By Eniola Adeniyi
A vision came to life on Monday, September 12th, 2016, in 31 state capitols across the Nation; the vision of a National Day of Moral Action took place and had a major impact all over the country especially in North Carolina.
Over 300 people gathered in Raleigh, NC on this important day in the history of the United States led by Rev. Barber who has had a vision in his heart for the last several years to raise the moral level of our state in quest of a more just nation and a more peaceful world. That vision was reflected in HKonJ and Moral Monday. More recently, he established a mission to systematically expand the work in NC and to inject into the current political debate the importance of helping the nation to view issues through a moral lens. He developed a plan called the “Moral Revival,” in which he and several other clergy traveled the nation, preaching that moral imperative. As part of that plan, he led in forming the National Day of Moral Action. From that flowed many, many tasks.
With the help and organization of Rev. Nelson Johnson, Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, the Beloved Community Center staff and friends, the call on activists, citizens, clergy, and workers from all over North Carolina was answered. The Beloved Community Center staff and core of volunteers used its rich store of relationships to draw clergy, activists, and others from Greensboro and throughout North Carolina to participate in the National Day of Moral Action. People of various backgrounds were able to gather at First Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC at 10 a.m. where they sang, prayed, organized and energized one another to start off the moral day. Monday was a day where all politicians were challenged on a moral level as clergy of all religions read the “Higher Ground Moral Declaration” ( http://www.moralrevival.org/moraldeclaration/) followed by stories by individuals who have tasted the bitter part of the unfair laws and policies. The Declaration demanded that politicians take a stance on voting rights, immigration rights, LGBTQ rights, economic rights and more, so that citizens can fully see who is moral, who is immoral and who respects all humans as equal or not. Rev. Barber made it clear that there was/is no in-between anymore.
Unlike the American Declaration, the Higher Ground Moral Declaration laid its foundation on morality and humanity challenging the foundation of this country built on genocide, slavery and exclusion of sectors of the human race.
Nearly 50 years after Rev. Dr. King’s call to break the silence, poverty and inequality are rampant, voting rights and democracy are being trampled, millions of people lack the health care, living wage jobs, and quality education they need, and racism, hatred, and bigotry are disintegrating any possibility for life, liberty and a pursuit of happiness for everyone in these United States.
Following moral traditions rooted in our faith and the Constitution, we are called to stand up for justice and tell the truth. We challenge the position that the preeminent moral issues today are about prayer in public schools, abortion, and homosexuality. Instead, we declare the deepest public concerns of our faith traditions are how our society treats the poor, those on the margins, the least of these, women, children, workers, immigrants and the sick; equality and representation under the law; and the desire for peace, love and harmony within and among nations. (http://www.moralrevival.org/moraldeclaration/)
The Moral Declaration is a perfect example of what citizens and voters should be pressing on any of the candidates that are seeking public office. Also, it energizes and awakens citizens’ moral souls leaving them questioning if they themselves are respecting all as humanity. This new awakening in all humanity across the country will bring us towards a change of heart in the American culture and government because the problem plaguing the country is not only a cultural problem, but also a heart problem.
It is fair to say that Rev. Barber’s vision intertwines with the same vision of a beloved community thus creating a new foundation for citizens, activists, clergy, and fighters of different walks in life, in Greensboro and across the globe, to build upon to transform their own city. The National Day of Moral Action in NC has played its role as a foundation and energizer for all people in North Carolina to continue to fight against all immorality.
Many thanks, once again, to all those that played a part in making this day come to life, and this is just the beginning, the rock to stand on, in this fight against immoral systems and governments.