Values being attackedPublished 6:37pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013
To the Editor:
Yesterday (June 10), I put on my clergy shirt and stole and stood in the driving rain with thousands of other ministers from across North Carolina in Halifax Square in front of the N.C. State Legislative Building to protest the actions of our current Legislature. Why?
I’m all for a balanced budget, after all I’m originally from Texas, where the state budget is required to be balanced. However, the budget is a moral document reflective of the values of our state. When our state creates a voter ID law estimated to cost $3.6 million to implement (News & Observer, April 18, 2013) and cuts funding for the mentally ill (e.g., defunding the Wright School for mentally challenged children, group homes and the creation of regional management agencies such as East Carolina Behavioral Health), that is a statement about moral values. Or, when the plan is to reduce taxes for the wealthy (such as myself) and increase taxes on the poor by raising sales tax on groceries, that, too, is a statement about moral values. The values being implemented by our current Legislature are in direct conflict with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth (and Moses, Buddha and Mohammed, along with almost every other major religion).
As Christians (which literally translates as “little Christs”), I believe we are required to be the voice of Christ in our times, espousing Christ’s values. This is not about patriotism (I’m a combat veteran). This is not about partisan politics (I voted for then-moderate Mayor McCrory). This is about the values of Jesus of Nazareth and being able to look at myself in the mirror with non-hypocritical eyes. That’s why I stood in the driving rain with thousands of others as a Christian witness to the voice of Jesus.
The Reverend Kevin A. Johnson