Defining Progress

Defining Progressby Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

Defining Progress – What Is Progress? What Does It Mean??

“Don’t stick a knife in my back 8 inches, pull it out to 4 inches and tell me we’re making progress.” ~Malcom-X

When defining progress, it is important to realize progress is relative to something or some state that already exists. It is thus defined by where you are or what you have and where you want to be or where you want to get. If you ask me to tear down a building and hand me a sledgehammer and a crowbar, I can make progress on your project. Depending on the size of the building and whether or not I have any assistance, it might take me quite awhile… or, it might prove impossible.

I could not bring down a skyscraper with just a crowbar and a sledgehammer. That’s not going to happen. If you gave me a bulldozer I could probably make quick work of a house, but a skyscraper? Not going to happen. Although, I could certainly get to work on the project and day after day you could say, “I was making progress.”

If I were worth say, $8 billion dollars, and you were the trustee over my estate, charged with releasing money as needed, you could give me a couple of million dollars a year and with compound interest, I would die before ever actually acquiring my full $8 billion. You could argue that $2 million a year was nothing to sneeze at and call that “progress.” However, if my goal is to take over my complete estate, I may asymptotically approach that goal, but I’ll never reach that goal. All along the way it might be said that “I was making progress towards achieving my goal.”

Understanding An Asymptote

An asymptote is a line that continually approaches a given curve but does not meet it at any finite distance. It will forever approach the curve – destination – but never touch or reach it. When we talk about progress in the struggle for the civil rights of Black people in these United States, we’re looking at an asymptotic relationship.

Slavery is no longer economically viable. Free the Slaves. Progress. But what did that actually mean? Yes, suddenly we had a large population of African-Americans who were no longer enslaved, but whom had none of the wealth of this nation they were so vital a part of its building. “Give them all 40 acres and a mule.” First understand that very few freed Slaves actually received 40 acres and a mule… but let’s say they did. They had no money to buy seed. If they had seed, they needed implements to clear the land and till the soil. What exactly were they supposed to eat or live on until their first harvest? Were they making progress? that certainly was the argument. The question is, “progress towards what?”

Remember, progress is relative. They were making progress away from their previous state, but what were they moving towards? The only goal they could be moving towards in this country is full equality under the law as defined by our Constitution. It is 2015 now. Slavery ended in 1865 with the passage of the 13th Amendment. It’s been 150 years now and we’re still making progress.

Your True Intentions Are Showing

 If I owe you $5,000 dollars I can do one of several things. I can write you a check and clear my debt. I can pay you in cash, get a receipt and clear my debt. If I don’t have the full amount, I can offer to make payments – progress – if you will accept that. Whether or not you accept anything less than payment in full, depends entirely on your assessment of what I am capable of paying you.

If you owe your bank $5,000 and your balloon payment comes due, the bank will simply take it out of your account. Why? Because they know you have it. The payment is due. It now becomes their money. What about other types of debts?

Defining Progress - Governor's GazeboThis actually happened to one of my brothers-in-law years ago. He was driving down a street and noticed this beautiful gazebo sitting on this park like lawn. There was a stately mansion in the distance but as there were several parks in the area, he and his wife figured it was a park, pulled over and took their picnic basket and set up in the gazebo to enjoy an impromptu picnic on a nice summer’s day.

They were surprised when shortly into their meal a golf cart pulled up and two men in dark suits got out. Come to find out, they had picked the Governor’s mansion to have a picnic. Security was cordial and allowed them to finish. They could have made them leave immediately. When you’re trespassing on someone else’s property, you owe them your immediate removal. The security detail after determining they were no threat allowed them to make progress in leaving. “We’ll give you 45 minutes to finish but this is private property… be advised.

If you live next door to me and you throw a party and some of your guest are blocking my driveway or park on my lawn. Depending on my mood or what projects I’m engaging in, I might tolerate it for just that one occasion. I do try to be a good neighbor. However, it happens again, I’m going to speak with you about it. If it happens after I speak with you about it. I’m going to make an adjustment in my thinking and conclude you’re doing it intentionally. At this point I’m calling the police and a towing company. Why? Because your true intentions are showing.

When Black people are denied their voting rights, their neighborhoods do not receive the same funding as white neighborhoods, their schools are under funded, their roads are not repaired, predatory policing tactics are employed against them, your true intentions are showing.

We see these intentions in Fortune 500 companies. Certainly they all employ minorities… in their lower levels. However, as one moves up their corporate chain, minorities rapidly begin to disappear. In fact, females begin to become scarce as you approach the top levels. Rather than promote a minority or a female from within their corporation, they will go and hire a white male from outside the corporation, put them over the people who’ve been there and actually have a much better understanding of the business. This is neither accident nor coincidence. This is strategy. The people from within the corporation have worked with and formed relationships with the people on and below their level. They feel a responsibility and a sensitivity to these people who’ve helped them achieve their success. The people brought in from the outside only have an allegiance to the people at the top who brought them in.

We’re No Longer Interested In Just Progress

When President Barack Obama was elected, many people marvelled and patted themselves on their backs and pointed to all the progress we’ve made and how far we’ve come. Of course on the very night of his inauguration, a group of racist Republicans was meeting to decide that no matter what he tried to do, they would block him at each and every turn. Some would call this treason! At the time President Obama took office, we were in the middle of not one but two wars. Our economy was in free fall. Major banks were failing, our housing market had collapsed, our automotive industries were teetering on bankruptcy and the President the American People had elected to fix all this mess… They were conspiring to thwart and oppose at every opportunity.

Do Black people now have the right to vote? Technically yes. However, Republican controlled districts have been busily closing polling places in areas where African Americans vote, requiring new and unnecessary identification – a poll tax – to target poor and minority voters. For instance, Texas won’t recognize a Student ID but they will accept a gun permit.

Let’s look at what all is involved in getting a gun permit. Since I happen to own one in the State of Indiana, you’ve got to first go and get two money orders. One made out to the State Police and one made out to your local police department. You then have to go and get fingerprinted. Struck me as odd since my local police department did it all over again once I got down there. You have to fill out the application form on-line which of course requires a computer and Internet access. I suppose you could go to your public library and use their computers. All in all, I had to go to 3 different places to assemble the documentation I needed. My total cost since I opted for a lifetime permit – going through this process, once is enough –  was around $130.00 not including my gas, time and parking. Of course implicit in this is that you actually own a firearm.

