Respected community leader and activist Al Sharpton recently called for a closure of Black churches during this global health crisis. Rolling out publisher Munson Steed spoke with Sharpton on our Power and Company segment about the important message that he wants to spread to our community as we approach Easter Sunday.
Why was it important for you to call for a close of churches?
I really cannot for the life of me understand how you can risk the lives of the people that make the church in the first place. They’ve given the pastor a good life, and you’re going to be that careless with theirs. Do you love the people at all? Do you love what God is charged with? In my opinion, it’s abominable to say we’re gonna celebrate Palm Sunday and Jesus’ triumph riding into Jerusalem and we’re gonna celebrate while risking your life? We’re going to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus rising from the dead by flirting with death. It is a theological contradiction. For Black people to do it to one another is unpardonable. So I had to come out and say it.
Many church leaders are defying technology, and being arrogant in their position as pastors and reverends. What are your thoughts on this?
It is data-based that people are dying. Now they’re even admitting in so-called mainstream media that Blacks are dying at a higher proportion and percentage than whites. How are you arguing with the data, when you have a Black congregation. One in 100, [this is] our percentage for Blacks in the audience being infected and it’s more than any other church. So why are you playing with that? I think that it is something that we’ve got to deal with and we’ve got to hold people accountable.
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