Many Pastors Find Ways to Talk About Election Day

November 4, 2008 at 4:15 am Leave a comment

Near the end of an emotional sermon with the congregation on its feet
and the church thick with shouts of praise, the Rev. Kenneth Flowers
dabbed the tears at his eyes.

“I’m happy,” he told the congregation by way of explanation. “I know Martin is happy.”

Meaning Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On
Sunday morning at Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in
Detroit — and at some other churches around the area — there was
little overt mention of this candidate or that ballot question, but
there was also no mistaking the central place Tuesday’s election held
for those sitting in the pews.

And the message got across one way or another.

Like
at Flowers’ church. The Sunday program included a note from Flowers,
who is pastor at the predominately African-American church, in which he
leaves no doubt about his support for Democratic presidential nominee
Barack Obama, “not because he’s black, but because he is the best
person qualified to lead our nation.”

Flowers told his flock not to worry about political tricks stealing the election — not “when God is on our side.”

At
the Shrine of the Little Flower National Cathedral in Royal Oak, Msgr.
William Easton didn’t address a state ballot proposal that would loosen
restrictions on embryonic stem cell research during his sermon Sunday,
though the Catholic Church’s opposition to the change is clear.

The
church’s lawn contained several signs against the proposed change to
the state constitution. In the weekly bulletin — handed out to
everyone as they left services — three separate articles opposed the
ballot proposal.

The Michigan Catholic Conference has contributed
$5.5 million to MiCAUSE, the political action committee formed to block
the proposal. Cardinal Adam Maida sent a letter detailing the church’s
position on the proposal to the 290 churches in the Archdiocese of
Detroit.

At the evangelical NorthRidge Church in Plymouth, about
3,500 congregants and visitors listened to the Rev. Brad Powell’s
sermon — but he spent only a little of it on Tuesday’s presidential
election, instead focusing on how people can keep their attitudes
positive in the face of the economic crisis.

“Don’t get me wrong,
leadership’s important, but neither candidate can stop the cycle of
who’s in control” and that is God, Pastor Powell said in his sermon.

“I
don’t see how you can call yourself a Christian and be pro-choice,”
said Randy Kuzdak, 42, of Redford, another congregant. “I think Obama’s
a good guy, but he is a very liberal senator.”

At Second Ebenezer
Church in Detroit, the message instead was one of patience — when it
comes to long lines at voting places on Tuesday. The Rev. Edgar Vann II
said he wanted every registered voter in the big church on Dequindre to
be sure to vote no matter how long they had to wait, and he planned an
Election Day service at noon to pray for the nation.

Daniel
Baxter, director of Detroit’s Election Commission, was a guest speaker
at Vann’s church Sunday, and although he said he couldn’t endorse a
candidate, “I think you all recognize the importance of this election.”
So long lines shouldn’t scare anyone off, he said.

“If it takes five hours for you to exercise your right to vote, make sure you stay in line,” Baxter said.

Source: Detroit Free Press

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Entry filed under: African-American, Christian, National. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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