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NC NAACP chief denounces extremists of all kinds, including conservatives

  • The State
  • Published Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at 3:13 p.m.

— In a speech of fire and thunder Sunday evening, one of today’s best-known civil rights activists denounced what he said was narrow-minded political and religious thinking that has “put extremism on steroids.”

“We must not give up the so-called high moral ground to the right-wing extremists,” said the Rev. William Barber II, 50, president of the N.C. NAACP, to about 300 at Zion Baptist Church in downtown Columbia.

Issues such as voting, health care, environment and education “are moral issues, faith issues,” Barber said in a pre-Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech to Columbia and S.C. NAACP members and guests.

“Any profession of faith that doesn’t promote justice and standing against wrong is a form of heresy,” said Barber, adding that pastors who obsess about topics like prayer, homosexuality and abortion while neglecting justice, poverty, fair play and equality issues “are just running their mouths.”

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