Question of the Week: “Do you support President Obama’s Affordable Care Act? Why or Why not?”
Photos and question by Yvonne Kemp
John W. Daniels, Jr., chairman of the national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP was recognized as one of the 100 most influential African American attorneys in the United States by On Being a Black Lawyer (OBABL).
Daniels joined his fellow honorees at a reception on February 29, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Daniels was featured as a “Legal Lions”. OBABL published “The Power 100 Special Edition” on February 15th in honor of Black History Month.
The publication features profiles of the nation’s most influential black attorneys working in government, academics and both the public and private sectors. The Power 100 Special Edition can be accessed at http://www.obabl.-com/special-editions/.
John Daniels has been the chairman of Quarles & Brady LLP since 2007.
In his position, he has led the firm through a fundamental transformation, becoming a client-centric, business-minded organization.
Daniels has driven this fundamental cultural shift in the midst of the worst economy in decades, leading to significant growth.
Daniels was most recently recognized by the American Bar Association with their 2012 Spirit of Excellence Award.
OBABL’s editorial team, together with a group of advisors, spent months researching prospective candidates. OBABL publisher, Yolanda Young notes that according to the American Bar Association, less than five percent of U.S. attorneys are African American. OBABL seeks to help advance diversity in the legal profession.
Founded in 2008 as a news and resource center, the company has grown into a social media firm providing research, career development, and brand marketing opportunities to clients.
On Being a Black Lawyer has been recognized by the American Bar Association, National Black Law Students Association, and National Association of Black Journalists.
Quarles & Brady LLP is a full-service law firm with 425 attorneys practicing from offices in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Chicago, Ill.; Naples and Tampa, Fla.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; and Shanghai, China.
The Firm offers an array of legal services to corporate and individual clients that range from small entrepreneurial businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Additional information about the Firm may be found at www.quarles.com.
Quarles & Brady, LLP is one of Milwaukee’s largest and premiere corporate law firms. With more than 118 years of distinguished history in this community, Quarles & Brady has grown from a small, well-respected local Milwaukee law firm to a firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Naples and Tampa, Florida; Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Shanghai, China; and Washington, D.C.
And, while the firm has achieved gargantuan success, it has never forgotten its humble beginnings, nor has it lost its commitment to the community in which it was founded.
Under the capable leadership of Chairman John W. Daniels, Jr., Esq. Quarles & Brady embraces the notion of giving back to the communities it serves to help make them stronger.
Quarles & Brady’s community-minded focus isn’t just window dressing; the firm has created a program called “Quarles Cares,” which is a company-wide initiative that encompasses the most important aspects of the firm’s corporate citizenship: community involvement, pro bono and diversity.
One of the ways in which Quarles & Brady ‘gives back’ is through its commitment to provide pro bono legal services.
For example, Quarles & Brady is signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, which is administered by the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project. Quarles & Brady has “challenged” themselves to contribute, at a minimum, an amount of time equal to three percent of the Firm’s total billable hours, or 60 hours per attorney, to pro bono work.
Among its projects, Quarles & Brady helps staff a legal clinic in partnership with Marquette University Law School and they have partnered with Children’s Hospital, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University to staff the Legal-Medical Partnership at the Downtown Health Center.
Beyond its pro bono work, Quarles & Brady is also dedicated to corporate social responsibility. The law firm believes it is essential to connect directly with the community to fully understand and better address its needs.
To that end, Quarles & Brady regularly provides opportunities for attorneys and staff to volunteer and support civic and charitable initiatives, focusing primarily on projects related to hunger and education. Among some of the initiatives Quarles & Brady supports and volunteers with in Milwaukee are the Open Door Ministry Program at The Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Hunger Task Force “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive, the Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign and collecting and providing professional clothing for the Bottomless Closet, an organization devoted to providing women with clothing that will enable them to more effectively seek and retain rewarding jobs.
Quarles & Brady is more than just a law practice; it is a dynamic corporate entity in Milwaukee that understands the importance of community service, embraces the notion of volunteerism and is dedicated to making a difference and being a change agent.
Quarles & Brady is a good neighbor—providing pro bono legal counsel to the indigent, mentoring children, feeding and clothing those in need and helping develop educational programs for industry groups.