How many poor people have that amount of money or time to spend? How many even own handguns? Accepting a gun permit is facilitating a certain segment of the population in voting while trying to exclude another segment. If you don’t own a car, why would you need a driver’s license? Not to mention, driver’s licenses are not free! Okay, so they will give you a free State ID for voting. However, to get that ID you must first assemble all the other documentation they require and get to a License Branch. Of course if you don’t own a car, that too becomes problematic. This is a strategy plain and simple. Telling me I have the right to vote is not progress when you then turn around and make it difficult if not impossible for me to fulfill my franchise.

If you’ve got my 40 acres and a mule, don’t give me an acre, rent me my mule and tell me to take it slow. I want it NOW! There’s no debate, no discussion and no negotiations needed… just do it!

No Unarmed Person Of Any Race Should Ever Die Being Arrested Or In Police Custody

This is a very simple proposition. We train them, give them vehicles, radios and technology. If they cannot arrest an unarmed civilian without murdering him or her or causing serious bodily harm, they should be fired immediately. No debate. No negotiation. No taking it slow. Right now… no, make that yesterday!

Ask yourself why cities will pay out multiplied millions in “wrongful death” suits and keep these Cops on the force? Cities will pay out multiplied millions in overtime pay to control a population inflamed by the murder of an unarmed Black 18 year old and still keep the murdering Cop on their payroll. If you owned a restaurant and the dishwasher broke over $100 dollars worth of your plates, you’d fire him. Yet these cities are willing to keep and pay Cops who’ve cost them multiplied millions of dollars. Why?

Freddie Gray

Defining Progress - Freddie Gray Arrest RecordI won’t say that Baltimore went up in flames, because in reality very few buildings were burned. The damage and unrest were actually limited to a relatively small portion of the city. The question nobody has asked as of yet, is “Why Did Freddie Run???” No, think about this for a moment. Think critically. I’m sure by now you’ve seen Freddie’s arrest record. What? Close to 20 felony arrests? Freddie was only 25 years old. Since juvenile records are sealed, we must assume that these felony arrests came after he reached the age of 18.

Any one of those felony arrests, had they got a conviction would have had him in jail or prison for at least 3 years. Any 3 felony convictions would have qualified him as a habitual offender and put him away for 30 years. He would not have been on the street walking around. He would have been in prison.

Next point. Did you notice that there were no outstanding warrants for Freddie Gray? It was not a case of “oh damn! It’s the ‘Po Po.'” They specifically said, “eye contact” was made and he ran. Ask yourself why. It is not like he’d never been arrested before. He knew he was clean, no warrants, so why run? Was something else going on?

Who Needs The Mafia When You’ve Got Cops?

Here in Indianapolis, the Cops control the drug trade and flow on our streets. I’m not making this up to cast disparaging remarks on my city. This is common knowledge on the streets. We’ve had numerous Cops arrested and sent to prison over narcotics.

Some years ago – back in the 80’s – there was a scandal involving at least 3 local police officers, speeding back from Detroit. They were doing well in excess of 100 mph in their personal cars. I believe a couple were driving a Porche and one was driving a Ferrari. Now I don’t know what they pay Cops up in Baltimore, but here in the “People’s Republic of Indiana,” Cops don’t make enough money to own those types of cars unless they married extremely well, or they’re dirty as hell! When they were pulled over by law enforcement for speeding, they flashed their badges, received “professional courtesy” and kept going. Several of the Cops who stopped them felt something just wasn’t quite right and reported them. It made the news. There were the normal noises about an investigation, and the story just sort of faded away. I figure it was a drug run.

I personally know of people who were small time drug dealers who were approached by the police to work for them and when they refused, they wound up dead. Execution style. I reported this to a homicide detective investigating one such murder and he dropped his head, nodded, indicated he knew about it and said that it was out of his hands and that Internal Affairs was looking into it. Well, they’ve been looking into it for over 15 years now evidently with no success. It is easy to overlook what you don’t want to find.

I remember the scene in the movie the “Untouchables,” where Sean Connery’s character is telling Elliot Ness, played by Kevin Costner, “everybody knows where the booze is. The question is how far are you prepared to go to stop it?”

What needs to be done isn’t easy. You cannot debate, negotiate or sneak up on it and tell yourself you’re making “progress.” Power is never ceded without force. Accepting the illusion of “progress” has now risen to the point of delusion. Everybody knows what needs to be done. If I walk into a convenience store and take a box of “Cigarillos,” that’s considered a justification for my murder. If a Banker loots the pensions, retirement plans of hundreds of millions of our Citizen, they don’t even worry about going to prison.

If a battered wife fires a warning shot into her own ceiling to stop her abusive husband, she faces over 20 years in prison. If two Cops murder a 12 year old boy in a park they’re not even charged. So, what are you prepared to do? How long will you settle for being told you’re making progress?

Why Senate Background Check Bill Failed

Why Senate Background Check Bill Failed Headerby Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

The Simple Answer Is Not Always Correct

Why Senate Background Check Bill Failed - Senate Voting ChartIf the why makes no difference to you, we could simply say, they didn’t have the votes, blame it on the all powerful NRA lobbyist and be done with it. However, reality is rarely as simple as it seems.

Ever since the events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on 14 December 2012, there has been a constant drum beat in the “Liberal Media” for more “gun control” legislation. It has been like having “Kentucky Fried Chicken” for dinner night after night after night. Though it is probably not very healthy, I do enjoy a bucket of KFC on occasion. I like cake and ice cream too. However, if I knew that each night, I was going to have KFC followed by ice cream and cake, I’d begin dreading coming to dinner.

We all – those of us with hearts – bleed whenever innocent children are victims of senseless violence. Those of us who are parents – indeed I’ve personally lost a child to murder – marvel at the fortitude of the parents who lost their children to this senseless tragedy. I can tell you right now, I would never be able to stand before a camera and speak intelligently had my child been a victim. I just could not do it.

Why Senate Background Check Bill Failed - Emilie Parker

Poster Child for a tragedy or the marketing of an agenda?

In fact, I am a little offended by the news media as well as political interests, using these parents at a time when they are still wrapped in the fog of their grief, to advance a political agenda. Although there were 26 victims, the media has pretty much settled on the image of little Emilie Parker to be their “poster child” for this tragedy. Blond hair, blue eyes and an infectious smile, I can certainly see why from an advertising and marketing perspective, why they would make such a choice. However, that is the problem isn’t it? Advertising and Marketing. What are they using her to sell us? What about the other victims? Unless you’ve been to a web site or seen a program where they show all their faces, you probably have no idea what they look like. Yet, they died too. Their families are shattered too.

