The Common Good

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Just Jesus and an Unjust July 4: Why I Don't Celebrate Independence Day

My friends and I can be stupid. Add explosives to the equation and the idiocy quotient increases exponentially. Such was the case every 4th of July during high school. A group of about 20 of my friends and I would get together to barbecue and play with illegal fireworks. At any unsuspected moment while taking a bite out of a burger, an M-80 could be lit under your seat, a sparkler thrown at your chest like a dart, or a mortar could be shot like a bazooka, catching bushes on fire. These chaotically stupid memories simultaneously serve as some of the most fun I can recall experiencing. So for me, Independence Day equals fun.

However, there's a deeper reality to this holiday. Only about three years ago did I realize that in celebrating Independence Day, I'm also glorifying the roots on which this nation was founded: an unjust war. The "rockets red glare" and "the bombs bursting in air" remind us not of the day God liberated the colonies, but of the moment in history when our forefathers stole the rhetoric of God from authentic Christianity to justify killing fellow Christians. There's two reasons I'm convinced that celebrating Independence Day celebrates an unjust war.

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Finding the Way Out: Why It's Time to End the War in Afghanistan

The clock is ticking toward a July decision by President Obama to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, as he has promised.
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Loving Your Enemies (Even When You Don't Want To)

Sometimes when I'm bored I kind of like to fill in sound effects that I think the crowd listening to Jesus might have responded with.
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Moral Measure of a Tax Plan

In 2010, the moral measure of tax policy choice is: Does it further concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a few?
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Preparation for the Poor: Why Climate Funding Can't Wait

The effects of climate change -- coastal flooding, stronger storms, spreading vector-borne diseases like malaria, and changes in rainfall patterns -- are already taking their toll on marginalized p
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Wearing My Jesus Goggles to the Boston Tea Party

The Tea Party Express -- the traveling band of conservative speakers, entertainers, and organizers -- stops in Washington, D.C., today on its nationwide effort to "vote them out of office" in the 2010 mid-term elections. Sarah Palin, one of the most galvanizing conservatives in years, has joined the Express in an attempt to bring more mainstream conservatives into its ranks.
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This Palestinian Life: Stories of Nonviolent Resistance

Last weekend I was at a family reunion where I had been invited to show pictures from my sabbatical in the Middle East last spring.
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The Contentious Issue of 'Selective Conscientious Objection'

As I have been talking about the Truth Commis
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If the Tea Party movement were consistent, it would tackle defense spending.

On the one hand, as a new CNN poll shows, 11 percent of Americans i
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Encouraging Informed Freedom of Conscience on Questions of War

Not long ago, I blogged about my trip to Iraq with fellow God's Politics blogger Shane Claiborne and
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