Brentwood Church of Christ held its second annual National Black Marriage Day seminar on March 24th at the church, located at 6425 N. 60th St. With the theme “It Takes Two,” the seminar emphasized the importance of marriage as a partnership. A capacity crowd attended the event. Most aspects of the program were facilitated jointly by couples. The highlight of the seminar was a fun filled Black marriage Jeopardy game which highlighted famous couples in civil rights, entertainment, and the Bible to name a few categories. Two couples were also recognized as the longest and most newly married couples. The keynote speaker was Brentwood’s minister, Bro. Leslie Odoms. Pictured above are (left to right): The longest married couple at the seminar (Walter and Madeline Wheeler, married 48 years), Mrs. Annie Odoms and Bro. Odoms, Clarene and MCJ Editor Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr., the organizers of the event; Jene and Michael Johnson (the most newly married couple, married eight months) and Barbara E. White, a consultant and educator who facilitated a relationship workshop provided by the Center for Self-Sufficiency that the Mitchells participated in prior to their marriage in 2009. Entertainment was provided by saxophonist Olusegun Sijuwade. The Brentwood event coincided the national Black Marriage Day observance the next day Sunday, March 25. (Photo by Robert Bell)
Following the findings that the Milwaukee City Elections Commission improperly drew names for ballot placement in five Aldermanic races and Georgia Pabst’s article “Some races have names out of order on ballot”, Ray Harmon, candidate for City Council in District 9, made the following statement.
“After receiving the news that my name would no longer appear first on the ballot, I immediately filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board last Friday, March 23rd,” Harmon began. “I’m truly concerned that this will confuse and disenfranchise voters.”
“The fault lays clearly at Sue Edman’s feet,” continued Harmon. “It is her duty to make sure that these procedures are impartial and carried out correctly. When I personally contacted Ms. Edman about the ballot position in my race, she said she ‘took it upon herself’ to move Puente back to the first ballot position because the Alderman would be ‘furious’ and ‘march down here and give me trouble’.”
“Ultimately, this isn’t about me. It’s about the electoral process,” said Harmon. “Everything she said concerned me. Not only is she showing her own impartiality towards Puente, but she also feels that she was going to be bullied if she didn’t act in this way. There is no oversight or transparency right now for this process. When elected in April, that’s one of the first things I’ll work to reverse.”
“Ms. Edman clearly was trying to sweep these issues under the rug in her March 22nd press release,” finished Harmon. “I’m disappointed at the lack of professionalism and accountability inside City Hall.”
More information about Ray Harmon, his public service and his campaign can be found at www.HarmonForDistrict9.com and at www.Facebook.com/HarmonforDistrict9.
Throughout the country the death of Trayvon Martin has sparked fury. His death parallels thousands of young Black boys throughout the country, weekly. In Milwaukee, the number of homicide deaths of Black males in 2011 was 170 for Black males between the ages of 15-24. For White males between those same ages, the number was 30 homicides. The fact that Trayvon’s death was at the hands of a self-appointed neighborhood watchman simply was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Many media commentators have stated there has been too much emotion before all of the facts are in; and, racing to judgement before a full investigation was very premature. But if the situation had been reversed with George Zimmerman dead and Trayvon alive, Martin would have been held in jail that night, we believe! In too many cases, that is the norm.
There would be extensive reports about what happened as Martin would have been handcuffed, taken to the police department, interrogated thoroughly and probably held until all witnesses’ statements could be checked. This happens on a daily basis.
While by law one is innocent until proven guilty, thousands of Black boys, Black men and elders are iconically guilty until proven innocent. Institutionalized racism….often subtle and subconscious, engrained for so long, is real! It is so engrained that it plays out in our own race. Look at Black on Black crime.
Hoodies have become a stereotype; a national, institutionalized image. For as the nightly news spews the happenings of the evening robberies, now videotaped for posterity, the robbers are often wearing hoodies. The assumption is that hoodies are worn to hide the face. Hoodies are most often worn for warmth. It’s a low-cost protection from the elements. They are not singularly a robber’s fashion statement.