Brady Law Provisions

If we are going to talk about background checks, it might be nice to know what the current law is. Most people who have never purchased or who do not own a firearm, might be surprised to know that all firearms purchases through licensed dealers – gun stores – are automatically subjected to a federal background check. This includes sells made by licensed dealers at gun shows! I’m sure you’ve seen the news stories of people purchasing firearms at what you’re told is a gun show, apparently without a background check. The angle of the camera is such that you’re given the impression that the transaction is being taped by a hidden camera. Remember the admonition to “believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.”

March 30, 1981 there was an assassination attempt on then President Ronald Reagan. His press secretary, James Brady was shot in the head but thankfully survived. Considering the extent of inter-cranial damage he sustained, his recovery has been truly remarkable. As a result of this tragedy, his wife and he – not unlike the Gabby Gifford and her husband – formed a gun control PAC and lobbied the United States Congress successfully to pass stringent gun control laws. The “Brady Laws” were the result of their efforts. A national instant background check system was put in place, run by the FBI. Here are some of the provisions that already exist today. The Federally prohibiting criteria are as follows:

  • A person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year or any state offense classified by the state as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than two years.
  • Persons who are fugitives of justice—for example, the subject of an active felony or misdemeanor warrant.
  • An unlawful user and/or an addict of any controlled substance; for example, a person convicted for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year; or a person with multiple arrests for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past five years with the most recent arrest occurring within the past year; or a person found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided the test was administered within the past year.
  • A person adjudicated mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or incompetent to handle own affairs, including dispositions to criminal charges of found not guilty by reason of insanity or found incompetent to stand trial.
  • A person who, being an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.
  • A person who, being an alien except as provided in subsection (y) (2), has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa.
  • A person dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces
  • A person who has renounced his/her United States citizenship
  • The subject of a protective order issued after a hearing in which the respondent had notice that restrains them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such partner. This does not include ex parte orders.
  • A person convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime which includes the use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon and the defendant was the spouse, former spouse, parent, guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited in the past with the victim as a spouse, parent, guardian or similar situation to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.
  • A person who is under indictment or information for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

This information is already contained in the FBI’s database and is available usually within 30 seconds. Remember, by law every firearms sell through a licensed dealer is submitted to the FBI’s instant background check database. This law was passed by the 103rd Congress, it was signed into law by Bill Clinton November 30, 1993 and went into effect February 28, 1994. It is the current law of the land.

What Is The “Gun Show Loophole?”

No doubt you’ve heard this phrase bandied about quite a bit of late. The anti-gun movement would have you believe that all anyone has to do is wait for a gun show in their area and walk in and purchase whatever type of firearm they want. I even heard someone claim on a national news show, that you can go into a gun show and purchase a full auto machine gun without even having to show any identification. Not only was this just plain ignorant, it was deplorable journalism. This claim could have been put to the lie by simply making a phone call to any gun dealer in the phone book. It certainly sounded sensational though!

What they’re calling the “gun show loophole” is in essence an individual sale between two persons neither of whom is a licensed gun dealer. You might just as correctly call it the “McDonald’s loophole” or perhaps the “Facebook loophole.” Two people can meet virtually anywhere, get to talking about firearms when one of them mentions they have a firearm for sell and the other agrees to purchase it. This doesn’t have to occur at a gun show.

What most people do not realize – take the Indy 1500 gun show for instance – not every person sitting behind a table selling their products is selling guns or is a licensed firearms dealer. The “Indy 1500 gun show boasts it has 1500 tables. Some people are selling knives, camping gear, books, military memorabilia such as medals and patches. There are even people selling fishing equipment. Depending on the rules of the show in question, if one of these persons had a personal firearm they were interested in selling, you could see it sitting on their table. As a private individual, they are not bound by the laws a licensed firearms dealer is. They are a private individual just like you and I. So if when you see a video clip of someone purchasing a firearm at a gun show without a background check – assuming you’re not viewing a staged re-creation – this is what you’re seeing. The same transaction could have occurred at the McDonald’s across the street.

Should Personal Firearms Sells Be Subject To Background Checks?

Why Senate Background Check Bill Failed - Background Check Tax

A Tax by any other name.

Good question! How exactly would you enforce that? I have a .22 caliber single shot rifle that was my grandfather’s. It was passed down to me by my father. I will probably pass it down to my son. There is no paperwork on it and as far as I know, there never has been any paperwork on it. As far as the ATF is concerned, this firearm does not exist. It is a family heirloom. Yes it fires and is in good working order. When I decide to gift one of my sons with this rifle, what are the odds we will go into a licensed dealer and pay the tax – that’s what it is – to have it entered into the system and federal background check run? I’ll tell you. The odds are slim to none and Slim left town.

Trying to enforce such a provision in the law would be nearly impossible. The expense would make enforcing such a law prohibitive. We simply do not have the manpower required in local, State or Federal law enforcement for such an undertaking. So whom are we kidding? Did I mention “Sequestration?”

Why Senate Background Check Bill Failed

After reading through the provisions of the Brady Law which is current law, what exactly would you like to see added to that? Remember, we’re not talking about an “assault weapons ban” or an “extended magazine ban,” we’re only talking about background checks. Most reasonable people would conclude, the problem is not that we need a new law. If there is a problem, the problem is with enforcement. Any additional laws passed would face the exact same problem. Laws are meaningless if they’re not enforced or impossible to enforce. We call it “The Honor System.”

Why Senate Background Check Bill Failed - Masturbation KitSenators generally like their jobs. They want to keep them. People feel strongly on both sides of the gun issue. I would give the edge to the pro-gun side. They tend to have longer memories and they do vote. When you’re asking a Senator to put their careers on the line and make a principled vote, it must be meaningful. Simply engaging in what amounts to political masturbation won’t fly. Ultimately, it is an insult to the victims of gun violence. It is passing a law that actually does nothing, and is designed to shut them up and make them go away.

