On/File: A Continuing Record of People, Groups, Movements, and Events Impacting Contemporary Religion

    Source:The Christian Chronicle.

Among organizations seeking to lessen the sharp polarization of Americans, Christians for the Common Good (CCG) has achieved a measure of success. The group, based in Portland, Oregon, has drawn the attention of researchers for its effectiveness in passing state bills, particularly in the area of human trafficking, that have garnered support from both left and right based on the strong relationships it has fostered on both sides of the aisle. Although coming from a progressive evangelical standpoint, CCG has maintained a strategy of seeking the common good and bridge-building while avoiding culture-war issues. But the organization faces a number of challenges, particularly funding, as it engages in delicate positioning between mainline and evangelical funders. Activists often press for the group to take clearer political positions. Because CCG also sees itself as a “prophetic” organization there is the danger that it may abandon its bridge-building work. Because participants are involved for different reasons, such pluralism may help fundraising but dampen the stress on the common good. (Source: paper on CCG presented by Wes Makovsky at a session of this year’s meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, August, Los Angeles).