The Common Good

Opportunity Missed in the U.N. Veto of the Israel Settlement's Resolution

President Barack Obama's decision to veto the February 18 U.N. Resolution calling Israel to account for its illegal occupation of Palestine in violation of the Geneva Convention caused consternation around the world. Israel is once again getting a pass in its expansion of the ubiquitous settlements. This caused enormous disappointment in post-apartheid South Africa.

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Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

Every year when my wife and I come to Durban, South Africa, we are stunned again not only by the beauty of the place and the resilience of its many tribal cultures but the "miracle" that ended centuries of oppression through, as Nelson Mandela modeled, "the long walk to freedom." It is well known here and around the world that the liberation from cruel apartheid freed all people in the Rainbow Nation who continue to move hopefully toward the promise and blessings of a vibrant multi-racial democratic society.

One of the greatest legacies for humankind was that, in spite of years of forced removals and ethnic cleansing under harsh white minority rule, persistent bridge-building and Gandhi-like nonviolent mass action brought a growing measure of cross-cultural understanding and trust across all lines of division. It was in keeping with the biblical reality that we "do not put our trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save" (Psalm 146:3), but in the Spirit's work in God's faithful people. In playright Althol Fugard's words, this is "practicing the central transaction of the universe

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