Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Why are Black Preachers So Excited About Senator Barack Obama?
Why are Black Preachers So Excited About Senator Barack Obama? There has been a quite a clamor raised over noted black preachers expressing excitement over the Presidential Prospects of Senator Barack Obama. Charisma Magazine has posted editorials expressing their concern and disdain that Bishop T. D. Jakes, Pastor Kirbyjon Calwell, Prophetess Juanita Bynum, and several other noted black preachers have mentioned to the media that they are excited about the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama. Each of these noted black preachers has done nothing to damage their 501 C-3 status by endorsing Senator Barack Obama. What is the big stink about?
Is it a sin for a black preacher to express noticeable excitement about the prospects of a black man being elected President of the United States? There are many black preachers who are nothing short of astonished that a black man is really this close to being The President of the United States. Should a black preacher be exempt from reveling in this moment as most Black Americans are? Haven't black preachers gone through many of the same trials that most blacks in America have? Are these black preachers practicing bigotry because someone that looks like them is this close to ascending to the highest office in this land?
I feel like it is quite hypocritical for many in the Christian Media to attack black preachers for being excited about Senator Barack Obama. It would be entirely foolhardy for a group of people that has suffered oppression in this land, to not become excited about noticeable benchmarks of progression. Many of these noted black preachers are still the descendants of slaves. How could anyone deny their right to be excited about this moment in history?
The Religious Right and The Conservative Media are primed to send every black preacher that even acknowledges being excited about Barack Obama to Hell. They will ask how could a black preacher support a man that doesn't oppose abortion? I will acknowledge that most black preachers oppose abortion, but we also oppose the systemic mistreatment of many in our pews. How can so many in the Religious Right rally around abortion to such a great degree, but turn a deaf ear against crime and poverty in our inner cities?
How can we ardently fight so hard for babies that we can't see, while we neglect speaking out against policies that so adversely affect the millions of children that live in our inner cities? How can we rally so vehemently about abortion and gay marriage, but say nothing about mean-spirited policies that adversely affect our urban areas? I have no doubt that God opposes abortion, but he also opposes the mistreatment of the poor. As a member of a race that owns 1/2 of 1% of this nation's wealth, I will boldly state that something is wrong in this nation. It is time for a change in this land!
Are black preachers expecting Senator Barack Obama to be a Saviour of Sorts to Black America? No,we are not as a matter of fact we are not even expecting him to be a scaled down version of Moses either. However; his candidacy is refreshing and an inspiration to so many in our inner city areas. How could we not be excited in this moment? How could we not be excited about seeing a black man marching further than any other black man has? Let us enjoy our moment. Many in The Religious Right will call Senator Obama everything short of the Anti-Christ in the coming General Election. Many black preachers followed The Religious Right's Rallying Against Gay Marriage and Abortion and supported George Bush in 2004 only to reap one of the worst Presidential tenures ever endured by many of their members.
Yes, it is fair for a black preacher to be excited about the possibilities of a Modern Day Joseph Story playing out before our very eyes. It is not racist to acknowledge the great accomplishment of one's own. Why is it that black preachers can't stand up for policies that greatly affect their own communities? Are black preachers shallow because we don't share the same viewpoint as The Religious Right that God is a Republican? Black Preachers are excited about this moment in time. Don't attack us for appreciating great strides made by one of our own!
Pastor Stephen F. Smith