â€œPastor Rick Warren to Speak at the King Memorial
The service is scheduled for Jan. 19 at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and is included in the official program of the 10-day King Center’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, which begins on Jan. 10.
The Reverend Mark Whitlock, senior pastor at Christ Our Redeemer AME Church in Irvine, said Obamaâ€™s invitation opened the door for positive communication between the conservative movement and the civil rights movement.â€
By ERIKA I. RITCHIE
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
I always get knowledge reading the Field Negro.Â Rick Warren Â is speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church!!Â This truly floored me. How did this happen. Well I know how this happened. Years of backdoor dealing by the UnGodly megachurches have finally come to this. This is what the Civil Rightâ€™s Movement has been working for? Acceptance by a bunch of racist, homophobic, closed minded jerks?
I donâ€™t think this was part of Martin Luther Kingâ€™s dream. Iâ€™m certain that it wasnâ€™t part of his dream.
Ebenezer Baptist Church is a significant church in American history.
In 1960 Martin Luther King Jr became a co-minister there and remained in that position until his death in 1968. His funeral was held at that church.
Now for years Iâ€™ve had issues with the rank and file of the black civil rightâ€™s movement and even though Iâ€™ve always had issues with their sexist and classist ways I wanted to be respectful, but uh, weâ€™re done now.
As white churches tries to make their doctrine seem as the norm for white America (which is a lie) the black church in its dream of being just like their white brothers do the same thing.
As the religious right doesnâ€™t give a damn about the average white person the religious right in the black community doesnâ€™t give a damn about the average black person.
My greatest fear was that the puppet master members of the church driven Civil Rightâ€™s community where practitioners of Kyriarchy. Which is in a few words when an oppressed group uses the little bit of power they have to oppress another group. My fear as it turns out was not unfounded. In general the male dominated churchy traditional civil rightâ€™s movements oppression has been targeted towards women and black people they felt were embarrassing, but now they are going to broaden their net.
If this was a little church I might not feel compelled to write on this, but this is not a little church. This church was the birthplace of the Civil Rightâ€™s Movement.
The movement that opened the door to ethnic minorities in America, African-American, Latino-American and Asian-American. It challenged and the laws that said we were not human.
Iâ€™m sick of people being used by these churches to carry out an agenda of greed and power and exclusion against those in the community who didnâ€™t go to Morehouse or Spellman or now Yale and Harvard. And against those who donâ€™t interpret the manmade Christianity in the same manner as people who use it as a tool to hammer people with.
We on the bottom got hosed and had to walk during the bus boycotts in Alabama while their children got the benefits of top-tier schools and corporate job from the tithes of the grandparents of people who washed the floor and took out the trash.
The poor of rural Mississippi and Alabama have become the poor of urban Los Angeles, Detroit and Philadelphia. Not that much has changed for the people at the bottom.
Iâ€™m not an atheist. I believe in some kind of higher power. I donâ€™t believe in organized religion. The reason why is because of this very thing.
So itâ€™s progress to be embraced by the person with the boots.
Well I guess I just donâ€™t get it.
This is what the widow of Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King thought about diversity:
“I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brother, and sisterhood, for lesbian and gay people.” -(Reuters, March 31, 1998).
Speaking before nearly 600 people at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, Coretta Scott King called on the civil rights community to join in the struggle against homophobia and anti-gay bias. “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood,” King stated.Â “This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.” – Chicago Defender, April 1, 1998, front page.
It is time for the Civil Rights movement to cut its UnGodly ties to the church. And as some in the traditional Civil Rightâ€™s movement would people to stop co-opting the struggle of African-Americans for their own agenda,Â I ask that the churchÂ stop co-optingÂ Martin Luther King Jrâ€™sÂ ideas to carry forth power moves with hateful people.
PS Iâ€™m going to add if you comment to please refrain from patholigizing all black peopleÂ I donâ€™t agree with homophobia, sexism or racism and I donâ€™t believe using those tools against another oppressed people is ever an effective way to dialogue. I would like to have a conversation without demonizing a group of people owing solely to their ethnic group, sexual orientationÂ or gender characteristics.
Inspired by Field Negroâ€™s post: â€œSee what you started Obama.â€
by Browne Molyneux
More info on Bayard Rustin can be found here.