Opinion: For Whom and What Do Faith Leaders Pray?

Were their prayers answered?

White — most of them, anyway — evangelicals, recently photographed laying hands on President Donald Trump perhaps were praying that the proposed Senate health care bill, the one estimates predicted would result in millions losing care or Medicaid coverage, would fail.

And it did.

Or maybe not. Who knows what a person prays for in his or her heart?

Local News Roundup: Reaction to Comey Firing, Parents Weigh In on CMS Map, Crime on the Rise

Carolina senators react to the firing of the FBI director. Charlotte-Mecklenburg parents give the school board feedback on the student assignment plan. Violent crime figures are on the rise. Mike Collins and our reporter roundtable discuss the week’s news.

Is There a Reward at the End of the Democrats’ Long Slog?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The HKonJ protest this past weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, may have been the largest such event, but it wasn’t the first time that thousands, with causes as diverse as the citizen-marchers themselves, showed up. For 11 years, with messages for both Republicans and Democrats, the faithful gathering at Historic Thousands on Jones Street have persisted.

There is a lesson for the dissatisfied, new to activism, who are now crowding town halls and filling the streets: Victories may never come, or may be incremental, at best. Each goal accomplished could be followed by a setback.

Are the protesters of 2017 in it for the long haul?

Supreme Court Could Decide Voter-Restriction Battle in NC

Last week, voting-rights advocates hailed a legal victory—at least briefly—when a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit cleared the way for North Carolina voters to utilize same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct provisional balloting, both of which were eliminated in a revision of the state’s election law that was passed by a Republican legislature in 2013.

But any celebration was incomplete—and short-lived.

Could NAACP leader and black GOP senator find common ground?

In the bipartisan effort to strengthen the Voting Rights Act of 1965, key parts of which were eliminated by the Supreme Court last year,  Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and the Rev. William Barber, head of the North Carolina NAACP, would likely find themselves on opposite sides.

And that’s just if the debate were strictly political. Now, it has gotten personal, with Barber’s recent remarks about the tea party-backed Scott, the only black Republican in Congress, causing both sides to retreat to established positions and preconceptions.

North Carolina protesters look forward and reach back to faith

If the scene looks familiar, well, it is.

A minister leading the way as a multi-hued crowd of demonstrators speaks of justice and equality, even while being peacefully led away by police. Speeches laced with words of scripture on caring for “the least of these.” A governor who calls a growing numbers of protesters “outsiders.”

It’s the South, in 2013, not 1963. But surprisingly to some, it’s North Carolina, long hailed as a moderate to progressive Southern state that is now making national headlines for Moral Mondays, named that by those who object to a stream of conservative proposals put forth by a Republican-controlled legislature and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.