Comments: Beating me over the head politically from the pulpit

Thanks for the link. You're too fast this morning. I edited that version a little and corrected grammar, if you want to replace that with this:

I grew up attending predominantly black churches, but I never noticed veiled political “preaching” until I attended a black church in D.C. I’d writhe in my seat (was I the only one?) as the preacher or guest speakers asked why Americans were “killing babies in Iraq” or that a “certain politician” was trying to turn back the clock on civil rights, etc.

The preacher never said, “Don’t vote for Bush” or “Put John Kerry in the White House", so should this be permissible? Or is freedom of speech an issue?

I was even treated to a “black” interpretation of Scripture. Ok, my excuse for even showing up at such a place was that I was looking for a new church, and until I found a good one, I attended the church closest to where I lived.

Since becoming a Christian, I’ve attended two conservative Reformed churches. Besides asking the congregation to “pray for our leaders", I never heard either pastor advocate a particular candidate, veiled or otherwise.

Posted by La Shawn at August 16, 2004 09:39 AM

A little while back, I did walk out of a church. After insulting me with political talk that was far beyond what should have been heard in a church, the pastor then tried to sell books from the pulpit before the sermon began.

I don't think I've ever been so offended in a church.

Posted by zombyboy at August 16, 2004 01:26 PM

I go to an Eastern Orthodox church, and you'll never find this kind of political preaching. The sermon is always based on the scripture passages for that day. The closest one gets is when the deacon (or priest, if deacon is not there) is:

For the President (or title of the highest civil authority), for all civil authorities, and for the armed forces, let us pray to the Lord.

Posted by Lola at August 16, 2004 04:17 PM

I used to attend a predominantly black church here in LA. The pastor is a young, nationally telivised black man.

In one sermon I heard him say that we should know that GWB is doing the Lord's work with regard to Israel. You could have heard a pin drop. The other thing you would have heard is me cracking up.

Posted by Juliette at August 16, 2004 04:40 PM

I used to attend a predominately black non-denominational megachurch (or "McChurch") in Southern California where the pastor emphasized a conservative focus on the Gospel, but yet justified inviting Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to preach from the pulpit on separate occasions several years ago. The mind boggled back then.

Today, I attend a local AME church, where veiled political preaching is rare, yet on occasion, makes its way to the pulpit (fortunately, I'm not the only right-leaning parishioner there). I recall the pastor making a negative reference to "a certain politician" which had me shaking my head and muttering "not everybody sees him that way, rev". The stare toward me from the pastor could melt butter, but I didn't back down.

Like Michael, I attend church to worship God, not to hear a political campaign ad. And I'm not afraid to walk out of a service that has become politicized.

Posted by Darmon Thornton at August 16, 2004 08:00 PM

I actually have gotten up and left. The priest started talking politics and before I knew it I was up on my feet and down the aisle. My husband left with me. We go to a new church now.

Posted by kimberley at August 16, 2004 10:09 PM

"In one sermon I heard him say that we should know that GWB is doing the Lord's work with regard to Israel."

Now that's one thing you don't hear too much of in black churches - support for Israel. It wasn't until I started going to a predominately white church that I heard anything like that. I might blog about this because I believe that Christians' support for the nation of Israel is biblical.

Posted by La Shawn at August 16, 2004 10:51 PM

Hey Michael,
You need to promote your blog at Free Republic more instead of just pinging and posting the oddest stories. This blog and the others are great, no matter what you look (referring to reader) like.

Posted by GeronL at August 17, 2004 04:11 AM

I was raised Catholic but had not been to church for years when my wife and I decided we should choose a church and get back into the habit. Chris was raised Methodist but agreed to attend a Catholic church near where we lived at the time (St. Nicholas, in North Pole, Alaska, for those wanting a dose of cutesy).

Having been raised Catholic, baptized and all, I was eligible to take Communion -- but the priest gave out with a bunch of political claptrap and that was that. In his church at least, I was no longer Catholic and therefore I remained seated during the Communion. And we wound up joining a Methodist church (actually Methodist-Presbyterian, kind of like those combination Taco Bell and KFC places that have sprung up).

The pastor at the Metho-terian church was very skillful at leaving the politics ambiguous. Not so much the pastor at the unhyphenated Methodist church we joined here in Georgia, though -- who is an unambiguous Republican and an Iraq war vet (chaplain).

Posted by McGehee at August 17, 2004 11:20 AM

Thanks for reminding me why I don't write about politics very much anymore.
I used to write at Blogs For Bush and Pardon My English, but I couldn't stand the constant attacks and some of the stuff people said was just plain blasphemy.

I'm still involved, just quietly. I'll write about politics sometimes on my own blog, but it's rare these days. Every now and then something gets me really fired up. But I got disgusted and burned out pretty fast.

Posted by Julie Anne Fidler at August 19, 2004 01:00 PM
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