Just to let you in on a secret: As part of my studies on what makes Black America tick - and who are the operatives that have the most influence in our current misalignment with where we need to be traveling as a people - I have a model floating around in my head that is waiting to be expressed in a pictorial form so that it can be easily understood by all.
In the center of this diagram is "the Black Community". This after all is the centerpiece for which all of the struggle is focused upon.
Orbiting this center are the elements that I have thus far identified:
The Black Politician
The Black Activist
The Black Entertainer
The Black Academic
The Black Educator (I will explain the distinction later)
The Black Media
and the subject of this post: The Black Preacher
(I may add the White Liberal/Progressive - to the list but I need to think about that one some more)
In my view these people represent the most important influences upon the Black community. When their objectives are out of synch - they alway become those who are doing the greatest harm to our people.
There is an active discussion going on right now regarding one Baltimore Based Preacher - Rev Jamal Bryant. He is a left wing, politically active operative with a stinging tongue. Yet he appears to be unable to use his voice to obtain actual progression within his home city of Baltimore from his favored Democrats that run the place and he also seems to have a problem keeping his penis dedicated to his own wife - who saw fit to divorce him for infidelity, having sired a child by a 17 year old church member. That's what I call "Laying hands on the church body".
The political operative Black preacher does wonders for those predisposed to his particular ideology and party. It does little, however, to challenge the spirit and the soul of the Black community which needs more direction and which is in need of institutions that have INTEGRITY.
The Black community will have no substantial REFORM while being lead by preachers and leaders like Jamal Bryant. This is because the orientation as such is to place the MAN above the SYSTEM which punishes violations of INTEGRITY for the sake of maintaining the system and of keeping the MAN in line lest he suffer the consequences.
Baltimore Sun: Questions, concerns over pastor's divorce
Feb 18, 2008
Bryant is a high-profile, politically connected pastor with a congregation that counts more than 10,000 members and a business acumen that has resulted in book deals, inspirational text messages and plans for a clothing line.
He and his wife of 5 1/2 years, Gizelle, both filed for divorce last month.
Gizelle Bryant declined to comment about the divorce through her attorney. Jamal-Harrison Bryant declined an interview request through his church's representative.
Richardson said this week that he and other leaders in the AME church have prayed for Bryant, "with the hope that things can be resolved."
"In the meantime," he added, "it's still a matter before the annual conference of which he is a member."
The divorce has been the talk of churchgoers and blogs, both local and national, with some expressing disappointment and shock that the pastor did not immediately address it at church.
The pastor told congregants at services in January that he was having family problems, the spokesman said.
"He did take it upon himself to say it's a personal matter, it's a heavy matter. There are issues he and his wife are trying to work out right now," said Nicole Kirby, a spokeswoman for Bryant.
Others say it's not their concern.
"I'm saddened maybe, but not disappointed," said Lolita Samuels, 37, of the divorce.
Samuels said she has attended the church for nearly five years and views the pastor as a role model. "Whatever happens, he'll rise above it," she said. "From my standpoint, it's none of my business. He's still an excellent pastor and a wonderful leader."
Bryant and his wife, a former model, are known for their flashy lifestyle, which includes a Bentley and a multimillion-dollar Canton waterfront property. Their lifestyle has attracted criticism from those who say the church is more about his business enterprises and building wealth than religion. Her original divorce complaint stated that he earned more than $350,000 a year.
He is seeking a "limited divorce," while his wife has requested an "absolute divorce," according to papers filed in Baltimore Circuit Court.
A limited divorce is a voluntary legal separation required in Maryland for a year before most absolute divorces.
Absolute divorces, however, are allowed immediately under certain circumstances, such as adultery and cruelty.
In Gizelle Bryant's filing last month, she accuses her husband of adultery, cruel treatment and "excessively vicious conduct" that caused "reasonable apprehension of bodily suffering so as to render cohabitation unsafe."
In court papers, she says her husband's "persistent pattern of conduct was so cruel as to render" her "incapable of properly discharging her marital duties."
Bryant's conduct, her complaint says, "was his final and deliberate act and was calculated to, and did, seriously impair" her "health and permanently destroy her happiness."
In his filing, Bryant says he and his wife were "mutually and voluntarily separated" and that "there is no hope for reconciliation."
They have a 3-year-old and 1-year-old twins.
Bryant also has two children from before his marriage. He acknowledged one, a 7-year-old daughter, for the first time last year from the pulpit after a court battle over child support payments surfaced and became a topic of speculation.
So answer me this - is my REPORTING OF THE FACTS considered "character assassination", attempting to take down a "Black leader"?
Or am I exposing a FRAUD who will ultimately not miss a beat with the majority of his church members who like to hear the words more than they like to consider the character of the man who is saying the words.