Palestine has been wiped off the map, its land colonized, and its people ethnically cleansed, says Ben White. Expecting those on the receiving end to be satisfied with the crumbs from the table is both unjust – and wishful thinking.
No other democratic nation today imprisons people on such a scale or for as long as the US, Martin E. Marty is reminded. Visiting prisoners is a central test of devotion to the Jesus of the gospels. We are also called to a vision of restoration and release.
Talmudic study opens the door to an understanding of obedience that does not crush the enquiring mind, says Giles Fraser. The text of Scripture, rightly understood, both questions us and affirms our questioning.
Try to imagine a world in which only things acceptable to pure reason are deemed legitimate, suggests Giles Fraser. It would be to imagine the most desperately impoverished cultural and emotional (let alone spiritual) desert.
Cynicism about politicians and political institutions runs very deep, says Terry Waite. But the current crisis is also an opportunity for change, for reinvesting politics with hope and the participation of people from outside 'the party system'.
The Church of England has for too long been slow to take its own ethnic diversity to its heart, says Vasantha Gnanadoss. If it now also claims that Christianity is superior to others it could be unwittingly supporting white nationalism and undermining action against the BNP and others.
When people hear the word 'health' they think immediately of medical matters, says Juan Michel. But health is also an issue of clean drinking water, nutritious food, a safe work environment and essential care accessible at the community level - not least in a time of flu panics.
Few words are bandied about with such casual abandon as “liberal”, says Giles Fraser. It can stand for the liberality and generosity vital to any outlook, but it can also mean an exulting of individualism and a damaging denial of inherited wisdom.