Wednesday, February 8, 2012 , Vol. XI No.3
A dispute in recent issues of The New York Review of Books provokes an old but ever-new question: Is it possible for authentic followers of Jesus the Anointed of God to be conservatives, or must they by definition be liberals?
The ongoing NYRB disagreement between Professor Corey Robin of Brooklyn College and Professor Mark Lilla of Columbia University also makes it possible to ask that question in a slightly different way: Must authentic followers of Jesus be reactionaries or are they called to be revolutionaries?
It takes some translation, to be sure, but how sisters and brothers in the church line up against each other explains a lot about both the religious and political divisions that plague our American democracy.
Continue Reading... If you’ve seen the documentary “Gasland”, or read articles about the mining of sandstone next to Illinois’ Starved Rock State Park, or heard about the potential cause of the Youngstown, OH earthquakes, then you’ve probably come across the word “fracking” a fair bit these past few months.
Continue Reading... This statement was made by The Reverend Bonnie Osei-Frimpong at the Raise Illinois Lobby Day in Springfield on Tuesday, January 31.
A family earning a minimum wage of $16,000 a year can not afford for the car to break down. They can not afford to take time off work if someone gets sick. They can not afford health care, child care, or elder care. A family living on a minimum wage can hardly afford nutritious food.
A family living on a minimum wage can afford to advocate for what is best for their well-being, and for their community’s well-being. A family living on a minimum wage income can afford to march and move and mobilize for the sake of the American Dream. They can afford to buy-in to the common good, if they are given the chance to live, with a living wage.
There is one thing you learn very quickly when you are poor in America. Being poor is very, very expensive. When you are broke, and start cutting corners, juggling debts, when you skip your insurance payment just to get by, that is when things start to go wrong. That is when people get sick, home fires happen, bad luck hits.
When the only bill that gets paid this month is the bill that hit the ground first when you threw them all up in the air, then it is time for you to earn a wage that is enough to live on.
STUDY THE LECTIONARY
Biblical scholar Jay Wilcoxen advocates for the plain and direct sense of the Lectionary readings for each week.
Last April, 2011, Rev. Alexander E. Sharp , PCG Executive Director, announced his decision to step down from the position of Executive Director no earlier than January 1, 2012 and no later than June 30. He expects to devote his work full-time to drug policy reform both in Illinois and in other states. The PCG Search Committee, comprised of PCG Board members, is currently seeking applications for the position of Executive Director. Procedures for applying are noted in the posting.
PCG believes that it is imperative for people of faith to participate actively in our political democracy. Become an advocate.
Read about the results of PCG’s legislative work during the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly. Our work on the state budget crisis, in concert with the Responsible Budget Coalition, continued throughout the entire 2010 legislative session, with approval of the long-sought income tax increase coming on the final day, January 11, 2011. We celebrate several other important legislative successes, achieved during the 2011 session, particularly in the areas of criminal justice and the environment. Contact Laura Dean Friedrich if you would like more information about our policy advocacy work.
PCG is working with the Raise Illinois Coalition to pass legislation to increase the minimum wage in Illinois. A full-time worker making the current minimum wage ($8.25/hour) earns about $17,000 a year before taxes, which studies have demonstrated, is simply not enough to live on in Illinois. As disparities between the rich and the poor grow larger, increasing the minimum wage by 50 cents each year for four years (until it reaches $10.65) would go a long way in keeping families out of extreme poverty. Please take a moment to sign one of two petitions to members of the Illinois General Assembly. Faith leaders and clergy are asked to sign the faith letter and church and community members are asked to sign the voter letter. We hope to deliver the letters and signatures at the beginning of the new legislative session in January. For more information on the bill, please visit Raise Illinois.
Did you miss the 2012 State of the Union? Not to worry, we’ve got links to the full speech as well as the Republic Response. The White House website has the address complete with graphs, statistics, and charts highlighting the particular issues that the President discusses. The Huffington Post has the full Republican Response from Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels in both video and text form. (Watch the State of the Union.) (Watch the Republican Response.)
Springfield, IL: Protestants for the Common Good is working with the Raise Illinois Coalition to increase the state’s minimum wage. The coalition is holding a faith lobby day in Springfield on the first day of session. The group will take the train together down to the capitol (we’ve reserved a whole train car!), which will include time for training and education on the bill. Participants will meet with legislators throughout the day and then take the train back to the city in the evening. If you’re interested in coming with us, please register here or contact Laura Dean Friedrich at email@example.com or 312–223–9544 ×223.
Last Wednesday, Gov. Quinn addressed the Illinois General Assembly and gave his 2012 State of the State Address. Gov. Quinn’s main them was “Moving Illinois Forward”. Take a look at the text of the speech on the Governor’s website – video of the address is available as well.
Please join in the work of PCG and our coalition partners by attending the following events.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Rockford, IL: Rockford Urban Ministry, in collaboration with local environmental groups, has created a February Food Film Festival. “Forks Over Knives” is a documentary exploring the relationship between degenerative diseases and eating meat. The film will be shown at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 3300 Rural St., beginning at 7:15 p.m. This film is presented by Vegetarians in Motion and will be preceded by a monthly vegetarian potluck. Contact Carole Burmeister at (815) 397–5579 for more information. This showing is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Rockford, IL: The second film in Rockford’s Food Film Festival will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4848 Turner St., beginning at 7:00 p.m. Drawing on Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, director Robert Kenner’s provocative, Oscar-nominated documentary “Food Inc.” explores the food industry’s detrimental effects on our health and environment. This event is free and open to the public.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Naperville, IL: PCG Deputy Director, Laura Dean Friedrich, will be leading the first session in a two-part series on political polarization and income inequality. The Faith Formation Class is held from 8:45 until 9:45 a.m. before the worship services. First Congregational UCC is located at 25 E. Benton Ave. For more information on the adult education session, contact Laura Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, March 2, 2012
Chicago, IL: Voices for Illinois Children’s 2012 symposium will focus on “Investing in Opportunities for Children – Now”. The event will include information from the Kids Count 2012 data book, a three-person panel with time for discussion and questions, and a presentation from keynote speaker Patrick McCarthy, President and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The event will be held at the Bank of America Building, 135 S. LaSalle St., Suite 4300, from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and will be followed by a business luncheon. Tickets can be purchased through the online event page.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Naperville, IL: In the second of two sessions, PCG staff member, Laura Dean Friedrich, explores our country’s rising income inequality and why it’s an issue for people of faith. This session is part of the Faith Formation Class series, and will take place before the worship service from 8:45 until 9:45 a.m. First Congregational Church of Naperville is located at 25 E. Benton. All are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Laura Dean at email@example.com.
The Common Good Network welcomes responses from readers about individual articles or the newsletter as a whole. We also welcome submissions from our readers. Take a moment to tell us what you think. Please email your suggestions, comments, and submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Protestants for the Common Good relies on its members and readers for much of its support. If you are able to contribute, please do so.
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