The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

A Homeless Man and A Candy Cane
Originally Posted: 11/25/2014 - 12:11pm | Type: Blog

James was playing cards with several other nursing home residents in a room that doubles as their dining area. The “stakes” for their game was a stash of candy from a Christmas party earlier in the day. He saw ...

November Sings the Blues
Originally Posted: 11/25/2014 - 3:08pm | Type: Blog

Late November is Vitamin D season. The dregs of the year threaten to swamp the spirit, clinging to each rough edge of the soul, and frequent shots of sunshine and warm coziness are needed just to keep the deep ...

It's Time Again: Depression and the Holidays
Originally Posted: 11/24/2014 - 10:35am | Type: Blog

. We don’t want anybody to say, “You’ll get over it,” or “Other people have many more reasons to be depressed than you.” So on top of feeling depressed, we feel guilty about being depressed. The prophet Isaia ...

What Families Want — And How the Church Can Help
Originally Posted: 11/21/2014 - 11:43am | Type: Blog

Churches have spent millions attempting to cater to the needs of the young families in their communities. "Come here! Bring your kids! We have a replica-sized Noah's Ark with real, live animals — a ...

Ten Commandments for Atheists: A Guide for Nonbelievers Who Want to Explore Their Values
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 4:20pm | Type: Blog

“There are lots of books out there about why you should not believe in God,” Bayer said. “But there aren’t any about what do secular people believe in. I think that’s the question John and I felt hadn’t been a ...

Cardinal O’Malley Urges Church to Embrace Hierarchical Accountability
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 3:48pm | Type: Blog

Following up on remarks to “60 Minutes” about the clergy sex abuse crisis and other controversial topics, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has stressed that the Catholic Church needs a system to hold bishops acco ...

Pope Francis Laments 'Market Priorities' in Struggle Against Hunger
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 3:36pm | Type: Blog

“It is also painful to see that the struggle against hunger and malnutrition is hindered by ‘market priorities,’” the pope said. Market speculation and pursuit of profits are hin ...

Brittany Maynard Advocates from the Grave
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 10:38am | Type: Blog

In the video, Maynard concludes: “If there’s one message to come away from everything that I’ve been through, it is no matter what life kind of presents you with, is never be afraid to use your own voice. And ...

Five Reasons Why We Want to Believe Jesus Was Married
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 4:21pm | Type: Blog

And so it continues today, as modern Christians see Jesus as a successful businessman, a proto-Marxist, a political zealot, a vegetarian, or maybe a gay man. Or, more commonly, married with children — an Ozzie ...

Faith Leaders Join Consumer Advocates to Push for Lower Payday Loan Rates
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 10:28am | Type: Blog

Dozens of faith leaders and consumer advocates are pressing Congress to create a national interest rate cap for payday lenders instead of the exorbitant three-digit rates currently charged to people in several ...

An Advent-Shaped Faith
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 10:49am | Type: Blog

The high liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent have always held a special place in my heart because of their emphasis on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. But Advent has special significance because ...

Pope Francis' Visit to Philadelphia Won't Focus on Hot-Button Sex Issues
Originally Posted: 11/19/2014 - 1:40pm | Type: Blog

Reflecting the change in emphasis under Pope Francis that was evident at the recent Vatican Synod on the Family, the four-day event in Philadelphia will look at poverty and the family, marital intimacy, raisin ...

Can Commerce and Religion Go Their Separate Ways This Christmas?
Originally Posted: 11/19/2014 - 11:58am | Type: Blog

Maybe it’s good that commerce has declared its independence from religion and decorum. That clears the way for faith to have its parallel season — not in competition with commerce, but as the deeper reality th ...

Richard Dawkins Stands by Offensive Remarks
Originally Posted: 11/19/2014 - 9:46am | Type: Blog

As the world’s most famous atheist, Richard Dawkins is no stranger to criticism from religious believers. As the world’s most famous atheist, Richard Dawkins is no stranger to cr ...

Why Are Religious Survey Results So Confusing?
Originally Posted: 11/18/2014 - 2:46pm | Type: Blog

Reading religion surveys can seem like confronting the Tower of Babel: stacked questions, confusing terms, unscientific methodology. It gets even crazier when results are contradictory. How does that happen? ...

Sexual Revolution Is Destroying Families, Russell Moore Tells Vatican Conference
Originally Posted: 11/18/2014 - 3:20pm | Type: Blog

Prominent U.S. evangelicals Russell Moore and Rick Warren blasted the sexual revolution at a Vatican conference Nov. 18 and said it is destroying the institution of marriage. Prom ...

5 Simple Living Tips for Millennial Christians
Originally Posted: 11/18/2014 - 11:16am | Type: Blog

It’s been said that one of the greatest tricks devil ever played was convincing most of the world he doesn’t exist. His greatest encore might be wrapping up vice in the midst of a big ball of virtue and lettin ...

