Thursday, September 27, 2012
OPEN LETTER TO THE CLERGY
This Thought Provoking Perspective from Earlene Williams Hancock who I have dubbed “The Minister of Explaining Stuff” a few years ago that remains as power and relevant today, in this political environment, as it was the day the thought was conceived. Let me share these powerful word and words that speak truth:
I remember, way back when, during the Civil Rights Movement how many of you and/or your predecessors spoke loudly from your pulpits against the injustices leveled against minorities in this country. If it had not been for your support of Martin Luther King, he might not have been as successful. We thank you for your sacrifice.
Many of you also spoke out against what was felt to be an unjust war in Viet Nam. This country is also indebted to you for helping bring our young people home.
Strangely, however, I haven't heard much from you the past two years, while our country slipped deeper and deeper into a hateful, godless place. You, as far as I know, have remained silent on the divisive racial attacks against one of the finest Presidents we've been blessed with in my lifetime.
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I've heard nothing about the attacks on his religious beliefs, his legitimacy to be president of this country, the unprecedented insults hurled at him day after day, the ugly distortions of what he's trying to achieve for all Americans ~ and not just for those who voted for him.
The Tea Party movement leaves many of us stunned ~ we realize at its root, their behavior is a result of a deep-seated racism, simply because of the color of his skin. Many believed we were living in a post-racist society. One would think so, in 2010 (and now) ~ but I wasn't quite that naive, but Barack Obama gave me hope that I haven't felt in my entire life.
President Obama walked into the "perfect storm" on his Inauguration Day ~ and the Republicans wasted no time trying to derail his presidency. The facts are that the enormous problems he inherited were as a result of the Bush Administration's squandering a surplus gifted to them by Bill Clinton, throwing us into a war with Iraq that Bush knew wasn't warranted, banking deregulation that's cost millions of Americans their homes, and rewarding corporations for outsourcing the jobs of the middle class throwing them into the struggle of their lives just to survive. These same workers paid into the system for unemployment benefits, but now are worried, again, that those benefits will be held hostage by the Republicans.
I will not offer an opinion as to whether I think the separation of church and state is just or not ~ I do know that your nonprofit status could be in jeopardy or called into question depending on your actions. Sometimes, though, we are all called to do what is right, no matter the consequences.
I don't have statistics on all groups who failed to vote on November 2nd...but I've been told that only 10% of eligible black Democratic voters turned up at the polls. Young "first-time" voters also chose to stay away. The turnout was low across the board, except on the Right. Would it have turned out differently had you encouraged your various congregations to get out and vote? I'm almost certain it would have, because your flocks look to you for guidance.
Perhaps I'm completely wrong and each one of you did, in fact, repeatedly encouraged your members for weeks leading up to the election, to simply get out and vote ~ whether for Republicans or Democrats. Perhaps you've repeatedly addressed the disrespect shown at this President or at least touched on the vile racist environment we find ourselves in today. Perhaps you've also taken a stand publicly ~ if you have, I applaud you, but somehow I've missed that.
If not, I am humbly asking each of you to take a stand and speak in your churches, synagogues, mosques and cathedrals about a virulent atmosphere of hate that's permeating our society. Your congregants have to live and work in this society and it seems to me you'd want what's best for them, their children, and grandchildren.
Will you also commit to getting your membership motivated… to exercise their right to vote, reminding them that people struggled and many died so they'd have that privilege?
Again, you are a powerful force and your membership will listen. I know you love this country as much as we all do...and we must all get involved to restore not just sanity, but decency in our political process, by doing what's right for all Americans, not just a privileged few.
I am not on anyone's payroll ~ although it certainly wouldn't hurt during these troubling times. I'm merely very concerned about where our country is headed and I implore you to get involved. May God/Allah continue to bless you.
These words speak volumes and I would suggest that being called by “God” to feed the souls of mankind – stand for justice and righteousness. Maybe that is why the Bible says there will be wars upon wars because you remain silent! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
“Just a Season”
Legacy – A New Season