Monday, April 09, 2007

Political Extortion by "Rev" Sharpton

As sick as Imus' racial slur was (see Link), it's nowhere near as disgusting as the sad and shameful extortion that is being had at the hands of "Rev." Al Sharpton. I imagine he leaped for joy when he heard of yet another person he could beat senselessly. He must have celebrated with exuberant dance at the thought of the political mileage he'd get out of this. Just think of the millions of truly disenfranchised African Americans who will once again come to believe that Al Sharpton is their only hope. He makes his money off racism. No racism, no Al Sharpton. More racism, more and more Al Sharpton.

This reality can be no clearer than with the Imus situation. Anyone who knows Imus knows that he has a long and often dreaded history of saying some pretty disgusting things. It's locker room talk for all to hear. And this time, his locker room banter went too far. So he takes a huge beating from the press. He issues an apology. Then another. Then MSNBC apologizes. Then he goes on Al Sharpton's radio show to bow to the (pretend to be Martin Luther) King. Then NBC suspends his show for two weeks. But, that's not enough for Sharpton (and, woops, forgot to mention "Rev." Jesse Jackson). Oh no. There's too much political mileage left in this episode!

But not only is this sad for what it will do to race relations (can anyone really think that Sharpton makes it better?), it's sad for what it does to those three little initials that Sharpton so proudly hoists in front his name. For he's the R-E-V. Al Sharpton. Meaning that he not only spends his time defending African Americans from the near slave conditions that he says white Americans thrust upon them, but he represents the name of Jesus Christ in the process. How does it represent the name of Jesus to hear a man publically and in humiliated fashion apologize to the country for his terrible words, but to say over and over and over back to him that it's not enough.

If I remember correctly, MLK defeated goverment sanctioned segregation by abdicating the use of force. Sharpton and Jackson who claim to have picked up MLK's mantle have picked up that force and used the terrible, dehumanizing realities of racism to gather greater force. I'm quite certain that neither Jesus nor MLK want Sharpton speaking for them.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Off Course

When James Dobson questions the Christianity of potential presidential candidate Fred Thompson while wholeheartedly embracing Newt Gingrich after his confession of marital infidelity during the Clinton scandal, it is unquestionably clear that the drive of popular Christianity is political, not spiritual. It's sad that the rest of us must carry around the baggage that Dobson and others leave behind.