US church leader challenges president to tackle inequality - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
September 19, 2005

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US church leader challenges president to tackle inequality

-19/09/05

Following the US day of prayer and remembrance for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the president of the National Council of Churches USA has called on President George W. Bush to turn his words of concern into concrete deeds to rebuild communities and tackle inequality.

Responding to the Presidentís ëaddress to the nationí last week, Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr., NCCUSA leader and Christian Methodist Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana and Mississippi, declared: ì[W]e feel it is our duty to remind the President that an apology and promises will only go so far.î

He said: ìIt is commendable for President Bush to apologize for the mistakes made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We welcome his pledge to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. We celebrate his promise to address the injustices that were so profoundly exposed by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of New Orleans.î

ìNow, as a nation, we must acknowledge that this crisis has only exposed what lies just beneath the surface of prosperity and progress in this country,î Bishop Hoyt continued.

He went on: ìIn our rush to repair the levees and restore the neighbourhoods of the Gulf Coast, let us not continue the injustices - and yes, the sins of omission and commission - of the past. Let us not continue to allow children to be left behind by under-funded school systems and inadequate healthcare. Let us not continue to allow poor people to live in neighborhoods that are environmental hazards. Let us not continue to allow honest, hardworking people to work for less than livable wages.î

Announced the bishop: ì[W]e must now look to our government and to the private sector for a long-term change in behaviour that recognizes and corrects the glaring inequities of American societyÖ Disaster relief and rescue must go beyond the flooded streets of New Orleans and reach into the desperate lives of the millions in poverty across our land - a disproportionate number of whom are African American

Recalling the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Hoyt said that America today ìstands on the threshold of what is a great opportunity Ö so vividly portrayed in his ëI Have A Dreamí speech more than 40 years ago. It is an opportunity to stop making empty promises, to practice what we preach, to walk what we talk.î

Recalling the Jewish and Christian Book of Nehemiah, Hoyt concluded: ìAs the Bishop of the Fourth Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church presiding over Mississippi and Louisiana and as the President of the National Council of Churches USA, I say to you: ëLet us rise up and build!íî

The National Council of Churches is composed of 35 US denominations representing a wide spectrum of Orthodox, mainline Protestant, Episcopalian, historic African American and peace churches with some 45 million members.

Find books now:

US church leader challenges president to tackle inequality

-19/09/05

Following the US day of prayer and remembrance for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the president of the National Council of Churches USA has called on President George W. Bush to turn his words of concern into concrete deeds to rebuild communities and tackle inequality.

Responding to the President's ëaddress to the nation' last week, Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr., NCCUSA leader and Christian Methodist Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana and Mississippi, declared: '[W]e feel it is our duty to remind the President that an apology and promises will only go so far.'

He said: 'It is commendable for President Bush to apologize for the mistakes made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We welcome his pledge to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. We celebrate his promise to address the injustices that were so profoundly exposed by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of New Orleans.'

'Now, as a nation, we must acknowledge that this crisis has only exposed what lies just beneath the surface of prosperity and progress in this country,' Bishop Hoyt continued.

He went on: 'In our rush to repair the levees and restore the neighbourhoods of the Gulf Coast, let us not continue the injustices - and yes, the sins of omission and commission - of the past. Let us not continue to allow children to be left behind by under-funded school systems and inadequate healthcare. Let us not continue to allow poor people to live in neighborhoods that are environmental hazards. Let us not continue to allow honest, hardworking people to work for less than livable wages.'

Announced the bishop: '[W]e must now look to our government and to the private sector for a long-term change in behaviour that recognizes and corrects the glaring inequities of American societyÖ Disaster relief and rescue must go beyond the flooded streets of New Orleans and reach into the desperate lives of the millions in poverty across our land - a disproportionate number of whom are African American.'

Recalling the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Hoyt said that America today 'stands on the threshold of what is a great opportunity Ö so vividly portrayed in his ëI Have A Dream' speech more than 40 years ago. It is an opportunity to stop making empty promises, to practice what we preach, to walk what we talk.'

Recalling the Jewish and Christian Book of Nehemiah, Hoyt concluded: 'As the Bishop of the Fourth Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church presiding over Mississippi and Louisiana and as the President of the National Council of Churches USA, I say to you: ëLet us rise up and build!''

The National Council of Churches is composed of 35 US denominations representing a wide spectrum of Orthodox, mainline Protestant, Episcopalian, historic African American and peace churches with some 45 million members.

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