The NC Council of Churches is proud to publish a brand new e-book collection of testimonies from Moral Mondays. With 32 short vignettes from North Carolinians across the state, Voices of Moral Mondays tells the story of everyday folks being motivated to speak out on account of their faith. Many, though not all, of the accounts describe what it was like to engage in civil disobedience and be arrested by the authorities. Click here to download the free e-book.
By Leigh Sanders, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh
In the beginning, I was hesitant to attend Moral Mondays because I thought it was a strictly religious response and not being devoutly anything, I assumed I wasn’t invited. Then I attended a Moral Monday meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh and understood that not only was I invited, I was late!
As a long-time women’s rights activist, I am privy to the issues our state has tackled while working to advance a progressive agenda. The needs of women and girls especially, have suffered from the “good ‘ol boy network” on both sides of the ticket. But never have I seen the wrath of political guerrilla warfare like I have this legislative session. By far this is the most civil rights-violating group of elected officials in our state’s recent history.
My personal reasons for identifying with the actions of the General Assembly were three-fold: as a woman, an educator and a mother. As a former teacher and stay-at-home mom, I spent two years working on a master’s degree in the hope that I could reduce some of the lost wages incurred from staying home with children. I had left the teaching profession because financially I could not reconcile my salary and childcare requirements. It never once occurred to me that teachers would be financially penalized for being too educated for the job.
The night of the Sharia Law/Family, Faith and Freedom Act, I received a text from my friend that read, “Turn on the news, stay calm.” I learned about the sneak attack on reproductive rights with unbridled rage that couldn’t help but succumb to worried tears over the course of a sleepless night.
As a woman, I was persecuted by religion and, as a mother, I was powerless to protect. I was one of the first people to arrive and sit in front of the Senate the next morning. I watched as legislators interloped on my children’s future and prophesied on their free will. Using myopic Christianity and banal rhetoric, they made themselves and our great state a national lampoon.
Every week, Moral Mondays provided me with the North Carolina I know and adore. Whether the roots of those at Moral Mondays were established in the sand like my own or the red clay or the steep bedrock, we were a united front for justice, our voices one:
“Forward together, not one step back.”