Friday, September 21, 2012

Silence Of The Lambs

Have you ever wanted something so bad, that you made a conscious mental, spiritual, or even physical petition for it, yet once you received it, you were not as supportive of your request as you were during the petition phase? Well, since I have not had an opportunity to blog in 2012, I might as well make this one a "barn burner."

I received a call a couple of days ago regarding my thoughts on Mitt Romney's 47% speech. For those of you who are not aware, Mr. Romney stated that, "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what","There are 47 percent ... who are dependent on government ... who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it", and "Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax." While stating my thoughts, I began to consider the state of our nation's current situation, particularly from an African-American perspective, and I begin to realize that we have possibly overlooked the true issue.

So many of us are "up in arms" about President Obama's stance on the rights of gay marriage that we have lost or limited our support of him. This mindset and feeling is one that is seemingly undergirded by Christian principles and beliefs. In many cases, this has developed a disparity within the black church on its support of the President overall. Furthermore, many African-Americans, over the last 10 to 15 years have decided to change their Democratic affiliation and support the Republican Party, based on the conservative views that believe answers do not lay with the government generally, but rather with the people, as opposed to the liberal view, that larger federal government and implementation of tax plans to try to support the less privileged is necessary.

Realizing that today's current mindsets and responses are often developed on past experiences and processes, these issues are not simply political in nature, but more the lack of true spirituality and clear stances by the church. I believe that many of these issues from a political, economic, social, and educational standpoint are a result of what the church has refused to do or stand for.

Particularly, within the Black Church community, over the last 50 years, evolution has ceased to occur. In the 50's and early 60's, during the phenomenal growth and impact of the Black Church (B.C.), attempting to target the injustice of their own people, the B.C. began to communicate on a level that their target market could relate to. The heros of that timeframe, which the neighborhoods and culture admired (the drug dealer, the hustler, the pimp), became the look that the charismatic pastor portrayed to draw the wayward parishioner. Even the soul and R&B music sprinkled sermonic style and rhythm became the order of the day. The church took on the philosophy of "preaching with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other." The civil rights movement was birthed, social injustice was addressed, salvation was encountered, and economic growth was spurred.

Yet, the B.C. stopped evolving.

The workplace, economy, politics,and lifestyles have evolved, yet the traditional B.C. has become imprisoned to the 50's and 60's. With the advent of postmodernism, many young adults (ages 18-42) have no desire to attend church due to its inability to grow and embrace the changing society. Many traditional churches look and think exactly like they did 50 years, thereby finding themselves inadequate to address and understand the concerns of this present age.

The argument of supporting gay rights has caused many desires and prayers for a Black President to be soured due to a seeming difference in morals and spiritual ethics. Nevertheless, would we be here if the church was as passionate and vocal towards Madalyn Murray O'Hair's stance as the founder of the American Atheists when she decided to remove prayer from schools, as they are about supporting gay rights? Is not prayer one of the foundational principles of Christianity, yet the B.C. sat silent as it was removed from our educational systems by one woman. Would we be here if the B.C. went ballistic when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit to bar and remove the Ten Commandments monument and verbiage from county courthouse's nationwide? Is this not the means by which our legal system operates and a major cornerstone of Mosaic Law? Yet, the B.C. was muzzled!

The "Silence of the Lambs" has brought our nation to a place where we see the first African-American President being dubbed the Anti-Christ and a proponent of spiritual warfare due to his support of gay marriage rights, health care for all, and re-distribution of wealth. How hypocritical it seems that the church is against the rights of gay marriage, when for 50 years, the choir director, tenor section, musicians, and even the preacher can be glorified as a homosexual within the walls of your church, people can be saved and set free by their music and sermons, but in 2012 you refuse to support their rights in a free country?! Would the President be morally wrong if he decided to openly support the rights of single people to have sex outside of marriage? By biblical principle, this is immoral and wrong, yet we continue to miss the point.

The Silence of the Church, particularly the B.C., has fostered commentary such as the 47% speech, because the individuals within this percentile are in all B.C.'s!!! Seniors, working poor, low income parents, college students, and those who escape taxes due to their wealth! It must be hard to imagine everyone being economically empowered in our nation, when within B.C.'s all across the country, the major percent of the wealth sits in the pulpit and rarely extends to the pews. The "Silence of the Lambs" makes it hard to understand health care for all when cancer, high-blood pressure, diabetes, high prescription medication prices for seniors is not something that people within B.C.'s suffer and struggle to deal with...Really?!

The education, politics, social tension, and civil unrest within our country is by no means wholly the church or the B.C.'s fault, yet its silence has proven golden on all fronts, regarding the big picture problem. Nevertheless, when the B.C. speaks, they have seemingly oppressed and diminished their own prayers and petitions of Black Leadership. The nation is now reaping what the church has sown.

So here we are...

The first black president in our country's history is being diminished by his job function to support the rights of others, but the church is implementing hypocrisy to foster division. No president in our history has left office with a zero balance budget and no president in our history has come into office with such a major mess on his shoulders. Not everything the POTUS has done do I agree with, yet there is nothing anyone in leadership, that I know, has ever done that I totally agree with.

Being a republican or democrat is your decision; do what's best for you! If you are going to be the church that Christ desired you to be, recognize that He was a political rebel fighting for the cause of the poor, disenfranchised, and the blue-collar worker, not just the wealthy and business-oriented.

One decision or man won't turn this country around, yet one vote at a time will. More importantly, a church divided cannot change a world in turmoil. No need to be silent, but please don't speak if you really have nothing to say.

Everybody, please vote in November for somebody...

Kervance Ross
Author, CEO, Mentor, Motivational Strategist

1 comment:

  1. Kervance,
    You have made some very necessary observations. What you have codified and put in print is a necessary method of making your voice heard for years to come. Truth is, part of the silencing of the church has more to do with counterfeit power in the pew than it does with abuse of power from the pulpit. The B.C. has been systematically and systemically lulled to sleep by its own misguided sense of freedom and is now looking for a scapegoat to divert its lack of responsibility and responsiveness to the overt isms of our current society.

    The B.C. is silent because it has lost its power of authentic prayer at the expense of entertainment, elaborate pep rallies, and spiritual incompetence. The B.C. can’t respond intelligently or with righteous indignation because it no longer knows how to think critically nor does it know the issues (political, social, financial, spiritual etc.) or how to discern spiritual truth from social trivialities.

    The B.C. is no longer known for “call and response worship services” because the preponderance of the pew has no idea what the stories of the Bible are all about; and so, the B.C. continues to dumb down the Gospel in order to make the masses comfortable while at the same time indicting itself as a poor excuse for spiritual formation and spiritual maturity that leads to communal transformation.

    I too, don’t agree with POTUS on all points, however, I am appreciative enough and respectful enough to Never disrespect many years of sacrifice and death by our ancestors in the presence of those who mean us no good and those who seek new ways of divide and conquer.

    I appreciate you for standing up and being counted. I am registered and I am voting in November.