COMMENTARY: Decency on the rise

(RNS) Did everything come up roses? Sadly, no. It was a rotten year in some respects. Think NSA, Chase Bank, John Boehner, Koch Brothers, scammers preying on soldiers and the elderly, payday lenders and other bottom-feeders. Even so, I end the year feeling positive.

COMMENTARY: Old habits die hard

(RNS) Old ideas just need to be abandoned and something fresh and responsive allowed to emerge. Old ideas always benefit someone, and those someones tend to push back to protect their benefits. But that self-protective push-back isn’t a viable strategy.

Women wear hijabs in support of slain Iraqi woman

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) Jean Younis is a Christian but she's donning a headscarf to stand in solidarity with Shaima Alawadi, the Iraqi immigrant and mother of five who died March 24 three days after being beaten in her home in El Cajon, Calif. By Omar Sacirbey

COMMENTARY: Facebook, the new town square

Tom Ehrich |

(RNS) Why do I find Facebook encouraging? I am encouraged when people want to express themselves. I am encouraged that people risk disagreeing. I am encouraged that people still care about their society, and that we haven't left the public square to the shouters and ideologues. By Tom Ehrich.