Pastors as Political Pawns — come Sunday

It’s ironic that the nation that espouses the importance of the Separation of Church & State, will have politicians roll out the Bible and place it on the ballot whenever they can — and when it helps them in the voting booth.

During George Bush’s tenure, republicans were quick to condemn the democrats as the morally corrupt party. The republicans knew if they could point to the debauchery of Hollywood, “the homos”and other permissive lifestyles of the liberals, and the scandals of Bill Clinton, they could mobilize a bunch of folks to the voting booth for the “R”.

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Bush — and his party leaders — used his presidential pulpit to woo church leaders — particularly Black ones — into the family values side of politics. They invited Black church leaders to the White House, annually, to help their large congregations see that their preachers had power. Many believe God had a hand in selecting Trump — afterall, he used a donkey before. And the party of trump will ride that donkey across the Land. Game knows game.

Ebony Magazine spoke on how the Black church has advanced politics in the pulpit:

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Side note: Wells Fargo Bank saw abundant blessings in the Black church, which they targeted to feed sub-prime mortgages to their flocks.

The Bully Uses the Pulpit

The current administration opened up the Republican vote-getting strategy to try the same trick to woo the Black church vote. At least the Bush’s went to church. The current tenant of 1600 Penn. Ave NW couldn’t even correctly pronounce 2nd Corinthians. Add that to his pronouncement that he doesn’t need to ask for forgiveness & you’ve got a virtual atheist being supported by zealous (largely white) “evangelicals”. Remember, that a couple Black preachers boarded the Trump train, too, which, to some, gave him credibility as having “the Blacks” on his side.

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The Truth Shall Make you Free

Face it, Trump’s policies are racist and faith folks must speak out, if they are really doing God’s work — or be very clear about which God they serve. The evil immigration debacle is just one of the many way hate manifests as policy. His moral low-ground is forgiven in the eyes of his faithful followers. They even condemn this opponents as the devil. Yep, really.

We Have Work to Do

From the elected top, down to local office-holders, racism, misogyny and other biases exist and keep getting exposed. The media helps to expose the racists and assorted scandals on either political side. When politicians are exposed, some step down in shame, others give a faux apology and carry on (they will deny until they die). Those are often embraced by their party and are deemed “victims” of the liberals and the fake news media (never mind there are documents, audio & video tapes to prove otherwise). They have defenders who stay — until/unless it gets too politically hot.

Drawing upon religion has been helping this administration validate its laws — strangely. But, seeing families separated got on some folks nerves. But, why didn’t other misdeeds of this administration evoke the same ire? When did biased attitudes trump “The Beattitudes”?

Just the Facts?

The media — and all of us — fail to discuss the way the past deeds/misdeeds of these elected officials cloud policies and practices. Many continue to ride the divisive coattails of this administration. The church folk would rather talk abortion over adultry and anti-gay over anti-truth. And, when did Policy makers in “One Nation Under God” forget God’s urgings to support the least of His? What legislation did they introduce to make ALL our lives better? What policies did they co-sign? What did they vote for/against? Isn’t God Love?

Come on Church

It’s time for some real discernment, Church. And, when we see wrong, we must say so. Calling out the bias and bigotry can’t be done sheepishly. AND voting out those who violate truth MUST be our action — all the time!

We must never forget these folks who practice and make policies that support Racism & bigotry— or those who defend them. These are a few. Click on them to see their words:

#Michael Williams — Georgia

#Jason Spencer — #Georgia

#Jason Lewis — Minnesota

#Steve Scalise — Virginia

#Bettie Cook Scott — Michigan

Some embrace Virginia Senate Candidate Cory Stewart, who called for State succession and the people in his candidate/rally shout, “Amen”. Where’s God in that?

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When politicians make bigoted comments (publicly or privately), the pros will apologize and say it they were misunderstood:

#ChuckGrassley — Utah

But, their legislative actions are more dangerously powerful than their words. Toss in faith and you have a mix that can be hazardous to our collective health. They won’t stop, so we can’t stop calling them out — no matter their state or party. Because, when they’re in Congress, they vote for or against values and justice that could harm any of us, no matter what state YOU live in.

Voters Call in Now

Here’s the Capitol Hill switchboard 202–224–3121. Here’s the directory of elected officials. They don’t expect you to speak up, so we must do so even more. If you attend a place of worship, do you know where it stands, politically? If no, why not?

If you’re not calling, writing, visiting, and telling your elected official and your faith leader how you feel on an issue, how will they know? Will you continue to support their policies or pulpit with your donations? Be real, the Church & State are yoked and it’s up to us to hold them both accountable. And all politicians, who cry, “Lord! Lord!”, well, you know.

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Pastor A. R. Bernard was the first to quit the Trump “evangelical” advisory group. He shared his thoughts with Joy Ann Reid.

Thankfully, there are faith leaders & politicians who aren’t duped by money and fame. Those should be lifted up. These faith leaders spoke truth, so I know the Church ain’t all bad:

Get Real

Face it, when you embrace any portion of this president and his party, you are embracing their bigotry. Any victory for ANY of it, is a victory of ALL OF IT. Where is YOUR faith?

We know that Omarosa was paid well to tow the trumpian line. She was even offered MORE, by the presidents daughter-in-law, upon being fired for “serious violations”. Surely, Lara Trump didn’t just randomly think to offer a payoff to Omarosa without the president knowing.

Supporting Trump can be lucrative — even unto indictment. How much are those Black pastors, Darrell Scott and Mark Burns getting paid to pledge their allegiance, silence & disinformation-slinging? Now that they know what Omarosa got, will they ask for a raise? Is their payoff, I mean payment, listed on the church books?

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Laura Ingraham continues to use her media platform to join the politics of hate. A police officer, who tell Black people “they don’t belong here,” is part of the package you embrace. This is how hate gets normalized.

Lest We Forget

The church should be a place for and defenders of sanctuary, human rights & justice. Yet, some evangelicals defend a president who is against all of this and more. The church is where I learned that the truth shall make you free. Meanwhile, religious leaders & followers are defending a president who has no truth in him-and its documented. Religious leaders were gifted to discern false prophets. Some embrace them.

When religious leaders lead with deception & take money to deceive their parishioners, the people & faith principles suffer.

James Baldwin’s words always have a prescient, prophetic voice to them, as he speaks of the state of the union, in his yesterdays, but they sound so much like today’s America. Why is that? What will we need to do to move us up? Perseverance works. Faith is a place for healing. Faithful people are defenders of justice for all — when you see something false, speak up. That’s what Jesus did. That’s what all faiths must do.

If you are looking to connect with others who are unapologetically committed to Faith & Justice for all, mission, here are a few networks to consider:

Faith In Action

Skinner Leadership Institute

Sojourners

African American Heritage House at Chautauqua Institution

Black Church Center for Justice & Equality

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Connect with the kindred and do something. Remember that faith without works is, you know…

I invite you to take 2 to 5 minutes for a glimpse of what I think about issues of the day. Nonpartisan, yet, some might not agree - just don’t be disagreeable.

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