Friday, February 24, 2006

My Two Cents

I have been very sick with bronchitis for a while. But while I was sick God really did a tremendous work in me. He dealt with me on issues of pride, humility and love, mainly love. One thing I have noticed is that when you start talking about love, people are kind of "Yeah, whatever" because we throw the word around so much we think we have gotten it already. Then we have the other church folks who are so "deep" that they try to spiritualize it to the point that love starts to look like hate and according to their "theology", justifiably so.

But I'm at a point in my life where I take very seriously the words of Christ where He said that all of the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. I like that because it makes me feel like, " Okay, so if I just focus on walking in love, the big picture, everything else will fall into place." I also find myself spending a lot of time thinking about what Paul said in I Corinthians 13 about how we can understand all mysteries, speak with the tongues of men and angels, die as martyrs and give all we have to the poor, yet if we have not love we have gained nothing.

It is so simple, and yet we make it so hard. What is so difficult about stopping and asking ourselves,"How would I want to be approached in this situation? How would I want to be talked to? How would I want to be talked about? How would I want to be treated?" But we don't do it then we make all kinds of excuses about why our mean, moody and insecure behavior is okay.

Love demands a maturity of us that aint no joke. It forces us to approach a brother or sister in love, rather than talk about them to everyone else behind their back. It ask us to believe the best of others, when appearances seem otherwise, I causes us to step forward in defence of the weak, and to put the needs of others ahead of ourselves. It gives us the humility to offer praise when it is due, to listen and consider the ideas of others and to be gracious to those who can't do a thing for us. It makes us forgive rather than engaging in spiteful petty behaviors.

It makes us stop measuring our love walk by how we treat those whom we like or have use for.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”

Frederick Douglass

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

"I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

What's Wrong with this Picture?

February 06, 2006

Harry Belafonte event sceduled for February 7 is postponed

Belafonte, a civil rights pioneer, has been asked to speak at Coretta Scott King's funeral

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Did you hear Harry Belafonte speak at the recent funeral of Coretta Scott King?
Nor did I. But not because he wasn't invited. Harry Belafonte was a very close personal friend of Coretta Scott King. He helped pay for the funeral arrangements of her assassinated husband and was by her side when he flew her and her children to the actual service.

So, being the close personal friend of Mrs. King that he was, and having received an invitation to speak, why didn't Mr. Belafonte speak?

As it turns out when the Prez decided he wanted to attend the funeral and speak the White House had to approve the program and the speakers on it. The invitation to Harry Belafonte, an outspoken critic of Bush, was then rescinded.

My Pastor, Fr. Michael Louis Pfleger has had similar experiences. In 2003 he was asked by Coretta Scott King to speak at Ebenezer Baptist Church on the annual King Day celebration. A very high honor shared with presidents and other dignitaries. The Prez was there. Before my pastor spoke the president's cronies cornered him and tried to bully him about what he should and shouldn't say. He went and asked Mrs. King about it. She told him to say whatever he felt God would want him to say, and he did. Within weeks of the engagement Mrs. King received a phone call telling her my Pastor was not to speak there again. Fr. Mike is also invited to Howard University every year to speak. This year they received a similar call from the White House.

My question is this. Do we get it? Do we really understand the real state of the union that we live in? Do we really understand that we live under a government that spies on us and dictates who can speak where and when? John Lake, an Evangelist and Faith Healer well known around the turn of the 20th century made the statement that governments throughout history have discovered that you can do anything you want to a people until they don't have bread. Its only when the primal hunger urge hits them that they are moved to resistance and revolution.
What is it going to take for us to wake up? If lies about weapons of mass destruction and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina won't do it, what will?

There has been much criticism of those who actually got to speak at the funeral about the propriety of their remarks. But those who are familiar with the civil rights movement know that it is a long standing tradition within the civil rights movement to use funerals as a platform to speak out on the issues at hand. Dr. King did it many times, specifically at the funeral of the four little girls who died in the Birmingham Church bombing in 1963. To some living in our current times the need might not seem as imperative nor the danger as impending. Those who are in touch with the faces of Katrina victims know better. The times are indeed as perilous as ever and the need for a prophetic voice to address the issues at hand is as immediate as ever. Katrina should have taught us this. Weapons of Mass Destruction should have taught us this. A government spying on its citizens should have taught us this. A government that endlessly seeks to control and inhibit the media and restrict free speech should have taught us this.

Despite the uproar over remarks at the funeral, neither Bush nor the Republican party were addressed directly, but rather the issues that Mr. and Mrs. King lived and died fighting for were spoken of. Any direct inference to anyone present was left to be drawn by the hearer. And as they say, "If the shoe fits . . .

Monday, February 06, 2006


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"If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Coretta Scott King

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"Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

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Together . . . at last . . . forever.