Sojo Stories: OVERRATED
Originally Posted: 11/26/2014 - 4:28pm | Type: Blog

When justice and changemaking are buzzwords, how do we embrace the long challenge of bettering the world while remaining humble about our place in it? Eugene Cho is overrated. ...

Church of England Formally Approves Women Bishops
Originally Posted: 11/17/2014 - 3:19pm | Type: Blog

Twenty years after women were ordained as priests, the Church of England is set to appoint its first woman bishop by year’s end or at the start of 2015. Twenty years after women w ...

The Underside of Thanksgiving
Originally Posted: 11/17/2014 - 10:29am | Type: Blog

So this Thanksgiving, let us not simply offer prayers from our dinner tables that ask Jesus to go visit the poor. After all, Jesus said in Matthew 25, that he is already with the poor. The question is, are w ...

A New Hymn-Prayer for Donor Sabbath
Originally Posted: 11/14/2014 - 1:53pm | Type: Blog

Local churches that support Sojourners and/or promoting organ donation have permission for free use of this hymn. From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services : ...

In Wake of Ferguson, a Bid to Make St. Louis a More ‘Compassionate’ City
Originally Posted: 11/14/2014 - 9:23am | Type: Blog

“We see this as a vital step to help heal the unconscious and conscious racism that infects this country,” Streeter said. “Laws do not change hearts and minds. We see this as having a direct social impact.” ...

A Christian Should Lead Christians
Originally Posted: 11/13/2014 - 4:06pm | Type: Blog

Not surprisingly, the situation has become one of the latest talking points for Christians invested in the grievance industrial complex. The difference between this and much of the other ax-grinding is that in ...

Catholic Church Losing Ground in Latin America
Originally Posted: 11/13/2014 - 1:14pm | Type: Blog

In just one generation, Latin America has seen the number of people who identify themselves as Catholic plummet, with more people becoming Protestant or dropping religion altogether, a new report shows. ...

Should Pope Francis Visit Turkey’s Extravagant Presidential Palace?
Originally Posted: 11/12/2014 - 5:09pm | Type: Blog

Pope Francis’ penchant for austerity and humility will face a diplomatic challenge when he visits Turkey’s new ostentatious presidential palace on his first visit to the country later this month. ...

Activists Intent on Building Third Jewish Temple Spark Tensions at Holy Site
Originally Posted: 11/12/2014 - 4:52pm | Type: Blog

The Temple Mount – Haram al-Sharif to Muslims – in Jerusalem is at the center of an intense debate over messianic religious Zionism in Israeli politics and society, and what it means for the future of the peac ...

3 Ways 'All Are Welcome' Is Hurting the Church
Originally Posted: 11/11/2014 - 3:59pm | Type: Blog

Saying “All Are Welcome” may reflect a genuine, well-meaning desire to reflect inclusivity. But in reality, this slogan seems to have lost its meaning. Here's why I've found it's hurting the chu ...

Gay Debate Challenges Traditional Definitions of ‘Evangelical’
Originally Posted: 11/12/2014 - 8:54am | Type: Blog

Growing cultural acceptance of homosexuality is leading many Christians to reconsider their historic opposition. As intractable as the debate itself can be, American evangelicals nonetheless are experiencing l ...

U.S. Catholic Bishops Grapple with Pope Francis’ Priorities
Originally Posted: 11/11/2014 - 9:27am | Type: Blog

With a controversial Vatican summit on family life just concluded and a papal visit to the U.S. expected in less than a year, the nation’s Catholic bishops on Nov. 10 began taking steps to adapt their agenda t ...

Will Cardinal Raymond Burke's Demotion Enhance His Opposition to Pope Francis?
Originally Posted: 11/10/2014 - 1:35pm | Type: Blog

Francis has effectively exiled one of his loudest critics, but Burke’s supporters – and his opponents – warn that his position at the Catholic charity may actually give him more freedom to exercise greater inf ...

Resisting a Culture of Fear
Originally Posted: 11/10/2014 - 9:59am | Type: Blog

As we worry about some fantastical fear, the reality of a yawning gap between the wealthy and the poor can seem too ordinary and thus not worthy of our attention. While we tremble at the prospect of an interna ...

When You're Stuck Behind a Student Driver
Originally Posted: 11/10/2014 - 9:32am | Type: Blog

To be patient with someone is to love them for where they are right now, including the ways they’re struggling. It means loving the other person for who they are. It involves encouraging them, waiting on them, ...

Online, Offline Faith Go Hand in Hand
Originally Posted: 11/07/2014 - 2:08pm | Type: Blog

in person. The survey also measured faith participation and “old media,” finding: 23 percent watched ...