However, many a Black mother has said “no hoodies” because they fear the image and more significantly understand the bias. Yes, Black mothers have been having “the conversation” with their boys, for over 100 years. Regrettably, it remains salient yet in 2012.
There needs to be “the conversation”… about keeping your pants up and not haning from your buttocks. Our boys must understand the message and imagery of that fashion statement. They must also learn not to run if a policeman approaches you. And, don’t reach for anything while talking to a policeman. We must teach them to ask: “May I call my mom or dad, they need to know about this?” They must also ask: “Am I being held for something? If so, what am I being questioned for?” And, if the patrolman states they are investigating something, teach your kids to ask: “Can I have someone present with me who understands what these questions are about”. Our children must be taught the things that will save their lives. No, these precaustions do not free Zimmerman of whatever guilt the findings will prove; nor does it soothe the pain we all feel for the Martin family and the harsh reality that another Black child has died needlessly.
Yes, we must continue to insist upon the truth associated with Trayvon Martin’s death. Zimmerman must be interrogated thoroughly as Trayvon would have been….he would have never been able to just walk away. The U.S. Justice Department is now involved and will want all of the records for Zimmerman and Martin, and the law enforcement officers who were involved that night.
Justice cannot be “just us”! Speak with any a Black mother, father, or man or teen and they can tell you stories that belie what the laws are supposed to represent. That is the fury of the Martin case.
And new laws that permit people to carry their guns to “protect themselves” is a return to the insanity of the wild, wild West !
These new laws must be repelled. They serve no good purpose in any community….regardless of race.
We are reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his non-violent campaigns. Protest for justice is necessary and non-violence is a virtue!
by Taki S. Raton
(Editor’s Note: This interview of psychologist Dr. Umar R. Abdullah-Johnson by Taki S. Raton was supposed to be run the first week of February, almost three weeks before the February 26 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot to death by self-appointed neighborhood watch person George Zimmerman in Sandford, Florida. But due to space limitations, we had to hold the story until –ironically—now when the public’s attention is rivated on the shooting and the coverup by Sandford police, which has touched-off a fire-storm in relation to race, racial profiling of Black boys and men, what our boys and men wear, as well as the right of citizens to carry concealed weapons for “self-defense.”)
The following interview of The Nationally certified school psychologist, kinsmen to abolitionist Frederick Douglas and a presenter in the renowned and widely acclaimed DVD “Hidden Colors,” Dr. Umar R. Abdullah-Johnson was jointly interviewed recently by this writer and First Work multimedia producer Warren Muhammad of the Final Call Newspaper.
As part of a national tour, Dr. Johnson was on a three-day lecture schedule in Chicago speaking to educators and community audiences on the “Psycho-Academic War Against Black Boys.”
The following comments were recorded on the third day of this engagement on January 26, following his presentation to Chicago Public School social workers at the South Loop Hotel.
Questions were selected from a wide range of published articles by Dr. Johnson. Appreciation is extended to Chicago’s Black Star Project for arranging this interview.
Raton: How have Black parents and adults become so desensitized to the pain of our children, particularly our boys?
Dr. Johnson: One of the biggest reasons or ways that desensitization has taken place is by way of the massive indoctrination of Black parents with the belief that the system has the best interest of their children at heart. Many black parents especially mothers find it difficult to understand that there is a psycho-academic war against Black children in general and Black boys in particular.
I think that the menticide of the Black parent is actually making them an active participant in the mis-education and extermination of their children because they are finding it difficult to believe that society would be determined to marginalize and harm an entire generation of children. And unfortunately, until they come to the realization that that is exactly what is happening to their sons and daughters, it is going to be difficult to reverse the carnage because children generally cannot protect and fend for themselves.
They need their communities and their families to do that for them. So without the community and the family as a protective safeguard for the youth, I think that it will become eminently conclusive that one day there will be no more Black youth.
(“Mentacide” as labeled by Dr. Bobby Wright in 1985 is the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group’s mind and their unique way of life knowing, life thinking, and life being.)
Raton: How does the five-stage cycle of “Institutional Repression” ultimately place Black males on the path of incarceration?
Dr. Johnson: I have discovered in my work, in my research and particularly in my own experience as a psychologist and as an educator that the five stages that ever so increasingly large numbers of our Black boys are now moving through during their short life span takes them from birth to a premature extermination by the age of 25.
