Books

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, 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.

Continue reading →

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

By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2017

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.

Continue reading →

Articles & Interviews

Why Joe Manchin’s good faith is bad for the poor

Despite a stately facade of moderation, Manchin has, in the words of the gospel, ‘neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness.’

Religion News Service and Washington Post
By Liz Theoharis
October 1, 2021

(RNS) — On Thursday (Sept. 30), amid intense debate in Congress about the budget reconciliation bill, Politico magazine published a copy of an agreement signed in late July by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, in which Manchin is guaranteed that President Biden’s Build Back Better bill would not exceed $1.5 trillion, rather than the $3.5 trillion proposed at the time.

The day before, Manchin had not once but twice made statements about negotiating “in good faith.”: “There is a better way,” he said in a Sept. 29 statement, “and I believe we can find it if we are willing to continue to negotiate in good faith.”

Continue reading →

Creating a Powerful, Broad-Based Moral Movement

Today’s voting rights and economic justice advocates must apply two key lessons from the courageous activists of a half-century ago.

The Progressive
By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sarah Anderson
September 28, 2021

In the face of rising voter-suppression efforts across the country, we are witnessing a growing movement that builds on the proud history of the 1960s civil rights era. To be successful, today’s voting rights and economic justice advocates must apply two key lessons from the courageous activists of a half-century ago.

First and foremost, the voting rights movement of 2021 needs to reject the pressure to isolate voting rights from a broader moral economic agenda. The U.S. Constitution enshrines the interconnected commitments to “establish justice” and “promote the general welfare.”

Continue reading →

The Land of the Free, Where So Many of the Brave Are Homeless

Resisting Evictions Amid a Pandemic

Tom Dispatch
By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
September 16, 2021

Over the past weeks, multiple crises have merged: a crisis of democracy with the most significant attack on voting rights since Reconstruction; a climate crisis with lives and livelihoods upended in the Gulf Coast and the Northeast by extreme weather events and in the West by a stunning fire season; and an economic crisis in which millions are being cut off from Pandemic Unemployment Insurance, even as August job gains proved underwhelming. There’s also a crisis taking place in state legislatures with an ongoing attack on women’s autonomy over our own bodies. The Supreme Court let a law go into effect that makes abortions nearly impossible in Texas and turns its enforcement over to vigilantes. And then, of course, there’s the looming eviction crisis that could precipitate the worst housing and homelessness disaster in American history.

Continue reading →

The Moral Dimensions of Militarism

Lecture by Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
Peace Education Center
September 9, 2021

Continue reading →

Poverty is a policy choice. Which side are you on?

A series of anti-poverty policies and programs in response to the pandemic offers a glimpse of what is possible when we center the needs of the poor in public policy.

the Grio
By Shailly Barnes, The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
August 11, 2021

Hundreds were arrested last week outside the Senate Hart building near Capitol Hill in nonviolent direct action to demand voting rights, an end to the filibuster, and economic rights for all. Organized by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, the action brought together poor and low-wage workers, clergy and people of conscience, all committed to fighting for a multiracial democracy that works for everyone.

Continue reading →

Generations of Struggle: Lessons on Defending Democracy

On Choosing Community Over Chaos

Tom Dispatch
By Liz Theoharis
August 10, 2021

My father, Athan G. Theoharis, passed away on July 3rd. A leading expert on the FBI, he was responsible for exposing the bureau’s widespread abuses of power. He was a loyal husband, dedicated father, scholar, civil libertarian, and voting-rights advocate with an indefatigable commitment to defending democracy. He schooled his children (and anyone who would listen, including scholars, journalists, and activists from a striking variety of political perspectives) to understand one thing above all: how hard the powers-that-be will work to maintain that power and how willing they are to subvert democracy in the process. His life is a reminder that much of American politics in 2021 is, in so many ways, nothing new.

Continue reading →

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).