“…America has a heart problem and is in need of a moral movement…”
On Monday evening Bishop William Barber spoke in Warrensburg on the campus of the University of Central Missouri.
…Considered the architect of the Moral Movement, [Bishop William Barber] is a sought-after speaker who has presented keynote remarks at hundreds of events across the nation. He has been described by media as “one of the most prominent – and relentless advocates for poor people,” and is engaged in leadership posts for many organizations that address social issues, pursue justice, build community and promote public healing. Such service includes positions as President and Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, an ecumenical activist group which trains and organizes religious leaders across the nation; co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival; Bishop with the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries; Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary and Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary, in New York City.
Barber began his ministry as pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he has served for nearly 30 years, and has been part of efforts that have raised more than $12 million for community development. He also is a prolific author, having written four books: “We are Called to be a Movement”; “Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing”; “The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of the New Justice Movement”; and “Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation.”
He gained national attention for initiating in 2013 weekly Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly, which were revived in 2018 under the Poor People’s Campaign banner. In the early 1960s, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with help from others, created the Poor People’s Campaign through protests that called for a moral agenda and a moral budget that took place at state capitals and in Washington, D.C. Over the past four years, millions of people have participated in Poor People’s Campaign events nationwide….
“…Here we are. We look at where we are in this moment….obscene levels of income and wealth in the hands of a few, the rapidly growing concentration of ownership and the incredible and dangerous power that billionaires have over our political systems. We can hardly be called a democracy when a handful of the wealthiest people in this country can spend as much as they want to to influence an election…”
“…We need a moral movement. We need a moral movement that uses moral language. I’m so sick of this, are you left, are you right, are you Democrat, are you Republican. What about are you caring? Are you loving? Do you have concern for people because they are human beings? Some of this stuff we don’t need to talk about as policy. We need to use the language that scripture uses, we need the language that Jesus uses. Some stuff is wrong. Some stuff is unjust. Some stuff is evil. Or like the Declaration of Independence, it says when there has been a long train of abuses. We need to start talking about policies that deny people health care is abusive. It’s an abuse of power. A malfunction of the democratic process to use power to hurt people. There’s something wrong when you want to use religion in the service of hate and injury. We need a moral movement…”