Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Black Bishop Brings a Political Message to the Royal Wedding

From The Atlantic-

Maybe it was the gospel choir singing “Stand by Me.” Perhaps it was the fiery sermon on the power of love. Price Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on Saturday had a distinctively black-church flavor to it. And the joyful avatar of this quality was Bishop Michael Curry, the presiding head of the Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican communion along with the Church of England. His address to the room full of royals and celebrities at Windsor Castle was subtly political, calling for an end to poverty and war and citing American slavery and Martin Luther King Jr.

All of this made for a pointed celebration of Britain’s new biracial duchess—a powerful counterpoint to the wealth and hierarchy at the heart of the British throne. As Reverend Renee McKenzie, the vicar and chaplain of an Episcopal church in Philadelphia, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “It’s taking a hammer into the basement of the master and slowly destroying the house brick by brick.”

Curry has a history of political activism in the United States. When he was the Episcopal bishop of North Carolina, he supported the Moral Monday movement, a weekly gathering in front of the statehouse in protest of economically and racially discriminatory policies. Reverend William Barber, the pastor who led that movement, called Curry “a good friend” during an interview with MSNBC on Sunday. “Bishop Curry and others in our movement are lifting up what the word”—the Bible—“really says about the poor,” Barber said.


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