The Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina encompasses what it means to be a progressive
I am a Progressive. But, what does this mean? If you ask ten people, you might get nearly as many definitions and equally as many opinions on what Progressives should be doing.
The Progressive person, to my best understanding, is a person who is looking outward in life, someone who does feel empathy and sympathy towards their fellow man, and even other species. A Progressive is one who seeks out to advance themselves, and all of humanity via a constant seeking of knowledge, and utilizing the sciences, laws, and social institutions in order to advance mankind, and life in general.
A progressive person is one who desires to make things better around themselves, and in the process, create a better world which is not only better for people, but for any other living thing on Earth. A progressive is not against capitalism, not against a properly run corporation, and not against properly used laws. This needs to be very clear.
Now, when talking specifically of American Progressivism, a Progressive person is one whom typically also applies the ethics of their own religion or beliefs, typically Christianity (or any number of religious beliefs) to today’s problems.
Although some Progressive groups do use their religious beliefs as a center for their movement, there are also some groups which do not specifically use religious faith as their compass, but instead use a humanistic approach to their definition of right and wrong.
Now, In my estimation, nothing encompasses the modern American Progressive movement better than Moral Mondays. This movement has been operating in North Carolina since 2013. The reason I focus on this one today, is because in my mind, they clearly exemplify the ideals and methodology of the Progressive Movement of the latter 20th century in America.
They have been involved in the betterment of African Americans and the poor in the face of what they term unacceptable laws being passed by their State lawmakers. A brief list of issues they are working toward improving are the environment, reversing social program cuts, and racial justice.
Organizers behind Moral Mondays use Churches for organizing their group activities, use civil disobedience in public places such as Government offices, and have group protests that gets the attention of State Representatives.
They have done it all with the help of Christian pastors. Moral Mondays use Christianity’s teachings to criticize their government, as well as deciding what policies need changing, and how to change them. One of their most important struggles is in changing how Justice is applied in North Carolina, as they perceive that people of color are treated in a more negative way than whites.
This is one of the most important struggles in the 21st century for Progressives, one which affects us all, regardless of skin color. I highly recommend that you check out the Moral Monday movement and what they are doing, whether it is to support them, or even just to learn how to organize effectively. Even if you yourselves are not religious, there are lessons to be learned from this admirable group.
If we Progressives are to be able to make our voices heard and our ideas take fruit, we have to become more clear, strong and loud in what specific issues we want to fight for, and more importantly, we have to be better organized with better communication.