The Least, First

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Oh, No! Ku Klux Klan Won’t Endorse Obama!

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KKK meets St Peter Huffpo’s Michael Gene Sullivan has spun the funniest satire I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a classic political humor piece at a moment in history that has us tearing out our hair in frustration at the bizarre nonsense that’s passed off with a straight face (eg., Bill Clinton claims the media have covered up the real chances Hillary has of winning).

Go check it out – save it for your grandkids. Here’s just a tiny bit:

In a surprising move, which some are calling a deathblow to his candidacy, the Ku Klux Klan today decided to not endorse Senator Barack Obama in his bid for the Presidency of the United States. […]

At his armed camp outside of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Imperial Grand Wizard Gomer Bath explained […] “for myself it really came down to health care.” […]

From his National Headquarters/Mother’s Knitting Room in Kudzu, Alabama, Intergalactic Majestic Dragon, and two-time winner of the “Hit a Black Man with a Stick When He’s Not Looking and Run Away” Championship, Chester Podgorney agrees. “Obama’s rhetoric and speeches of Hope and Understanding have not won the hearts and minds of my vast Army of Fearless Race Warriors.” […]

“Senator Obama’s representation of armed, unemployed fanatically religious small town racists as bitter is exactly the sort of out of touch comment we’ve come to expect from his kind. Of politician.” […]

Noting her strength with the broad swaths of people who have no intention of actually voting for her, Senator Clinton also feels Obama’s weakness with people who hate both of them with a passion should give unpledged superdelegates pause. […]

Ah, what delight. Sink into my mind, O sensible Satire! Remind me again: foolishness looks like foolishness because it’s foolishness.


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Written by Monte

May 27, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Posted in humor, News, Politics, Race

Former KKK member apologizes to 1961 Freedom Rider, now Congressman

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This’ll bring some healing – both directions, I expect.
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Rep. John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis

On May 9, 1961, when the … Freedom Riders came into town and attempted to enter an all white waiting room at the bus station, Ku Klux Klan member Elwin Wilson of Rock Hills, South Carolina was there. When he saw future U.S. Representative John Lewis enter, Wilson attacked, pummeling the young civil rights worker, who responded with nonviolence. […]A few weeks ago, Elwin Wilson contacted representative Lewis to apologize for beating Lewis nearly 48 years ago.

For the past several weeks, Wilson has been apologizing to members of the African-American community in Rock Hills for his numerous acts of racial hatred. He has had the guts to simply say “I’m sorry.” And representative John Lewis responded to this former member of the KKK with mercy, grace, and forgiveness […]

Lewis said that Elwin Wilson is the very first person out of the hundreds who attacked and abused him during the civil rights struggle to say “I’m sorry.”

If we are to continue to come to terms with our tragic racial history, Wilson cannot be the last to have the courage to say “I’m sorry.”

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Amen to that.  Takes guts to apologize.  Takes guts to forgive. But contrition and forgiveness are mighty restorers.

Just as racism—America’s “original” sin—has tainted us all, such transcendent heroism makes us all a little bit better.  Thank you, Wilson.  Thank you, Lewis.

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About ‘The Least, First’

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The Merciful Samaritan
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I’m a pastor.

So I’m working my way through Luke’s gospel (I think it was) one year, and I realize, “Man, if I take these stories as they come, I’m preaching about Jesus and poor people week after week.”

This was a worrisome change from priorities I’d always followed.  Yet, in another way, it wasn’t:  I’d been taught to value speaking with integrity.  In recent years, especially, I’d wanted to be clearer in my own mind that what I was teaching was reflective of what seemed to matter most to Jesus.  For it wasn’t hard to see in history that religious dogmatism had trumped Jesus’ example time and again, and with sometimes horrible results.

I decided to walk through the Jesus stories and talk about what he talked about.  And if I did it with integrity, what he talked about most would be what I talked about most.

I ended up at this nexus of Jesus and poor people.  In fact, stunned by it, I asked my church one Sunday morning to tally up how many times it happened in Luke’s core chapters, 4-21.  How many times would Jesus be caring for someone in poverty (widows) or isolation (lepers) or someone considered by the culture of the day to be of low prestige (women, children, foreigners), or hated (Samaritans and tax extortioners) or thought to be under God’s judgment (adulterers and people in disasters)?

Poverty in a developed nation, as seen in Harl...
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And how many times would he tenderly make such people the heroes of the stories he invented, scandalizing his audiences?  Telling of the “good” Samaritan would be like using a black man as a role model to Ku Klux Klan members during the Jim Crow South, or a Native American as an example of virtue in a 19th-century U.S. Cavalry outpost—or an immigrant without papers as an example of familial love before a modern anti-immigration convention.

Between the two, we counted 27 events in 14 chapters! “If we wrote the history of our church in 14 chapters, would there be two stories of our caring for disenfranchised people in every chapter?”  Hardly.  And if I were to represent the teachings of Jesus with integrity . . . well, you see the point.

It’s been a few years now.  The impression has been confirmed again and again.  “In as much as you do it to the least of these,” Jesus would say, “You do it unto me.”

If I take Jesus’ example – the least, first – and look at relationships, politics, foreign policy, race, economics, gender, culture . . . where do I end up, week after week?

Your thoughts?


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Written by Monte

February 1, 2006 at 9:56 pm

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