Voting Rights Call To Action
July 15, 2021 | Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner's Remarks In Gathering of Black Women Leaders & Allies Voting Rights Call To Action on Capitol Hill
I am Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner Co-Convener of the National African American Clergy Network of denomination and independent church leaders representing 15 million members, calling for Senate passage of FOR THE PEOPLE ACT and ending the Jim Crow-inspired filibuster.
Black Clergy stand in the tradition of our Lord and Liberator, Jesus Christ, defender of the poor, oppressed, and marginalized. Jesus set a clear measure of what it means to stand with him, saying, “whatever you do to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you are doing to me." Making voting accessible to all eligible voters is God’s business – and it is far more than a political issue. It is profoundly theological because it affirms the inherent dignity and value of each person made in the image of God – the imago dei. Any attempt to restrict the right of black, brown, elderly, students, the poor, and the disabled – is an assault on God, an attack on “the least of these”; an affront to people of conscience everywhere.
In his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed his extreme disappointment at white moderates, whom he considered more detrimental to the cause of racial equality than the Ku Klux Klan. Today, Black clergy express our extreme disappointment with White evangelicals who stand in opposition to Jesus whom they claim to follow by supporting racially motivated, undemocratic, and unjust laws. Whether you are in the Congress or state legislators and call yourself a follower of Jesus---we say: Uphold your pledge to defend the constitution; stand for truth and not for a lie that the election was stolen; and stand with your Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Indigenous followers of Jesus; and other allies in the faith for truth, justice, and democracy.