(ThyBlackMan.com) “If God doesn’t soon bring judgment upon America, He’ll have to go back and apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
The statement misquoted here and often by those seeking change for the moral and ethical decay of common values was actually attributed to Ruth Graham, wife of the renowned and immortalized Billy Graham. Ruth, having complied with a request to review the manuscript of his book published in 1965, World Aflame, took umbrage to a chapter he had completed which graphically described the sinful nature of America. She laid the document on his desk and decried, “Billy, if God doesn’t come soon and bring judgment upon the United States, He’s going to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
The well-meaning, yet, sometimes misguided proponents of this line of reasoning are citing Ezekiel 16:49-50 which states, “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.”
Going back and analyzing Ruth Graham’s quote with a view to its prophecy regarding the condition of Black males who have had run-ins with decadent White police officers throughout America is the only way to gain historical context. It is an undisputed fact that this is an era where unarmed Black men have come under fire. To be fair, not all police are disparagingly implicated by this conversation, but Christian faith teaches that a new spiritual awakening could be underway. Could it be that Black males comprise the “poor” the book of Ezekiel makes reference to?
Genesis chapters 18-19 record the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah. These Chapters narrate God speaking to Abraham.
Abraham, as the patriarch of his family, is informed by God that “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous.” We find Abraham pleading with God to have mercy on Sodom and Gomorrah mainly for the reason that his nephew, Lot, and his entire family were living in Sodom. After much discussion
God goes ahead and destroys the two cities.
In most cases, the immediate and ready reply to the question “What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?” Biblcal scholars may disagree, but it must be stated that it is not very biblical to assert that sexual indiscretion was the exclusive reason as to why God had Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed. The progressive line of thinking is that there is much more to what is contained in Ezekiel 16. For example, in verses 59 and 50, the Prophet declares, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…”
While this thinking has been vehemently opposed by biblical conservatives, it is assuming great credibility based on a new critical study of the Genesis story from its historical perspective. It has been viewed and thought that God destroyed the Sodomites for their continued general wickedness, prompting God to send His Angels to the city to find out what was going on.
Racist unrepentant prosecutors/district attorneys, wayward police, unscrupulous sympathizing politicians, and others that call themselves Christians will be called to account for their actions. News flash! God greatly abhors hatred and bigotry because it is diametric to what Christian’s agape love is all about; the sin of being inhospitable to strangers, the weak and the needy takes its toll on society and those to whom the infraction is directed- the controversy of Black men.
Police brutality and deaths of unarmed Black males are at an all-time high in America. The question of an apology this time won’t be to Sodom and Gomorrah; but to Black males such as Mike Brown and Freddie Gray. The disparity in Black male deaths has been the cause of numerous protests across the country this year, most notably in Ferguson MO and Baltimore MD. More Black Americans were killed by police in 2014 than were killed in the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
With rare exclusions, white clergy with national prominence have been virtually silent! A notable exception in Chicago is a Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Michael Pledger; “Father Mike”, as he is affectionately called by his parishioners, is a staunch advocate of programs and archetypes that support the economic, moral, and spiritual revitalization of underserved minority communities. He is an outspoken critic of police indiscretions in Chicago, the “stop and frisk” capital of the nation according to statistics. A first year seminary student knows that there are 2 categories of sin: omission, which is seeing inequalities of life and looking the other way, and commission; participating in or doing little or nothing to stem the tide. My heartfelt missive to white clergy across America; how will you respond to Gods question: What have you done with my Black sons?
Christian stalwarts that could be making a difference include but are not limited to Franklin Graham, John Hagee, Joel Osteen, Rod Parsley, TBN and its affiliates; yes, even former Gov. Mike Huckabee could conceivably come together to convene a “Black Lives Matter” summit designed to terminate the proliferation of police misconduct and brutality against Black males in the Urban Centers of America. But they aren’t, further creating a terrible system where it seems the black community has no redemption, no hope; as an African American male I beg to differ. The recent events in South Carolina, where 9 lives were carelessly snuffed out by a White racist in an attempt to attract attention to his demented cause, proves that a “squeaky wheel” get’s the grease! Come on my White brothers of the cloth; let’s get that summit going if you really believe in God and the premise that “Black Lives Matter.”
Finally, The United Nations Security Council voted recently to sanction America because of its inhumane treatment and deaths of unarmed Black males at the hands of unscrupulous U.S. police. Could this be a sign from God that he wants us to come together, with the clergy, Black and White unified and leading the way; to figure this out and present it to the world before He indeed executes His judgment?
Staff Writer; Stanley G. Buford