He and America's so-called "conservative" movement think we cannot change. But they are wrong. We are Christian preachers, born, bred, and baptized right here in North Carolina. We come from vastly different backgrounds. Jonathan grew up in white Southern Baptist churches, supporting the Moral Majority and working in Strom Thurmond's Senate office. Rev. Barber grew up in the black-led freedom movement and worked as Human Relations chair for a Democratic governor. But we came together, as hundreds of thousands of others have in North Carolina, in a Moral Movement that is neither left nor right, but focused on what Jesus called the "weightier matters of the law" — love, justice, and mercy.
The incredible resistance to our movement in North Carolina is confirmation to us that we are engaged in the great moral struggle of our time. North Carolina has been a testing ground for a strategy to exploit faith in order to maintain power as demographic changes are swiftly remaking the American electorate. This is not just a story for our state; it is a movement for America, a struggle to resurrect the soul of democracy. We believe we are in the embryonic stages of a Third Reconstruction and that this year's election may well turn out to be the birth pains of a new form of social engagement for people of faith.
What does a Moral Movement for the nation look like? At moral revival services across America, people of faith are signing onto a Higher Ground Moral Declaration, which makes clear the baseline policy commitments of our Moral Movement. To affirm their agreement with this declaration, each person who signs on commits to:
- Join community leaders, pastors, and scholars in declaring inequality, poverty, voter suppression, environmental abuse, racism, and xenophobia immoral and unacceptable by signing this moral declaration.
- Take this moral declaration to every candidate for President, the U.S. Senate, Congress, and state Governor.
- Sign a personal pledge to lead direct actions in your state on three consecutive Mondays in September to promote this agenda.
- Pray for The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values.
While extremists continue to trust old divide-and-conquer tactics that exploit faith through a politics of fear, America's Moral Movement is offering a concrete alternative that puts faith into practice for the common good. This way is as old as Jesus and the prophets, and as fresh as the Spirit's voice which stirs us to say, "Forward together! Not one step back!"