Daniel José Camacho: Keep a close eye on the Poor People’s Campaign

RNS asked some of the country’s top faith leaders, scholars and activists to consider what changes the religion landscape will see in 2018. Find all their predictions here.

(RNS) — The new Poor People’s Campaign will be one of the biggest religious stories of 2018. Spearheaded by Rev. Dr. William Barber and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, this campaign is consciously taking up the radical politics and unfinished work of Martin Luther King Jr.

This campaign’s fate will reveal two things: first, whether the fusion politics and tactics successfully deployed in North Carolina through Moral Mondays and the state NAACP are replicable or translatable on a national scale; second, whether a substantial Religious Left can exert political influence.

If the PPC is mildly successful in mobilizing progressive voters and building a broad coalition, it will spell major trouble for Republicans.

Set to stage over 40 days of direct action in Washington D.C. and 25 state capitals, some are calling this “perhaps the most ambitious civil rights campaign since the 60s.” Yet, the biggest test for the PPC will be its ability to impact public policy and shift the politics of the Democratic Party.

If the PPC is able to build a broad religious coalition around issues such as poverty, environmentalism, and peace, it might reignite King’s political vision which religious liberals abandoned.

Up until now, it’s been the Religious Right which has organized itself around a set of policies and pushed the Republican Party. If religious progressives can accomplish something comparable, there might finally be something worth calling the Religious Left.

(Daniel José Camacho is a contributing opinion writer at The Guardian US. He writes about politics and religion. The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)


  1. The Apostles’ Creed 2018: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    (references used are available upon request)

  2. Evangelicals supporting Trump are thumbing their noses at the best values of their religion. Hypocrites. Whited sepulchers.

  3. The embracing of the far-right by evangelicals is nothing new. I saw it growing up in a Baptist family. It does help me to cope with my guilt of separating myself from this hypocrisy. My indoctrination didn’t fully take and looking at it from a distance now, I am thankful for that.

  4. left right, represent the two sides of us, we have two brains with a corpus collosum between them (FAT, ANOINTING) that actually brings them together for INNER COMMUNICATION of both brains: We also have that brain stem (primal serpent brain) but that’s another post: Left side is the helping hand (but it is ruled by the RIGHT brain: The right hand is ruled by the left brain in other words or the “reasoning side” of the brain: (normally males used to be more left brained but now days I sense women are also left brained and vice versa, but that isn’t the problem: WE NEED people both males and females to understand HOW BOTH SIDES OF THEIR BRAIN function together and learn what BALANCES THEM so we can be FULLY FUNCTIONING HUMAN BEINGS. It is written for instance: In Christ (that light that is activated at the ‘CENTER LEVEL” (oil anointing in us) there is no more male or female but a NEW MAN (here is where we are balanced, having both sides in us functioning as ONE BEING): This is the goal of creation whether we like it or not: it is the next step in evolution and some of us know it and others are fighting it even with the most staunch religions beliefs, they ignore that part of their HOLY BOOKS: Once we are whole we won’t have to fight for “OUR” side because we will have BOTH SIDES and realize we are in NEED of both things: BOTH SOCIAL structures and those in which we can still compete but at a much friendlier level, and not with the aim of destroying others but helping them also succeed: A process the ego finds quite foreign even today in 2018 (around the corner: )

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