This is an ongoing story; please check back for updates. As of the time of this post, AME Zion Bishop W. Darin Moore, who is also Chairman of the Governing Board of the National Council of Church, along with other national church leaders, have been arrested during the course of a protest at the U.S. Senate Office. The following statements were issued before the protests began:
Beloved Zion, the following information concerns all Americans, please read this information and take action by following the recommendations stated to stand united against this tax bill.
November 29, 2017
While most of us were celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, the Republican-controlled Senate and the Trump Administration have been working frantically to pass a Tax Bill that will have devastating consequences on the poor in our country. Under the guise of “Tax Reform” they will gut the safety net for many Americans, balloon the national debt, and eliminate an important provision in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in order to give huge tax breaks to the wealthy. This immoral act must be confronted with the boldest action possible.
I will join several religious leaders tomorrow morning in the US Senate Office Building to engage in non-violent protest through prayer and reading of Scripture. There are more than 2,000 verses in the Bible that speak about justice for the poor and oppressed. We will pray and read these passages until senators hear us or the Capitol Police arrest us. Dr. Martin Luther King once stated; “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” This is such a time.
While we are keenly aware that the politics of the moment have cemented the majority of Republican Senators in their hardhearted positions, making our efforts seem futile, we firmly believe that we must make our prayers, presence, and protest visible nonetheless.
I am asking all ministers and laity throughout the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District to do the following:
Immediately call both of your US Senators offices stating your strong opposition to the tax bill and urging them to vote against it. You should also encourage everyone you know to do the same.
At 11:00AM tomorrow, wherever you are, stop what you’re doing and pray for those of us who are praying at the Capitol and will potentially be arrested for our actions. Also pray fervently for our country as we live in some of the most turbulent times in our history.
If you are so moved, you may organize a group (even a few can make an impact) to go to a Republican Senator’s office in your area and join us at 11AM EST reading scriptures and praying. You can read the attached article from Sojourners and click on the link imbedded in it to get further information. Beginning tomorrow at 11AM use the hashtags #2000verses and #GOPTaxBill to express your opposition to the tax bill and your support for those of us protesting at the US Senate Office Building and at Senators offices in various locations
Have you ever wondered where you would be and what you would be doing if you were alive during the Abolitionist Movement, or were an adult during the Civil Rights Movement? Your actions during these challenging times with an Administration in the White House and Justice Department, enabled by the GOP majority in Congress trying to roll back all the gains of the last 50 years is the best indication of where you would have been.
“Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers. Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!” (Proverbs 31:8-9 MSG)
Yours for the Cause of Justice and Liberation,
Bishop W. Darin Moore, Presiding Prelate
Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church