The Common Good

God's Politics

She Does Not Represent Me (But CJ Does)

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do I want to be CJ Cregg? She is confident, educated and intelligent. She is not afraid to speak her mind and not afraid of conflict that may come her way. But in all of this she is respectful and elegant. And in turn she is esteemed and one could even say feared in some situations.

Don’t cross her or you’ll get “sucker punched” – not in any literal physical sense, but with her words, intellect, wit and determination. But she is also compassionate; she has such a soft core. She makes the president pardon two turkeys cause she couldn’t bare to kill one of them.

The C.J. Cregg’s are the models that we need in television and films. We should all be running out buying pantsuits, reading the New York Times and getting a political science degree.

Women don’t need to overcompensate for historical oppression and abuse by becoming those very things ourselves. We need to compensate for those things by becoming the beauty we want to see in the world.

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The Morning News: Thursday November 17, 2011

As Injured Vets Return Home, Churches Reach Out. Occupy Wall Street Gears Up For The Big Day. Faith Overtones In Occupy Protests But Leaders Wary. OpEd: How The First Amendment Got Hijacked. Religious Groups Offer Help To Evicted Protesters. OpEd: What Happens When A Seminary Is Occupied? Religious Voices Loud And Clear At Keystone XL Protests. Iowa Scientists Ask Candidates To Acknowledge Climate Change. And Below The Line: Portraits Of American Poverty.

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New Poll: Majority of White Evangelicals Oppose Cutting Federal Programs that help the Poor

A new poll released this morning by Public Religion Research Institute shows the American public has clear ideas about what steps political leaders should take to reduce the federal deficit.

The poll shows that a majority of white evangelicals are opposed to cutting federal anti-poverty programs for the poor and nearly three-quarters of white evangelicals oppose cutting funding for religious organizations that help the poor.

The poll, based on a survey of 1,002 American adults performed November 10 -14, also shows a nation divided both by political affiliation and generation when it comes to attitudes towards Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party.

The survey found that nearly 7-in-10 (68 percent) of Americans say that in order to reduce the deficit, it’s fair to ask wealthier Americans to pay a greater percentage in taxes than the middle class or those less well off.

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A Church Sanctuary for the Occupy Movement

It’s time to invite the Occupy Movement to church!

And Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion. Have some of the young protesters — the “99ers” as they’re becoming known — from this rapidly growing movement over for a big holiday dinner!

Our faith communities and organizations should swing their doors wide and greet the Occupiers with open arms, offering them a feast to say “thank you” for having the courage to raise the very religious and biblical issue of growing inequality in our society.

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The Top 10 Stories of November 17, 2011

Quote of the day.
“Given all the concern about childhood obesity, Congress should be helping schools serve healthier foods, not hurting that effort.”  Margo Wootan, a director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, on Congress overturning a USDA effort to limit the starchy vegetables and tomato paste served in school lunches, allowing school cafeterias to continue offering pizza and french fries.
(Washington Post)

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Voices from the Human Circles of Protection: Stefan Fritz in Chicago

Stefan Fritz, a second-year seminary student at North Park Theological Seminary, speaks to Covenant Media Services on November 16, 2011 about North Park University Justice League discussing their partnership with the Sojourners Circle of Protection campaign.

"The time has come to put actions to our prayers, our values and act our morals," Fritz said. "And it's time for us to call upon our political leaders to act justly....We will fight together to protect these social programs that our country needs so desperately."

Watch video of Fritz's interview about today's Human Circle of Protection action in Chicago inside.

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Human Circles of Protection: Jim Wallis Visits the Chicago Circle at North Park University

Sojourners' CEO Jim Wallis visited Chicago's North Park University today to march with students, faculty, and staff to form a “Human Circle of Protection” at the North Park Friendship Center. Jim shared his thoughts with Covenant Media Services after the march.

"We are saying, 'God is watching how you decide to cut a deficit,'" Wallis said." A deficit is a moral issue. But how we cut it — what we do, who suffers, who bears the pain of it — is a moral issue too."

Watch video of Jim's intervirew with Covenant Media inside.

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The Jesuit Jester

For years, I've liked to call the Rev. Jim Martin, author of the new book Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life, "my favorite Jesuit."

I'm certainly not alone in my fondness for Martin and his wry spirituality.

Stephen Colbert is so enamored of the exceptionally clever cleric's wit and wisdom that he made Martin the official chaplain of the Colbert Nation. (Click HERE to see some of Father Jim's past appearances on "The Colbert Report.")

Martin, culture editor of America magazine and a prolific writer whose previous books include My Life With the Saints, A Jesuit Off-Broadway and last year's The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life, has an uncommon gift for making faith — and even religion — both accessible,  genuinely hip and if not fun, exactly, at least enjoyable.

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Colbert on OWS Evictions: "Linking Arms is a Dangerous Act of Aggression."

"The founders never intended indefinite free speech. They assumed after two weeks any protest would be wiped out by small pox.” — Stephen Colbert

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The Latest News on Occupy Wall Street: Wednesday November 16, 2011

The latest news on the Occupy Wall Street movement this morning includes: Occupy Wall Street camps are today's Hoovervilles. At Zuccotti Park, police protect the 1 percent. The New OWS: Reset button or game over? Harsh NYPD action against OWS might energize the movement. Alec Baldwin on "What Occupy Wall Street Has Taught Me." Olbermann condemns Bloomberg. President Obama says each city must decide for itself how to handle OWS protests. Occupy Wall Street and the return of law and order politics. The Straw Man cometh to Zuccotti Park. Militarizing police forces from Oakland to NYC. And more.

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