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After Amendment One, Progressive NC Churches Refocus on Policy

May 21, 2012

HICKORY, N.C. - North Carolina's progressive churches are gearing up to push for policies they believe in, as lawmakers begin the legislative short session in Raleigh. Church leaders say their fight against the Marriage Amendment made them realize the importance of distinguishing their voices at a time when more conservative churches are pushing ahead with their own messages.

At the Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church, Hickory, Pastor T. Anthony Spearman says there's a silver lining to the Amendment One fight.

"I'm looking at it as something that's going to be able to unify the various segments of our community and bring us together."

Many of the state's progressive congregations are part of the N.C. Council of Churches. The organization is fighting for such causes as reinstating the one-cent sales tax, adding a tax bracket for those making more than $1 million a year and opposing voter I.D. legislation.

George Reed is the executive director of the N.C. Council of Churches. At a time when many members of more conservative churches are getting attention for their beliefs, he says it's important to remind people that those opinions are not shared by all faiths.

"There is a collection of people of faith in this state who are progressive, prophetic, who are involved with progressive issues."

Reed's organization represents 6,200 congregations with 1.5 million people in North Carolina. This year, like every other year, the Council will continue advocating for progressive policies, he says.

More information is available at www.nccouncilofchurches.org.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC