The Progressive: Faith Versus Trump, Reverend Responds to ‘Call of the Moment’

The Progressive: Faith Versus Trump, Reverend Responds to ‘Call of the Moment’

Faith Versus Trump, January 2019

Photo of Michael Rothbaum from his Facebook page.

Rightwing Christians have found much to like in the Trump Administration’s advancement of their priorities, including opposing Planned Parenthood, restricting abortion, marginalizing gay rights and women’s rights, and favoring private school vouchers. And they were heartened by his appointment of conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

But for other faith groups, Trump’s priorities have stirred alarm, and protest. Michael Rothbaum, a rabbi at a suburban Boston synagogue, guesses that his congregation of 280 families mostly vote Democratic. But few of them were what he calls “rally-goers” prior to Trump’s election. Then, he adds quietly, “absolutely, something shifted.”


William J. Barber II Responds to the ‘Call of the Moment’, January 2018

Photo courtesy of Repairers of the Breach.

The Reverend William Barber II has emerged as a leading voice in the struggle for rights for African Americans, the poor, and other marginalized people in the United States, especially in the South. In his former role as president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, Barber led the “Moral Mondays” movement that enlisted a broad coalition of people engaged in human rights struggles.

Barber now heads Repairers of the Breach, a multifaith, nonpartisan nonprofit group also based in North Carolina, and cochairs along with the Reverend Liz Theoharis a new Poor People’s Campaign—a “re-engagement” of the movement of the same name that the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. took up in 1967.

In late December, Barber spoke by phone with The Progressive about his involvements and how faith-based activists and organizations are responding to President Donald Trump.

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The Progressive: Overcoming Hate

The Progressive: Overcoming Hate

Overcoming Hate: A Former Skinhead Works for Racial JusticeDecember 2017

Photo Courtesy Milwaukee Jewish Day School. 

Arno Michaelis was once not just a white, racist skinhead, but a white, racist skinhead leader—a gang leader, he will tell you. He has left the beliefs that drove him—the bigotry, the hatred, the violence—far behind.

Yet he has not turned his back on that world or the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people who inhabit it. Instead, Michaelis is devoting his life to repairing the damage he feels responsible for and embracing the human diversity he once hated and feared. He hopes to encourage those flirting with that life to turn away before it draws them in, and help those locked into that worldview to find their way out…

The Progressive: On the Hard Path to Prison Reform

The Progressive: On the Hard Path to Prison Reform

On the Hard Path to Prison Reform: An Interview with Heather Ann Thompson, November 2017

 

Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, professor of history and Afroamerican and African studies at University of Michigan.

Published in 2016, University of Michigan historian Heather Ann Thompson’s Pulitzer-prize-winning history of the 1971 Attica Prison Uprising, Blood In the Water, was released in paperback this fall. Thompson was in Milwaukee recently to speak at a series of events spotlighting mass incarceration. She spoke with The Progressive contributor Erik Gunn about the lessons of Attica and the prospects for decarceration in the era of President Donald Trump…

The Progressive: The Case for Mercy

The Progressive: The Case for Mercy

The Case for Mercy: Some of the Unlikeliest People to Oppose the Death Penalty, October 2017

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Late one afternoon in February 2014, ten-year-old Hailey Owens was abducted from a street near her home in Springfield, Missouri. Police say her abductor raped her, then shot her, then wrapped her body in garbage bags and stuffed it in a plastic tote…

 

The Progressive: Protesters Convicted For ‘Parading’ Against Death Penalty

The Progressive: Protesters Convicted For ‘Parading’ Against Death Penalty

Protesters Convicted For ‘Parading’ Against the Death Penalty at the Supreme Court, June 2017

On an overcast day this past January, eighteen people stood on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court and unfurled a banner that read “STOP EXECUTIONS!”

For that nonviolent act, all those involved were arrested under a law that makes it a crime to “parade, stand or move in processions or assemblages” or to display a “flag, banner or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization or movement” on the marble plaza and steps of Supreme Court building.

This week, twelve of those eighteen went on trial in a case presided over by D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Salerno. On Thursday, June 29, 2017, all twelve were convicted…

The Progressive: Refusing to Make a Monster out of God

The Progressive: Refusing to Make a Monster out of God

Refusing to Make a Monster out of God: Shane Claiborne on the Death Penalty, April 2017

Photo by Brian Yap.

Writer and activist Shane Claiborne spoke with The Progressive about why his faith calls him to the movement to abolish the death penalty—a movement that crosses religious and secular lines and even brings together the families of crime victims and those condemned to die.

The Progressive: The Little School District That Could

The Progressive: The Little School District That Could

The Little School District That Could, March 2017

Photo by Victor Bjorkund.

Now, after stripping public employees of their union rights, squeezing the ability of public schools to raise revenues, and throwing open the doors for private schools around the state to get public money by expanding Milwaukee’s controversial school voucher program, the state’s Republican lawmakers had come back for more. In a measure aimed exclusively at Racine, the state legislature wiped out the Racine Unified School district’s long-standing tradition . . .