In an interview with The Guardian, excerpts of which were published yesterday, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry shared strong words about the silence of religious moderates as marginalized groups face patterns of systemic and societal oppression. In the interview, Curry expressed his concern that Christian leaders in the public sphere are not adequately advocating for positions that align with the teachings of Jesus Christ. In the interview, Curry cited both immigration and racial justice as issues that are often left unaddressed by many religious leaders, stating:
“I’m concerned when I don’t hear other religious leaders standing up for immigrants in our country being treated with justice and decency. I’m concerned when I don’t hear Christian leaders advocating vociferously for the re-unification of parents and children at our borders.”
“I’m concerned when I don’t hear religious leaders advocating for children to be number one on the social agenda of this country. I’m concerned when I hear silence from religious leaders after the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis marched through the streets of Charlottesville. I’m not hearing Jesus of Nazareth when I hear that silence.”
Curry’s comments in the interview derive from a concern that many American Christians are too easily swayed by ideologies that don’t align with Christian teachings. Despite his critiques of religious moderates, he claims he still has hope in the country to overcome these obstacles and move forward together.
This is not the first time Curry has publicly made such statements. Earlier this year, Curry was one of the key authors of the Reclaiming Jesus manifesto, a document by Christian leaders concerned about the integrity of the United States as a nation. Curry also published an op-ed on immigration in The Guardian online in June, entitled “How can America call itself a Christian country if it treats children like this?” His commitment to issues of justice can currently be seen throughout the overarching work and commitments of the Episcopal Church; at this summer’s General Convention, he outlined three priorities for ministry in the next triennium: evangelism, racial reconciliation, and creation care.
This interview in The Guardian also comes a week before Curry is set to release a new book, “The Power of Love.” The book, which will be a collection of sermons, gets its title from the sermon Curry preached at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this past spring which launched him into the public eye.