It is worse than most people know. Mother Jones has an excellent expose` on this fact. Senators Joe Manchin (D) and Pat Toomey (R) put their heads together to come up with an amended Bill that they thought would have a chance of passing. The problem is, if anything it weakened current Brady laws. Here are some of their amended provisions from the Mother Jones website:

  • Exempts many sales from background checks: The bill doesn’t alter current laws exempting background checks for gun transfers between friends and families. It also wouldn’t require checks for other private sales if the guns weren’t “advertised.” That weakens the effectiveness of background check reform in a big way.
  • Leaves open a gun-show loophole: Because of the private sales exemption, the bill doesn’t entirely close the so-called gun-show loophole, as UCLA law professor Adam Winkler notes. Someone looking to buy a gun could find a private seller and “agree to meet after the show at a convenient location and make the sale, with no background check.”
  • May exempt background checks in some rural areas: As part of their effort to woo rural senators, Manchin and Toomey may add a measure allowing dealers who live more than 100 miles away from a licensee to skip background checks.
  • Exempts background checks for concealed-carry permit holders: Gun buyers who got a concealed-carry permit within the past five years wouldn’t have to undergo background checks for commercial sales.
  • Reduces the time the FBI has to block a sale: Current law gives the FBI 72 business hours to block a sale by a licensed dealer at a gun show if the buyer’s background check is flagged. The bill would reduce that to 48 hours and, after four years, reduce it again to 24 hours. The FBI would still have to destroy information about the buyer’s identity within 24 hours after a sale.
  • Allows the interstate sale of handguns: Currently, licensed dealers can only sell rifles and shotguns across state lines. The bill would expand that to include handguns. Licensed dealers would also be allowed to sell guns to other dealers at gun shows outside of their home state.
  • Weakens laws that restrict transporting guns across state lines: The bill would establish a federal regulation protecting lawful gun owners from arrest when they cross state lines with their firearm, which would weaken laws in states with tighter state and local regulations.
  • Expands legal immunity to private sellers: In 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which prevents victims of gun violence from suing gun manufacturers and dealers for negligence. The Manchin-Toomey bill would expand that immunity to private gun sellers who don’t have a commercial license.
  • Makes a national gun registry even less likely than before: Senators like Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are still warning that the bill is a step toward a national gun registry—even though it would punish people who try to create one with up to 15 years in prison.
  • Expands gun rights for veterans in questionable condition: Current law prohibits veterans from buying guns if the Department of Veterans Affairs considers them “‘mentally incompetent’ to manage their own funds,” after which they are put into the national background check database. The Manchin-Toomey bill would allow veterans unfit to manage their funds to continue buying guns while they appealed the VA’s decision, and expand the ability of veterans already in the system to file appeals to have their name removed. It would also overturn a law that bans members of the military from buying guns sold by dealers in their home state. (These Points are directly from the Mother Jones website)

Thus, if you were a Senator, willing to put your career on the line to cast a principled vote, this is not the hill you’d want to die on. Why did the Senate Background Check Bill Fail? It added absolutely nothing to the existing Brady Laws, if anything it weakened them. If the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, all your problems seem to look like nails. When you’re a legislator, your first response is to pass a new law. Really? How many laws do we need? Murdering people is already illegal. Even with the threat of the death penalty, it hasn’t seemed to stop murders from occurring.

Gun violence is a symptom of a problem within our society. 24 hours a day we are bombarded by the media with stories designed and tailor made to instil fear in society. From global warming to an asteroid potentially ending life on Earth at any moment, to Yellowstone erupting, North Korea starting a nuclear war, to a fertilizer factory exploding and wiping out a neighborhood. We are being fed a steady diet designed to create fear and panic. In this atmosphere, you’re telling people that they don’t need firearms to keep them safe? That is a heavy lift and a tough sell. Did I mention terrorist running and gunning through your neighborhood, shooting it out with the Police?

The Republican Fascination With Rape

Radical Republican Views May Stab Romney and the GOP in the Back

by Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

It is interesting to note, in all my years of watching the news, never before has the subject of rape been so thoroughly discussed… and in such a disturbing manner. One of the most troubling aspects of this discussion has been the association of a rape with some sort of divine plan. Although rape is discussed within the context of the abortion debate, nevertheless the degree to which those in the “Pro-Life” movement trivialize it should give any thinking female of the species, much cause to pause.


50 Shades of Grey

It’s a work of FICTION! Don’t get it twisted

Contrary to the apparent opinion of some Republican males, rape is not some variation of a scene from “Fifty Shades of Grey.” There is no romance. There is no acquiescence. Ironically, it is the total abrogation of a woman’s choice and freewill. Whether the method be through the intimidation of violence, brute physical force, the application of an intoxicant or any other means, rape is not consensual sex and there is always a victim.

Battered Teen Girl

Try telling her, “Oh and by the way, you’re pregnant and you have to carry the baby to term.”

Rape has nothing to do with the BDSM games some adults engage in. Those are games between consenting adults. Note the consent part. Rape is not about sex. It is about power, control and domination. It is often as brutal as it is insidious. Women who are raped often take years to recover if they ever recover. It takes something from them that can never be returned. It reshapes whom they are and often is devastating to their current and future relationships with men. Thus, the men is their lives, partners and future partners also become the victims of their rape. The physical wounds may heal with time, but the wounds to a woman’s psyche may fester like a hidden cancer for years. Some find their lives irreparably altered. Some become chemically dependent. Others end their lives.

When Republicans trivialize rape by calling it “just another means of conception,” they display a callous disregard for women, equal to, if not greater than the rapist’s. When they attempt to inject their twisted theology into the matter by bastardizing religious dogma, it rises to the level of blasphemy! The very notion that because something happened, God must have intended it has been used to justify nearly every atrocity since the inception of Christianity.

Using this logic, if someone backs a moving van up to your home while you’re on vacation and robs you of everything you own, fret not! God must have intended it. Why have a legal system? Why punish criminals? After all, they can only do what God intends.

Guilt By Association

Needless to say, the Romney campaign has found it difficult to split the baby so to speak when it comes to maintaining support from the radical “Pro-Life” wing of their base, while  appealing to potential female voters. The problem? It is a Sisyphean task to convince right thinking people that a woman who has already suffered a rape, ought be forced to carry the baby of her rapist to term. I suspect that proponents of this lunacy are merely paying lip service to a vacuous ideal because the chances of such a cascading series of tragedies becoming a reality for them is vanishingly small.

Almost all of those promoting this nonsense are male. Most of them are of an age where they’re children are either grown and married or soon will be. They bask in the illusion of security provided by their privilege, which has no relationship to the reality the rest of us must contend with. Of course, this is stunningly consistent with those born into money chiding the rest of us for our lack of industriousness. If we just work harder, sacrifice more, apply ourselves more astutely, we too can achieve just a portion of what they were born with. Personally I have no problem with the rich, wealthy and the privileged. What I have a problem with is them offering commentary on a reality none of them have experienced.

