taking the words of Jesus seriously

 

On Wednesday, December 14, an all-white caucus of the North Carolina General Assembly called the legislature into a second special session, giving their fellow legislators only two hours’ notice.

 

Gov. Patrick McCrory had called the first special session, a one-day affair on Tuesday, with the purpose of allocating disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. But in the surprise second session, the ultraconservative contingent that controls North Carolina’s Republican supermajority unleashed an instant barrage of bills to nullify the results of Democrat Roy Cooper’s recent defeat of McCrory and the voters’ elevation of a distinguished African American jurist, Mike Morgan, to the state’s Supreme Court.

 

The supermajority’s surprise attacks slash the prerogatives of the incoming governor and reconfigure the state’s court system to fend off challenges to legislators’ power. From executive appointment powers to state and county boards of election to hundreds of civil service posts, this legislation was designed to strip the executive branch of its power before Governor-elect Cooper takes office.

 

Other legislation seeks to remove oversight of the General Assembly’s actions from the North Carolina Supreme Court’s purview; Justice Morgan’s election gives the Court a Democratic majority. They want to subvert the will of the voters, both in the recent election and in elections to come.

 

This brazen power grab only confirms their fear of North Carolina’s interracial nonpartisan Forward Together Moral Movement, better known as “Moral Monday.” According to a December 5 analysis by Public Policy Polling, “The seeds of McCrory’s defeat really were planted by the Moral Monday movement, ” which lowered the popular Republican governor’s polls from 65 to 35 and gave McCrory “39 months in a row of an underwater approval rating.” Moral Monday recently helped oust McCrory and elect Justice Morgan by a total of 345, 000 votes. Continue reading on CNN.

 

Call to Action: Host a National Watch Night Party in Your Community

 

Extremists are not fighting us in North Carolina because we are weak, but because we are strong. As they said in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, “Only a dying mule kicks the hardest.”

 

The Forward Together Moral Movement which began in North Carolina 10 years ago now has 32 state-based partner coalitions across the nation. In light of the challenges we face as a nation in 2017, we are calling on all partners and any new friends to join us for a National Watch Night Service on December 31st in Washington, DC or organize a watch party in your community.

 

 

The watch night service grows out of “The Revival: Time for A Moral Revolution of Values” national 22-state tour, and calls on the nation to resist extremism and join the movement to advance state-based moral public policy agendas. The social justice event welcomes all, including people of faith and those who may not be persons of faith but who have deep moral convictions. During the service, three moral declarations will be outlined including:

  1. A call for people of conscious to make a moral decision to enlist in the fight against systemic racism, poverty, child poverty, extremism, denial of healthcare,  voter suppression, environmental injustice, xenophobia, unchecked militarism, homophobia, transphobia, and our current moment in history;

  2. A call for a race and poverty audit of America;

  3. A call for a national Moral Revival Poor People’s Campaign in 2017 and 2018 demanding that we address systemic policy-based racism, poverty, healthcare, and xenophobia.

The service will be broadcasted nationally via livestream (http://www.breachrepairers.org/livestream) and include sermons and testimonies from leaders of various social justice struggles, as well as people who have been personally impacted by these social justice issues. Religious leaders will commit not to retreat in this moment, and to stand up for state-based moral public policy agendas.

 

About The Author

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http://www.breachrepairers.org/

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church and architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement that gained national acclaim with its Moral Monday protests in 2013. He has served as president of the North Carolina NAACP, the largest state conference in the South, since 2006 and sits on the National NAACP Board of Directors. A former Mel King Fellow at MIT, he is currently Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism at Union Theological Seminary and is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary. He is the 2015 recipient of the Puffin Award and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award. Rev. Barber is the author of Forward Together (Chalice Press) and The Third Reconstruction (Beacon Press).

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