Remarks from an April 19 press conference in opposition to HB2.
There are lots of ways to read the Bible. Some of us read it like a self-help manual; not a bad plan since there’s some pretty good individual improvement impetus in it.
But the primary reason these scriptures were put together was to give folks a manual for how to live together. There’s not so much about how to be individually successful, but there’s an awful lot about how to be a community successfully.
Right at the top of the list is how we treat those around us. We are told early and often in the Old Testament and New that we should never cause harm to someone else.
- Causing harm includes not paying people a living wage just to keep our own investment interests high.
- Causing harm includes using up natural resources and abusing the environment for the sake of our own comfort and convenience.
- Causing harm includes denying basic health care to half a million people in NC for the sake of our own private medical insurance premiums.
- Causing harm includes biased housing rules for the sake of our own property values.
- Causing harm includes restricting immigration to this country when nearly all of us were immigrants in the first place.
- And now causing harm includes limiting the rights of people who find themselves in a gendered minority.
The Bible has some pointed things to say about how we ought to live together in ways that acknowledge gifts of diversity. God would not create so many wonderfully diverse expressions of human sexuality unless God wanted us to be amazed and pleased at what creation has to offer.
Regardless of whether we ever read the Bible, regardless of whether the Bible holds any significance for us, all of us know what a fair system looks like. For those of us who do believe what’s written in this book, a fair system is our mandate. The Council of Churches is here today to proclaim publicly our ongoing commitment to make North Carolina’s system fair for all of us.