cover image Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation

Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation

Rev. William J. Barber II with Barbara Zelter. Chalice, $19.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-8272-4494-8

This volume collects sermons by the leader of the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina, who has emerged as the chief critic of the Republican majority's legislative actions in that state. A pastor of a Disciples of Christ Church and the leader of the state's chapter of the NAACP, Barber is steeped in both the prophetic traditions of the Bible and the civil rights teachings of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Barber says in the foreword that his purpose is to "capture the practice of preaching in the public square." His ultimate aim is a political one: To defeat the conservative takeover of the state's legislative delegation, which has cut unemployment benefits, declined the expansion of Medicaid, and passed an array of voting restrictions. Barber quotes liberally from Isaiah and Jeremiah, on the one hand, and the state's constitution guaranteeing equal rights to all, on the other. He calls for a "third Reconstruction" to follow on the second Reconstruction begun by King in the 1950s and '60s, and rallies his listeners with lots of call-and-response exhortations. The moral message is both timely and age-old. (Oct.)