Donald Trump and the Black Pastors. Okay . . . I am going to try to hit this once and leave it alone. I have always (long before his recent escapades) thought of Mr. Trump’s foray into the public political square to be non-serious and circus-like . . .
“circus. . . a large public entertainment, typically presented in one or more very large tents or in an outdoor or indoor arena, featuring exhibitions of pageantry, feats of skill and daring, performing animals, etc., interspersed throughout with the slapstick antics of clowns.”
Now, as a Black pastor, I am not judging anyone, I am not calling anyone any names . . . and I am not trying to be funny. But, if you are found spending time in the midst of the circus, someone might mistake you for a clown.
I’m not trying to be funny. I am not calling anyone a clown (Trump can be clownish but he’s not a clown. He’s a ringmaster) I am very serious. Subjecting oneself to that foolish atmosphere lent itself to a predictable result.
I’m not even saying I wouldn’t meet with the guy (although, I imagine any conversation would be very brief). I just wouldn’t meet at a circus or as a circus event. It diminishes the dignity of an office — the Black pastor — that is already stereotyped, caricatured, mocked and disdained. It is not an easy office to inhabit. But, there may be not greater office to be in to honor God and to serve people.
I have been fortunate to serve with and learn from ministers and pastors of excellence. Men and women who do not pray to fame, political power, or to money. The 3 men who I have been blessed to call or see (my father in law) as pastor in my life John Richard Walton Jr, Rayvon Fox Bufkin, and James Leary (husband of Shirley Elaine Fitzpatrick Leary) sought to wear the mantle of the office with dignity and respect . . . never lowering it for the folly of money or politics. They are but a small representative portion of the many men and women of God that I know that work hard to honor God and love God’s people.
(it appears I have mounted a pulpit (smile)) . . . so, as we consider the recent goings on let’s not be surprised by what we see when go the circus . . . but I do encourage all of us to examine our own roll call of faith . . . go back and look over your heroes and your sheroes . . . you are going to find — in that lineage — some Black pastors who held it down.
In 1 Kings 19 (see y’all got me preachin), the prophet Elijah wearily cried out to God feeling as if he was the only one left. What God shared then, I share now:
“I have seven thousand people left in Israel who have never bowed down before Baal and whose mouths have never kissed his idol.”
God yet retains in 2015, prophets who are not bowing, kissing, scraping, shucking or jiving.