Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Moral Counsel


Last Thursday, and again this Monday, I called into a national conference call hosted by Rev. Dr. William Barber II of the North Carolina NAACP. Rev. Barber is one of our nation’s foremost moral leaders and listening to him is a balm to the soul.

Two words Rev. Barber spoke repeatedly over these two calls struck a chord with me. The first word was Counsel. The second word was Resistance.

I will have more to say about Resistance soon. At this moment I am convinced that the best response to a Trump presidency is for all Americans who oppose his presidency and policies to become ungovernable. I’ll say more on this later.



When Rev. Barber talked to us about counsel, he was speaking to us out of the prophetic tradition. Counsel means going to those in power and speaking to them in the most powerful moral language we have. His call is for us to take up the mantle of the prophetic tradition and speak moral truths just like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and Amos.

Counsel is the making of moral demands.

Yes, it is probably naïve to think that writing letters to Trump will change his mind on climate change or that making calls to Paul Ryan will cause him to change his stance on the Affordable Care Act. (I would still say to make these calls and write these letters, just make sure that's not the only thing you're doing.)

But, it occurs to me that there are other forms of Counsel that are needed, beyond just counseling the president-elect.

We need to be reaching out to all our elected officials counseling them to denounce Steve Bannon and proclaiming that he must not have any role in this administration.

President Barack Obama has 64 days left in office and we need to offer him our moral counsel about the transfer of power.

The Electoral College will convene on December 19 to cast their votes for President. It is a “Hail Mary,” but these electors need to be approached indirectly and directly and counseled that the Electoral College was created to prevent this from happening.

We need to counsel any Republicans in the Senate or House that might possibly have any shred of human decency remaining to break ranks with their majorities.

We need to counsel Democrats in the Senate and House to unite and remain indivisible.

And, we desperately need to counsel those at the very top of our economic order of their power in this time to challenge the political order for their own sake and for ours.


I am committing myself, beginning today, to a daily practice of moral counsel. I will be posting links and information on Facebook and on this blog so that you can take part.