The Common Good

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post Press Items
Rarely do I leave a cinema and feel the urge to tell everyone I know to run out and see the film I've just watched. But that is precisely how I felt after a recent screening of "The Mighty Macs," an outstanding new independent film with a subtle yet powerful spiritual message that opened in theaters nationwide last week.
My son Jack was born just days before the war in Iraq began. So, for these last eight and a half years, it's been very easy for me to remember how long this horrible conflict has been going on. Finally, as President Obama has announced, this American war will soon be over, with most of the 44,000 American troops still in Iraq coming home in time to be with their families for Christmas.
While, Bishop Jackson and the Rev. Wallis don't directly engage with each other in the article, it seems that Bishop Jackson took offense at what Wallis said.
In an international meeting last week with economists, business executives, non-profit organizational leaders, and theologians, my colleague Stewart Wallis of the New Economics Institute succinctly summed up the problems of the current global economy: it's unfair, unsustainable, unstable, and is making many people unhappy. These issues of the "un-economy" were at the heart of our discussions at the World Economic Forum, and the Occupy Wall Street encampment I just visited in New York City.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is a month old. Now what? On Sunday afternoon, I stood in Zuccotti Park with several thousand other folks trying to take in the veritable circus that is the Occupation site sandwiched between Wall Street and Trinity Episcopal Church.
You have awakened the sleeping giant, too long dormant, but ever present, deep in the American democratic spirit. You have given voice and space to the unspoken feelings of countless others about something that has gone terribly wrong in our society. And you have sparked a flame from the embers of both frustration and hope that have been building, steadily, in the hearts of so many of us for quite some time.
On the same day as the NYC book launch of "Left, Right and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics," I visited Zuccotti Park with Jim Wallis and Tim King. We interviewed several participants in the #OccupyWallStreet encampment.
Here are a few things I do know about the Occupy Wall Street protesters: When they stand with the poor, they stand with Jesus. When they stand with the hungry, they stand with Jesus. When they stand for those without a job or a home, they stand with Jesus. When they are peaceful, non-violent, and love their neighbors (even the ones they don't agree with and who don't agree with them), they are walking as Jesus walked. When they talk about holding banks and corporations accountable, they sound like Jesus and the biblical prophets before him who all spoke about holding the wealthy and powerful accountable. Pray for those out on the streets. Think of ways that you or your church can be Jesus to them.
Ten years. Thousands of lives. Billions of dollars. This Friday, October 7, 2011, marks 10 years since the United States invaded Afghanistan in the name of the "War on Terror." Sadly, this summer President Obama announced he'll continue our military presence in the country until 2014, and Congress has agreed to follow his lead.
Here we go again. Presidential elections are coming and the role of "the evangelicals" is predictably becoming a hot political story. Ironically, voices on both the right and the left want to describe most or all evangelicals as zealous members of the ultra-conservative political base.