Today, September 12, 2016, clergy and justice leaders will gather in thirty states and at our nation’s capital for the National Higher Ground Moral Day of Action. Led by William Barber, James Forbes, Traci Blackmon and Sister Simone Campbell today’s actions launch a moral revival in support of the “Higher Ground Moral Declaration.”
From the declaration:
We believe our moral traditions have a firm foundation upon which to stand against the divide-and-conquer strategies of extremists. We believe in a moral agenda that stands against systemic racism, classism, poverty, xenophobia, and any attempt to promote hate towards any members of the human family. We claim a higher ground in partisan debate by returning public discourse to our deepest moral and constitutional values.
We will hear more about this important movement in the days and weeks ahead, but today — as it launches in thirty states (including a rally in Sacramento) we share this litany from the Moral Revival website to join our prayers with the prayers and witness of others around our nation who seek a revolution of moral values — who declare yes to justice and equality.
A Litany for the National Moral Day of Action
Leader: We have heard the prophet’s call to repair the breach and we know our Constitution’s goal of a more perfect union.
People: We reach back to our sacred texts that affirm life, love, and justice. “This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood.” (Jeremiah 22:3)
Leader: We affirm the prophets and proclaim, “Doom to you who legislate evil, who make laws that make misery for the poor, that rob my destitute people of dignity, exploiting defenseless widows, taking advantage of homeless children.” (Isaiah 10:1-2)
People: We hear the cries of the people from the New Testament, “All the workers you’ve exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of God.” (James 5:4)
Leader: We uphold dignity and respect for all from the Qu’ran, “The believers, both men and women, are responsible for one another: all enjoin the doing of what is right, and forbid the doing of what is wrong” (Qu’ran 9:71)
People: And we will not rest in our quest for freedom until it comes as is affirmed in the Bhagavad Gita, “For the protection of the virtuous, for the extirpation of the evil-doers, and for establishing Dharma, righteousness, on a firm footing, I am born from age to age.” (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 4: 7-8)
Leader: We believe this to be true: All people have inherent rights, and no one can take them away.
People: We have the right to life, to liberty and to the pursuit of happiness.
Leader: We believe that the power of our governments derives from us, the people
People: For the purpose of providing for the general welfare and protecting our human rights.
Leader: We believe in the values of democracy we were taught, so we cannot accept our democracy’s feeble state.
People: We cannot accept voter suppression and intimidation that target people of color and the poor.
Leader: We cannot accept demagoguery and fear-mongering that demonize and divide.
People: we cannot accept that 45 million are poor in the richest country in history, or that 1 in 5 children are food insecure.
Leader: We cannot accept wages that don’t provide for a decent life, or the suppression of workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively.
People: We cannot accept segregation and inequality in our public schools, or the attempts to privatize and profit-ize them.
Leader: We cannot accept that 29 million Americans don’t have health insurance, including more than 4 million denied Medicaid expansion by their state.
People: We cannot accept inaction in the face of climate change and its disproportionate impact on impoverished communities.
Leader: We cannot accept that 1 in 3 Black men born today can expect to spend time in prison, nor that our country holds one quarter of the world’s prisoners but only 1/20 its population.
People: We cannot accept endless war, which spends lives and resources only to destroy lives and resources.
Leader: We cannot accept attacks on our neighbors: immigrants, religious minorities, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer folks, the disabled, or the poor.
People: We cannot accept the way things are because we have been given a moral vision of how things ought to be.
Leader: We are here to summon the better angels of our nature and press together toward higher ground.
All: Forward together, not one step back!