Bishop leads fight against ‘dangerous crisis’ electricity laws uk

Less than a week after his star-making sermon at the British royal wedding, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry set his sights on American politics, leading a church service to lament what he and other Christian leaders call "a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership."

Still Curry and the other Christian leaders at Thursday’s service are clearly unhappy with the political status quo, particularly what they see as the rise in white nationalism, sexism and political language that "debases" the "most vulnerable children of God," including immigrants and refugees.

"Love your neighbor," Curry preached, his voice rising with emotion. "Love the neighbor you like and the neighbor you don’t like. Love the neighbor you agree with and the neighbor you don’t agree with. Love your Democrat neighbor, your Republican neighbor, your black neighbor, your white neighbor, your Anglo neighbor, your Latino neighbor and your LGBTQ neighbor. Love your neighbor! That’s why we’re here!"

While Curry and other religious progressives are quick to reject political partisanship, it’s hard not to see Thursday’s events as part of a resurgent "religious left," a movement that has spent years, if not decades, in the political wilderness.

In recent months, progressive activists have resurrected the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s "Poor People’s Campaign," opened their homes and churches to undocumented immigrants seeking sanctuary, lobbied Congress to protect DACA recipients and fiercely protested what they see as a rise in white nationalism and dishonesty in politics.

Curry himself is no stranger to political struggles. As a bishop in North Carolina, he supported the Moral Mondays campaign, which included statehouse protests against inequality. At a rally in 2014, for example, he called for teachers to receive higher salaries and labeled education a divine right.

He has also been a vocal backer of LGBT rights, in his own Episcopal Church and in society at large. Last October, he joined other religious leaders in filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court opposing a Christian cake maker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. That case will be decided later this year.

At Thursday’s events, Curry was joined by a number of other prominent progressive Christian leaders, including the Rev. Sharon Watkins, former general minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); the Rev. James Forbes, former pastor of New York’s Riverside Church; and Friar Richard Rohr, a Catholic Franciscan.

The Rev. Johnnie Moore, a member of Trump’s informal council of evangelical advisers, said: "My personal prayer is that all this politicization — on the left and the right — would give way to a spirit committed to problem solving for the common good, despite our disagreements, and I’m actually hopeful this week we are getting closer to that reality."

"We believe two things are at stake: the soul of the nation, and the integrity of faith," the statement reads. "It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else — nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography — our identity in Christ precedes every other identity."

The first, for example, states that all humans are made in the image and likeness of God, a tenet that should inspire Christians to reject "the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership," the Christian leaders said.

"Reclaiming Jesus" also strongly denounces "America first," a foreign policy slogan employed by Trump, as "theological heresy." The religious leaders also condemn "the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets" and "the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life."