Under the Dome

More clergy lend support to "Moral Mondays"

CORRECTION This Dome post has been corrected.
The protest at the General Assembly on Monday will be led by an ecumenical group of faith leaders. In addition, another group of clergy — a cross-section of Christians, including Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists — issued a statement saying that they shared the concerns of those taking part in the Monday protests.

Both mark a noteworthy turning point in the weekly protests, which have led to the arrests of more than 300 people over five weeks. While the organizers of the “Moral Mondays” movement have been partisan, the clergy who signed the statement in support make a point of saying their interest isn’t political.

“Rather it is a matter of faith with respect to our understanding of the biblical teachings and imperatives to protect the poor, respect the stranger, care for widows and children and love our neighbors,” according to the statement, which was provided to Dome over the weekend.

Signing it are Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Catholic diocese in Raleigh; Bishop Michael Bruce Curry of the Episcopal diocese of North Carolina; Rev. Leonard Bolick, bishop of the Synod of North Carolina Evangelical Lutheran Church; Rev. Ted Churn, executive presbyter Presbytery of New Hope; Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, North Carolina Conference United Methodist Church; Rev. Alfred “Chip” Marble, assisting bishop Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina; Bishop Larry Goodpaster, Western North Carolina Conference United Methodist Church; and Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple, bishop suffragan-elect Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.

Here’s the statement in its entirety:

“As you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." -- Matthew 25:4

“We speak as bishops and Christian leaders in North Carolina about the moral issues highlighted by the Moral Monday events. Our call to speak grows out of these words that we prayed together at our meeting on June 6: 'May we be a more vivid symbol of unity to all the faithful. May the witness of our lives proclaim the Kingdom of God.'

“As you may know, people have been gathering on Monday evenings to offer vigilant witness on moral issues being considered by our elected state officials. We share their concern for many of the issues they are bringing forth.

“The Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler of Union Seminary (Charlotte) recently summarized the effect of pending and enacted legislation especially on the poor, the aging and children.

"As you read this letter, the North Carolina General Assembly is passing bills that will remove 500,000 people from the Medicaid roles leaving them without health insurance; that will remove 170,000 people from unemployment when unemployment rates remain at historically high levels; that threaten to replace the graduated state income tax with a consumption tax that will adversely impact the poorest North Carolinians who will face increased prices on basic goods; that will force college students to return to their often distant homes to vote or cost their parents their $2,500 dependency deduction…. These and many other bills will adversely impact those who can least afford it and therefore demand a fervent response from people of faith! "

“Our concern about the legislative actions cited by Rev. Dr. Sadler is not an act of political partisanship. Rather it is a matter of faith with respect to our understanding of the biblical teachings and imperatives to protect the poor, respect the stranger, care for widows and children and love our neighbors (Isaiah 10:1-2, Hebrews 13:2, James 1:27, Matthew 22:39, Galatians 5:14). We recognize and respect other Christian brothers and sisters who may seek to apply these biblical teachings in different ways and through different means.

“We speak and act in love and through our understanding that our first citizenship is in the Kingdom of God, and we do so always as faithful citizens of the democratic process.”


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Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates after posting a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 UAE dirhams (approximately $2,700).
The young American living in the UAE has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.
He was accused of defaming the UAE's image abroad, according to The National, the country's main English-language newspaper.
The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.
The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.Cassim's family says the 29-year-old has been charged with endangering national security.The charges were not read out in court. UAE officials would only say "Mr. Cassim was charged under the UAE's penal code. Anyone charged with a crime under the laws of the UAE is entitled to the fair trial protections contained in the UAE's constitution."
Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating from college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April. He was interrogated and arrested in Dubai before being transferred to a maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi. His family says it was five months before he was notified of the charges against him.

SEIU THUGS invade Rawliegh !

yep, dont think this 'newspaper' reported it but the NY SEIU THUGS are bussing in protestors led by their '1%er'
director who makes $268,000 per year! no the local media dont want you to know this...but here it is...

these people are not 'moral' they are E V I L and too stupid to realize they are ANTI Amerikkkan!

So have "fundamentalists

In response to cato8's comment...

So have "fundamentalists from the western part of the state" become their own separate sect? Is this part of the new GOP's "you must be *this* radical to ride this ride" policy?

Wow! You quote the Three Musketeers

How can you even compare today's clergy in this matter to the faithful in the Old and New testaments? Do they fall under the threat of being enslaved, executed, burned in furnaces or fed to the lions. By the way, I said nothing about separation of church and state that was another post.

How many of these same clergy are petioning the government to abolish abortion, allow prayer back in school, do something about the immorality around ever corner.

You just need to look at the individuals that are protesting to know this is just a political issue to them under the guise of religious persecution.

cyhomohon Veiguedenda arcarlavect 2733360

FedenvendyCaf -
SeeniZexObess -

Will the clergy be protesting the state lottery?

I do not know of many preachers who do not argue that the lottery preys on the poor. Tickets are priced at a dollar to encourage the least among us to "invest" their dollars on the chance to become wealthy.

I am sure the clergy will be speaking loudly against the lottery.

Wow! To assume, as you do,

Wow! To assume, as you do, that these clergy have not already sought, nor do not continuously seek, God's guidance and work with their congregations is presumptuously omniscient.
I know our congregation supports and even expects that our ministerial staff and lay members of the church will get involved it a public witness to our faith such as this -- in addition to all the direct services and support our congregation provides for those in need.
These clergy ARE acting out their faith by advocating for the needs of the "least of these" - and the divine guidance you seem to think is missing is self-evident throughout the Old and New Testaments.
In our democratic system of government it is entirely appropriate for people of faith to petition the powers that be to not inflict unnecessary injury on those most in need. This is not a separation of church and state issue - no one is trying to establish a religion and these ministers are freely exercising their faith.

"All for one, and one for all."



Biblical Teachings are for the Church not Government

I absolutely believe in the biblical verses expressed by the clergy in this, however this was never intended for the government, but for the church. At the time this was written, do today's clergy actually think it was directed towards the Roman government? Seriously!

The clergy's time would be better spent on working with their congregations, seeking God's guidance, and act as his servants to protect the poor, respect the stranger, care for widows and children and love our neighbors (Isaiah 10:1-2, Hebrews 13:2, James 1:27, Matthew 22:39, Galatians 5:14).

Separation of Church & State

The liberals rant and rave about separation of church & state until it is to their political advantage. Then they trot out their preachers.

Is that ironic or hypocritical?

And here I was thinking that it was the church who was supposed to "protect the poor, respect the stranger, care for widows and children and love our neighbors."

Do you think the liberals will be calling for these churches to lose their tax exempt status?

Not all clergy.

While there's probably a broad cross-section of clergy, I'll wager a month's income you won't fundamentalists from the western part of the state.

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