Over at the CNN website yesterday, there was a commentary by Roland Martin, a CNN contributor. He bemoaned the trend of many Christians to focus all their energies on abortion and homosexuality but completely ignore many others that are even more pressing. He illustrated this with two anecdotes, the second of which appears below:
An African-American pastor I know in the Midwest was asked by a group of mostly white clergy to march in an anti-abortion rally. He was fine with that, but then asked the clergy if they would work with him to fight crack houses in predominantly black neighborhoods.
"That's really your problem," he was told.
They saw abortion as a moral imperative, but not a community ravaged by crack.
Here's the funny thing about this particular Skippy quote. This nameless pastor (or, given the wording, pastors) could have declined in pretty much any other way and not have gotten chosen to be Skippy. He could have said that his current duties leave him no time to address other such pressing issues. He could have said that he felt ill-equipped to deal with such a situation. He could even have said simply said "No" and left it at that.
Instead, he uses words that specifically states that there is a segment of the Christian public that he doesn't really care about and would rather leave it to others to take care of. My God. What sort of congregation could respect this man and listen to him every Sunday?
This Pastor sees a first problem that affects people of all classes. This problem can be combated mostly by preaching from the pulpit, participating in marches, and hanging out in front of Family Planning clinics and yelling at people who are going inside. His worst worry with something like this is perhaps someone yelling back, but that's about it.
He then sees a second problem affecting only the African American poor who are likely not part of his congregation. This problem can involve marches as well, but in addition will involve counseling, forming bonds with families in these communities, and perhaps standing toe-to-toe with the criminal element. His worst worry with something like this is not just getting yelled at.
So he chooses the former and tells his colleague that the later is not an MP but a YP.
Onward Christian Soldiers, indeed.