Commentary — 01 October 2010

I reach out and challenge those of us who can, to

Bishop T.D. Jakes

contribute financially to the defense of these young men. Perhaps you are unable to be there physically. Your schedule like mine may not always allow you to show up on a particular day or time…. However, I challenge those of us who can to give financially, not for publicity, not for fame, not for notoriety, but because it is the right thing to do.

There is an old saying, when you are searching for something, “It is better to light a candle and see, than to scream blindly into the darkness.” Financial support combined with raising the awareness of an injustice by protest, is a powerful resource that can yield incredible results. I implore you to, after we have so vividly pointed out the injustices that still haunt our country, to provide the financial backing to allow them to fight the good fight.”

T.D. Jakes: September 2007

If Mo’Kelly didn’t give you any backstory, one could wrongly assume that Jakes’ words above were in reference to the four men who’ve recently alleged

Jena 6 Protest

sexual coercion on the part of friend and fellow megachurch pastor, Bishop Eddie Long.

Emphasis on “friend” and “fellow megachurch pastor.”

The remarks above were made almost 3 years ago to the day, yet in reference to the Jena 6 controversy.  In 2010, in an attempt to contextualize and direct his congregation in which to best spiritually and morally proceed;  (paraphrasing) he instructed his congregation to “pray.”

Pray for him (Long), pray for them (the accusers)…etc.  Just pray for everybody.  Don’t do anything, just sit on the sidelines until Coach Jakes is ready to call you into the game.

Again, Mo’Kelly is paraphrasing…but that’s the general sentiment after you remove the fiery oratory garnish and bite down on the meat of the message.

Pray…be still…wait on the Lord.  Got it.

Let’s be clear, prayer has its place and prayer has power.  Yet if prayer alone were enough, there would never be any need for any of us to do what was right in the moment of crisis.  This is about doing what’s right, over and above just prayer.

Three years ago, Bishop T.D. Jakes was all about defending young Black men who presumably could not financially defend themselves when pitted against an adversary with larger means.

(Insert ubiquitous self-serving David V. Goliath story here)

Prayer was not enough way back in 2007 according to Jakes.  Not only that, the Jena 6 were already known to be “guilty” in a legal sense, the issue was whether the subsequent punishment fit the crime involved.  There wasn’t any legal battle in which to wait for its completion.  The Jena 6 were already guilty and far from angelic in nature.

Bishop Eddie Long

Conversely, in 2010 there has been no appeal to light another “candle” or to “shine light on injustices that still haunt our country” as it relates to Bishop Eddie Long and/or sexual abuse more broadly.  There has been no ecumenical pontification on how protest when “combined with financial support” could yield incredible results.  There was no interest in helping these particular young Black men “fight the good fight.”  When it came to helping the young Black men who were NOT guilty, not accused of any crime in this instance, merely fighting for some semblance of justice; Jakes’ spiritual conclusion was prayer and prayer only.

Prayer according to Jakes in this case is enough.  The fact that this case “coincidentally” involves a “friend” and “fellow megachurch pastor,” Jakes would have you believe is irrelevant in nature.

Emphasis on (ahem) “friend” and “fellow megachurch pastor.”

It seems that T.D. Jakes is only a part-time advocate for justice.  It depends on when you catch him (wink, wink).

Jakes went to great lengths to explain how and why in 2007 prayer alone was not enough for Jena 6.  What exactly has changed in three years, other than the proximity of Jakes to the accused in question?

I challenge those of us who can to give financially, not for publicity, not for fame, not for notoriety, but because it is the right thing to do.”

If we are really going to go down the road of what is or is not “the right thing to do” then let’s go all the way down the road until it ends.

The “right thing” for Bishop Eddie Long to do was to step aside, at least while the allegations were pending, for the sake of New Birth and the body of Christ.  The “right thing” for Bishop T.D. Jakes to do was to provide wise counsel privately and publicly to this effect.

The cynic in Mo’Kelly says that the reasons why Jakes did not take such a stand were in part connected to the absence of financial gain, publicity and notoriety.  Jakes is showing us presently and has consistently shown us historically that doing the “right thing” is not only uncomfortable for him, it’s unconscionable when his interests are directly impacted.  What’s that old saying…there’s never a wrong time to do the right thing?

Yeah, that’s it.

Maybe the “right thing” for Jakes to do was acknowledge the obvious revision in his spiritual discernment between 2007 and 2010.  If God is the same yesterday, today and forevermore (as we say in the Black Church)…how is it that the “anointed” Bishop T.D. Jakes managed to move from one end of the spectrum to the other in his interpretation of that same word of God in 3 years?

How is something that was “right” three years ago, COMPLETELY wrong

Thomas Weeks and Juanita Bynum

today if neither the word of God has changed nor good sense?  Whatever happened to holding on to His “unchanging hand?”

Oh, Mo’Kelly wishes he had a witness today…

Some years ago, another one of Jakes’ “Bishop friends” in the form of Thomas Weeks III found himself in the middle of a case of domestic abuse with then-estranged wife Juanita Bynum.  Jakes largely was silent, reticent to even condemn domestic abuse, having nothing to do with Weeks’ specific actions.  As a matter of fact, the Juanita Bynum/Bishop Weeks controversy ran virtually simultaneous to the Jena 6 controversy.  After much public goading from The Mo’Kelly Report and other media outlets, Jakes eventually had this to say about domestic violence, characterizing it as “unholy.”

