COLUMBIA, SC – After Michael Curry caught the world’s attention for delivering the sermon at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding, he often heard the same refrain.
People said they didn’t know Christianity was about love.
He was shocked.
Curry brought a similar message of love for overcoming social ills to Columbia on Saturday at the South Carolina Bishops’ Dialogue sponsored by the University of South Carolina Center for Civil Rights and Research and the Council of Bishops of the SC. About 300 people attended the forum at Capstone House.
Curry called for a second American Revolution, imbued with love and respect for one another to achieve social justice for all.
In a funny, heartfelt, and pointed speech, Curry said Robert Fulgrum was right in this book, “Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Share, play fair, don’t knock, put things away, clean up your mess, don’t take anything that doesn’t belong to you, say sorry, wash your hands before you eat, flush the toilet, take a nap, when you go out on traffic watch get out for each other and hold hands.
He turned the warnings on their heads to show their opposites. Opposites resemble much of U.S. history past and present: income inequality, land taken from Native Americans, climate change, hurting others through social injustice.
He said it’s not just about politics, but it’s deeply rooted in history and the spiritual illnesses that will continue until people decide they need to shift the care of others. before the care of themselves. He wondered if that was possible, and his resounding answer is yes.
âThe world of love is not naive,â he said, his voice dropping almost to a whisper. “This is the way to save the world.”
Curry said the path to an America that can live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence is for people to build relationships through differences and face painful truths. He called the phrase âlife, freedom and the pursuit of happinessâ a vision because when it was written it did not apply to people like him or to women.
âHow do you talk about love to people who don’t want it? ” He asked. âLove them anyway. “
In a post-session interview, Curry said he saw this in action in a former Ku Klux Klan member, in a family accepting an LGBTQ member, and in the reactions of some of the survivors of the shooting victims at Mother Emanuel Church. SOUL. In 2015, they welcomed the gunman to their Bible study, where he killed nine people.
âThey haven’t stopped loving,â he said. “How they forgave him, who knows how to do that?” “
The forum also included a panel discussion on how to bring about what Curry called the beloved community in healthcare, education and the justice system.
State epidemiologist Linda Bell has said that health care is actually health care. The priority should be to prevent people from getting sick. She said a person’s medical results can be predicted by their zip code.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to this point, Bell said. Blacks were more likely to contract the virus and overall had worse outcomes.
âI hope we won’t forget that. We can change environments, âshe said. It’s about deciding that it’s a priority.
Robin Coletrain, principal of WA Perry Middle School, said she works every day to equalize inequalities in education. In an old school, when she asked for something, she got it immediately. At Wright, it took longer at first, but she kept pushing.
âItâs hard work, but itâs hard work,â she said.
Aulzue “Blue” Fields, outreach coordinator at Turn90, a group that works with ex-inmates, said he spent 17 years in prison and felt people’s judgment when he tried to change. of life. He said the lack of compassion and opportunity often brings people back to the lives they wanted to leave behind.
At the end of the session, Curry was asked to walk people through their next steps towards a beloved community.
âHope is in you,â he said. âWe must not let hope die.
He added, âGet up. Get up. Talk and love, until the revolution happens.
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