jollyroger's picture

    When Cecil Wlliams preaches Warren Buffett listens, and so do I

    "Judge, do I look crazy? Of course it was loaded!"


    I won't bore you with the details, but anyway, instead of the 60 days in jail that the prosecutor was pushing for, my getting caught with a combat tuned Smith & Wesson chief's special ended me up doing 20 hours of community service at Glide Memorial Church, in San Francisco's Tenderloin, back when it was still skid row.

    I had not yet joined the church, and my "job" was to count and bundle the little tickets which kept track of the two or three thousand free meals that Cecil made available to his people, who were the genuine wretched of the earth. I asked my "supervisor " if we couldn't reasonably extrapolate from the number fed that for two or three each day, this was the difference between starving and not starving to death today. She figured it probably was.

    I don't go to church much, but when I do, it's gotta be Glide. Cecil is 82 now, and for a visit with a real Christian, plus to hear about the time Warren Buffett showed up in a T-shirt to help out (his wife is a long time member of Glide), go here.


    As the country becomes more secular and church attendance decreasing, I wonder what secular institutions will replace the unsung community services the churches perform?


    Assuming we can achieve solidarity, we all will through our collective democratic decisions. eg, like France.

    Or San Francisco, where people give roughly.twice as much to.their less fortunate citizens than anywhere else, and it's plenty secular, I think we can stipulate.

    BTW, there's plenty of secular members at Glide. (Cecil took down the cross from inside the church.) Me, for instance. Cecil himself ain't Much of a Methodist, as he says on the piece when asked about the doctrinal ban on marriage equality, which he was defying long before the State of CA. approved it for the secular authority. He was first sent to Glide ad a punishment for his outspoken support of social justice. I thinl it was half falling down with maybe 20 Sunday attendees when he got there. * Seen by some critics as a violation of the separation of Church and State, Glide first started getting city subsidies for its meals program in 1981. The individual contributions that flow into Glide on Sundays account for a relatively small portion of the budget—less than $640,000 of the foundation's $8.5 million in revenue during 2002, the most recent year for which a financial audit was available.[29]

    The Glide story is one that can be told in virtually every major city in the country. Remember the controversy about Obama attending church where Jeremiah Wright was pastor?

    There is are many pastors who preach what would be called a Black Liberation Theology. The main attack is on issues of poverty and bias. They represent the opposite of what prosperity preachers like. Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar project from the pulpit. 

    These churches are part of the counterattack against voter suppression efforts being conducted by the GOP. If you noted the recent joint protest between Black and LGBT groups in NYC against "Stop and Frisk", it was spearheaded by Al Sharpton who has his base in the church. 

    My point is that it is unclear that secular groups alone will be able to mount the type of political battles that church based groups can. Occupy Wall Street provided a great deal of support for the "Stop and Frisk" protest, but they did not initiate the march.

    Point well taken. I love me some Rev. Wright as well, btw.

    I had to run out before finishing .There  also  clergy like Father Michael Pfleger the fiery Catholic priest who led a protest against the proliferation of one city stores that would sell cancer sticks to underage youth in poor communities. Pfleger is white and just as much a thorn in the side of complacent politicians as the leadership at Glide.

    In the tradition of Oscar Romero. (hopefully with a different denoument)

    That was very satisfying to hear.  Thanks for the link.

    Thanks for listening-I love me some Cecil.

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