A week ago Monday, on May 20th, I was arrested after engaging in civil disobedience. What happened? I will tell that story this coming Sunday June 2nd at 6:30 pm during a commissioning service for Moral Mondays to be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte.
But in this moment, if you happen to be one considering joining us for a Moral Monday then it might help to know the why I went.
There are many reasons...
For the past several months, I've been deeply concerned with the North Carolina legislature. In particular, it seems to me there is a concerted effort to suppress the voice of the people while simultaneously placing the burden of balancing the budget disproportionately on the backs of the most vulnerable in our state. From school vouchers to refusing federal funds to expand Medicaid to 500,000 North Carolinians, legislators have continued to tear down the protection and necessary systems of healthcare, education and unemployment.
For the last couple of months, I've felt powerless in the face of this situation. What could I do? It began to feel like an inevitable wave about to overtake us all.
But then I received a note, an invitation from the NAACP to join the forward together movement. I watched their videos-they were doing something! And it was growing.
I've never considered engaging in civil disobedience, but this felt different. It was moral obedience.
We Unitarian Universalists believe we are all connected. What is done to one among us, affects all of us. We Unitarian Universalists believe in the power and presence of love. It is love that saves us from loneliness, heartache, self-judgement and fear.
But living out that love is challenging. How could I make my awareness of love within visible to the outside world? How will love save us now?
There are many reasons to join Moral Mondays. I went out of a moral obedience to love: a love for all people. A love that calls me to step forward and speak up for the most vulnerable in our state. To send a message to our legislators: all people in the state of North Carolina are worthy to have their voice heard, their children educated, their health cared for, and their basic needs met. This is not a partisan issue. It is a people issue.
At the end of the day, when the pundits are quieted and the sun has set, as we settle into bed there is one final question of the day: did I live out love today?
I believe if we can answer yes it will make a difference, for our own hearts as well as for the world.