HRC: How do you see now what the church should be doing? Because a lot of people are leaving the church. A lot of young people are leaving the church, in part because the way they understand what Christianity has become is, you know, so judgmental, so alienating that they think to themselves, well, I don’t need that. I don’t want to be part of that. So this should also be a time for the church to take a hard look at itself and try to figure out how it can be a real partner in this moment of moral awakening.
BARBER: So there’s a book that I – when I studied my doctoral degree at Drew University, it was in pastoral care and public policy. And one of the books that was read said, you do not care about your people from a pastoral perspective, if you are not willing from a prophetic perspective, to challenge the systems that make them have the problems that need pastoral counseling in the first place. So in this moment, we have to stop separating the two. You know, a lot of young people are leaving so-called white evangelicalism. And I was told when we started working with young people, you know, “you’re not going to be able to be a preacher because they’re not, they don’t like that.” I said “no.” I said “what they don’t like is this bland form of religion that tells them all religion is about is just praying and wishing for stuff.”
Young people are very open to faith that is about transformation, about love, about justice, about equality, about the essence, the essence of what it means to be people of faith. And I think we have to be engaged. There’s no way in the days in which we live, the church can stay quarantined inside of the four walls of a building because that’s never what it was intended to do. You know, I’ve made a pact with some pastors, for instance, and we’ve said if anybody in our church dies from the lack of health care, we’re going to do just like Emmett Till’s momma. Call the media in and say this is what bad government policy looks like.
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