Police Warn of Crackdown on 'Day of Female Driving' Protest Saturday has been organized as the 'Day of Female Driving' in Saudi Arabia. While women were given the right to vote in 2011, they still are subject to a driving ban in the kingdom. 4. NSA Monitored Calls of 35 World Leaders After U.S. Official Handed Over Contacts The Guardian reports on the latest round of Edward Snowden leaks that reveal the National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 unnamed world leaders. This comes on the heels of allegations from Der Speigel that the U.S. monitored phone calls of German chancellor Angela Merkel — allegations that the White House has denied.5. For When You Marry Wrong Grace at A Deeper Story brings us the gut-wrenching truth of a marriage based on love and good intentions that devolves through no one's fault, and examines what to do with that reality in a Christian context. "What, for example, does God suggest for two people with the personality of freight trains heading right for one another with ALL the world’s stubborn pride embodied in these two married souls?"6. WATCH: 'American Jesus' Trailer Can Christianity be rescued from Christians? That's the question posed in the trailer for an upcoming film exploring the various facets of American Christianity, and how our culture shapes how faith in Christ is viewed. 7. Twitter, Women, and Power As Twitter preps to go public, Nick Kristof at The New York Times points out the disappointing fact that their board consists of seven white men, and interestingly, "Research suggests that what matters is having a critical mass of about 30 percent women. In Twitter’s case, if it added three women, its board would still have as many men named Peter as it had women."8. The American Church's Absence of Lament Writing for a Sojourners blog series on the conversation of race in America, Soong-Chan Rah examines the American church's need for, and shrinking away from, true lament — lament for past wrongs, and the ones we continue to inflict whether intentionally or through our own apathy.9. 'Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus' YouTube Sensation Releases New Book (READ EXCERPT) Jefferson Bethke became a YouTube celebrity with his 2012 spoken-word video 'Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.' MSNBC's Morning Joe welcomed the 23-year-old this morning and released an excerpt of the book, Jesus>Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough. In it, Bethke says, "We’ve lost the real Jesus — or at least exchanged him for a newer, safer, sanitized, ineffectual one. We’ve created a Christian subculture that comes with its own set of customs, rules, rituals, paradigms, and products that are nowhere near the rugged, revolutionary faith of biblical Christianity. In our subculture Jesus would have never been crucified — he’s too nice."10. The Bishop of Bling A $20,000 bathtub and heated roof on a private chapel are just a couple of the expenses that earned a German Catholic priest the moniker "Bishop of Bling." He's now been suspended by Pope Francis. Will other spend-happy clergy take note?
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 4 days ago
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." - Harriet Tubman Harriet Tubman + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 4 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 4 days ago
The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; [God] will rejoice over you with gladness, [God] will renew you in [God's] love; [God] will exult over you with loud singing - Zephaniah 3:17 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 4 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 4 days ago
God whose grace touches us in our unworthiness, you come near and speak the healing word. Reveal to us this day a sign of your glory, that we might listen to your voice and walk in your ways. Amen. -Adapted from Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer book
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 4 days ago
God whose grace touches us in our unworthiness, you come near and speak the healing word. Reveal to us this day a sign of your glory, that we might listen to your voice and walk in your ways. Amen. -Adapted from Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer book
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 5 days ago
Sojourners supports the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). NRCAT recently released five Youtube videos to counter the claims found in pop-culture that torture is acceptable. Check out this video of people of faith speaking to core faith values that underlie their anti-torture work,, which features Sojourners' Lisa Sharon Harper.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 5 days ago
"We can say 'Peace on Earth.' We can sing about it, preach about it or pray about it, but if we have not internalized the mythology to make it happen inside us, then it will not be." - Betty Shabazz Betty Shabazz + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 5 days ago
You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. - Psalm 65:9-10 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 5 days ago
God of justice, we bring our prayers to you as acts of love for you and for our neighbors. You prepare a banquet for all peoples. We pray for the world, for peacemakers, and for all who serve in the name of Christ. -Adapted from Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer book
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 6 days ago
"If you are not yet able to love yourself, you will not be able to love your enemy. But when you are able to love yourself, you can love anyone. When you do this, you will see that your so called enemy is not more or less than a human being who is suffering." - Thich Nhat Hanh Thich Nhat Hanh + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 6 days ago
Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. You have sown much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and you that earn wages earn wages to put them into a bag with holes. - Haggai 1:5-6 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 39 weeks 6 days ago
Lord, we pray that the Holy Spirit inspires us to become signs of the reign of God, anticipating God's heavenly glory through the love, compassion, kindness, truth, goodness, and joy we share with one another. May our relationships with friends, neighbors, and enemies be filled with those signs of the reign of God. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 17 hours ago
 “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” - Maya Angelou Maya Angelou + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 17 hours ago
When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that “they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.” ’ - Mark 4:10-12 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 17 hours ago
May God's Spirit guide us to open our hearts wide to the grace of God surrounding us in the midst of our daily life. We pray for all who suffer separation from their loved ones as the carry out their work or studies, may God's Spirit comfort them and reassure them, empowering them to complete their duties. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 3 days ago
