Wednesday, September 10, 2008
America a House Divided Against Itself?
America a House Divided Against Itself? The United States is a great land that many people all around the world long to come to. This country has many freedoms, and affords many luxuries that others in different lands can only dream of. We have led in the business world, the sports world, and without a doubt we have the world's strongest military. God has shown this country so much favor over the years. Yet, I have great concerns over the spirit of division in our land that seems to be spreading at a breakneck pace. This Presidential Election has brought many of the vapors of our country's racist past back to the forefront.
We are living in a day where we finally have a Black Presidential Nominee of a major political party. While many blacks are celebrating this day, there are those who are stating that blacks are voting for the black candidate just because he is black. Could we not say the same about those on the other side of the fence? Since we have only had a chance for the most part to vote for candidates who have been of a different hue, does that make blacks reprobates for being excited over the Presidential Prospects of a savvy black young man? We are so often told that if we were good Christians we would not vote based on race. Yet, I would humbly submit that many on the right vote based on race often.
The Political Conservatives of our land use their stances against gay marriage, and abortion to highlight how they are really the party of godly people. There are black churches all across America that also take bold stances against both of these practices, but why are Black Christians not voting along Conservatives Lines in this election? It is my belief that many Black Christians fell for the Karl Rove tactics of the last 2 Presidential Elections, and voted against, or sedately supported the Democratic Candidates for President in the last 2 Presidential Elections. Black Christians were told that if they really loved God, that they would vote Republican because Republicans champion those two issues, and after all don't you people know that God votes Republican also? Why aren't Black Christians listening to those issues this time around?
I would submit that many Black Christians aren't listening to that message this time around, because of all the economic hardships that blacks in America are bearing. There is hardly an urban inner city area that is not suffering blight, or some form of economic devastation due to the loss of jobs, or industries. There are some blacks that can state that they are better off than they were 8 years ago, but I will boldly state that they are not the norm. There are so many conservatives that turn there noses up at our inner cities. The conservatives reply to inner city blight is usually highlighted by some referencing of pluck, ingenuity, or hard work as the virtues to change one's community. While each of those virtues can be community changers, I am cognizant that those virtues alone can't change the plight of our inner cities.
I am a clean cut usually neatly dressed black male, and I am still amazed that even when I am dressed like a Philadelphia Lawyer that my entry into a sparsely populated elevator still makes some afraid. It never ceases to amaze me the sheer number of tightly clutched purses that I encounter on a daily basis on elevators. Is it because I resemble the guy that was on the nightly news that committed a crime? Do these women even stop to think that I might be a preacher? Would they clutch their purses as tight if they knew this well dressed man actually prays for people? Could this man that they are so scared of, be the man that God ordained on that day to speak a word of encouragement to them? Are we hiding many of our racist tendencies behind the cross on each Sunday? Are so many against the Democratic Party's Choice because of his policies, or because of his color? Will churches in both communities address the issues of race? There needs to be a meeting of mind in the Church Community on race! Will we ever see the God that we all preach about if we don't? Will we seek God enough to care for our brothers and sisters of another hue?
I have strong feelings on this subject, and I might come across as a militant advocate of my people. I just might be guilty of those charges. I would submit that Blacks in America have been haunted by a couple of centuries of chattel slavery, and several centuries of institutional racism. Blacks in America inhabit 1 Percent of the political offices in America, make up for 1/2 of 1% of the wealth of this land, and we makeup the brunt of this nation's prison populations. How can anyone in America not state that there is definitely something wrong with those statistics? How can any God fearing Church not speak out against such deplorable conditions. Blacks in America have been promised economic gains every four years, and we have usually been the ones that have least benefited from any economic largess that may come from an administration's savvy economic policies.
Jesus said in the Gospel According to St. Matthew the 12th chapter and the 25 verse he said,"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided aginst itself shall not stand." Are we divided people in this nation? Well, I guess I don't have to answer that one, but will we face up to the lingering spirit of racism that permeates our land. If Blacks in America are to forget slavery, institutional racism, systemic racism, and the fact that none of us has seen either the forty acres, nor that mule, then why would others begrudge us of the pride that comes from one of our own reaching the highest office in the land? Black Christians are told by the Conservatives that they shouldn't vote for a candidate because he is of the same color, while these same Conservatives do just that in every election.
America is now experiencing the so called Browning Effect, where people of color-(Blacks,Hispanics, Those of Asian and Arab Descent) will outnumber the mainstream ethnicities by 2040. While that mainstream controls nearly all of the political power and nearly all of the economic power, will we have havoc in the days to come? Let's pray that we can get past the divisions in our land. Division in our land will lead to desolation, and instability. Will we allow the scriptures to be a self-fulfilling prophecy for our country because of all the division in our land?
Pastor Stephen F. Smith