By M.H. Cavenaugh
Christian Action League
September 4, 2014
WINSTON SALEM – Tuesday, the controversial president of the N.C. NAACP, William Barber II, was the featured speaker at Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity fall convocation. Barber was present to deliver the inaugural speech of the Mac Bryan Prophetic Preaching Series in Wait Chapel. The series honors the late “Mac” Bryan Sr., who was a religion professor at Wake Forest University that died in September of 2010.
According to the Winston Salem Journal, Barber admonished religious leaders to assume higher moral ground to support public education, voting rights, and increase the minimum wage and expand health care to achieve social justice.
But Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League said he disagrees that Barber’s contentions are actually “higher ground.” Instead, Rev. Creech said, “I believe it is really the low road of wealth redistribution – something forbidden by a proper understanding of Scripture.”
The Winston Salem Journal quotes Gail R. O’Day, the divinity school’s dean, saying “Rev. Barber has led all of us to look injustice in the face.”
Rev. Creech, however, argued that O’Day’s perceptions, like others at Wake Forest University, are sadly misguided. He says Barber gives the impression he is calling for a more compassionate government, when what he is really advocating is a so-called “charity” based in government coercion, which is no charity at all. “It really proves to be no charity either in spirit or the letter of the law. The government can’t forcefully take from one individual and give that individual’s money to another and genuinely call that charity. Instead that’s just old fashioned theft,” said Rev. Creech, “even if it is the government”. “What is more,” he added, “you can’t call it charity if it doesn’t work.”
Barber told his audience that, “The war on poverty isn’t a war we lost, it was a war where we left the battlefield.” He also touted President Lyndon Johnson’s efforts to push social programs to help the nation’s impoverished.
“Whether we are talking about Lyndon Johnson’s ‘Great Society’, welfare, education, or billions of dollars in stimulus money,” said Rev. Creech, “ the results still prove that government intervention has largely been an abysmal failure. Instead, such programs typically create more problems than they solve. Rev. Barber’s ‘social justice’ is really just damnable socialism.”
Rev. Creech faulted the current system of welfare for addicting people to government assistance and diminishing the energy to work. He said Barber is like a drug pusher deemphasizing personal responsibility, and exacerbating a culture of entitlement. “Barber’s assertions are not Christian themes, but they are masked as such in a sea of rhetoric about higher moral ground,” Rev. Creech added.
Barber also argued denying the rights of women and gay people is “extremist.” “Such words are veiled support for abortion and the redefinition of marriage,” said Rev. Creech. “And it is a crying shame, and nothing less than a crying shame that a school like Wake Forest University would ever countenance a speaker like Barber.” Rev. Creech said Wake Forest University’s founding as a Southern Baptist institution many years ago has fallen far from its godly heritage.
Rev. Creech concluded his remarks, “Higher ground is not socialist thinking, socialist thinking is not a Christian worldview, and abortion and gay rights are not moral, but grossly immoral. What is extreme is when good Christian people buy into this counterfeit gospel that Barber preaches.”
Read Rev. Creech’s op-ed piece on the Civitas Web Site,
NC NAACP President Attacks Religious Right as ‘Just Running Their Mouths’.
Read Rev. Creech’s op-ed piece on Voter ID,
In Defense of North Carolina’s Voter ID Law.