Where do men get the notion that their opinions on what women do with their own bodies, are worthy of consideration? As a man I have no idea what it is like to feel my body adapt, adjust and shift to accommodate a budding human life.  All I can do is plant the seed. The important part of the process of human reproduction is the sole province of the woman. I am comfortable abiding by her wisdom and judgement.

Todd Akin

Todd Akin Senate hopeful from Missouri

Thus, when we hear such nonsense from the likes of Missouri Senate hopeful, Todd Akin, that in cases of legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting down and preventing conception, I can only stare with slack jawed amazement. How on earth did he graduate from high school, let alone college without even a rudimentary understanding of human biology and the reproductive process? He could not have sounded any more ignorant had he said, “in such cases, the Stork simply refuses to deliver the baby!” Surely some college or university wants their diploma back?

Roger Rivard

Roger Rivard Wisconsin Legislator

This moral hemorrhaging didn’t end with Todd Akin. Enter Roger Rivard. Close friend of Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan. This fellow has quite an interesting take on rape. In his own words, “some girls rape easy.” Although, taken in context his words are not an admonition to rape, nevertheless they display a mindset that trivializes rape and begins with the premise that women will cry rape when none actually occurred. Does this ever happen? Certainly. Just as people falsely claim to have been robbed or in the case of students, “the dog ate my homework.” People lie. Yet, when someone picks up their phone and dials “911,” the operator on the other end does not and must not question the veracity of the caller. If you say you’re having chest pains, the “911” operator doesn’t speculate that you may have eaten something that disagreed with you and suggest an antacid. The ambulance is sent immediately.

Paul Ryan

Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

In point of fact, this entire rape problem goes all the way to the top of the Romney – Ryan ticket. Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan also believes that rape is “just another method of conception.” If you’re beginning to see a pattern here, you’re right! What is it about the Republican party that allows the trivialization of such a heinous crime to be acceptable? They pitch more of a fit over rich people being asked to pay 4% more on their taxes, than they do over an innocent woman being raped! 


The Straw that broke the Camel’s back?

The straw that just may have broken the Camel’s Back is Senate hopeful from Indiana, Republican Richard Mourdock. Not only did he trivialize rape as just another means of conception, he injected God into the equation! Yes, should you get raped and get pregnant, take heart! God intended for it to happen! When pressed on the idiocy of his comments and the suggestion that God intends rape, he did backtrack slightly… and in the process made things worse! “God didn’t intend the rape… but since it happened, why not take advantage of things and throw in a pregnancy!

Here again is one of the reasons for my Agnosticism. I can hardly think of a higher insult to the divine than to make the “Almighty God” a party to the crime of rape! The fact that God hasn’t dusted off that whole smiting business he made much use of in the Old Testament causes me to have my doubts. Surely if there ever were a need for a good old fashioned smiting, this would be it.

Richard Mourdock

Indiana Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock

As it turns out, these comments by Richard Mourdock may just be that bridge too far. It may turn out that by endorsing Indiana’s Richard  – “I love to inflict my opinions on others” – Mourdock, Mitt Romney may have allowed the Senate hopeful from Indiana to not only stab him in the back, but the entire GOP. Let’s hope so! Women? Are you paying attention? They also say you can’t rape the willing. Do not be a willing participant in your rape. There’s too much at stake. Hold these fools accountable. The abortion debate is really a “Myth-Direction.” This is about what it’s always been about. Control. Absolute, dictatorial control. Or as Richard Mourdock says, “inflicting his opinions” on you! Vote wisely. Friends don’t let friends vote Republican.


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Strong Delusion – Black People, Their Churches and Their Clergy

The Way of the Slave. Many are still on that path.

by Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

“We grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property […] and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery.” __Papal Bull from Pope Nicholas V in 1452 known as the Dum Diversas

For the first time in recorded human history, it became possible to become a slave in perpetuity. Chattel Slavery was born. Prior to that Slavery wasn’t for life. Slaves had rights, could own property, buy their freedom early and knew their release dates.

In 1492 Columbus was going to discover a “new world” and the market in human misery was going to explode. Africans in particular were going to become an expendable and replaceable commodity. During the 400 plus years slavery was practiced in the “Americas,” by conservative estimates, 100 million Africans would lose their lives between the point of capture but before they made it to the auction blocks. This was the greatest holocaust in recorded human history.

Think about all of the issues our returning soldiers face when returning home. The things they’ve seen, the things they’ve done have consequences that many times require years of therapy under the care of a trained psychologist. Only a true socio-path is immune to human suffering. To be sure many slave traders were socio-paths, not all were. These people needed some way to compartmentalize what they were doing. They needed some way to rationalize what they were doing to their fellow human beings.

Some convinced themselves that Africans were “sub-human.” They told themselves that Africans were just a little above animals. This may have salved their consciences… until they began raping African women. Having sex with animals is a mortal sin. This undoubtedly created a continual state of cognitive dissonance. Other’s convinced themselves they were “missionaries.” Sure they were enslaving the bodies of Africans, but they were also exposing them to Christianity thereby saving their immortal souls.

Christianity was the perfect religion for their dirty job. The Christian Bible is rife with passages that speak of being a servant or pleasing God by pleasing your “master.”   If Slaves could be Christianized and learn to accept Slavery as their God ordained station in life, it would serve to pacify them. The plan was simple. Make the Slaves believe that the only true God was the Christian God. Make them believe that this God was all powerful. Make them believe that this God was watching over them and by extension it was his will that they be Slaves.

To this end, Slaves were robbed of their culture, their languages and their names. They were given good Christian names. They were not allowed to speak their own languages. Families frequently were broken up with children being sold off so they could not pass on their culture in secret. It was a diabolically, insidious system of control.

Praise House

There were no unions for slaves. They worked from sun up to sun down. The only day they did not have to work was on Sunday. At first white people allowed the slaves to enter their churches to hear the “Gospel.” Of course that didn’t last long because children will be children. Young children who had not yet learned to hate, no doubt began playing together. The solution was to build slave churches. These were places, usually on plantations where slaves were allowed to attend Sunday services. They had their own Black Preachers, many who could not read, but who could recite the stories they’d been told. They were allowed to go to the white church and listen to the sermon, then go and relate that sermon to the Slaves.

