The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Pope Watch: Part 2

Sometimes I wish I could channel Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan. Then I'd be able to tell you why the pope was wearing bright red leather shoes.

I stood in the press corps balcony watching the popemobile flanked by black Escalades approach the John Paul II Cultural Center for Benedict XVI's interreligious meeting with faith leaders. He entered the brightly lit atrium to the [...]

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Video: Countering Hate with Humor in the Immigration Debate

The "Haters" know how to use the Internet effectively, or at least that's what recent research by the Opportunity Agenda has shown in relation to immigration reform.

As an immigrant rights advocate, I was bothered by the recent results of a scan the New-York-based organization did of the immigration debate on the "Social Web" (i.e. social networks, YouTube, and the blogosphere). While I believe [...]

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Pope Watch: Part 1

I love the "construction phase" of liturgy and great ceremony. Waiting at the John Paul II Cultural Center for Pope Benedict to arrive for a meeting with interreligious leaders, I took a quick tour through some of the artwork. I was especially impressed by the wacky Warhol print of John Paul II. Also, through the atrium windows I could see a 25-yard-long brightly colored creation laid out on the floor by Guatemalan artists to welcome the pope and wish him peace. It appears to be made of [...]

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Immature Media or Mature Faith?

No two events in this political season stand in starker contrast than last night's ABC Democratic debate and last Sunday's CNN Compassion Forum.

Rather unbelievably, ABC anchors used 50 minutes of airtime attacking Democratic candidates on tabloid issues, including a line of questioning from George Stephanopoulos lifted from right-wing pundit Sean Hannity. Almost as an afterthought, the final questions turned toward actual issues including the economy and war. The ABC Web [...]

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What is a Justice Revival? (part 5 of 5 by Rich Nathan)

Jim Wallis, in his book The Great Awakening said,

Imagine something called Justice Revivals in the powerful tradition of revivals past, but focusing on the great moral issues of our time. Imagine linking the tradition of Billy Graham with the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr. Imagine a new generation of young people catching fire and offering their gifts, talents, and lives in a new spiritual movement for social justice. Imagine such revivals taking place in [...]

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Border-blenders and Corner-dwellers (Part 4 of 5 by Rich Nathan)

My dear friend, Ken Wilson, who pastors the Ann Arbor Vineyard, showed me a chart that I found very helpful:



Social Justice


What has happened in the last generation is that there has been border-blending among the four great movements in [...]

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Don Imus and VA Tech - A Year Later

It was only a short year ago that "shock jock" Don Imus chose to refer to the accomplished women playing in the NCAA Basketball Finals as "nappy-headed hoes," later billing the match-up for his listeners as the "jiggaboos" versus the "wannabes." Imus' disrespect came as little surprise. He had a long history of slur and slander against Blacks, Africans, Asians, Latinos, Jews, Arabs, women, homosexuals, the poor, and just about anyone he considered unlike himself. And he had been paid [...]

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Questions of Substance at the Compassion Forum

Last evening, I was privileged to be one of the religious leaders asked to participate in the Compassion Forum, sponsored by Faith in Public Life and broadcast by CNN from Messiah College. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama participated; Sen. John McCain declined.

The religious leaders asked questions of real substance, focusing on difficult and important policy choices. We are not so much interested in the personal testimonies [...]

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Bobblehead Pope On the Rails

Who says that Americans don't have a sense of humor? This video ad put out by the Washington, D.C., transit authority prompting the faithful to ride Metro when the Pope visits this week proves the point.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference was less than pleased and asked Metro to pull the ad. My guess is the Pope would have laughed-but the Bishops apparently need additional practice in exercising their authority.

Rose [...]

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Lifeboat Theology vs. Ark Theology (Part 3 of 5 by Rich Nathan)

Let me give you an illustration of the difference between the narrow focus of contemporary American evangelicalism and the big focus of the Bible.

D.L. Moody, the great 19th-century evangelist, described his calling and said that he essentially understood the world as being like an ocean liner that hit an iceberg. God had said to him, "Moody, it is your job to pull as many drowning people out of [...]

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