What in the Name of God Is Going On?
Originally Posted: 11/07/2014 - 11:04am | Type: Blog

The word “God” has become such a loaded term. We’ve made it that way; God hasn’t done it. And the truth is, I’ve found myself shying away from using the word at times because I’m aware it’s an immediate turnof ...

To the Millennia and Beyond!
Originally Posted: 11/12/2014 - 9:35am | Type: Magazine Article

Reta Halteman Finger Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B.  I CONFESS THAT I DO NOT often us ...

Remembering those who have gone before us
Originally Posted: 11/06/2014 - 11:15am | Type: Press

November 5, 2014 Sojo in the News Bryan Massingale ...

Pope Francis Has Conservatives Talking Schism. But a Split Is Easier Said Than Done
Originally Posted: 11/04/2014 - 4:50pm | Type: Blog

So is a schism, with its echoes of medieval debates and heretics burning at the stake, a realistic possibility? And can an independent Catholic church be successful in the modern world? ...

When Christian Arguments Miss the Point
Originally Posted: 11/05/2014 - 9:04am | Type: Blog

The path Jesus actually walked is marked by suffering and total reliance on God. So we debate finer and safer points, which require far less of us. Our impassioned and yet trivial disputes push God away and ma ...

Chemo Drips and Left-Handed Layups
Originally Posted: 11/04/2014 - 9:50am | Type: Blog

Giving birth. Getting chemo drips. Making left-handed lay-ups. Clinging tightly to life even as it sometimes squeezes the life out of us for a little while. Developing a deep appreciation for the challenges an ...

New York Archdiocese, One of the World’s Grandest, Shrinks
Originally Posted: 11/03/2014 - 4:35pm | Type: Blog

The Archdiocese of New York, with the second-largest Catholic population in the country and an unparalleled place in U.S. church history, is shrinking: Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Nov. 2 announced that nearly a ...

Waiting Faithfully
Originally Posted: 11/03/2014 - 2:35pm | Type: Blog

Faithful readiness must be active readiness. It means saying that even though the wedding banquet hasn’t yet begun, together we will act as if it has. To live otherwise is to be exposed as unaware, perhaps rev ...

Cardinal Says Church Under Pope Francis Is a ‘Rudderless Ship’
Originally Posted: 11/03/2014 - 9:47am | Type: Blog

American Cardinal Raymond Burke, the feisty former archbishop of St. Louis who has emerged as the face of the opposition to Pope Francis’ reformist agenda, likened the Roman Catholic Church to “a ship without ...

Southern Baptists, LGBT Activists Happily Coexist, but for How Long?
Originally Posted: 11/03/2014 - 9:47am | Type: Blog

When Southern Baptists convened a national conference in Nashville, Tenn., this week to discuss issues of human sexuality, bringing conservative evangelicals and LGBT Christian activists into the same ballroom ...

What Can Mandela's Jail Cell Teach Us About Leadership?
Originally Posted: 10/31/2014 - 1:16pm | Type: Press

October 31, 2014 Jim Wallis Huffington Post ...

5 Things to Know About Death and Dying Debates
Originally Posted: 10/30/2014 - 1:44pm | Type: Blog

As ethicists, activists and religious voices square off, here are five things to know about death and dying. Brittany Maynard’s decision to die soon by a legal, lethal prescriptio ...

3 Reasons I Wouldn't Send My Daughter to a Christian School
Originally Posted: 10/30/2014 - 3:18pm | Type: Blog

It might sound counterintuitive for an ordained Christian minister to say, but there are a few reasons I would not send my daughter to some Christian schools. In the past few mont ...

Christians....Does God Want You To Be A Democrat or Republican?
Originally Posted: 10/30/2014 - 10:53am | Type: Press

October 23, 2014 Sojo in the News Mark Jerrell http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hipolitix/2014/10/24/christiansdoes-god-want-you-to-be-a-democrat-or-republican Her first book, Evangelical ...

Protestant Theologians Reconsider Purgatory
Originally Posted: 10/30/2014 - 9:39am | Type: Blog

But Walls is a leading exponent of an effort to convince Protestants — and maybe a few Catholics — that purgatory is a teaching they can, and should, embrace. And he’s having a degree of success, even among so ...

Why Every Christian Needs Doubt
Originally Posted: 10/31/2014 - 10:10am | Type: Blog

Doubt, I would argue, is that state of change that allows for the questions to continue and faith to grow. And as the husks of beliefs that were wrong, too small, or in other ways insufficient fall aside, they ...

Evangelical Leader Russell Moore Denounces Ex-Gay Therapy
Originally Posted: 10/28/2014 - 10:25am | Type: Blog

Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore has denounced reparative therapy, the controversial idea that people who are gay or have same-sex attraction could become straight. Southern ...