I Know, You Told Me So

Ok, so my main man Herman Cain dropped out ofthe race.You told me he had no chance of winning the nomination. You questioned my embrace of a conservative Republican candidate. I had hopes of seeing this man rise from poverty to business success to the 45th U.S. president. For a black conservative, he got closer than most, and opened doors for all of us in the future. Alas….

 

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What can I say, running for president is serious business. Apparently, all’s fair.

Ten Things I Like About Herman Cain

1. He’s black. Two black presidents in a row!

2. Some of those conservative ideas actually make a lot of sense.

3. Nicknames include the Hermanator and the Dark Horse.

4. He beat stage 4 colon cancer.

5. His mother was a  cleaning woman, father a barber, janitor, and chauffeur.

 6. He was chairman of a federal reserve bank.

Don't hate. Congratulate.

7. He can play the piano and sing well.

8. He’s a Morehouse Man, class of 1967 with a master in computer science as well.

He could...go...all...the...way!

9. The number 45 has proved fortuitous for him throughout life. He was born in 1945. 2012 will be his 45th college reunion, he would be the 45th president and inauguraed in 2013, the same year he’ll celebate his 45th wedding anniversary.

10. His book is entitled “This is Herman Cain: My Journey to the White House.” Hate it or love it, the man has balls.

Are the Occupiers Tough Enough?

This Occupation has the makings of a real revolution. A lot of courage has already gone into this movement thus far in dozens of cities. But for some real “we shall overcome-type” of reforms, many millions of brave souls are going to have to be willing to die for this. Yes die. If the effort is sustained, they’ll have to occupy Wall Street through the Holidays. New York City gets several inches of snow at a time in the winter. I’m sure Zuccati Park is lovely in December, but I wouldn’t want to live there in a tent.

What can you do except root for the 99% to win?

What do we win when we win, anyway? I say for starters, everyone’s loans and credit card debt get wiped clean up to $100,000. That would be swell. In 15 years, plenty of people would work their way back into desperate conditions, but many of us would use a mulligan like that to get over the hump and supercharge our quest for the American Dream.

It’s a nice brainstorm, but in order for those types of revolutionary concessions to be granted, many people are going to have to freeze, get beat up by cops, be separated from family, and then they can get ready to endure the real hardships.

The Gay Question

#Trust30 asked me:

What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

I believe loving, committed same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and receive full rights before church and state.

The Institution of Marriage, in its truest essence, does not need to be defended nor can it be, really, so why try?

It is possible to be Christian and gay at the same time. This fact has been well-documented. So if you’re allowed to be a member of the church while being gay, shouldn’t the church affirm mature gay Christians who want to have a church wedding?

Some choose to biblically prove homosexuality is a sin. Fine if you see it that way. Jesus said it’s the sick who need a doctor, not the healthy. Truth is, we’ll all sinners, anyway. As a pastor, my business model does not allow for me to exclude people just because they live in a particular sin.

My parents, my brother, the clergy in my cell phone contacts, influential people in my congregation, local civic leaders–these are the people who essentially all disagree with me on this point.

The debate around “gay question” is religious, political, and personal–wait, aren’t those the 3 things you’re never supposed to talk about?

So far, all I’ve done about this conviction of mine is write a handful of blog posts, you can search them on the blog. But lately, I’ve been feeling led to really take a stand–that would start with joining the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. Whole lotta people close to me won’t like that….

 

If They Didn’t Catch Osama Bin Laden

For the record, I believe that Bin Laden was caught and killed, so this isn’t about doubting the U.S. military or government.

I’m just saying, the last attempt to catch Osama was certainly not the first time they tried to get him. But we never heard about those unsuccessful attempts–not really anyway.

So, let’s say that the special forces guys arrived at the compound but Bin Laden happened to be away for the day or it was the wrong place. Or, what if it had been the right place, but the bad guys had been expecting us and half our guys had gotten killed and Osama had gotten away?