John Jasper – Slave Preacher from Virgina

Being a Black preacher was the first opportunity to have an officially recognized position in white society. You were viewed as being better than and above the other Slaves. You were a safe Negro. You had embraced turning the other cheek, non-violence and more importantly, the position that prayer and supplication to God would eventually solve your problems and the problems of your people. So long as you were praying and leading others to pray, all was good. The simple fact is, Black people believed more in the white Jesus than white people did.

It is difficult to resolve the teachings of Jesus with the practices required to sustain a Slave culture. Beatings, lynchings, rapes, murder, paedophilia, buying and selling humanity. Breaking up families for a profit, working people literally to death are inconsistent with what Jesus taught. Yet it was from the people who did these things that Black people were given Christianity. It seems fair to wonder if white people actually read their Bible before they started passing them out?

Nevertheless, Slaves embraced Christianity. Getting some time off on Sundays no doubt has something to do with why Sunday services in Black Churches last so long. As Slaves, you didn’t want your time in church to end. When church was over it was back to the fields. Why are Black church services are so frenetic and energetic? If you’re dragging out a service, the “Massah” was bound to come to see what was taking so long. They had to make him believe that they were totally consumed with spiritual ecstasy. Convulsing on the floor in the “Spirit,” whooping and hollering were essential theatrics in making the service last as long as possible. The Slaves revered their Black preacher because he was able to work the system for their benefit.

Civil Rights Movement

Rather than dealing with us, white people as always, were much more comfortable dealing with their designated go betweens, the “Black Clergy.” You hear these code words today if you’re paying attention. How many times have you heard a pundit use this phrase whenever the subject turns to Black issues, “Black leaders say…?” Have you ever heard an issue addressed where the phrase, “White leaders” is used? “Asian leaders?” “Hispanic leaders?” The only other group where ethnic leadership is even remotely referenced are Native Americans. Native Americans also experienced near genocide at the hands of white people. Coincidence?

During the “Civil Rights Movement” it was quite natural that the prominent leaders of the movement were members of the Black Clergy. They had taken a system set in place for control of Black people and used it to defeat that very system. White people never expected the non-violent protests of Martin King, Jr. to be effective on other white people. Turn the other cheek? Really? In the face of police

Martin meets Malcom

dogs, fire hoses and billy clubs? The miracle was that it did work!

Malcom’s message of “self-reliance” and nation building caused him to be seen as a threat. Black people building their own businesses and communities, following a different religion, and by no means adopting non-violence as a code was the white man’s nightmare. In point of fact, it was the old “good cop – bad cop” approach. Malcom was preaching “By Any Means Necessary!” Martin was preaching “Passive Resistance!” Together they offered a difficult choice and posed one helluva problem! It is not surprising that both were assassinated under mysterious circumstances we have yet to reach the bottom of to this day.

Not only had white people been paying attention to the power these men wielded, Black people were paying attention too. Some coveted this power, but not to empower Black people. When power becomes an end in its self, corruption always results!

How far we’ve fallen

[KJV] II Thessalonians 2:11,12
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Today we have a proliferation of Black Clergy. In the Black community you will find a church on one corner and a liquor store on the other. Both are selling “spirits” just under a different name. Being a Black preacher is an easy route to a respected career with professional standing. It does not require a college education and the rewards can be staggering if you have the gift of gab. If you want a title? Confer one upon yourself. Print your business cards and people will begin calling you by whatever title you’ve chosen.

Black people have been conditioned from 400 plus years of slavery to need religion and to want a leader to follow. They will accept almost anyone who offers to fill that void. It is not my position that all Black Clergy have malicious intent. A good many of them are sincere and have convinced themselves that they are carrying out a “calling” on their lives.

There are two types of Black Clergy that concern me. You need to be wary of both of them. The first are purely out for financial gain. For them it’s all about the “Benjamins.” Fine house, expensive car, lifestyles of the rich and famous. They live by the 11th Commandment, “he who dies with the most toys wins!”

Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr.

The second are much more insidious and a lot more dangerous. These people quite often do have a college degree. They have a vision which they are adept at selling to their gullible followers. For them, religious faith is a tool they define and redefine in order to manipulate and control the behaviour of those in their “flocks.” What they’ve discovered is, one of the quickest ways to notoriety, financial gain and fame is to become the mouthpieces for white people whom because of the racial history of this nation, find it politically incorrect to publicly proclaim the racist stereotypes of the past.

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson

Issues like affirmative action, welfare, “State’s Rights,” absentee fathers, children being born out of wedlock, if I put together a program wherein I dealt with these issues from the stereotypical white perspective, I could have my own radio talk show by next week. “Black people need to try harder!” “They need to apply themselves in school!” “The ‘playing field’ is now level!” Ignore the realities of poverty, red-lining, underfunded inner city schools, racial targeting by law enforcement and all the other realities that comprise the Black experience in America. Speak in support of the agenda of that segment of society composed of racist white people and they will find a platform for you to preach from. What’s more, the money will roll in.

Pastor James David Manning

We now have a crop of these shills running around like apostles to the Black community. Self-appointed and self-anointed. They’ve tailored their message to resonate with religious ideology of the Black community. If you show a Black person something written in their Bible, suddenly it has the weight of All Mighty God! Most don’t know enough about their Bibles to place the passage in context. They don’t know enough about their Bibles to know about contradicting passages. Everybody knows that God parted the “Red Sea” during the “Exodus.” What most do not know is that the actual Greek calls it a “Sea of Reeds” or a marshy place. “Red Sea” is a mistranslation.


2000 Census Chart

This wedge issue is quite popular. Who doesn’t love babies? I had a Black preacher tell me that abortion was the “black holocaust!” She went on to say that “millions of Black babies are aborted every year!” Her point was, I shouldn’t vote for President Obama because he supported a woman’s right to choose. Fortunately, she was talking to a “critical thinker.”

2009 Incarceration Rates in the U.S.

With all those “Baby Mamas” running around, it just doesn’t seem likely that a lot of Black babies are being aborted. In point of fact, in spite of “open season” being declared on Black males by our judicial system – 40% of the 2,300,000 people in our prisons are Black – our population is actually growing. We were only 12% of the population and we’re now nearing 13%. This is in competition with all that “illegal immigration” they keep whining about. No, I really don’t think abortion is a Black problem.

