The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

Edwards: 'I Sin Every Day'

In the Sojourners/CNN candidate forum in June of 2007, John Edwards said, "I sin every day," in response to a question on sin and forgiveness. Some journalists thought that was a throwaway line from a politician. But as the nation shockingly heard one week ago, Edwards was speaking honestly and even confessionally. Here was a man in a good and strong marriage, known to be a wonderful father, and yet last Friday he painfully and publicly confessed to the terrible mistake of an affair with [...]

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Wedge Issues (Part 2)

[...continued from part 1]

During the summer of 2003, my cousin and his girlfriend celebrated the birth of their son Glenn Molex, III. I remember getting the call from his father and hearing the pride in his voice when he told me about the birth. My cousin and his girlfriend live in the inner city and by social definitions, they are poor. But in spite of their financial situation, when [...]

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Wedge Issues (Part 1)

As we draw closer to the candidate forum at Saddleback Church, I've had several conversations with clergy on the West Coast. Many are wondering if candidates will be asked about abortion and gay marriage. In California there is a ballot initiative on gay marriage, and I'm also hearing that this issue is on the ballot in Florida. No matter how much some people don't want to talk about it, these issues are not going away [...]

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China Bars Olympian and Darfur Activist from Attending Summer Games

Looks like Joey Cheek -- a winter Olympics medalist who co-founded the organization Team Darfur to protest the genocide incited by the regime in Khartoum -- will not be going to Beijing in support of the Team Darfur athletes about to compete in the Olympics. China, which buys Sudan's oil and often runs interference for the Khartoum regime in the U.N. Security Council, has revoked Cheek's visa and told him to stay out.

But, to paraphrase Matthew 15, it's not what goes into [...]

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Will an Apology for Slavery Lead to Real Repentance?

On July 29, 2008, history was made in the United States House of Representatives – well, kinda. Last week, the House formally apologized for slavery, Jim Crow, and for the racist social consequences that have followed. Never before has the U.S. government publicly apologized for the social institution that reduced Africans to chattel. On one hand, I was humbled, not by the apology, but by the tremendous sacrifice that led to it. To be in a moment where the U.S. House of Representatives [...]

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Another Religious Swing Vote

One of the stories I first heard on my recent visit to Australia was about what helped swing the vote last November to Kevin Rudd, the new Labor prime minister. I read some new political data by veteran pollster and researcher John Black, who is respected across Australia's political spectrum. Black reported that the pivotal swing vote to Labor this time was among evangelicals and Pentecostals, especially in [...]

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Slicing the Cake of Power in Zimbabwe

The latest development on talks between the opposition party -- the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) -- and ZANU-PF President Robert Mugabe is that they have produced a 50-page document as a way forward in power-sharing and the installation of a transitional government. The duration of the transitional government is still being debated -- the opposition wants two years and ZANU-PF wants five. The plan is to eventually dissolve the transitional government and hold fresh [...]

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A Bias Against Sunday Segregation

American churches are still segregated, and it is the way most of us—regardless of our race—would like to keep it. At least, so suggests the recent online CNN article titled, “Why Americans Prefer Their Segregated Sundays." Curtiss DeYoung, professor of Reconciliation Studies at [...]

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Prophetic Distance and the Perils of Picking a Winner

I like winning, but I've done a lot of losing in my life, especially when it comes to voting. I've got a pretty good track record of picking losers.

But recent history tells us that picking winners in presidential elections has its own dangers.

What happens if the presidential candidate you prefer wins this fall?

As a Christian and citizen, you owe the winning candidate -- whoever he is (we've only got "he's" left this time around) -- the gift of what my friend Jim [...]

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A Ragamuffin's Dream (Part 1, by Claudia Mair Burney)

Almost midnight. Dark.

I'm entangled in wrinkled sheets, slowly being strangled by an obscenely cheap pink burial cloth. The brown comforter I kicked to the floor looks as lonely as a mound of dirt. It's the color of dead leaves. Blush-colored blossoms, void of scent, skitter across its surface. [...]

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