The fight for Civil Rights was a fight that was led in so many ways by leaders of the church.
People like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and others were voices for equality, and many churches were centers of gathering to organize change.
The rights of people are not just civil issues. They are moral and religious issues as well.
We must organize and get out and vote and build momentum. If you watch the news, you will see major movements in the United States of America to limit and deny the right to vote in areas where poor and minority people live. Some states are limiting early voting hours; others are requiring new forms of voter identifications in order to “prevent voter fraud,” although no fraud has been found.
As in 2000, some states are moving voting polls without informing voters where their new voting places are. States are even eliminating persons from voting “just because,” making them prove that they have the right to vote. All of this is wrong. It is racist. It is sinful. It is un-American.
And to make matters worse, the few people with billions of dollars have purchased the airways to spread their views. Remember earlier this year in the primaries of a certain political party, one person was able to raise enough money to buy enough air time to “destroy” others with negative ads. Since that was all the people heard, many ill-informed accepted those lies as truth. It is happening again.
The church must stand against such things. No matter who you vote for, the church must stand for fairness and equal opportunity and equal access for all. Truth must be the ultimate goal. All the issues, not just some, must be given equal importance. The poor are just as much a part of this country as the rich.
Do your part. Register to vote. Register others. Take a principled stand.
Rev. Donald Jenkins is pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church, which is located at 2400 Dellabrook Road.