Margaret Sanger Founder of Planned Parenthood

To be sure, the original plan of the “American Eugenics Movement” as imported from Nazi Germany by Margaret Sanger, was to control and reduce the population of “undesirables” in the United States. In particular, she was after the Negro race. She founded “Family Planning” – an innocuous sounding name – and “Centers” sprang up in poor, depressed minority communities all around the United States. All was good and nobody said a word.

In 1973 with the passage of Roe v. Wade, they were off to the races. Literally! All was good and going according to plan, up until the mid 1980’s when the “bean counters” did a study and discovered something appalling. More white babies were being aborted than black and other minority babies. According to their projections, white people would be a minority in the United States by the year 2050. Panic set in. Something had to be done. This is when abortion was sold to the “Religious Right” and it became “America’s Sin!” All of this was before, they became concerned with “illegal immigration.”

The Black Clergy in the timeless question of the “House Slave” were now asking, “Massah, is we sick?” Forgive my schadenfruede, but when a weapon formed against me, blows up in the face of my enemy? I am not likely to rush to his side to render aid. No Massah, we ain’t sick, but you are!

Gay marriage

This is another manufactured wedge issue. It is interesting to note, that Jesus never once said anything about homosexuality as recorded in the Gospels. How could he have made such an oversight given all the furor over homosexuality today? He could have slipped it into “The Sermon on the Mount.” How about, “Blessed are those who hate Gays, for they shall inherit a righteous society?”

Black Choir Getting Down

The facts are, Gays are essential to the Black Church. They sing in and direct the choirs. They are the musicians that play that funky gospel sound that whips the congregation into a frenzy. And yes, without them, those tithes and offerings that the Black Clergy love to reap would be significantly less. When that lovely young man with that high falsetto moves you to tears, your wallet opens. This is no longer, “Massah is we sick?” This is “Massah, you want us be sick for you?

I fully understand people making the biblical case for morality. Although, basing morality on the Bible can be problematic. For instance, is there anybody who believes ordering the slaughter of nursing infants is moral? Perhaps this is why abortion isn’t mentioned in the Bible?

Send in the clowns

[KJV] Matthew 7:4,5
4  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Since the Black Clergy has decided to interject morality into political decisions, it only seems fitting that we take a peek into their skeleton filled closets. After all, if you’re going to tell me that the person I vote for needs to be a paragon of moral virtue and hew to the values of the Christian Bible, perhaps I should take a close look at you?

Eddie Long

Eddie – somebody done somebody wrong – Long

What can you say about the disgraced pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia? He really gives those paedophile Catholic Priests a run for their money. While he stuck closely to the “letter of the law” by waiting until his prey – like fruit ripening on the vine – were of legal age, in point of fact, he began grooming them in his “Long Fellows Academy” for young men, while they were mere children.

Thus, not only do we have homosexuality, we have it with under aged children. Remember, the age of consent in Georgia is not the same for other States. Had he done the same in New York he’d be sitting behind bars for the rest of his unnatural life. Question: How much did you hear from the Black Clergy denouncing Eddie Long? Plenty of “let’s hold him up in our prayers,” not much denouncement. Evidently, the Bible applies to pastors differently?

Creflo Dollar

The Two Faces of Dr. Dollar

High Priest of Prosperity, the Reverend Doctor Creflo Dollar is not used to hearing “no.” What’s worse, when he makes a decree, not only does he expect it to be obeyed, you’d better act like you’re elated! This is particularly true if you happen to be one of his children. Evidently Dollar’s 15 year old daughter had been planning on going to a party over the weekend. Dollar told her that because of her grades, she could not attend the party as she’d been planning. So far, I have no problem with this. I’d even go so far as to call this good parenting. We need more of it.

What happened next was entirely uncalled for. Not just by any parent, but especially in the case of a “man of God.” When his daughter turned and walked into the next room crying, this enraged Dollar. He followed her and according to the police reports, slapped her and assaulted her. Really? What should a disappointed 15 year old girl have done differently?

Did you hear any of the Black Clergy weigh in on this? I didn’t. The Bible is full of aphorisms on how we ought to conduct ourselves. “Do violence to no man” comes to mind.

Noel Jones

Bishop Noel Jones and “Baby Mama” Stacy Francis from the X-Factor

Yet another Pentecostal Bishop and pastor of a mega-church seems to have a problem keeping his pants zipped. The Bible is quite clear about sex outside of marriage. Fornication, adultery, lying, murder and idolatry – worshipping money? – are all sins that will send you to the same Hell. There is no “Hell-lite” for lessor sins. Every sin gets the same treatment according to the Bible.

Charismatic Bishop Noel Jones has used his fame to gain access to women who were vulnerable and seeking spiritual advice. Under the doctrine of “fair exchange being no robbery,” while he was ministering to their spiritual needs, they were ministering to his physical needs. Every so often there is a “parting gift.” “X-Factor Star,” Stacy Francis received just such a gift. She now has the select distinction of being Noel Jones’ “Baby Mama.” Have you heard any of the Black Clergy speak out on this? I haven’t.

Jamal Bryant

Jamal – I love my Bentley – Bryant

Following in the footsteps of his betters, Jamal Harrison Bryant is yet another example of mega-church pastor who cannot seem to keep his private parts out of his cash drawer. It must be painful. I know it was painful for his wife. She’s sitting on the front pew as the “first lady” and the 17 year old girl her husband is sleeping with is sitting on a pew behind her. How much is enough? Money, fame, beautiful wife and you’re looking over your wife’s shoulders at your next score. Have you heard any of the Black Clergy speak out against this? Nope! Silence so deafening you can hear a pin drop.

Zachary Tims

Zachary Tims

While I’d never speak ill of the dead – well, I would under certain circumstances – it is quite common for the untimely ends of famous people to work their way into sermons as a “cautionary tale. “We now turn to rising evangelical star, Zachary Tims. Mega-church pastor, young, attractive, frequent spots on the “TBN Network,” it all came crashing down when he was found dead in a hotel in New York on August 12, 2011. He was found on the floor with a packet of white powder in the pocket of his shorts.

While the family successfully went to court to keep the toxicology reports sealed until 2013, the evidence is fairly obvious. Police are wondering if there may have been a sexual encounter? Once again, I have not heard so much as a peep from the Black Clergy.

[KJV] I Peter 4:17 
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

My message to all those Black Preachers who have suddenly discovered their moral fortitude? Before you conflate the job of President of these United States with being “Pastor in Chief,” get the skeletons out of your own damn closets! I can’t hear you over the tremendous din from all those bones rattling around.

