By Donna Smith, American SiCKO
GOLDSBORO, North Carolina -- Rev. William Barber preached the word of God and the message of H.R.676 on Sunday when the SiCKO Cure Road Show team came to town. More than 100 parishioners swayed and prayed and rocked and rolled as their exuberant pastor lifted the message of health care for all up for contemplation and celebration.
'Amen, brother,' and 'Yes, pastor, yes,' called out the members of the Greenleaf Christian Church as Rev. Barber asked if having heath care is a basic human right. Then Barber asked Liv Boykins of Rep. John Conyers' office to step to the pulpit and share the road show team's vision for a new and brighter way for each American to enjoy the benefits of H.R.676, The National Health Insurance Act.
Donna Smith, American SiCKO, and Elyse Seigle, of HealthCare-Now, joined in the Sunday services with Boykins, and the congregation embraced all three women as well as their message of hope and human compassion.
But Barber shared more with his flock. "We must remember," he said as he spoke in support of Conyers' universal health care bill, "we must always know,'Power concedes nothing. It never has and it never will without a struggle,'" the pastor hearkened to the words of Frederick Douglass. He told his church that being ready for a fight to secure this most basic of rights should underscore the validity of the cause.
The congregants cheered and clapped and let a few Hallelujahs ring out. In unabashed support for a more just health care system, the pastor embraced the issues presented and promised he would lead his church members in calling on North Carolina's Congressional members for co-sponsorship of the bill.
Barber also praised God for bringing Boykins his way as he had been praying for new direction in another matter in which he may wish to have some additional Congressional attention. The pastor has been working on the case of James Arthur Johnson, a young black man who spent three years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit.