Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama, The Body of Christ and me

Boy I love the black church! I love the elders that give out candies they keep in their purse. The fashionable hats and fly suits. The sermons that talk about overcoming the struggles of life and the ability for redemption from mistakes. Now that I am older, I get to stand outside with the older black men and talk about life. I watched my father do it and now I am involved in the fellowship of men. It is like a rite of passage.

I wonder if Barak Obama feels the same way? You have to feel for a black man when he has to defend the black church. It's hard to defend your home, family, and existence. Now this is the part where people say “what?” The Rev. said inflammatory and un-American things. If Obama goes to this church he must hate whites, Jews, dogs, apple pie and Jessica Simpson (can't get anymore America than a girl that dates a professional quarterback and thinks that buffalo wings are made from real buffalos). The reality of this situation is that there are two Americas, one white and one black. What white folks saw when Rev Jeremiah Wright was preaching was an introduction into the black America. The preaching that is being played every hour on the hour on television is not shocking to black folks. You can hear the same talk during family functions, the barbershop and any places where 3 or more black folks congregate.
After watching Rev. Wright preach his "liberation" style, I can see why some white folks might be upset. It was a critique on our government that didn’t pull any punches. It cut to the very fabric of American society by speaking to our sense of right and wrong. Many blacks, not all but most, have dealt with racism and its negative effects. Rev Wright was preaching to people that have experienced the daily struggle of being black. It is the same talk that you hear in Jerry Falwell’s church, and Pat Robertson’s church, but the congregation looks different and the sermons have a different spin. Those church members have struggles with the social ills they perceive that are destroying America. Those church members go to church Sunday after Sunday and they never get called out for being hate mongers or racists. You can no more condemn Obama than you can John McCain for John Hagee who is linked to the Republican Presidential Nominee. So Obama can explain to his pundits about Rev. Wright, Winky Wright, Betty Wright, The Wright Brothers for all I care but leave the black church alone. Don't judge my church by the actions of one man. Black churches played an important role in the Civil Rights movement. They’ve helped the poor, elderly and our youth. Who else has taken the time to look out for the "least of these"? The current Government that is too busy fighting wars and bailing out Wall Street Businesses.

Instead of fighting over what was said, let’s talk about why it was said. Let us turn this into a true discussion on race and equality. Until then, I will be enjoying my vacation Bible School, revivals, hymn choir anniversaries and thanking God for the butterscotch candy that I get from the elders.

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