Friday, April 25, 2008

The Most Segregated Hour in America: Some Insight on the Black Church

It has taken me a while to post on this subject because it is very sensitive to me. However, due to the mass media and the comments we have received about it I believe it is time. Let me begin by saying that I grew up in the black church. In addition to Sunday I typicall spent 3 additional days a week in church. I remember looking at all the people who only came to church on Christmas and Easter with disgust and my mother saying that the doors of the church are open to everyone regardless of when they decide to come. I also recall my pastor saying things that I honestly believed in my heart and understood but knew probably would not be accepted by the mainstream if it were heard outside of the walls. However that's where the problem lies. I think many are disillusioned about what happens in the black church and how not only is it a place for spiritual fulfillment but also a place where blacks can vent at times when needed. In order to fully understand this you have to understand how the black church came to be.

Upon this series of events, it has become very apparent to me that there is a universal ignorance about many black churches. The black church came to be when the white church used subordinating theology to fit their politics back in the day (particularly during slave times). This led to the separation of the white and black church. Granted this day in age there are many diverse churches in which both white and blacks attend together and sing kumbaya, however, in a predominantly black church there are many things discussed outside of religion. It is not the predominant thing discussed but there are things that are definitely said. Many times grievances are articulated, injustices, and politics to name a few things. And this is place where blacks feel like they can speak freely and courageously about things (aside from inside the walls of their home).

This leads me to the Rev Jeremiah Wright. So once all the media hype began to surround Rev. Wright I was very intrigued. I watched the 37 second sound bites that they played on repeat for weeks. But then I said to myself "Self why not watch this whole thing in its context so you can understand what this man is really saying." Before watching these sermons I was not offended by his comments as much as thinking DAMN black man what made you say that on the pulpit. However, watching these sermons and putting his comments in their CONTEXT I honestly saw nothing wrong with what he was saying. Everyone kept saying how can he say this so soon after 9-11? Let's examine some of Rev Wright's inflammatory remarks shall we...

"GOD damn America!"
Damned- righteous indignation cursing by GOD. Judgement on people of GOD.
In it's context.... America is compared to Israel. God condemned Israel for causing turmoil in other places. And let's face it people America is far from squeaky clean. Hell, it was founded by almost wiping out a nation of people and built on the backs of another people. (Yes I said it! This land belonged to Native Americans who were slaughtered like animals. The cotton industry is what economically built America and who was in the fields with no pay???) That's not even touching its foreign policy and things it has done and tried to force on other nations in the name of promoting "democracy". While at the same time sitting on their hands and letting other things go on in nations that were and are clearly unjust but secretly helping the political agenda of America. Now, because I have these feelings should I too be demonized like Rev. Wright? And who ever said he, or I for that matter because I don't disagree with his statements, hate America. Like Rev. Wright I love America and the opportunities it has provided me. But like him I also love it enough to point out its flaws. He never said that the people on September 11th deserved what happened to them. He does however want America to look at how they may be somewhat accountable for what happened and I do not see anything wrong with that.

"The chickens coming home to roost"
If you go on other people's soil and perpetuate violence you do not think that they may retaliate? America is not too good to be attacked. PERIOD!

It has become extremely apparent to me that this whole thing is just being used as a weapon against Barack Obama. Even after he said he didn't agree with the statements (which he had to say for politics) he is still being scrutinized for associating with Rev. Wright. Rev Wright is a man who served his country as a marine and continues to serve it through his ministry throughout the Chicago area. It is amazing how the oh so wonderful America can demonize a man who has been preaching for 36 years through a 37 second sound bite. Also can we take a moment and look at things through the eyes of Rev. Wright. He is a man who was alive during Jim Crow and I am sure suffered some injustices from it. So clearly his opinion on America may be a little different than all the finger pointing Americans who know nothing about having to deal with those injustices.

In closing I would like to quote something that Dr. Martin Luther King said, "America is the greatest war criminal in the world." Now Dr. King loved America. He died for his love of it and wanting to see equality in it. He loved it so much he challenged it to look at itself.


lacochran said...

I, too, think the reverend was expressing things that people just didn't want to consider. If you try to take a real look at America it blows away the image of America. They can't co-exist.

I'm curious, though, when you say "God condemned Israel for causing turmoil in other places." what you mean...? I've not heard this particular thinking before.

Up&Coming Buppie said...
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Up&Coming Buppie said...
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Up&Coming Buppie said...

Thanks for your comments! And as far as your question check out Exodus 32:7-10 and 32:35-33:3. The story of Moses is in this book. To get the full gist you may have to read a little more of Exodus. But I don't want to get into a heavy religious talk so I will just leave you with that. Oh lacochran check out Hosea 5 as well. A friend just gave me that as a reference as well.

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