The Pastor’s Pen: May 13, 2018

We welcome to our pulpit today Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook as our 2018 Mother’s Day-Women’s Day preacher.  Dr. Cook has been a tireless warrior for justice and a champion for the rights of women and people of color around the world. She has worshiped with us many times and has always electrified us with messages of encouragement and hope. We know that on this special day she will yet again arouse our spirits with sermons of inspiration.

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In our continuing effort to fight and work for justice, we are partnering with Dr. William Barber of North Carolina to participate in the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Campaign for Moral Revival. Several of the Campaign’s objectives are: 1. We are rooted in a moral analysis based on our deepest religious and constitutional values that demand justice for all. Moral revival is necessary to save the heart and soul of our democracy.

  • We are committed to lifting up and deepening the leadership of those most affected by systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation and to building unity across lines of division.
  • We believe in the dismantling of unjust criminalization systems that exploit poor communities and communities of color and the transformation of the “War Economy” into a “Peace Economy” that values all humanity. We believe that equal protection under the law is non-negotiable.
  • We believe that people should not live in or die from poverty in the richest nation ever to exist. Blaming the poor and claiming that the United States does not have an abundance of resources to overcome poverty are false narratives used to perpetuate economic exploitation, exclusion, and deep inequality.
  • We recognize the centrality of systemic racism in maintaining economic oppression must be named, detailed and exposed empirically, morally and spiritually. Poverty and economic inequality cannot be understood apart from a society built on white supremacy.
  • We aim to shift the distorted moral narrative often promoted by religious extremists in the nation from issues like prayer in school, abortion, and gun rights to one that is concerned with how our society treats the poor, those on the margins, the least of these, women, LGBTQIA folks, workers, immigrants, the disabled and the sick; equality and representation under the law; and the desire for peace, love and harmony within and among nations.”

For the remaining objectives, please visit: poorpeoplescampaign.org.

We applaud Dr. Barber for bringing the nation’s attention to the realities of poverty in America. According to the Henry Kaiser Foundation, 22% Blacks, 20% Hispanics and 9% Whites live below the poverty line. According to the 2016 census, a whopping 44.1 million Americans were living in poverty. Shiloh is honored to join the Poor People’s Campaign to address this egregious suffering for all too many Americans.