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Advocacy for Social Justice

Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: Learning from our Past

11/5/2013

Learning from our Past For many months this year the Birmingham News and many other news sources carried stories and pictures of the Civil Rights Movement, particularly highlighting those events that happened in 1963----50 years ago.  Many of those events took place in Birmingham, or other parts of Alabama.    Whether one was remembering them or seeing and hearing them for the first time, those pictures and stories were both very disturbing and very inspiring. I have lived in Birmingham my ...


Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: Alabama Immigration Law gutted by courts

10/30/2013

The North Alabama Conference Advocacy for Social Justice Team writes a regular blog. This week's entry reflects on Alabama’s settlement agreement regarding the state’s 2011 immigration law. Alabama Immigration Law gutted by courts In June of 2011, Alabama passed HB 56, a law that both supporters and opponents called the toughest immigration law in the country. Law sponsor Micky Hammond stated that the law was designed to make life unlivable for undocumented immigrants so that they will “self ...


Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: Alabama Immigration Law gutted by courts

10/30/2013

Alabama Immigration Law gutted by courts In June of 2011, Alabama passed HB 56, a law that both supporters and opponents called the toughest immigration law in the country. Law sponsor Micky Hammond stated that the law was designed to make life unlivable for undocumented immigrants so that they will “self deport.” Among other things, the law required police to detain anyone they suspected of being an undocumented immigrant, prohibited undocumented immigrants from attending any public ...


Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: Understanding the Affordable Care Act

10/8/2013

Understanding the Affordable Care Act Last week the health exchanges of the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) opened for people to begin shopping.  We’ve discussed healthcare in this blog that generated some good conversation online and in some of our churches.  However, one thing that seems to be a constant both for supporters and opponents of the law is that few people seem to understand what the law actually does.  Therefore, in this blog post, rather than arguing for or against...


Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: A Lay Response to Cutting Funding for Food Stamps

10/1/2013

A Lay Response to Cutting Funding for Food Stamps As a fellow sinner who worships at Asbury UMC (Birmingham), this SNAP budget-kill effort frankly makes me sick and afraid. I have looked more closely at the data. Research suggests that there are about 350,000 "congregations" (Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish -- ALL together) in the U.S., and, according to what Congressman Paul Ryan stated when he introduced this last time, it will be the job of those congregations to pick up the slack if this ...


Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: Food Stamps and Caring for the Least of These

9/23/2013

Several times a week, Ms. Carter comes to my office because she wants to pray. Specifically, she wants to pray for me. She always begins, “Pastor R.G., it’s time you and I had a little talk with Jesus.” Ms. Carter is 79 years old. She worked for over 40 years as a cook in restaurants throughout Birmingham. She is raising two of her granddaughters – with the oldest now being the first person in the family to go to college. And she is on SNAP (better known as food stamps) Last week, the House of ...


Love Has No Borders – Book Launched!

9/18/2013

On September 17, 2013 members of the Alabama community gathered at Holy Trinity–Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral for the official release of the book, “Love Has No Borders: How Faith Leaders Resisted Alabama’s Harsh Immigration Law.” On hand for book signing were contributing authors to the book, including a number of United Methodists from North Alabama. Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett offered an opening prayer for the event and congratulated the authors and advocates for the book. The prayer ...


Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: A Life is a Life As Long as You're White

7/15/2013

There’s a lot we don’t know about what happened between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin on the night Trayvon was killed.  But here’s what we do know: George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin walking through his neighborhood and decided that he was up to no good.  He called 911 and decided to follow him even though the 911 dispatcher told him not to. Trayvon Martin was unarmed – having nothing on him but a bag of skittles and some tea. At some point an altercation happened between the two that ...


Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: What Should Be the Christian Response to the Death Penalty?

6/19/2013

What Should Be the Christian Response to the Death Penalty? To promote discussion on this moral issue, in June 2006, the North Alabama Conference Church and Society team developed a position paper on capital punishment using the Wesleyan Quadrilateral Analysis (scripture, tradition, experience and reason) and the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church. Following are excerpts from this paper, which can be found in its entirety on the North Alabama Conference website: Wesleyan ...


Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: The 50th Anniversary of the Letter from the Birmingham Jail

4/4/2013

The 50th Anniversary of the Letter from the Birmingham Jail Fifty years ago, Birmingham was in the national spotlight when the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Birmingham to lead demonstrations.  At the time, Bull Conner was the commissioner of public safety who was the figure head of perhaps the most racist city in America.  Many believe that the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham was pivotal in the movement that eventually led to the passage of the Civil ...


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