We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People's Campaign

We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign

Edited by Liz Theoharis
Foreword by William J. Barber II
Broadleaf Press
Available October 12, 2021

Organized into fifty-two chapters, each focusing on a key Scripture passage, We Cry Justice offers comfort and challenge from the many stories of the poor taking action together. Read anew the story of the exodus that frees people from debt and slavery, the prophets who denounce the rich and ruling classes, the stories of Jesus’s healing and parables about fair wages, and the early church’s sharing of goods. Reflection questions and a short prayer at the end of each chapter offer the opportunity to use the book devotionally through a year.

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Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor

By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

A strong theological call for ending the abomination of systemic poverty.

Rev. Dr. Theoharis reinterprets “the poor you will always have with you” to show that it is actually one of the strongest biblical mandates to end poverty. She documents stories of poor people themselves organizing to improve their lot and illuminates the implications for the church. Poverty is not inevitable, Theoharis argues. It is a systemic sin, and all Christians have a responsibility to partner with the poor to end poverty once and for all.

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Articles & Interviews

Mother’s Day Tears: The Fierce Prophetic Vision of Poor Women

Women like Claire McClinton, Johnnie Tillmon, and Julia Ward Howe have allowed us glimpses of what a country that served and empowered all women looks like.

Tom Dispatch
By Liz Theoharis
May 13, 2021

One hundred and fifty years ago, in the bloody wake of the Civil War, the abolitionist Julia Ward Howe issued a “Mother’s Day Proclamation.” The world, she wrote, could no longer bear such terrible violence and death. She called on women across the country to “rise up through the ashes and devastation” and come together in the cause of peace. Forty years later, her daughter Anna Jarvis created Mother’s Day.

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Why Debt Relief Matters

Biden can’t fight inequality without debt cancellation.

By Liz Theoharis and Astra Taylor
April 6, 2021

As a devastating pandemic raged, America’s billionaires amassed an additional $1.3 trillion in wealth over the last yearwhile millions of regular people lost their jobs, health insurance, and homes. The most vulnerable among us have been hardest hit and are, research shows, the least able to recover.

The passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is a welcome development. President Joe Biden, one headline proclaimed, has “launched the second war on poverty.” That’s certainly what this country needs.

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MLK Was Right About America’s ‘Spiritual Death’

Pro-austerity and anti-poor economic policies, along with over-militarization, have kept America in a death spiral for the past half-century.

Tom Dispatch
By Liz Theoharis
April 5, 2021

Fifty-four years ago, standing at the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York City, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his now-famous “Beyond Vietnam” sermon. For the first time in public, he expressed in vehement terms his opposition to the American war in Vietnam. He saw clearly that a foreign policy defined by aggression hurt the poor and dispossessed across the planet.

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VP Harris, Maybe You Were Elected for Such a Time as This

The Byrd rule is not in the Constitution. It’s not what you swore to uphold.

The Nation
By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
March 2, 2021

In the biblical story of Queen Esther, a daughter of the exiled Hebrew people rose to power in the society of her day. When the survival of her people became a political issue before the King, Queen Esther’s Uncle Mordecai wrote on behalf of their marginalized community to suggest that God may have placed her in the position she was in for such a time as this. Queen Esther rose to the challenge and risked her position to save her people.

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Food Lines in the ‘Land of Plenty’

A biblical look at the crisis of poverty today.

by Liz Theoharis
March 2021 Cover Story

Since I began to help organize a movement to end poverty, people have said to me that our goals are too ambitious—that demands for human rights and human dignity are both politically inconceivable and impossibly expensive. They quote the Bible, arguing that since Jesus said, “the poor will be with you always,” it can’t be God’s will for everyone to share in the abundance of our world.

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Whose Rights Matter in Pandemic America?

Not Those of Poor Americans, That’s For Sure

Tom Dispatch
by Liz Theoharis
February 16, 2021

In June 1990, future South African President Nelson Mandela addressed a joint session of Congress only months after being released from 27 years in a South African apartheid prison. He reminded the political leadership of the United States that “to deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanise them.”

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About the Author

The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. She is the Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. Liz is the editor of We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign (Broadleaf Press, October 12, 2021). She is the author of Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor (Eerdmans, 2017) and co-author of Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing (Beacon, 2018). She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).