back to the National Black Catholic Congress : Home Page THE NATIONAL BLACK CATHOLIC CONGRESS
The Black Catholic Monthly | African Americans | Catholic News Black Catholic Congress: "We hold ourselves accountable to our baptismal 
    commitment to witness and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ"
NBCC
Calendar Of Events Calendar Congress X Media Center  Subscribe to "The Black Catholic Monthly" Newsletter News      Contact Us Contact Us
NBCC
NBCC
To Black Catholic Monthly Home Page

Featured Article: Grave Conversations. Grave Consequences. - Three crosses. Three women mournfully watching as men struggle to remove three nails. They lay the limp body onto the lap of his mother. Cold arms. Cold chest. Cold legs. Stabat Mater. Hours before, on the Via Dolorosa through the streets of Jerusalem, I heard soldiers command a burly African from Cyrene (present-day Libya -- 1500 miles from Jerusalem) to help the Man of Sorrows carry his cross up Calvary Hill. Read Full Story

NBCC STRUCTURE
 African American Catholic Bishops
 Congress Directory
 Board of Trustees
 NBCC Staff
Parish Search
 Find a Parish in your State
Black Catholic Newsletter
 The Jubilee Year of Mercy
 The best kept secret of the Catholic Church - its social teachings
 The Influence of College Experiences on Women’s Vocational Discernment to Religious Life
 The difference between a hoarder and a clutterer
 How not to say the wrong thing
 Peer Pressure: Its Influence on Teens and Decision Making
 9 Inspiring Quotes on Chastity to Help You In Your Battle for Sexual Purity
Publications
 Recommended Reading:
The Name of God Is Mercy
 Author Spotlight:
Fr. Tony Ricard of the Archdiocese of New Orleans
NBCC Spotlight
 NBCC Servant of Christ Award presented to Our Mother of Mercy School president at Congress XI
 Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853)
Upcoming Events
 Help Save the World through the 33 Days of Divine Mercy Consecration
Beginning March 1, 2016
 Annual Augustus Tolton Lecture
March 1, 2016
 Marriage On A Lampstand
March 3-5, 2016
 Young Adult Retreat
March 4, 2016
 National Medical Association (NMA) 2016 Health Policy Colloquium
March 4-6, 2016
 29th Annual Acacia Awards Celebration
March 5, 2016
 Unbound: Freedom in Christ Conference
March 10-12, 2016
 Equal Justice Initiative's (EJI) Annual Benefit Dinner
April 5th, 2016
 Xavier University of Louisiana ICBS
April 6, 2016
 The Oblate Sisters of Providence’s Womens’ Retreat
April 9, 2016
 The Black Catholic Convocation for the Archdiocese of Washington Parishes
April 30, 2016
 ALL UPCOMING EVENTS
In The News
 Low Number of Black Americans Following Religious Life
 In Memoriam: Leon Henderson
 Because of God's Mercy
 To be Saved, Anatok (an African-American and Religious Landmark) Needs Help TODAY
 Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
 Annual MLK Mass honors service, showcases diversity
 Remarks of President Barack Obama - State of the Union Address As Delivered
 Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers (BICM) Seminar
 Watch Interviews of Black Catholics speaking of their experiences concerning the Church and Civil Rights
 Visit WeAreSaltAndLight to educate your network about Catholic social teaching and tradition
 Light and shadows: Skin bleaching in Uganda
 ALL NEWS STORIES
NBCC Media
  Visit the NBCC Media Center
  Listen Live to Vatican Radio
requires Real Audio)
RECOMMENDED SITES
 Site Links

NBCC Featured Article

Building a Bridge over Troubled Waters

Article Index

View Featured
Article Index

Become a Friend of the National Black Catholic Congress

Pastoral Letter: "What We Have Seen and Heard" Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Fundraising as Ministry: Vision, Invitation and Conversion

The Experience of God's Presence

The Basics of Being Married in the Catholic Church

Building a Bridge over Troubled Waters

Reading as a Subversive Act: Libraries as the Guide to Liberation

Son, They Have No Wine! Reflections on the Importance of Devotion to Mary

Tenth National Black Catholic Congress

Appreciative Inquiry: Become a Positive Force for Change

Catholic Campus Ministry

Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry (Part I)

Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry (Part II)

His Greatest Gift

Joannes Paulus II, Magnus

Lent to Easter: Preparation for Celebration

Mary - Mother, Woman, Disciple

Research That Matters

Silent No More: A Major Crisis in the African-American Community

The Best Kept Secret

The Food Crisis in Niger

The Passion of Mel Gibson's "Passion"

To Marry or Not To Marry - That is the question!

