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Bishop known for speaking at royal wedding headlines forum on civil rights

Lyn Riddle, The State on

Published in Religious News

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After Michael Curry gained world-wide attention for giving the sermon at the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, he often heard the same refrain.

People said they didn't know Christianity was about love.

He was shocked.

Curry brought a similar message of love to conquer social ills to Columbia on Saturday at the Fellowship of South Carolina Bishops Dialogue sponsored by University of South Carolina Center for Civil Rights and Research and the S.C. Council of Bishops. About 300 people attended the forum at Capstone House.

Curry called for a second American Revolution, steeped in love and respect for one another to bring about social justice for all.

In a speech that was at once funny, heartfelt and pointed, Curry said Robert Fulgrum got it right in this book, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." Share, play fair, don't hit, put things back, clean up your messes, don't take anything that isn't yours, say sorry, wash hands before you eat, flush, nap, when you go out in traffic watch out for each other and hold hands.

 

He turned the admonitions on their heads to show their opposites. The opposites look like much of the history of the United States past and present: income inequality, land taken from Native Americans, climate change, hurting others through social injustice.

He said it's not just about politics but is deeply rooted in history and spiritual maladies that will continue until people decide they must put care for others above care for themselves. He has asked himself whether it's possible, and his resounding answer is yes.

"The world of love is not naive," he said, his voice dropping to a near whisper. "It is the way to save the world."

Curry said the way to an America that can live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence is for people to build relationships across differences and face painful truths. He called the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" a vision because when it was written it didn't apply to people like him or to women.

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