Are Chicago preachers rolling the dice with black lives this election season?

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I’ve never been a fan of most preachers. A lot of them put me in the mind of a snake oil salesman who’s having a really good day. Roaring, emotional pitches high on cliché but low on substance don’t really do it for me. Those types of preachers got me to calling some Sunday morning sermons a “not-so spiritual pep rally,” where every Sunday, you come in, wave some pom-poms, sing some songs, participate in a call and response, fork over some cash, and then head back out into the world feeling better for the moment, but no more equipped to make it through the hell that tries to encumber us on a day to day to basis.

I long for an era when churches actually teach Scripture and are open to support people when they are most in need — Monday through Saturday when they’re juggling family needs and work responsibilities. Where there’s a place to find a meal and a warm seat when it seems like those two things are extremely few and far in between.

Yes … I know. There are generations of people who have taken advantage of the system of charity and good will …. both white and black. But that doesn’t discount the fact that there are even more people, “good” people, who want to work for everything they get in life, and who are in desperate need of a leg up to simply survive.

Into this mental landscape enter some black preachers of Chicago – encouraging the back community to vote for Bruce Rauner because, as James Meeks says, “the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different result … why would we do the same thing again?”

I hear you, Rev. Meeks. Black Chicago has voted for Democrats for so long that Republicans normally don’t even campaign in our communities. His statement would be on point if he was talking city politics, but his commercial is talking about the office of governor, where Republicans have held the office for 26 of the last 37 years.

The Quinn camp is saying that Rauner is paying for the support of black preachers, and they reference the $1 million investment Rauner made to the South Side Credit Union as an example of how he’s playing the game. Paying people to campaign for you is nothing new, though. The new part is when it looks like black preachers are publicly on the take, even though there are a number of people who would argue that they’ve been privately on the take for years.

So should we be mad at some of these preachers for openly campaigning for Republican Bruce Rauner? I’ll leave that one for you to decide for yourself. I will say this though, I always thought that it was the mission of the church to feed the poor, clothe the naked and to house the homeless. I suppose it still is, but maybe, this time, God has chosen Bruce Rauner to cut the check.

The Real TJ Crawford (on twitter @tjcrawford4real)

The real TJ Crawford (@tjcrawford4real) is a hip hop generation, social entrepreneur building community via words, deeds and actions.



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