View Featured
Article Index

So, imagine me now watching some of these programs; seeing some of the local celebrities who remained in the media after integration, but seeing them for the first time in their original environments. Imagine, for the first time seeing the commercials and those to whom they were directed. My, how "white" New Orleans was…on television at least! How excluded from public society were my people. Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" immediately comes to mind. I began to understand more why our most celebrated native son, Louis Armstrong, never wanted to come back to his home town after he returned to reign as King Zulu. All around the world, he was the "Ambassador of Goodwill," but when he returned to New Orleans, he was just another…! It is ironic-in a good sense-that we have named our airport and that wonderfully historic park after him! Psychologically, these nostalgia shows have hit me like a ton of bricks, because though I didn't grow up during these times, I now see in a far more tangible way, what my parents and grandparents attempted to convey to me as a child.

Coming from this background-and this example only barely scratches the surface of the collective experiences of African Americans-the overwhelming symbolism and the experience of triumph in the election of Barack Obama, or of any African-American, to the presidency cannot be dismissed or ignored, and its legitimacy should not be rejected or denigrated. America has taken a huge step forward in moving beyond a painful past of racial inequity. A collective "alleluia" has indeed been shouted because of this! Just as Italian Americans continue to celebrate Christopher Columbus, despite the fact that according to some, there were terrible consequences for the native peoples of the Americas as a result of their encounter with Europeans, African-Americans have every right to celebrate this event which for many of them was unthinkable for the first half, third, or quarter of their lives.

Can a pro-life person acknowledge this symbolism and the legitimacy of this response and remain true to his or her commitment to the protection and defense of life from conception until natural death? The answer is yes, in my opinion, because this is only one part of the story.

Now to the other part. Countries are not governed by symbols, they are governed by people-politicians, to be exact, and our country and this election are no exception. Having acknowledged the monumental symbolism of this election-which affects all races and ethnicities, not just Blacks and Whites-it is equally the responsibility of all citizens-especially citizens of faith-to look at the specific positions of the person chosen to govern and to examine those positions in the light of faith and sound human reasoning. At this point, the best principle to be invoked is that provided by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., namely that we are to judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. Note the key word here is "judge." For what can be legitimately judged in another person is the moral character of his or her actions. So if, indeed, I have asked the pro-life community to step out of itself and to attempt to "see" the African American perspective on this election, I must now ask the African American community to step out of itself to "see" the pro-life perspective regarding the contemporary state of abortion in America.

Some have suggested that the Church has been particularly harsh with President-Elect Obama, after all, he is not the first "pro-choice" politician, or president. Some have even implied that there may be racial undertones to the bishops' approach. I heartily disagree with these suggestions for the reasons below.

First, the Church has been teaching and speaking out publicly on this issue since 1973. The public battles over who can or cannot receive Holy Communion did not begin with the 2008 election cycle, they were just as heated in previous presidential elections when there was no African American candidate. Our current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, have made the topic of abortion and the promotion of a Culture of Life central in their visits and messages to the people of the United States.

to top of page

(Return to start of article)
Previous page

[ 1 ] | [ 2 ] | [ 3 ] | [ 4 ] | [ 5 ]

 (Continued)
Next page


Subscribe to our
FREE Bi-Monthly
Black Catholic
email newsletter.

Subscribe
NBCC
Black Catholic Calendar Calendar Of Events Subscribe to "The Black Catholic Monthly" Newsletter News       NBCC Forum NBCC Forum Contact Us Contact Us
NBCC

Web Design : Web Marketing : Web Management : Baltimore Maryland - SLEEPER Technologies
 
An STI Site | Web Design by SLEEPER Technologies
Copyright © 2003 www.nbccongress.org | All Rights Reserved | Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without the expressed written permission of www.nbccongress.org is prohibited.