At The Table Too Long!

On Sunday, June 25th, 2017 at the 10: 30 am service, Covenant Glen UMC hosted its annual worship service honoring Community Service Organizations and Public Service Officials who work tirelessly to make a difference in Metro-Houston. Dr. Robert E. Childress, senior pastor, instituted this “special-occasion” worship service as an expression of thanks to public service professionals. Mayor of the City, Sylvester Turner, delivered a powerful spiritual message concerning public service. I have had conservative leaders acknowledge to me the Mayor’s positive leadership style. This editorial is a spiritual-testimonial concerning the power of the message delivered by the Mayor.

First of all, let me say unequivocally Mayor Turner’s leadership style is oriented toward unity of purpose, not political “party” divisions, as currently is the case in Washington, D.C. In fact, his timely message was truly an inspirational call to “unity of purpose” for City government. Moreover, everyone deserves a place at the “quality of life” economic table. Since the Preamble to the U. S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, this has been America’s clarion call. Mayor Turner emphatically promoted and highlighted inclusion, not exclusion. He also highlighted an important life-altering-family experience growing-up in Acres home with a father and mother, and eight siblings. The Turner household was comprised of ten individuals in a home that had a table that could only seat six at a time. Thus, six ate at a time; and, after a while Mayor Turner’s father would return to the “table”, usher the six individuals up, and emphatically declare: “you are spending too much time at the table. It is time to get-up.” The rest of the family must now eat. Every Houstonian based upon the U. S. Constitution deserves a place at the “American Dream Table”. The Mayor’s use of this analogy was a powerful spiritual depiction of what has taken place, as well as what currently exists, in 2017. For too long some politicians have not been preparing a place at the table for certain groups. In fact, too many political figures are sitting at the table for “personal-gain”, not public service. Again, it is time for all Houstonians to have a place at the table. In fact, it’s time to “sh.t” or get off the pot.

While the Mayor was referencing City Government the analogy is also appropriate to what is going on in America, especially Washington, D. C. “Make America Great Again” is simply coded phraseology for “Make America White-Privilege-Oriented Again”. Therefore, the Mayor’s analogy clearly speaks to what’s going on in Washington, D.C., because individuals with a “Trump-Like-Mentality” have been at the “American Dream Table” far too long”. At the last supper there could have been one too many at the “Table”: Judas Iscariot. Judas was the betrayer (The Son of Prediction). Lest, we as Christians forget the spiritual message recorded in scripture. “And we know that all things work together for good to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8: 28). Houstonians, once again, lest we forget, Jesus said: “All that the Father has given me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6: 37).This is precisely why the exercise of the vote is so important. As a matter of fact, thank God for President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Let’s be perfectly clear about President Donald J. Trump, and stop playing mind-games with our imaginations about the reason(s) why he was elected to the Office of Presidency. For after all, working class and poor Whites, Christian Right Evangelicals, and especially White women must now “spirituality and morality” own their vote. They should be embarrassed. Additionally, Black Americans stop blaming yourselves for not going to the “polls” to vote or allowing some White men to assassinate the moral and intellectual character of a woman seeking the Presidency. The election of Donald J. Trump was not about “JOBS”, it was not about trade agreements, or infrastructure developments, or even healthcare (Obamacare). Plain and simple it was about “RACE”: The “Black/White” issue. Race in American society still matters. Otherwise, there is no logical explanation for why so many working class and poor “rural” Whites embraced a man who has clearly demonstrated over-time, in both words and deeds, that he is a “self-centered-individual, and has mal-nutrition of the brain”. More importantly, individuals with a Trump-like mentality have been at the “American Dream Table” far too long. President Trump is hell bent on becoming the “most powerful” individual on planet earth at the expense of your sons and daughters as well as others. Principle and power are flip-sides of the same coin; therefore, an individual must have “principles” before acquiring power; otherwise, we have a fool who is admired only by Russia and Israel.

Politics has a clearly defined role in American life; however, The Preamble to the U. S. Constitution and The U. S. Constitution itself states emphatically that every American has a place at the table, yearning to be free with a belief in the principle of: “One Man: One Vote”. As a result, Mayor Turner’s spiritual-message was about inclusion at the table for all Houstonians, not exclusion. The Mayor has a clear-cut understanding of the spiritual-moral-principle: “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.

Houstonians, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8: 31). Mayor Turner is “morally” determined that all Houstonians have a place at the table. Moreover, when a man is determined “who” can stop him? “For as it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another anymore, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” Romans 14: 11-13). The message that Mayor Turner delivered on Sunday, June 25th was spiritually grounded in the “Word of God”. He used the “Good Samaritan” story to make the spiritual point of service to others rather than “self-serving-ego-tripping”. Therefore, all Houstonians should “do as much as one can for as many as one can”. And, “ego-tripping” is counter-productive as an option. All of us are called to be “Good Samaritans”, simply because, we are “Our Brother’s Keeper”. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8: 24-25). Of course, Blacks have been patiently waiting for almost 400 years for a place at the American Dream “table”. Our prayer has always been that individuals see the man, not the man’s skin-color. Selah!