Today Christians celebrate Easter in a myriad of ways. As expected in America, marketing the Messiah means millions of minors tear into celophane sealed baskets, and the traditional engorgement of marshmallow chicks and chocolate bunnies ensues.
Churches on Easter Sunday are like health clubs on January 2nd; temporarily filled to capacity.
At home, Mom and Dad are left with the strewn debris of plastic egg halves, tiny pieces of aluminum foil, and various colors of “grass” strands that will vex the vacuum-cleaner until Halloween.
Ahhhh, it’s Christmas-lite.
Now on to current issues of the day. My last post “WWJD” focused on my dissappointment with the comments by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. What I want to do today is look at this issue from a specific context; of him, his position and stature in his community.
As a leader of his church and influential to thousands of people in his community, I found his hateful speech to be more in line with the Hitlers of history. The idea that the words he spoke could somehow lead his flock to the promised land is no less frightening than those Imams fist-pumping for Jihad.
Those words only lead down one road. Hate. Destruction. Death.
Now having written THAT, I also have to submit this caveat:
I sympathize with his frustration.
To judge this man without walking the proverbial mile in his shoes is wrong. Judge what he said sure; let’s shout down the hate with love (that’s really what FOX, et al, are trying to do, right? um, sure).
But to throw out the pastor with the holy water is overkill.
Jeremiah Wright was born in 1941. Any ideas what it may have been like for a Black man growing up in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s? Wow, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
Mike Huckabee, the Baptist minister and former governor of Arkansas, was quoted saying, “I grew up in a very segregated South. And I think that you have to cut some slack — and I’m going to be probably the only conservative in America who’s going to say something like this, but I’m just telling you — we’ve got to cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told, ‘You have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant.’ ”
…and by the way, they were treated like that in their own country, where we treat ALL men equal, right?
What went on during those years was something so repugnant, we almost have to give free passes to anyone that managed to get through them.
They were ostracized because of their skin color. They were killed because of their skin color. Not because they commited a crime, but because of their skin color. Second. Class. Citizens.
And we want to RUSH (Limbaugh) to judge this how-dare-he-hate-America-man-of-the-cloth based on a two minute youtube clip.
Are you ready for YOUR entire life to be judged by what you spewed at one of your impassioned moments?
Think about ALL the ingredients that go into who YOU are. All the relationships, influences, obstacles, triumphs and failings. Add to that the context of your age.
Are you 24 and rip-roarin’ ready to take on the world? Are you 35 and trying to make VP and remodel the kitchen on weekends?
Are you 48 and have finally figured it out but realize the clock is no longer on your side? Are you 59 and think about the legacy you will leave behind?
Or are you 67? Knowing time is short and you no longer have to give a damn about what people think of you. So you speak your mind. And by the way, that mind of yours, at 68, may not be as tactful as it used to be.
Think about what you say as you remember the injustice, fear, frustration and desperation.
We all have our proudest moments and our most embarrassing ones. The reality of who we are is most certainly not defined by either of those.
So to provide an ounce of counter-weight to this issue, I leave you with a photo of President Lyndon Johnson on a hospital gurney in 1966 (click on it to enlarge)….
That U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman on the right was commended for his service.
It’s Jeremiah Wright.