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Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:37 AM

Rev. William Barber on Greed, Poverty and Evangelical Politics

Source: New York Times

Rev. William Barber on Greed, Poverty and Evangelical Politics

Talk Dec. 23, 2020

Rev. William Barber Believes America Is Reaping What It Has Sown

By David MarchesePhoto illustration by Bráulio Amado

Very few religious leaders are able to inspire political action on the part of large numbers of people who don’t share their church, their denomination or their faith. Yet the Rev. Dr. William Barber, senior pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C., has done just that. The initiatives he has helped to start — the Moral Mondays series of protests and the Martin Luther King Jr.-inspired Poor People’s Campaign — have motivated legions across the country to engage in demonstrations and peaceful civil disobedience in support of racial, economic and environmental justice as well as the protection of voting rights, among other issues as much moral as political. Which is to say, Barber and his fellow progressive adherents have their work cut out for them these days. ‘‘We’ve got to challenge Democrats and Republicans,’’ said Barber, who is 57. ‘‘Somebody in every age has to challenge this country to be true to its moral foundation in the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and our deepest religious values.’’

Your politics flows from an understanding of love, justice and compassion as being at the heart of Christian faith, which is something that presumably every Christian agrees with. You also iden​tify as an evangelical. How do you square that with the politics of Christians — I’m thinking mostly of conservative evangelicals — whose faith manifests itself politically as support for politicians and policies that seem to go against those same values?

I understand it as a form of heresy. In the Bible, there was always tension between prophets and false prophets. When you look today and see so-called white evangelicalism, you have to understand they are powerful, but they are not the majority of religiosity in this country. They are a loud, well-funded group. If you think about it, white evangelicals say they’re against abortion, but they vote for candidates who’ve never undone Roe v. Wade. They say they’re against gay people, and they’ve lost on their battle against gay people’s rights. But what do their preferred candidates always win on when they get elected? Helping corporations. So we’ve got an unholy connection: Religion is being used as the cover for greed. The term ‘‘evangelical’’ has been hijacked in favor of corporate interests. You have to stand up and say that systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, denial of health care, the war economy and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism are interlocking injustices that require us as people of faith to challenge them. If you’re going to promote the faith, at least do it from the biblical foundations of love, truth and justice! You know, we asked to debate Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham. They won’t agree to it.

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Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/12/28/magazine/william-barber-interview.html

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Reply Rev. William Barber on Greed, Poverty and Evangelical Politics (Original post)
Eugene Dec 2020 OP
MyOwnPeace Dec 2020 #1
keithbvadu2 Dec 2020 #2

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:13 AM

1. I wish the MSM would

go to Dr. Barber for comments as frequently as they do to Newt Gingrich or Rickey Santorum!

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:04 AM

2. Religion and politics use each other to gain power and wealth.

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