Archive for the ‘justice’ Category

mark your calendars, tom coburn and i agree, kind of

May 28, 2008 Leave a comment

I’m not a Tom Coburn fan. I disagree with much of his agenda and I don’t think he has done much to help the image of Oklahoma on the national scene (except perhaps with the crossword crowd).

Yesterday he did a town hall meeting in Tulsa where (among other things) he called the FAA “chicken” – not terribly grown-up, but I’ll let that slide.

According to the Oklahoman, during the meeting he made the following statement during an exchange about immigration.

Our nation is in a mess,” Coburn replied, “but it doesn’t have anything to do with immigration. It has to do with career politicians who are afraid to defend people and who refused to stand up for the principles that made this country great. Immigration is a symptom, but it is not the disease. The disease is cowardice in the U.S. Senate.

On this, Dr. Coburn, I completely agree.

So could you please tell me who you were defending when you held up the Hunger Free Communities Act? Or when you voted against Biden Amdt. No. 4245? Or now as you are holding up the reauthorization of PEPFAR?

Just curious.


Politicians on American Idol – we are shamed by the Brits.

April 13, 2008 Leave a comment

One last set of thoughts on this Idol Gives Back thing. The Thursday night show featured short clips from Sen. Obama (let’s get this over with), Sen. Clinton (deer in headlights), and Sen. McCain (really not funny) offering their cudos to the effort and encouraging people to like them best because they care the most about the world’s poor. Each of these amounted to little more than face time for the candidates.

Here’s the propaganda.

But the political moment of the event came from Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown who pledged funding for 20 million bed nets to help prevent malaria in Africa. That’s 200 million dollars to save the lives of more than 40 million people – most of them children. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. Are you listening Oklahoma Senators Coburne and Inhofe who voted against extending aid to the world’s poor?

Here’s the clip of Brown’s announcement. Sorry for the gratuitous Seacresting.

So Idol gave back. . .

April 13, 2008 1 comment

A whole lot of thoughts from the Idol Gives Back shows this week.

Best musical moment – Annie Lennox singing Many Rivers That is what passion sounds like. A close runner up was Carrie Underwood’s version of Praying for Time.

Most painful musical moment – Feel free to pick one or all – Mariah Carey, Fergie, Teri Hatcher (really? Teri Hatcher?).

Most awkward musical moment – Why in the world did they choose to end the show with the contestants doing the show choir step-touch to Shout to the Lord? Or at least the modified version “sanitized for public consumption”. Too weird. And then they fired it back out the next night. Learn from mistakes people.

Least funny comedian – Again, toss it up. Robin Williams – didn’t work, Sarah Silverman – nah, Ben Stiller – someone should tell this guy that Zoolander is a character, not a way of life.

Great comic moment – Jimmy Kimmel wearing out Simon over the whole tight shirt thing. Or Seacrest dancing.

Overall – I liked the show better than last year. I thought most of the faces were sincerely affected by what they encountered. But I have to wonder – of the money raised (60 million so far) how much came out of celebrity pockets? They tell me I can do without $20 (which I can), but many of those folks can do without $1,000,000 – so did they? I know they offer their time and faces and those do help, but do they follow their own advice? And what about the corporate “partners”? American Idol is an ATM machine for AT&T – with the text voting, AT&T makes millions every week. So how much did they “give back”? Last year it was ten cents per text vote. That means for every text vote, the poor got 10 cents and AT&T got 89. Is that giving or taking?

I appreciate that this show and the people behind it are tying to use their influence for the betterment of the world, but I often wonder about these celebrity cause things – how many of these people are just trying to ease some of the guilt of all that they have in the face of a world without? I know there are some genuine heroes in the celeb world, but this many?

Thanks Idol for raising awareness. And doing some good in the world. Listed below are links to each of the organizations that will benefit from Idol Gives Back. Skip the middleman and donate directly. Or maybe use these to check back in and give again in July or August. Without Kobe Bryant telling you to.

tell congress to make the poor a priority

March 10, 2008 Leave a comment

In the proposed 2009 budget that is currently being debated in the Senate the international affairs budget is being cut by 2.6 billion dollars. This is money that is used for foreign aid to countries in need. Senators Smith and Feinstein have proposed an amendment to the budget that would restore these funds that are much needed in the battle against poverty and hunger. ONE has put together a petition that will be sent to every senator before the budget comes up for a vote, probably on Thursday. You can add your voice by signing the petition here. The text of the petition reads:

“In the great American tradition of helping others help themselves, we, the undersigned, ask that the U.S. Senate pass the Feinstein-Smith amendment to restore $2.6 billion to the international affairs budget. “

Or even better, take a few minutes and send a letter or email to your senators personally. You can find their contact information here. I sent mine today. Not that I have much faith in my senators to do the right thing, but outside of Oklahoma there may be more hope.

Make noise. If we can do nothing else, we can certainly do that.

happy international women’s day!

March 8, 2008 Leave a comment

Did you know. . .

over 70% of the people in the world living on less than $2 a day are women?

women earn 10% of the world’s income, but in many places contribute over 60% of the work done?

more than half a million women die every year due to pregnancy or childbirth complications?

in many parts off the world, women walk 2 to 4 miles a day to get a jug of water for their families?

Today my family joined World Neighbors in a Walk for Women at UCO. It was a great event to raise money for and awareness about women’s issues across the world. At one point a reporter came up to me and my boys asking why men would come and participate in an event like this. I hadn’t really thought about it being odd until she asked the question. Why wouldn’t we be there? If every life is valuable to God (and it is) and if our role as followers of Jesus is to work for justice and mercy for the “least of these” (and it is), then an event like the walk is really the most logical place for us to be. Even if we aren’t the “right” gender.

Take a minute today and read more about the issues facing women across the world. If you are interested in getting involved, the World Neighbors Work of Women program would love to have you as a member.

To contribute to the work of World Neighbors with women all over the world, you can click here to go to my sponsorship page for the walk today.

jim wallis on the daily show – quote of the moment

February 9, 2008 1 comment

Great interview with Jim Wallis on The A Daily Show. It is always amazing to me how Jon Stewart backs off people like Wallis and just listens. The quote this time is the entire interview – enjoy. If the video doesn’t work, click here to view it on the site.

candidates talking about things that matter

December 20, 2007 Leave a comment

One has put together a site that compares the 2008 presidential candidates on their views and plans to address the Millennium Development Goals in general and global poverty issues in particular. has both written and video statements from most of the candidates. It is interesting to watch and see who has actually thought about these issues and who is just firing off talking points.

I would love to see people who claim to follow Jesus get as (more) interested in these issues as they seem to be in things like abortion and gay marriage. I think addressing poverty and inequality will go a long way toward dealing with many of the other issues currently faced by America.

Check out the links and find out how your candidate plans to address “the least of these” across the world. Unless your guy happens to be Guliani or Thompson.

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