1. WATCH: Shrinking Women - Lily Myers There's a reason this bit of slam poetry has been making the rounds on Facebook over the past couple of days. It calls out the unsung truths of womanhood — truths, like the poet describing her mother as, "a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled, deciding how many bites is too many, how much space she deserves to occupy." Powerful words. 2. This Map Shows Where the World's 30 Million Slaves Live. There Are 60,000 in the U.S. Based on a report from the Walk Free Foundation, The Washington Post has mapped out the concentrations of people living in real slavery across the world, in situations like forced prostitution, child soldiers, and more. The highest rate is Mauritania, but the numbers that exist in the places we live should astound you.3. The Asian-American Awakening: That Moment When You Realize You're Not White A great read: "I believe that as Americans, we’re scared to accept difference, even in this day and age. We tell ourselves that we are more tolerant and accepting, looking to how far we have come, but in reality, we’re currently stuck in a rut." 4. My Harassers Photographer Hannah Price takes shots of the men who catcall her on the streets of Philadelphia. The results are stunning. Check out her images and an accompanying interview with The Morning News. 5. Stephen Colbert Roasts the Pope CNN Belief Blog brings us the highlights of Stephen Colbert's appearance at the Al Smith Dinner. "Being Catholic is like being in the Admiral's Club of Christianity: Membership has its privileges," Colbert joked. "But if even atheists can be redeemed, what's next, Lutherans?  It's madness."6. Of Wedding Vows and Sinners Prayers If you've ever been to an evangelical youth camp — or said the sinner's prayer on multiple occasions just to make sure it stuck — you should read this. "When we stand before the Lord someday I don’t think he’s going to ask us if we’ve said the sinner’s prayer. But he might ask us what he asked Peter that day by the seashore, the kind of thing people have been asking each other for centuries before taking the plunge of marriage: 'Do you love me?'"7. WATCH: Tattooed Jesus: Blasphemous or Powerful Witness? Billboards all over Lubbock, Texas display images of a tattooed Jesus — emblematic of his taking up our sins. The illustrations are causing mixed reactions. What do you think?8. Why I Don't Want a Progressive or Conservative Church Sound about right? "Church is supposed to be family. It is not supposed to be progressive, moderate, conservative, or whatever label you would like. Church is a word that literally means community, and communities are diverse." 9. How Feeling Each Other's Pain Changes Everything "May our expanded selves and pierced souls energize and direct our actions." 12 Years a Slave comes out in limited release today, and in her piece, Christena Cleveland builds on the theme of understanding and learning to love the other by first learning their stories. Read the whole series on the film and Sojourners' contributors' reactions HERE.10. Study: Almost Half of Public School Students Are Now Low-Income Take a look at these startling maps, courtesy of The Atlantic Cities. "[T]he worst thing about these numbers may be that they're a glimpse of the future. … students from low-income families tend to end up parents of low-income families. And on it goes." Sojourners Job Opening Sojourners is seeking a Director of Communications in its Washington, D.C. office. Check out the job description at the link above, and share with others!
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 4 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 4 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 4 days ago
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 5 days ago
People around the country have taken notice of the #FaithfulFilibuster and want to lend their voices. From Pastor Sarah Trone Garriot in Des Moines, Iowa: "Since we couldn't be in Washington to join you, a few of us pastors got together and visited our Iowa Representative's office." After reading through select Bible verses, the group read the following statement: To the Honorable Representative Tom Latham:We believe that the recent government shutdown is not just a failure of the process of governance.  This shutdown is born of the failure to follow Jesus’ commandment to “love our neighbor.” (Luke 10:25-37)  We have witnessed hard hearts as our elected representatives squander their time and energy to attack one another and create failure.We have witnessed our elected representatives acting without mercy when it comes the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, and the stranger.As Americans, we are at our best when we come together to work for the common good.  This shutdown, and the divisive behavior that gave birth to it, is an insult to our nation.  We can do better.[contined at the jump]
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 5 days ago
 "We must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] or perish together as fools." - Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr. + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 5 days ago
Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are under the farthest skies, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place at which I have chosen to establish my name.” - Nehemiah 1:8-9 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 5 days ago
All-knowing God, your Son Jesus Christ reminds us that nothing escapes you. You know our thoughts and our hearts better than we know ourselves. Send us your Holy Spirit to preserve us from useless duplicity and hypocrisy, guiding us toward the perfect integrity your Son showed us. May we welcome people in our lives who are working to build the kingdom of God. Amen.
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 6 days ago
"It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. ... We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future that is not our own." Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, Mich. + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail[Editors note: Quote was previously misattributed to Archbishop Oscar Romero]
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 6 days ago
For you deliver a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down. It is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. - Psalm 18:27-28 + Sign up to receive our social justice verse of the day via e-mail
Posted by God's Politics Editor 40 weeks 6 days ago
 Holy God, we bring our prayers to you as acts of love for you and for our neighbors. Your love knows no partiality. We pray for our community and for our neighbors. You are the Lord of all you have made. We pray for the world, that your reign may come and your will be done on earth. Amen. -Adapted from Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer book
Posted by God's Politics Editor 41 weeks 17 hours ago
"May nothing wind you up, nothing affright you; everything comes and goes.  God, still, just there; through patience all will be achieved. If you have God, you lack nothing: God alone will do." - Teresa of Avila + Sign up to receive our quote of the day via e-mail