In today’s Los Angeles Times, Peter Wallsten reports that it isn’t happily ever after between Black pastors wooed by the GOP and the White House.
According to the L.A. Times, complaints among black pastors who had been courted by the White House — while less pronounced than those of Latino leaders — have been fueled by a tell-all book by former White House aide David Kuo. The new book says that Bush, referring to pastors from one major African American denomination, once griped: "Money. All these guys care about is money. They want money."
A White House spokeswoman said Friday that nobody there recalled hearing such a comment from the president.
The Rev. Eugene Rivers, a Boston Pentecostal minister and one of about two dozen black clergy invited to a series of White House meetings with Bush, said Friday that black leaders had been wooed with assurances that their social service groups would receive money from the president's faith-based initiative. But, Rivers said, the bulk of the money had gone to white organizations, leaving black churches on the sidelines.
Rivers plans to send a letter early this week to the White House demanding to know how much social services money has been directed to black churches under the faith-based initiative, and requesting a "new conversation" with Bush.
"There's a growing frustration and anger in the black religious community nationally as the Kuo book makes the rounds," Rivers said. "Meetings at the White House show you the door, but they don't necessarily open the door."
I hate to agree with Bush on anything, but this is probably the one time that he’s right. All those mega church pastors care about is money.
Why do you think Rev. Rivers wants to know how much was directed to the Black churches under the faith-based initiative, because it’s about the money.
As I have said all along when this phenomenon of Black pastors “bucking and shucking” for the President started, they don’t give a damn about these Black pastors or their churches. They were bamboozled. They got their photo with the President, a nice dinner, and a tour of the White House. In return, the White House publicly applauded their efforts and behind closed doors laughed and poked fun at them for not realizing that they were being used. Black pastors were used to create a wedge in the Black community on certain issues, like gay marriage.
Hopefully they’ve come back to reality and have taken a look in the mirror. Black is Black baby, regardless of whether you’re blue or red. Maybe next time when Rove and Bush come a knocking on Black church doors, they’ll remember that.
Still, I can’t help but chuckle as I sit here typing this thinking back on all of the Black pastors who dutifully stood behind the President only to be left on the porch as their white evangelical counterparts reaped the benefits.
Photo Caption: More than 60 African-American pastors gathered in Washington, DC, on May 17, 2004, to oppose marriage rights for gays including civil unions. They called on the Black Caucus to sponsor a constitutional amendment protecting marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The event was sponsored by the conservative Traditional Values Coalition. Bishop Paul Morton of Greater St. Stephens Full Gospel Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA addresses the media condemning homosexual unions and the civil rights ploy.