As I was looking for an inspirational Easter Sunday service online, this is the sermon I found. If I may take a moment of your day to share this with you, to help clarify an urgent need – I thank you for your time. It is that important. As a woman living in the south, and looking for inspiration and hope on this Easter morning, this is exactly what I needed to read. Now, I need to share it. And I need you to share it also.
We Need A Movement. Open request to the states of the north, the southern states need your help.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II ~ Palm Sunday April 13th, 2014:
Americans economic theory today is called conscienceness.. We are all integrated and really do need one another. We are the richest nation and the poorest nation all at the same time. Poverty numbers are higher than any other western democracy. The greatest gaps between rich and poor since we started collecting data. The southern states, the south, the native home to American poverty, has more people and political leaders that are untroubled by this than ever before.
Ten of the country’s poorest states are in the south. The former confederate states set the standard for economic deprivation. We also lead the nation in those without health care coverage of any kind. Texas paves the way with an astounding 25% uninsured. The leaders of these states are also the most opposed to health care reform.
We need a moral movement. We need help with a moral movement. A moral dissent. And it is necessary… now. Right now. Somebody must be able to say it does not matter what party is in power. We need to challenge both the democrats and the republicans. There are some things that transcend majority politics. There are some things to big for a liberal / conservative conversation. We need a moral movement. We need a moral movement with help from our northern sisters and brothers, family and friends.
There are some things that must be challenged because they are extreme. They are immoral and they are just wrong. We need a movement that goes out and tells this story far and wide. We in the southern states need help. We are asking for help. Please hear us. Justice is our battle but justice has been denied. Please hear us. These battles are more than black and white. We need a moral movement across the nation. An indigenous, home-grown movement that is state based. Please hear us. A movement that is state based and government focused. A movement that is deeply moral, deeply constitutional, anti-racist, anti-poverty, pro-justice, pro-liberty and pro-labor.
We need a movement that is about the moral fabric of our society that is guided by a deep vision of what is possible. A movement that is long-term and not based on a one-issue campaign. We need to challenge the myth of our time. The myth that they only hurt a small subset of people such as people of color or people in poverty. This is a myth. Extreme policies hurt us all. We need a moral movement with a southern context that has northern connections.
If we want to change America we must think state. And we really want to think state, you have got to think of southern states. A movement that understands anti-poverty and anti-racism must always remain at the heart of our struggle. We need a movement. The southern states need the help from northern states to hear us.
A movement guided by our deepest faith, tradition and values that bring moral prophetic inquiry into the public square and saves us from this quarantined religion of escapism. We need a movement of grassroots organizing in every state. We need a movement of civil disobedience where need be in every sate. We need a movement of voter registration and education guided by our deepest values. We need a movement of strong constitutional legal strategy. And we need a movement that builds transformative long-term coalition. We need a movement.
A movement – not a moment. We need a revival not a rally. We need a movement to declare together – that we will not dare take one more step back. Somebody, somebody tell your neighbor. Somebody has got to understand the soul of our country and world is at stake.
Keeping millions of poor people from seeing a doctor when they are sick is not just bad policy, its immoral and hypocritical. Kicking hard-working people who lost their jobs off unemployment and refusing to pay people a living wage and giving tax cuts to the very wealthy is not just bad policy, its immoral and hypocritical when aligned with our deepest values of our faith. We need a movement.
Trying to undermine public education and give the money to private owned business is immoral and hypocritical when again aligned with our deepest values of faith and constitutional dream. Trying to destroy labor rights and collective bargaining at a time when corporations are making more than they ever made before is immoral and hypocritical. Having the nerve to sing “America, America God shed his grace on thee..” then denying grace to women, then denying grace to the LGBT community and grace to immigrant rights who’s families are being torn apart is immoral and hypocritical. We need a movement.
Please help us and listen to us. We need a movement. And we recognize this because moral dissenters helped destroy the myths of illusion and domination. If they want to crucify people’s hopes and dreams and then crucify our right to vote, then every crucifixion needs a witness. We need a movement. Somebody has to stand up. Somebody. First there are ten people, then one hundred, then a thousand. Then it works. Somebody listen. Somebody please tell your neighbors.
We need to get away from talking republican and democrat and talk about what is right and what is wrong. People do understand, we need a movement and we need it right now. Be a moral dissenter. Take a stand for your morals. Give voice and spirit to the cause of justice. Its our time now. Our fore fathers are gone and they are not getting up. But we are their children. Its time now. Its time to ensure economic sustainability. Its time to ensure the hungry are fed and the poor are clothed and the sick can get help and the children have education and the disabled and elderly have medicine.
Its time for better environment health. Its time for peace between citizens and peace keepers on a daily basis without fear or abuse. Its time to address these inequalities regardless of color or income. Its time to protect and defend all rights due to so many that have done without. Its time to live out everything we declare when we said we have equal protection under the law regardless of who we are. Its time.
Time to restore the hope and imagination that gives us the courage to break free from the lies of domination and oppression. Justice, love, mercy – its time. Woe to those who legislate evil and rob those of their rights. In my house, in your house, in the state house and in the white house – its time. Lets dust off the constitution and read it fresh: We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union establish justice…
Love, mercy, kindness, fairness and justice – and we are bound to get to higher ground. We can love all people. Somebody must understand and want to make their way to higher ground.
Do we have a witness?
We are better than meanness. Its time for a movement. Now. Please help us.