Trump wants to give 62 cents of every dollar to the military. That’s immoral

The Guardian
Reverend William Barber, Dr Liz Theoharis and Lindsay Koshgarian
March 27, 2019

Donald Trump recently unleashed his dark vision for our nation and our world, in the form of his budget request to Congress.

A budget shows our values more clearly than any tweet, campaign speech or political slogan. It’s what marries detailed, dollar-and-cents policy decisions to deeper political – and moral – priorities.

Continue reading →

America faces many emergencies. The ‘border crisis’ isn’t one of them

In today’s America, the real emergency is that a quarter of a million people die from poverty each year

The Guardian
Reverend William Barber and Dr Liz Theoharis
February 25, 2019

In declaring a national emergency to fund an unnecessary border wall this month, Donald Trump has provoked a conversation about what the word “emergency” actually means.

Forget the manufactured border crisis, let’s talk about the real emergencies facing the nation today. Right now in America, there are 140 million people living in poverty or just one paycheck or emergency away from poverty. Thirty-seven million people live without healthcare and 62 million are paid less than a living wage. Fourteen million families cannot afford water and millions are living with poisoned water and without sanitation services. We suffer under an impoverished democracy that has less voting rights today than it did after the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed.

Continue reading →

(AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)

How the Poor People’s Campaign Is Building a ‘New Electorate’

The Nation
January 21, 2019

A conversation with Reverend Liz Theoharis on the campaign’s broad agenda for 2019.
By Greg Kaufmann

On New Year’s Eve, Reverend Drs. Liz Theoharis and William Barber II, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, laid out the campaign’s plans for 2019. The Poor People’s Campaign will continue its pursuit of an audacious agenda: eradicating poverty and systemic racism; addressing ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy; and changing the narrative about poverty in this country from one that demonizes the poor to one which recognizes their strengths and vision while questioning the morality of current public policy.

Continue reading →

The war on poverty begins at the ballot box

Voter suppression and gerrymandering have created unfair elections that keep poor people out of the democratic process

The Guardian
Reverend William Barber and Dr Liz Theoharis
September 16, 2018

This week, the US Census Bureau released 2017 poverty data, reporting that 12.3% live below the federal poverty line. This means that about 40 million people are “officially” poor. It also reported that, according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure, 13.9% or about 45 million are poor.

This data is not much different than in 2016, nor is it a complete picture of the deep economic insecurity plaguing tens of millions of people in the United States.

This data also reports that another 29.4% of the population or another 95 million people are “low-income” and struggling to meet their daily needs. Taken together, this means that 43.3% or about 140 million people are living in precarious conditions, either poor or one emergency away from severe economic hardship.

Continue reading →

Poverty and inequality under Trump: ​​human ​​rights under ​​threat

The Guardian
June 26, 2018

The Guardian partners with the UN and the Graduate Institute in Geneva to discuss a burning issue for America.

A panel debate with Philip Alston (UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty), Rev Dr Liz Theoharis (co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival), Kenneth Roth (executive director, Human Rights Watch), Catherine Flowers (rural development manager, the Equal Justice Initiative). Moderated by Ed Pilkington (the Guardian’s chief reporter in the US)

On Tuesday, 26 June the Guardian moderated a discussion at the Graduate Institute in Geneva to discuss a burning issue for America: how the country’s vast inequality and the Trump administration’s apparent determination to exacerbate it are posing a direct threat to human rights.

Continue reading →

50 Years After MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign, 2,500+ Arrested Over 6 Weeks Calling for Moral Revival

Democracy Now
June 25, 2018

We feature voices of the thousands who marched on the nation’s capital Saturday for the Poor People’s Campaign. The mass demonstration followed six weeks of actions around the country and more than 2,500 arrests, as protesters join what they are calling a “moral revival” to demand an end to systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation. The march brought together activists from around the country more than 50 years after demonstrators converged on Washington, D.C., in 1968 to take up the cause that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been fighting for when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968: the original Poor People’s Campaign. Demonstrators rallied to protest widespread poverty just days after U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley slammed a new U.N. report slamming the Trump administration’s policies for worsening the state of poverty in the United States.

Continue reading →

Jeff Sessions got the Bible wrong. We care for strangers, not rob their rights

The Guardian
By Rev Dr William Barber and Rev Dr Liz Theoharis
June 19, 2018

Last week, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, used scripture to justify closing America’s borders to those in need of refuge and tearing children away from their families.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said.

His remarks smack of theological heresy.

Continue reading →

Jeff Sessions got the Bible wrong. We care for strangers, not rob their rights

When the attorney general used scripture to justify closing our borders, he operated from a playbook that dates back to slave master religion

The Guardian
Reverend William Barber and Dr Liz Theoharis
June 19, 2018

Last week, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, used scripture to justify closing America’s borders to those in need of refuge and tearing children away from their families.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said.

His remarks smack of theological heresy.

First of all, he’s misinterpreting the text. Paul was arrested by the government because Christians challenged the government. That’s one of the reasons Paul ends up getting killed.

Continue reading →