Proposed Tax Amendment Doesn’t Make Cents
By George Reed, Retired Executive Director Senate Bill 75 is on the move. It would put… Continue Reading
The General Assembly has adjourned its 2013 session after a final cascade of disappointing and disturbing bills that now await review by Gov. Pat McCrory. Among the bills approved are ones that will make it less convenient for many citizens to vote and that weaken regulatory oversight of the environment.
There was at least one bright spot, as the House rejected a last-minute push by the Senate to speed up the environmentally risky natural gas extraction process known as fracking. But on the whole, legislators succeeded in putting the crowning touches on a session devoted to a conservative agenda the likes of which modern North Carolina has never before seen.
It could be said that the elephant – symbol of the Republicans who control North Carolina’s General Assembly and governor’s office — has labored and brought forth a mouse. But this is a mouse with sharp teeth.
After weeks of effort, the legislature’s Republican majorities and Gov. Pat McCrory have agreed on a spate of changes to the state’s tax laws centered on cuts in personal and corporate income taxes. The cuts aren’t as deep as some conservatives wanted. Still, they will sap revenues that finance the entire portfolio of state programs and services.
The News & ObserverThese are difficult times. We pray that our lawmakers and governor will demonstrate compassion for our fellow North Carolinians who need food, clothing, health care and shelter and for the many charitable nonprofit organizations that provide this support.
I finally had the chance to go my first Moral Monday earlier this week. Walking around Halifax Mall with our Executive Director, George Reed, I was struck by how many people we both knew. I’m deeply proud of the involvement by clergy and faith communities in particular. So many of our members are represented not only in the crowd but also in the faces of those participating in civil disobedience and getting arrested. As we celebrate Independence Day this week, we give thanks not only for the many freedoms our country offers, but in particular for the countless faithful voices speaking up and speaking out for those who are being pushed to the margins by this General Assembly.
A leader against economic injustice and two longtime advocates on the Council’s board have received the North Carolina Council of Churches’ highest honors.
Gene Nichol received the Faith Active in Public Life Award. Barbara Volk and Sydnor Thompson II were recognized with Distinguished Service awards. All three were presented at the Council’s 2013 Legislative Seminar which took place April 11 at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh.
Alexandra Forter Sirota (Director) and Cedric Johnson (Policy Analyst) from the NC Budget and Tax Center explain the debate about North Carolina’s tax system and offer a vision of a more progressive tax structure for the state. You can download and listen to the podcast above.
Speaking to 200 social justice advocates, Gene Nichol delivered a powerful luncheon address at the Council’s 2013 Legislative Seminar held April 11 at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh. He received the Council’s Faith Active in Public Life Award at the Seminar for his “courageous, dedicated, humane and compassionate witness in the political arena.” Rev. George Reed, the Council’s Executive Director, introduced Nichol by saying in part, “To know Gene is to see the embodiment of Catholic social teaching about social justice and the common good.”
The challenge of faith communities is not to deduct a set of moral principles from scripture that houses a model for a fair tax system. There are no formulas or bureaucratic maps that arise out of biblical texts that we might apply to our current context and tax system that will magically make the system fair. Rather, the biblical texts provide a framework to understand the Christian witness towards the common good and a Christian ethic of love and care for the vulnerable and exploited.
RT @healthandfaith “The question today is what can you do in your church, family, & community to help prevent addiction.” Thanks to Rev. Frank Lassen of HighLife 252 @ Source Church for actively promoting #harmreduction! #opioidcrisis #OpioidAwareness
RT @healthandfaith “If churches can open their doors to those struggling with #addiction, this would help so much.” When we put faith into action, people feel the #love & #compassion, and we save lives. #harmreduction #opioidcrisis #opioidawareness
Help us celebrate our anniversary! In 2020, the Council will turn 85 & to celebrate our rich history, we plan to commission a mural. Please share this request for proposals within your networks! bit.ly/2ZAixWM
Thank you Kitty Hawk UMC for letting us into your space to speak about the #opioidcrisis & #harmreduction. We are grateful for partners who are spreading compassion & #opioidawareness in our communities. #NC pic.twitter.com/SyyQ…
“If churches can open their doors to those struggling with #addiction, this would help so much.” When we put faith into action, people feel the #love & #compassion, and we save lives. #harmreduction #opioidcrisis #opioidawareness
“By opening up our sanctuary, I’ve formed a bond of trust that I’m there to love on them.” The faith community is here to provide compassion & love judgment-free to ALL. #harmreduction #opioidcrisis #opioidawareness
“The question today is what can you do in your church, family, & community to help prevent addiction.” Thanks to Rev. Frank Lassen of HighLife 252 @ Source Church for actively promoting #harmreduction! #opioidcrisis #OpioidAwareness
RT @ncchurches Help us celebrate our anniversary! In 2020, the Council will turn 85 & to celebrate our rich history, we plan to commission a mural. Please share this request for proposals within your networks! bit.ly/2ZAixWM
RT @scinterfaith Before heading home from the @uscan annual meeting we celebrated #Pride2019 in Minneapolis. Soon after our arrival we encountered booths representing many faiths and non-faith traditions. It was a morning filled with light, laughter, and love! #uscan2019 pic.twitter.com/xh54…