The NC Council of Churches is proud to publish a brand new e-book collection of testimonies from Moral Mondays. With 32 short vignettes from North Carolinians across the state, Voices of Moral Mondays tells the story of everyday folks being motivated to speak out on account of their faith. Many, though not all, of the accounts describe what it was like to engage in civil disobedience and be arrested by the authorities. Click here to download the free e-book.
By Susannah Tuttle, North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, Raleigh
As Director of NC Interfaith Power & Light, it is both my personal and professional responsibility to draw connections between the spirituality of stewardship and the procedures of policy making. I often lead my presentations with the point that caring for the environment is not just political, it is spiritual doctrine shared by all faith traditions.
When the seventh Moral Monday focus was designated as environment, justice, and health, I was absolutely elated. Too often environmental protection issues take a back seat to other subjects of social justice. It gave leaders in the Creation Care movement reason to celebrate when Rev. Barber publicly pronounced:
“We have a moral call to protect the environment… When these leaders deny people the basic human rights of health care, education and environmental justice, so that they can give more to the wealthy, they are defying one of the greatest moral principles of faith and the values of our Constitution.”
I was inspired that Rev. Barber so eloquently balanced the values of church and state in this statement. It encouraged me to review the law, and I admit I was surprised to learn that with all of the destructive environmental policies that were presented by NC Legislators this past session, Article XIV Sec. 5. of North Carolina’s state constitution reads:
It shall be the policy of this State to conserve and protect its lands and waters for the benefit of all its citizenry, and to this end it shall be a proper function of the State of North Carolina and its political subdivisions to acquire and preserve park, recreational, and scenic areas, to control and limit the pollution of our air and water, to control excessive noise, and in every other appropriate way to preserve as a part of the common heritage of this State its forests, wetlands, estuaries, beaches, historical sites, open lands, and places of beauty.”
My work and leadership across the state has been affected tremendously by the outreach, education, and community building impacts of the Moral Monday experience. The transparent orientation of Moral Mondays through the NAACP’s leadership and Rev. Barber’s captaincy has created a movement re-birthed from the civil rights progressions of the last half century combined with the evolutionary awareness of our interdependence with all of Creation.
The massive positive response to the invocation to publicly hold our elected officials morally accountable for their policy decisions is profound and inspiring. I have never been prouder to serve the people of North Carolina, and it is an incredible privilege to join hands with the faithful — from the mountains to the sea — as we walk “forward together, not one step back” into the future of the promised land!