The first stage in the psycho-academic holocaust against Black boys is mis-education. Mis-education has three goals. The first is to teach the Black male child to hate himself. That’s most important.
The second is to teach the Black boy to love White culture. The third is to “special educate” the Black males and the fourth is to effeminize and homosexualize the Black male child.
Now the effiminization and homosexualization is an over-arching goal of public education. It is the job of the White middle-class teacher to break the Black male’s spirit; to psychologically emasculate him so that he simply acquiesces into the oppression that the society has in store for him.
And I always say that it is going to be difficult to rescue the effiminization of Black boys as long as their education is in the hands of White women.
Now, if a White female teacher is not successful in breaking his spirit, we then go to stage two which is the psycho-tropic medicalization of Black boys.
That is the deliberate usage of psychological chemicals to induce a submission to the American social order. And so the use of Risperdal, Adderall and the list goes on. These chemicals are used to do to the brain what you could not do to the spirit.
So if the White middle-class female is unsuccessful in breaking the spirit of the Black boy, she then turns to the psycho-tropic drug cartel to induce the submission psychologically. So first, you try to effeminize the Black male child.
If that is not successful, you go to psycho-tropic medication. If the Black boy still is a “man child” and had not been broken through mis-education and schooling, you now go to juvenile incarceration.
So juvenile incarceration is the full fledged physical containment of the Black male spirit and the Black male threat.
You see, the whole purpose of miseducation is to make the Black boy psychosocially drop out of his own life.
Mis-education is designed to engender in the Black male’s mind a desire to not want to achieve. Miseducation stamps out all interest in learning.
Children by nature want to learn. Black boys want to learn like everyone else. But what they don’t want is the differential treatment that belittles them, that psychologically castrates them and makes them feel like they are less than human.
To put it another way, the schools are doing exactly what slavery use to do, which is to dehumanize the Black man. And so when we look around our community and we see Black boys acting like animals, it is because they were treated in like fashion in the public school setting.
A good example of how this works can be found in the “Standford Prison Experiment” conducted by a team of researchers led by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo at Standford University from August 14-20, 1971. It was funded by a grant from the US Office of Naval Research and was of interest to both the US Navy and Marine Corps in order to determine the causes of conflict between military guards and prisoners. What this study revealed was that people will act the way they are treated. You become the surroundings that you are subjected to.
Black children act out because they are being subjected to a hostile animalistic environment in today’s public educational system. And after they come out of juvenile incarceration, that’s when the reality sets in the Black male’s mind that “I’ve been lied to my whole life.
My mother and my father told me; my pastor told me that if I go to school and do my work most of the time, study for my test and past them most of the time, listen to what the teacher has to say most of the time, I will graduate, get a diploma, go to college, graduate, find a good job, get married and live happily ever after.” They found out that that was all a hoax, a big lie. And now they are out on the street and not allowed to go back to school. They have psychological frustration and alienation. They become irritable and they feel disrespected.
Our Black boys are not acting like this on purpose and it is really not a part of some kind of hyper-masculine personality. They are depressed. They are sad as hell, and they are in much pain.
They are dealing silently with trauma. But they are too afraid to admit it because many of them have egos that have been torn to pieces by White women, by their own families, by their community, and by the media. So to admit that I am in pain, to admit that I need help to them means to admit that I am less than a man. And that they are not willing to do.
Keep in mind that the minute slavery ended, they immediately began to build state-wide prison systems because they knew that they were going to engineer the education and economic order to eventually over time lead the Black man to jail which means, in a sense, straight back to slavery. We still have slave ships. They now call it prisons. They just don’t sit on water, they now sit on land.
Raton: You alluded to this point yesterday Wednesday in your presentation. Are we finding in today’s mainstream society, and even in some notable segments of Black culture, that effiminization and homosexuality are actually being fashioned and encouraged towards both our African American male youth and grown men?
Dr. Johnson: The homosexualization of the Black man is the current Eugenics apparatus that is underway. Every 50 to 100 years, the American social order changes its primary strategy to bring about the annihilation of our race.
For example, in the 1970’s until the year 2000, HIV Aids was the predominant strategy of population extermination for African people.
