Chamblee54

The Prayer Breakfast Speech

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Politics, Race, Religion by chamblee54 on February 7, 2015

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President Barack H. Obama gave a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning. Some are not happy with POTUS giving a speech reinforcing the belief paradigm, and including phrases like “people of faith,” “word of G-d,” and “children of G-d.” The name used today, for a higher power is dog spelled backwards.

POTUS is an American politician. A certain ritual invocation of the G-word is part of the game. BHO is probably a hypocrite when he says “You know he’s not saying it because it helps him advance, or because somebody told him to. It’s from the heart.” It will be a long time before a professed atheist is elected POTUS. It is part of the ritual.

There has been blowback to the speech. When a Democrat POTUS says something, the Republicans feel obligated to criticize. It is how the game is played. This is where we get to hear someone really important, like the former Governor of Virginia. “He has offended every believing Christian in the United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.” That is telling him!

So what values is the former Governor talking about? The first thing BHO called for is humility. “And, first, we should start with some basic humility. I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.” It is easy to understand why professional Jesus worshipers don’t like talk about humility.

The speech lasted 24 minutes. It was two sentences that ruffled feathers. “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Perhaps the most ridiculous reaction, or reaction to a reaction, was at The Atlantic. Ta-Nehisi Coates is fond of high octane rhetoric. He is in rare form in denouncing the linkage of Christianity to slavery. “The “all too often” could just as well be “almost always.” There were a fair number of pretexts given for slavery and Jim Crow, but Christianity provided the moral justification.”

The embrace of Christianity by African America is not mentioned. Black people might be the most Christian population in our Jesus-mad country. There is a poignant irony in the fervent celebration of a G-d, by people whose ancestors whose enslavement was justified by that same G-d. Mr. Coates notes “(Confederate Vice President Alexander) Stephens went on to argue that the “Christianization of the barbarous tribes of Africa” could only be accomplished through enslavement.”

The feature at the Atlantic is illustrated by a picture of a Klan rally. As we mentioned before, the loyal opposition is going to criticize the POTUS. And some are going to lose their minds, and compare this criticism to a cross burning. This, as Mr. Coates might say, “gives you some sense of the limited tolerance for any honest conversation around racism in our politics.”

Pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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2 Responses

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  1. The Cheesecake Miracle | Chamblee54 said, on February 23, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    […] of G-d.” The name used today, for a higher power is dog spelled backwards. This is a double repost. POTUS is an American politician. A certain ritual invocation of the G-word is part of the […]

  2. When Walmart Comes To Target | Chamblee54 said, on February 26, 2018 at 9:23 am

    […] ~ Colorism in the Latinx Community! ~ with one email ~ Critical Performativity in the Field ~ repost ~ How ‘Strange Fruit’ Killed Billie Holiday According to an article linked in that story, ( […]


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