You Might Be Following A Judas Goat

At the slaughter house where sheep are processed, there is a goat

The Judas Goat at Work.

known as “The Judas Goat.” The Judas Goat’s job is to lead groups of sheep into the slaughter house where they are killed. Sheep have the peculiar habit of following any member of their herd who seems to know where to go. The Judas Goat is placed within the herd. It grazes with the herd, rubs shoulders with the herd and in all respects acts as though it is one of the herd. It is accepted by the herd. At the appointed time, it leads the herd to the slaughter. To be sure, eventually the Judas Goat will end up on a spit slowly roasting over the fires at a Greek restaurant being carved up for gyros. However, that is small consolation for all the sheep who willingly followed in his treacherous footsteps.

It seems the work of the Judas Goat is so effective it has been adapted to work on people. Just look around. During the last Presidential primaries, when Barack Obama was running against Hillary Clinton, Black pundits began pouring out of the woodwork in support of Hillary Clinton. Tavis Smiley embarrassed himself to the point he has not yet recovered. His purpose? To lead Black voters into the Clinton camp. At a time when all Black people should have rallied around one of their own, suddenly we were inundated with Black leaders – whom we had not elected – filling the airways to share their opinionated wisdom.

The networks dusted off faces I hadn’t seen in years. For a season, diversity was back on our televisions. This time it wasn’t “sit-coms.” Almost any network you watched, you could be sure of seeing several Black faces giving articulate opinions about the day’s events. I found it to be a refreshing change. However, it was not lost on me that over half of my newly discovered brothers and sisters were being used to further an agenda that was not my own. Obama won because of racism. Not the racism of Black people, we only make up 12% of the population. Obama won because of the racism of white people. The Republican war machine was all geared up to face Hillary Clinton. They had attack ads sitting on the shelf ready to go. They just knew Hillary Clinton would be whom they’d be facing in the general election.  After all, what were the odds that a relative unknown – dark horse literally – with a funny sounding name like Barack Hussein Obama would win in the primaries against the Clinton political machine? Did I mention that he’s Black? This is the United States of America founded on a history of Slavery. As far as they were concerned, there wasn’t a chance in the world he could win. They were caught flat footed with their britches around their ankles.

With the election of President Obama, the Republicans decided they needed their own magic Black man. Of course, from their racist perspective, we’re all the same. To this end, they elected Michael Steele and we all know how that’s turned out for them. In two words, NOT WELL! Nevertheless, Michael Steele is a Judas Goat. His primary purpose is to lead Black people away from President Obama. There is nothing in the Republican platform that benefits Black people, other minorities or poor White people. As a matter of fact, if you do not have a net worth of at least 3 million dollars and an income in the high 6 figures, the Republican party doesn’t represent you. But I digress.

Judas Goats are pervasive in our society. Most commercials and ads contain Judas Goats. From the kindly old couple sitting around the table discussing health care myths, to the 3 hicks sitting in a diner sharing their opinions on high level economic issues. They all have one purpose and that is to lead people to vote against their own interests. Judas Goats may even be in your church pulpit.

Knowing how to recognize a Judas Goat is necessary for your survival. It always ends poorly for those who follow Judas Goats. Being informed is of paramount importance. The first thing you need to know is where your best interests lie. I am amazed at how many people have been deceived into supporting Republican tax polices. Most of these people, comparatively speaking, aren’t really paying any taxes. The simple facts are, the poorer you are, the more you tend to rely on the goods and services provided by tax dollars. Poor people are more likely to live in high crime areas. They are more likely to have homes who’s wiring is such that fires are likely. They often drive vehicles that don’t get around well in the snow, so they need their streets plowed. Those who do drive pick-up trucks often live in rural areas where even with 4 wheel drive, plowing the roads is still necessary. The poor quite often have little to no health insurance, so their primary care physician is whomever is the first doctor they see at the emergency room. Yet, because they’ve been duped into following a Judas Goat, you see them at “Tea Party” rallies railing against the very policies designed to benefit them the most. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.

When it comes to the church, particularly in the Black community, you have multi-million dollar edifices built and sustained by congregations who’s median incomes are barely above the poverty level. If you’re in a church and you know members in good standing who’s homes have been foreclosed on, and the church didn’t come to their aid, you’re probably following a Judas Goat. If your pastor lives in another county from the church because that is where the high dollar real estate is, you’re probably following a Judas Goat. If on Sunday morning, you can pick out the pastor’s car not just because of the monogrammed parking spot, but because it is the most expensive car on the lot, you’re probably following a Judas Goat. If in order for you to be a member or your church, you have to submit copies of your W-2 form, you’re following a Judas Goat. If the deacons, trustees, elders and auxiliary heads of your church also happen to be the most financially successful members of the church, you’re following a Judas Goat. If your pastor has to have an entourage of “armor bearers” doing everything from carrying his /her brief case to helping them dress, you’re following a Judas Goat. If you’ve been contributing to the building fund for the past 10 years and the church hasn’t built a thing, you’re following a Judas Goat. It might be time for you to come up out of the slaughter house.

God gave you a brain and the gift of reason. Don’t insult God by not using your gifts. Don’t just ask yourself what would Jesus do? Ask yourself, what would LOVE DO! The Bible says, “your bodies are the temple of God.” It also says that God does not dwell in temples made by men’s hands. The church was intended to be God’s store house for the benefit of the people in their time of need. It was never intended to be the private game preserve of a pastor or his ministerial staff. The trouble is, most ministries benefit the pastor and the church more than they benefit the community.

I have an acquaintance whom prior to the crash of he housing market, was making in excess of 300 thousand dollars a year. He was a devoted and faithful member at his church. He was a devout tither. This of course put him in line to be an official at his church. For over 5 years he tithed in excess of 30 thousand a year. This doesn’t include offerings and other monetary contributions. When the housing market crashed, he lost everything. He was married with two small children. The bank repossessed his Mercedes and his BMW. He needed 5 thousand dollars to save his home. He went to his pastor and explained the situation to him. He told him of his need. He had no one else to turn to. All he needed was 5 thousand dollars. This was the same church that over the course of the previous 5 years he’d given over 150 thousand dollars. What do you think the pastor did? The pastor told him that he would pray with he and his wife that God would deliver them. They lost their home. He had to move in with his mother-in-law. Because of he stress on the marriage he wound up getting divorced. Do you think he’d been following a Judas Goat? Well, he certainly got slaughtered.