If they hadn’t caught him, the news would have been just like every other war headline that goes in one ear and out the other: “17 U.S. soldiers killed in firefight near porous Afghani-Pakistani border.” And even though the soldiers are equally brave in victory and defeat, you may or may not have heard about it and you almost certainly wouldn’t have cared–not really anyway.

But since we finally got to see this….

Instead of this….

Everyone on our side is happy. But what if they hadn’t caught him?

10 Things I Love About Clarence Thomas

I just finished Clarence Thomas’ memoir, “My Grandfather’s Son.” All of a sudden, I’m having a lot of trouble questioning his commitment to the black community and disliking him. Could the NAACP have been wrong?

1. Born in eastern Georgia, his first language was Gullah. Thomas had to work deliberately for years to master English. That alone makes him more black than you thought.

2. Clarence Thomas grew up Catholic and actually studied to become a priest, but he left seminary in 1968 because the Catholic church was ignoring the Civil Rights issues going on all around at the time. He was committed to helping black people rise up.

3. He named his son Jamal. How black is that?

4. He was and is a very committed father. His father abandoned him, so there was always a chance he’d perpetuate that cycle, but he went the right way.

5. His grandfather taught him to never accept welfare, because it robs you of your dignity. When he opposes welfare, it’s not to destroy black people, but to help them with tough love.

6. Clarence Thomas graduated from Yale Law School, and was still paying on his student loans when he was appointed to the Supreme Court 20 years later!

7. He drove a Corvette in the eighties.

8. Even though Anita Hill almost brought him down, he first hired her simply because a friend asked him “help a sister out” and he did.

9. He overcame a serious drinking problem. Thomas probably wouldn’t be on the high court if he’d never faced that demon.

10. He was so exasperated by the Supreme Court confirmation process, he called it a high-tech lynching. When he got word he had been confirmed, his response was, “whoop-de-damn-do.”

Daylight Saving 2009

For the record, it’s “Saving,” not “Savings.”

I like “Springing Forward.” Even though it means we have to lose an hour of sleep, it means the sun sets later and it’s one of the first signs of Spring, which is my favorite season.

Did you know that in 2005, the U.S. government moved Daylight Saving Time up so it begins 3 weeks sooner? When asked why, they said:

“Because we can. What are you going to do, call the cops?”

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Dude, no worries. We hire the judges.

Prophecy about Gay Marriage

You can hate it or love it, but I’m here to tell you:

Forty years from now, same-sex couples will be able to legally marry in all of the United States. Divorce rates among gay couples will be about the same as they are for straight couples.

I’d like to believe that I have some sort of special divine connection where God whispers in my ear and I shout the oracle from the mountain tops. In a way I do, but proclaiming equal rights for the LBGT community has more to do with simply betting on history repeating itself.

You can comment now, or wait till 2049 to see if I’m worth my salt.

Bobby Jindal Should Persevere

I was personally not very moved by Bobby Jindal’s speech last night.022509_jindal1

 Don’t get me wrong, he seems like a capable guy. He’s 37,  retired from Congress, governor of Louisiana, and apparently the future of the Republican party. This guy was on all the networks last night telling his story.  It was his first time on a stage that large, but it surely won’t be his last.

On paper, it was a pretty good speech. It actually reminded me of Obama’s “ready for the world” speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. You know, the even-a-guy-with-my-unconventional-upbringing-can-rise-to-some-incredible-heights-in-this-incredible-country spiel.

It was good on paper. There were touching stories, there was humor. His delivery just wasn’t there, and it was obvious in the first 30 seconds. I stuck with him as long as I could, but the next thing I knew, I was watching The Office. Guess I fell asleep. The man obviously has some gifts or he wouldn’t be there to begin with. He should stick with it–he’ll improve. Who knows, maybe one day, he’ll have it like this:

jockin-pres-d

You think it’s possible? Jindal has the youth, the brains, and the skin tone. What’s missing?