When is a meeting an endorsement? When you’re black and dare to think for yourself.
Apparently a few black pastors earned the distinction of “sell out” for daring to meet with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump this week. They are now accused of formally endorsing Trump simply because they were willing to listen to him speak and in return ask questions. Think about that. The outrage is at the fact that several black men and women dared to explore or even listen to a presidential candidate who is a white Republican.
These ministers are accused of being pawns, tokens, and, most unbelievably, prostitutes. No kidding!
Pastor Jamal Bryant of Justice or Else fame is quickly making a name for himself in his struggle to be a prominent community organizer. Pastor Bryant first called the 100 pastors who met with Trump “prostitutes” and then clarified, saying they were actually worse than prostitutes, “because prostitutes get money, and the 100 that went in there walked away with nothing. They did it for free.”
As an evangelical Christian who reads the Bible, I can find many glaring reasons not to endorse Donald Trump – a lack of integrity, a flippant regard for people, and pride that necessarily makes him the object of God’s opposition, to name a few. However, none of those reasons would stop me from agreeing to sit in a room and press him on his areas of deficit, if I were a minister. Mainstream media keeps giving him passes, so Lord knows someone’s got to challenge him.
But black America’s “fathers in the faith” were having none of that. Black America’s mouthpiece, Al Sharpton, even reemerged to offer “advice” and challenges to these uninformed black pastors who were willing to meet with Trump. At a press conference in New York, Rev. Sharpton warned them to not “let him off the hook,” going on to say, "I think it would be an insult to our community and an insult to the integrity of the cloth for them to have a story that he met with black preachers and didn't deal with the issues that affect those in their congregation. …”
Such heavy-handed language: "An insult to the integrity of the cloth"? So, publicly endorsing candidates who openly celebrate the destruction of black life isn’t an insult to our community? What about openly affirming the practice of homosexuality? Is that an insult to the cloth? C’mon! Rev. Sharpton knows as well as I do that for some who claim to be shepherds or pastors of the Lord’s people, it’s just a convenient title. Rev. Sharpton may be one of the best examples of that. When was the last time Rev. Sharpton taught a hard truth from the Bible? Or any truth, for that matter?
Prominent Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr. was subsequently granted more than one news segment over two days on CNN to enumerate all the reasons Trump is unqualified to be president and certainly unworthy of his endorsement. “I’m a kingdom representative. I represent the kingdom of God, so ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,'” Morton said to CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield. “What Donald Trump is representing right now – the insults, the degrading – is not what we’re all about,” he continued, determining that going to hear Trump wasn’t even worth his time, as he was not going to endorse him.
Again, such strong conviction! He called himself a “kingdom representative.” What a great responsibility! But has Bishop Morton only recently realized this? Where was all of this oversight and sharp vetting for President Obama? How is it that the ministers who have suddenly found their voice against the ungodliness they see in Trump largely ignored biblical inconsistencies in Obama? I mean, even after President Obama said he had “evolved” (code for “I can reveal who I really am”) on the idea of same-sex “marriage,” black pastors and clergy were still falling over themselves for a seat at the prayer breakfast or Easter celebration. Seriously – he believes sexual preference trumps religious conviction and black economic advancement and yet is still free to come into our churches and sing “Amazing Grace.” How does that happen? Because he is a Democrat, and he’s black, and there is no vetting or thinking required, of course. When it comes to politics, pop culture, and current events, black people don’t need to worry about thinking independently; all of that heavy lifting has been done for us.
As I see it, the problem is not that a group of pastors agreed to hear from Trump, and neither is the problem that other pastors find Trump unworthy of an endorsement. The problem is the public degradation that takes place when a black person dares to think independently. The problem is it’s embarrassingly obvious that the issues or character flaws some of these pastors who oppose the Trump meeting point out are the very things they have ignored and will continue to ignore in the candidates they are permitted to endorse. Think Hillary Clinton.