Against the Death Penalty: Christian Stance in a Secular World

Article by Margaret M. Falls

Those rejecting the death penalty,” social critic Ernest van den Haag once remarked. “have the burden of showing that no crime deserves capital punishment—a burden which they have not so far been willing to hear.” This is a challenge to which opponents of capital punishment need to respond. In my experience, the most passionate calls …

Blinded by Metaphor: Churches and Welfare Reform

Article by Robert Bachelder

Public policy debates, complains Washington Monthly editor Charles Peters, tend to consist of a series of “automatic reactions” in which liberals and conservatives endlessly repeat their outworn positions instead of listening to each other. Mainline churches share in this tendency to repeat their favored positions and resist insights that are not their own. This approach …

Bush’s God Talk

Article by Bruce Lincoln

Most discussions of George W. Bush’s religious faith draw heavily on his campaign autobiography, A Charge to Keep: My Journey to the White House (1999), which puts religion at the beginning, middle and end of the story. Deliberately vague in its chronology, the book describes a man who drifted until middle age, when Billy Graham …

Cityscape

Article by James W. Lewis

Book Review: Gods of the City: Religion and the American Urban Landscape Edited by Robert Orsi. Indiana University Press, 581 pp., paperback. The Gold Coast Church and the Ghetto: Christ and Culture in Mainline Protestantism. By James Wellman. University of Illinois Press, 304 pp., paperback. A Particular Place: Urban Restructuring and Religious Ecology in a …

Designing the City

Article by Norman B. Bendroth

In the spring of 1976, I took my New Hampshire youth group to Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebrations. Not wanting to break the bank on hotels, we slept in a church hall in a suburb north of the city. There, for the first time in my life, I encountered row after row, block after block, …

Ending Hunger

Article by Leon Howell

Grace at the Table, by David Beckmann and Art Simon. (Paulist, 220 pp. $10.95). Spencer Bachus, "a diehard Republican from Alabama’s most diehard Republican district," in the words of the Washington Post, has been spearheading an effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to offer debt relief to more than 40 impoverished nations. In Mozambique, …

Growth Without Progress?

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

The negative effects of free trade are readily apparent. No one doubts that free trade disrupts existing patterns of employment, creating hardship for those who lose their jobs. No one can realistically question that in the United States in recent years trade has taken away more well-paying positions than it has replaced at that pay …