The White House ‘Woke Up Jim Crow’ So Bishop Curry, Who Shook Up The Royal Wedding, Came To Bless It
Curry: "Love your Democrat neighbor, your Republican neighbor, your black neighbor, your white neighbor, your Anglo neighbor, your Latino neighbor and your LGBTQ neighbor. Love your neighbor! That's why we're here!"
After giving the Brits a powerful sermon at the royal wedding, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is back in the States, and in the spotlight once again. This time, it is not for his actions at Windsor Castle, but at the White House. The impassioned bishop led a church service outside the White House this Thursday evening, during a candlelight vigil mourning "a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership."
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"It's like somebody woke up Jim Crow," Curry told CNN prior to the service. "And said let's not just segregate Americans over race, let's separate people along religious and political and class lines, too."
Christian leaders said they gathered outside the president's dwelling hoping to restore Jesus' values to the public.
Prominent pastors such as Reverend Sharon Watkins, former general minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Reverend James Forbes, former pastor of New York's Riverside Church and Friar Richard Rohr, a Catholic Franciscan were in attendance.
Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the first female bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was one of the 23 Christian leaders present, as well.
The religious leaders denounced "the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees" and "the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership."
The leaders also stated, "We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good — and we will resist it."
Curry noted the purpose of the gathering was "to help Christian people, people of goodwill, to find their voice, to reclaim and renew the faith that Jesus has given us, and to find a way to live that faith both in our personal lives and in the public square."
"Love your neighbor," Curry preached during his Thursday evening word. "Love the neighbor you like and the neighbor you don't like. Love the neighbor you agree with and the neighbor you don't agree with. Love your Democrat neighbor, your Republican neighbor, your black neighbor, your white neighbor, your Anglo neighbor, your Latino neighbor and your LGBTQ neighbor. Love your neighbor! That's why we're here!"
Curry has stood up for many civil rights issues during his career, including higher pay for teachers and LGBTQ rights. He has also supported the Moral Mondays campaign against inequality.
Bishop Curry assured all gathered his activism is non-partisan. In fact, he didn't name President Donald Trump in his criticism.
Likewise, Reverend Jim Wallis, a veteran evangelical activist and key organizer of the "Reclaiming Jesus" movement, insisted the topic of the evening was Jesus, rather than Trump.
"We are not here to point fingers," Curry noted before the vigil. "We are here to lend a helping hand."
"My personal prayer is that all this politicization — on the left and the right — would give way to a spirit committed to problem solving for the common good, despite our disagreements, and I'm actually hopeful this week we are getting closer to that reality," said Reverend Johnnie Moore, a member of Trump's informal council of evangelical advisers.
The White House has not yet released an official comment on the Thursday gathering.