"That Mo'Kelly is getting on my last damn nerve. Stop quoting me...I know what I said!"

As difficult and as painful as it is to realize, both the victim and the perpetrator are souls that God loves. We must realize that the church’s job is not a judicial one. The courts will do that. The church is the place where people can find redemption even when they have made bad choices or been victims of those who did.

We have to stop standing on the road and watching the accident, pointing and staring while the people who are injured in both cars hemorrhage without solution. Churches must be prepared to respond to the needs of all involved including the many children who are often left traumatized and endangered in this toxic environment.”

T.D. Jakes – September 4, 2007

How in the world these words don’t also apply to names like Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande, Anthony Flagg et al. and their allegations against Bishop Eddie Long, Mo’Kelly just doesn’t understand.  These are Jakes’ words, not twisted or edited in any manner.

Memo to T.D. Jakes…sexual abuse is “unholy” too…just FYI.

How has the church shown itself to be prepared to respond to the needs of all involved…including the many children who are often left traumatized?  Where is the statement on homosexuality (including when it pertains to bishops) being “unholy” (given Jakes’ well-documented homophobic stance)?  Are we to assume that homosexuality is only an “issue” or an “abomination” when it DOESN’T involve his own son or a “bishop-friend?”

Hypocrisy and inconsistency.

It’s this level of hypocrisy, wrapped in rich displays of “prayer and worship” which fundamentally serves as the root of why people are so turned off by church in general and look sideways at the prosperity gospel in specific.

The Black Church has made a financial killing by way of condemning the world which exists beyond the borders of the physical address of its brick and mortar location, but have had little if nothing to say about the same supposed ills which plague its own edifices.  Regardless of how you individually or your church generally stands on the issue of homosexuality, there must be some consistency in the finger-pointing and consistency in the appeals for prayer and restoration.  Irrespective of how you individually or your church generally stands on the issue of sexual abuse, there too must be some consistency in the finger pointing and the path to restoration.

If the Black church is truly about the business of comforting the afflicted, while also afflicting the comfortable, then it’s time to call a spade a spade…all racial baggage and puns intended.

There needs to be some genuine consistency and consideration in the Black Church, be it Baptist, AME, COGIC, whichever label we attach to ourselves in the attempt to claim a “denomination.”

Bishop T.D. Jakes’ whimsical, contradictory public statements on how best to highlight and fight injustice are telling in many ways.  It is emblematic of God’s truth that we all are cracked vessels…and is proof that Jakes is unaware the internet keeps a record of everything he says and has done, especially the actions reeking of great hypocrisy.

Mo’Kelly had no idea prior to now that defending the defenseless came with a bishop-friend caveat.  Now I do.

The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published at The Huffington Post and www.eurweb.com. It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. For more Mo’Kelly, http://mrmokelly.com. Mr. Mo’Kelly can be reached at mrmokelly@gmail.com.

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Mr. Mo'Kelly

The Mo'Kelly Report is a syndicated politics and entertainment journal. Visit http://mrmokelly.com for the latest from Mr. Mo'Kelly. Tune into The Mo'Kelly Show every weekend. Saturdays and Sundays 6-8pm PST on KFI AM640. Contact Mo'Kelly: Mo ~ at ~ TheMoKellyShow ~ dot ~ com

(5) Readers Comments

  1. Mo' Kelly, It is to early in the stage to expect TD Jakes to make any judgement regarding the alleged victims or Eddie Long, since guilt has not been proven !

  2. Good insight into the inconsistencies of our time. We pick and choose when to stand for "right" depending upon our own political, financial or otherwise gains. I saw the same Hypocracy with regard to Jay-Z and the issue of domestic abuse.

  3. Lng…I guess you didn't read the piece. It's cumbersome to spend all that time researching, pulling quotes and formulating thesis statements with corroborative information if you're just going to bypass it all and make comments such as yours.

    I don't "expect" him to make any judgment on the case, note the use of Weeks/Bynum and his statement on DOMESTIC ABUSE having NOTHING to do with the case. The Jena 6 by his statement was STILL a pending legal matter, given his call for people to help fund the APPEAL process.

    I don't need him to "condemn" Bishop Long, but it was in order to speak out about sexual abuse in the church and have as much "concern" for these young men as the Jena 6.

    Situations like these (re-read his words) provide the opportunity for the church address the larger issues, sexual abuse and homophobia being two of them. Jakes can't have it both ways. He can't be an advocate for justice only when it suits him.

    For the Jena 6, it wasn't enough to just let the courts "do their thing" he wanted an active involvement from the church. But not this time. Not buying it, he's already on the record.

    Next time, please READ what I wrote and then ADDRESS something I actually said. It makes for a much better subsequent conversation. I hate simply re-stating my piece…defeats the purpose of writing it in the first place.

  4. It is very interesting to me when one flawed individual takes it upon himself to critique severely other flawed individuals. I really don’t understand what makes you think that your are qualified to judge a situation that you have no personal inside information on. Are you simply a piranha trying to become famous and successful by tearing down others?

    • Actually I do have personal insight as I have informally interviewed one of the accusers. The 20 million dollar settlement is not made by anyone except one with “unclean hands.”

      The only one personally invested is you. I have no desire to be famous and anyone in their right mind knows that discussing the failings of the Black church will do nothing to help make that happen even if I did. But thanks for stopping by to complain about a series of articles that are YEARS old.

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