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The Politics of Easters Past and Presen

Practical Politics

David L. Horne, PH.D. | 3/27/2014, midnight

Okay, I’ve got a bone or two to pick. Given that Easter Sunday is the quintessential Christian holiday/commemoration, why is it designated on different Sundays every year? In other words, which actual Sunday did Jesus arise? Isn’t that important? The Resurrection on floating Sundays? That’s simply not logical. Where is the hew and cry about this apparent anomaly? I can’t be the only poor pew-sitter who sees this as an issue?

Yes, I know about the thousand year calculation of the Paschal Full Moons and the confusion between the Gregorian and Julian calendars, and I know that one cannot calculate the occurrence of the vernal equinox and therefore Easter. My question is, why is there a need for calculation at all? Did Jesus Christ arise on a particular Sunday or not? (I know the disciples were little help—they did not record the exact day, according to the Nicene Council authorities.)

And while I’m on the church, what happened to that legacy of great leadership to take the Black community forward and higher? Since the 18th century during America’s colonial days, the African American church (specifically, the Baptist and the A.M.E) has always been at the forefront in leading the Black community through portions of hell to safer ground, and in training succeeding generations for new leadership. Now it seems that too much of the Black church is caught up in ministerial self-aggrandizement and grandiose displays of Christian parody. “The Black Preachers of Los Angeles” my behind! That’s a non-Christian clown show if ever there was one—the real return of minstrelsy. Is there no shame? And this is not hateration either. I was raised in the church and was just taught to expect better of my Black pastors. They were not supposed to be the role models of what not to do.

Granted, there are still many solid examples of Black churches taking care of the peoples’ business as they spread the gospel. Several have excellent educational processes for youth and re-entry folk. Several have renowned ministries regarding the homeless, the abused, the imprisoned, etc. But there are so many problems out here, and so many open spaces where leadership is supposed to be. So I ask, where, oh where is the Black church when we need it?

On April 20th, Easter Sunday this year (it was March 31st last year, April 8th in 2012, April 24th in 2011, and April 4th in 2010), will the Black church stand up for the Black community or only recite the old crucifixion, death and arisen story one more time? Will the church face up to its gay and lesbian issue? Will it deal with its sagging pants and confused morals among its youth who are about to become its new leadership? Will it deal with the run-away non-accountability of our Black political leadership? The Black community is in serious trouble and we seriously need the Black church to help us get things right.

Even if Easter’s yearly arrival continues to bedevil most of us, let this be a fire-bell in the night for the return of the Black church to its signature importance in the Black community. Your light has shone far too long for it to dim to darkness now.

Hallelujah for the Black church! Will the real Black church please stand up and reclaim its legacy?!!!

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.

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