Category Archives: black churches

>OBSERVATION: Black churches … for the love of God.

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As a one-time media advisor to the late Mayor Gene Sawyer and as a lover of Gospel music, I volunteered for a duty that others avoided. Sunday after Sunday, I joined the late Mayor in visiting black churches — hitting at least half dozen churches each Sabbath.

In the years since, I have occasionally attended African-American services with friends or been a visiting speaker. More often than not, my wife and young son would join me as the only white church mice to be found among the congregation.

When I traveled with Sawyer, I usually tried to stay inconspicuously in the rear of the church. I say “tried” because many times I was singled out by the preacher and invited to come to the alter to receive a “special” blessing. This usually was about the time for the offertory. I learned to come prepared with a dozen ten dollar bills to drop into the various collection plates.

In one case, my stash proved insufficient. As soon as I dropped a ten dollar donation into the basket, the pastor peered longingly over his glasses into my wallet. With each new Hamilton dropped into the basket I got a hardier “thank you, brother” until he was satisfied that I had tithed appropriately – at about the fifty dollar mark, as I recall.

These experiences in dozens of black churches cause me to now wonder. Were did the Jeremiah Wrights and Michael Pflegers come from? When did the angry racist homilies infect the body of Christ?
Though it was sometimes costly to the pocket book, I cannot recall a time that I did not enjoy and feel uplifted by my attendance. In every black church I attended, I felt the most gracious and loving welcome. My family was made to feel like the most special of guests — not part of some white oppressors. There was a perceptible outpouring of energetic love throughout the congregation. You could feel it in the music, the sermons and the interaction of the people. I never felt uncomfortable. Of course, I never visited Trinity or St. Sabina.
With all the press attention paid to the divisive screeds of Wright, Pfleger and a few other publicity seeking reverends, I hope the public in general will not assume that they represent all the black pastors.
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>REACT: Father Pfleger finally flubs (see videos here)

>They applauded and cheered as Father Michael Pfleger, pastor the St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church, whooped it up as the visiting sermonizer at Trinity United Church of Christ – the one-time home of the racist Pastor Jeremiah Wright and long-time congregant Barak Obama. You would have thought they had learned a lesson about spewing hatred from the pulpit by now. But noooooooo!

Thanks to modern techonology and You Tube, the words of Father Pfleger are no longer just repeated but are available for all to hear. His message of anger and hate is no longer limited to the confines of the black church. You can see both his improper and illegal attack on Hillary Clinton — and his admission that he is causing trouble. The “man of God” knows he is sinning.

Because Father Plfeger is a raging left winger – more interested in a political platform than the pulpit — he has been allowed to be outrageous for years without much criticism from the fawning press. In fact, even the unavoidable criticism of his latest over-the-top stunt is tempered by the media with countervailing reporting on all the alleged good he has done through his ministry.

Methinks that he would not even now be criticized if his racist character and inappropriate comments had not turned out to be detrimental to the most important liberal sacred cow of the day, Barak Obama. This is the same song sheet the media choir have used in the past for Pastor Wright, Jesse “Hymie Town” Jackson, Al Sharpton and the rest of the racist reverends who play partisan politics from the pulpit – flagrantly violating the laws that affords them taxpayer subsidies. You and I pay for the venomous attacks on the non-black communities.

It is reported that Francis Cardinal George (left) has had enough of the bad boy Father Pfleger. I certainly hope so. He should be summarily booted … defrocked … excommunicated. He is the secular wolf lurking beneath the lamb (of God) skin.

Oh sure, Pfleger has apologized – said he is sorry if his brutal, sleazy racist mocking of Hillary Clinton and all non-black people offended her … and all non-black people. If course it offended her, and most likely a lot of us non-black people. It was ugly and vicious. It was about as unChristian as you can get short of bodily harm. It offended anyone with fair judgment and honest heart. I am convinced that Pfleger apologized only when it became obvious that his partisan verbal slashing was going to backlash on his beloved Obama. When has he ever apologized in the past for his bombastic attacks on white people?

The performance on the stage at Trinity was not an exception, but the norm for Father Pfleger. For those who are familiar with Pfleger, his history of radical extremism and abuse of his pulpit privileges are historic and pervasive. Though white, he is a promoter of black liberation theology, often a theological euphemism for racial hatred in the name of God. He uses the same sort of religious contortions that had those long-ago southern white pastors (and a few still hanging around) denouncing the God-given humanity of blacks – using the burning symbol of a loving Christ to convey fear and hatred.

To add a weirdness to his viewpoints, Pfleger takes pride in mimicking the extreme edge of the flamboyant style of black ministers. His imitation is so complete, it borders on psychotic. He channels the most radical black preachers. Pfleger’s black “act” is so out of context with his white boyish looks and carefully coifed blond hair that unless you listen to the scurrilous content of his homilies you might think it a Saturday Night Live skit.

In his ethnic self hatred, Pfleger allies in common cause and friendship with the likes of Louis Farrakhan (left). Like Jeremiah Wright, Pfleger embraces and promotes the misguided Muslim minister. Instead of repudiating Farrakhan, Pfleger praises him and invites him to desecrate the sanctuary of St. Sabina’s with his racist rhetoric. Pfleger finds it impossible to call out anyone who speaks ill of the white community.

I am also more than a little bothered by the reaction of the congregation at Trinity. The congregation’s chortles, guffaws and amens to Pfleger’s message of racial animosity were almost as offensive as the Muslims dancing in the streets as the New York Trade Towers crumbled. After years of Pastor Wright, it would appear that those in the pews have been so drawn to, or indoctrinated by, the extreme preaching of racial victimization at the hands of the evil white majority that they cannot see the wrongness of Wright and Pfleger. It is chilling to think that until recent days the potential President of the United States was among them in holy communion.

What seems to bridge racial lines, however, are the many infamous ministers in America — black, white, Christian, Muslim, Jew – who seem to be the most out of touch with a loving God. Preachers of this ilk seem to find large congregations who prefer to have their prejudices comforted rather than challenged.

I am not sure how much harm Pfleger does to Obama. The candidate does not have the two-decade intimate relationship with Pfleger the he once claimed to have “treasured” with Pastor Wright. He did not spend Sunday after Sunday at the foot of Pfleger’s pulpit. On the other hand, they have been close friends and comrades-in-arms since Obama first appeared on the civic/political scene. Pfleger has been a donor to Obama campaigns. Until recently (post Wright flare up), he served as an official advisor to the campaign. He can be listed, along with Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko, as another close and influential friend who has become radio active — who raises legitimate concern about Obama’s friendships of choice.

There are a goodly number of godly black ministers, and Martin Luther King can be looked at as the role model. King preached consistently and forcefully against racial prejudice and hatred. He never found it necessary to seek justice through retribution. He never proposed inverting the scales of justice to compensate for past inequities. He never demanded special treatment as compensation for past injustice. He sought mutual respect and equality. He envisioned a true post racial world in which the color of a person’s skin was irrelevant.

Credit where credit is due. Thanks to Obama, the issue of black racism and the historic politicization of the black churches has been drawn into the sunlight of public scrutiny. If there is to be a national discord on racism, this is not a bad place to start. Black racism is no longer the protectorate of political correctness. Amen, brother!