May 2, 2018
I am in Grays Harbor Washington, one of the poorest counties in the state. Here, poverty is rampant with few available jobs. Homelessness is a big crisis, and drug addiction is common. Today, I heard heartbreaking testimony from a nurse who shared that some people choose to die rather than seek expensive medical care, because they have no health insurance. One made this choice, so their spouse would not become bankrupt as a result of their medical costs.
I am here to support the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival, because the poor are often made invisible. Their voices aren't heard, not because they aren't testifying, but because the nation's ears are tuned to hear different voices.
The Reverend Dr. William Barber decided to visit this area because he is aware that poverty was intentionally racialized to Black and Brown people, and as a result, people like those in Grays Harbor became invisible. He, along with his colleague, the Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis, capture images of poverty throughout the nation as a continuous audit of the state of the least and the last. As the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival ramps up, it is important to understand the need for Moral Fusion to begin the momentum which will improve the state for so many vulnerable people.
This time, the campaign will be one of Moral Fusion. This time, the campaign will resist silos, even the most righteous and well-intentioned silos, and lean into the power of solidarity.
What does Moral Fusion mean? It means that every person who is impacted by injustice and those who are concerned about those people, can come together and fight together and pray together until a change comes, and justice flows like a mighty stream! Those who experience poverty will struggle for those struggling with racism, who will fight for ecological justice and speak for the rights of immigrants, the disabled and those in the LGBTQ community. In other words, we all are free when all are free.
Moral Fusion is not absorption. It is not displacement. It is not exalting one facet of who we are while diminishing another, nor is it blending us all together until we are melting pot pulp. In its best sense, Moral Fusion is about power. It is about learning who each other is and loving them, acknowledging the beauty and integrity of every person in the community. It is about otherness, about trusting the power of connection so much that we believe all justice work is connected. I look forward to ways that Plymouth Church and her people engage in the work ahead. This is a chance to understand that together, all things are possible and the most vulnerable in our community can be made whole through our prayers and works of justice. –Rev. Kelle J. Brown, Lead Pastor