The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Poverty and Personal Responsibility (Part 2)

[ ...continued from part one]

So how do we help people who have been hurt so much psychologically and emotionally that they don't believe in themselves and don't believe they deserve better? How do we help children who have never heard a parent say, "I love you, you are special, talented, and will do great things one day"? Or those who watched their parents harm themselves through substance [...]

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Poverty and Personal Responsibility (Part 1, by Romal Tune)

During this election cycle, we have heard candidates talk about ways in which we can work to end poverty. John Edwards has a new initiative to cut poverty in half in 10 years. These and other initiatives are certainly admirable ideas and much-needed programs that could help millions of men, women, and children.

In additions to programs and needed policy changes from our elected officials, we are also hearing about personal responsibility. And yes, inasmuch as [...]

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Tina Beattie on The New Atheists, Part 2: Faith and Reason Are Not Enemies (interview by Becky Garrison)

The New Atheists: The Twilight of Reason and the War on ReligionFollowing is a continuation of Becky Garrison's e-mail exchange with Tina Beattie, author of

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The Christians of North Korea

North Korean childrenMy great-grandfather was one of the first Christians in a village near Pyongyang. God's grace was poured over his entire family, but they experienced intense persecution because of their faith. As a result, he "escaped" one night with his entire family from what is now known as North [...]

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Band-Aids or Cures?

The prophet Isaiah says that the Lord will be a stumbling block for many, meaning that the majority of us will have difficulties living the way we ought to. Working in the field of social justice only seems to add another dimension to that difficulty. Poverty, economic inequality, and eradicating racism, sexism, and the like are all issues that "progressive Christians" care about, but how much do we really say about how things got this way?

From my experience, the progressive [...]

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A Crash Course in Jesus Studies

Summer Sundays with Phyllis Tickle

JesusA Sunday or two ago, I made mention of -- more to the truth, wrote a whole

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Another Look at The New Yorker's Obama Cartoon

To presume is human, to reconsider sublime. At least that's what I'm beginning to believe as a father of three. Fatherhood asks one to do a great deal with often incomplete, misleading, and sometimes outright false information -- from arbitrating disputes to meting out appropriate consequences to picking cereal. I am loathe to admit the number of times I've rushed to judgment or totally misunderstood something as a dad. Sometimes the only thing that spares me from acting on dubious [...]

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Voting is Never Uncritical, Unqualified, nor Unconditional

I've been blogging lately about faith, politics, and voting. In a recent post, I reflected that this election season will require us to have thousands of conversations, millions even -- around dinner tables, sitting at the beach, during hikes and boat rides, online, in church fellowship halls, and parking lots -- about truly important issues for us as Americans and as Christians. We'll need to talk [...]

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Making Sense of Zimbabwe's Violence

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows (Luke 12:6-7).

He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight (Psalm 72:14).

My friends and I were discussing the ongoing violence in Zimbabwe -- it [...]

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To Vote or Not to Vote

Some folks I've talked to are not going to vote in the 2008 elections. Some are disillusioned. Some don't like either candidate enough to vote. For some, not voting is an act of protest against the whole system, which they believe is hopelessly corrupt. Some believe that their citizenship in God's kingdom means they shouldn't become involved in "earthly" citizenship.

While I respect my friends who aren't going to vote -- especially those who have prayerfully thought the decision [...]

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