Faith & Democracy


Those of us who work for social justice know the steep mountain we face, but our faith sheds light and joy on an otherwise contested environment.

Here are the logistics: Thursday, October 28th is the last day for early voting, absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday, November 1st, and the polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2nd. Please vote—and urge others to do the same.

Anyone familiar with the Christian tradition knows that the scribes and Pharisees didn’t care for Jesus. From their point of view, he was an impertinent and unruly interloper whose words and conduct were blasphemous and subversive. From his point of view, they were … well, they were phony.

Bloomington, IL: Attend a non-partisan community forum on the Illinois on the state budget situation and the potential solutions. Sponsored by The Living Democracy Project of Bloomington-Normal, the forum will be held at Heartland Community College in the Community Commons Building, room 1406-07, from 9:00 – noon. The forum is free and open to the public, although registration is encouraged. Please RSVP to Peggy Scott at by October 19th.

It's time for Twenty Questions! But, this isn’t a game. Given our state’s sorry history of government corruption, we believe that candidates must tell voters--now--what they promise to do to change politics and government in Illinois.

It seems that most everyone is aflutter with the news that atheists and agnostics know more about religion than religionists themselves, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Let’s put that another way: We now have evidence that disbelievers and unknowers have more information about other religions than do the followers of those religions. That’s the news coming out of Washington D.C. where the Pew Research Center has just released its findings from its study of religious knowledge in the U.S.

All of us have hiding places and coping mechanisms for times of trouble and trauma, but we also need to figure out where we can go for healing and reassurance. Jesus' healing of the lepers (Luke 17:10-19) gives us an important insight into that search.

I’m not a biblical literalist. And as far as I can determine, Jesus wasn’t either. Or I can at least hope that he wasn’t!

If I’m wrong about that, I fear that a lot of my Christian sisters and brothers could be in a whole heap of trouble, given the threat Jesus leveled against his disciples about their potential mistreatment of the “little ones.”

Along with many others, I have become increasingly distressed over the summer by the public discourse and conduct of some of my fellow citizens. At the moment, I am not inclined to describe this simply as “politics,” even though campaigns for the mid-term Congressional elections are underway and many of the issues over which opinion is diverging are also matters that are, to some extent, the purview of government.

Topping my list was the _Collected Sermons of William Sloane Coffin: The Riverside Years,_ now published in a two-volume set by Westminster John Knox Press. The writings of this preacher and social activist belong in the study of anyone who takes the Christian faith seriously.


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