Annual Thanksgiving Greetings from Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II


28 November 2013

Annual Thanksgiving Greetings 

We wish all the wonderful people of North Carolina a happy Thanksgiving.  To our many Jewish friends, we wish a warm Hanukkah celebration.  We give thanks to our Creator for all the wonders of His world and human family. Pope Francis' wonderful papal letter, released this week, gives added excitement to the season of renewal, love, and thanks.

We wish Gov. Pat McCrory and his family, Art Pope and his family, Speaker Thom Tillis and his family, and Senate Leader Phil Berger and his family a weekend of love and compassion.  We hope redemptive reflection about their inhumane rejection of federally-funded insurance for hundreds of thousands of North Carolina families who are poor and unemployed will reveal to them that it was wrong. We pray the God of love and grace will be received by all of us during this season of wonder, love, and thanks.

On Tuesday, we tried to convey our Thanksgiving and Hanukkah wishes directly to Gov. McCrory.  He sent his Public Relations Director out. He was too busy to meet with 30 religious leaders. He did not have time, she said, to receive our petitions of peace and grace, asking him to convene a Special Redemption Session to reverse the ideological decision of hate and rejection that Budget Director Pope, Speaker Tillis, and Senate Leader Berger pushed through the Legislature and he signed after being sworn in on a Bible that requires government officials to care for children, the sick, the poor, the stranger, and the working people.

Gov. McCrory told an interviewer on Monday, "I don't care, I felt like doing it" when asked why he took a plate of cookies to a group of women protesting his policies.  He said,  "We didn't take away unemployment benefits. We just didn't extend them" when asked about his rejection of federal insurance money for 170,000 unemployed North Carolina families.

Gov. McCrory apparently does not get it. He, Mr. Pope, Mr. Tillis, and Mr. Berger made North Carolina the only state in the nation to refuse federal unemployment insurance.  They have also made us one of a handful of states to reject federal health insurance for 500,000 poor North Carolina neighbors.  By signing these two worst practices bills, he snatched hundreds of millions of dollars out of purses of desperate parents who would have spent the money for food, other necessities, and a few holiday toys for children; and he took hundreds of millions of dollars that would have gone to N.C. hospitals, doctors, and clinics who serve the poor.  

The choice this season for these four men is clear. To become the Grinch who stole Christmas or in this season of amazing grace, to become men able to admit their mistake, convene a Special Redemption Session, and give a better Christmas and New Years for hundreds of thousands of our neighbors?

To send Gov. McCrory an email urging him to call for a Special Redemption Session and rescind these regressive and mean-spirited laws, click HERE.


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