Chemical dependence was also a weapon. Police brutality was a weapon. Mass incarceration was a weapon. And today, homosexuality is a weapon. Now, most people will ask, how can homosexuality ever be a weapon in the population control war? It is because homosexuality is a more effective strategy than mass incarceration. It is a more effective strategy than Black-on-Black crime.
It is more effective than police brutality. Why? Because in order for police brutality to work; in order for mass incarceration to be effective, you have to have a life that has already been born.
But with homosexuality, you prevent the man’s semen from meeting the women’s egg. So you prevent life from being created in the first place.
And even more importantly, the victims themselves actually carry out the genocide. And so it was actually going back to 1972 when the movement of homosexuality began to be developed and pushed. So what happens the next year?
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association holds its annual convention where they vote that homosexuality should no longer by considered a mental disorder. By April of 1974, homosexuality was deemed normal behavior. That was only 37 years ago. So sexual confusion amongst Black males is a very effective weapon in the population control war against us.
Raton: Our children are born normal like everyone else and, in your own words, “can be successful like all other youth and will respond to love and proper treatment like everyone else.” Where does the process of Black male mistreatment, maltreatment, and mis-education begin and what form does it take?
Dr. Johnson: Mis-education begins at birth. The first day of life for Black children is when they become subjected to self-hatred and self-hating messages about themselves.
They are also receiving messages about themselves that is directly or indirectly coming from the dominant culture.
And so from the first day that they enter this world, the mis-education and the self-hatred training towards our babies begin.
It intensifies in preschool because in preschool, for those that send their children to preschool, this is the first time that the Black boy comes face to face with the institutions of the American social order where he is expected to conform to the expectations from individuals who don’t care about him, who don’t know him, who don’t love him.
In preschool and in kindergarten, for the first time, you are being given orders by people who care nothing about you. And on that note, last year, we had a record number of Black kindergarten boys – 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds who were expelled from kindergarten.
Now, what can a 5-year-old boy do, what can he do to earn him an expulsion from kindergarten? In the 90’s, a policy of “Zero Tolerance” began to be implemented in the public schools. Zero Tolerance says that we are going to have zero tolerance for anyone who threatens or actually commits harm to anyone. Every school district in America functions under this ruling where they expel Black boys by the dozens for doing what – for reacting to disrespectful behavior by White folks and other teachers in the classroom.
Raton: Can you define for us please your conceptualization of “Mental Violence” and “Psychological Terrorism”?
Dr. Johnson: Mental Violence is the violence that occurs in the mind of an individual when they are force fed negative information about themselves and are then forced to try to obtain some degree of sanity as a result of the psychological poison that has been put into their mind. You see, the mind is like a plant. Plans are rooted in soil. The brain is the soil.
Every seed sowed must grow and bear fruit. So whenever you teach a child to hate himself, when you teach him that he is nothing, but most importantly, when you teach him that he will never be nothing, then he is automatically wrestling with himself and second guessing his ability and possibilities.
Psychological Terrorism is the deliberate external social engineering of the minds of Black boys to a point of self hatred and collective self extermination. What is interesting about Black-on-Black homicide is that whenever we talk about Black male violence, nobody puts it in a historical context. Mis-education is the mother of all violence. Economic castration is the father of all violence.
If you don’t give me a decent education that would allow me the opportunity to go and get a job, and then even if I have a decent education, if you don’t give me an opportunity to earn a livable wage, how do I feed myself and my family?
I am automatically forced by circumstance, not choice, to engage in illegal activity. Our sons are not out here stealing cars because they want to, selling drugs because they want to, robbing people because they want to.
It is because they are forced by circumstance through a lack of resources and I think it if trifling that you have educated Negroes, preachers, Imams, politicians who got the nerve to blame Black men for the situation that they are in when they have done nothing to help correct the circumstance and have only by their inaction aided in maintaining it. In 1970, what did they start doing in Black communities?
They started taking out the last remains of any factory based manual jobs that we used to work at and were able to earn a significant amount of money where we were a able to take care of our families and our neighborhoods. But now, when you go through Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, you see abandoned factories that have been converted into luxury apartments that use to employ hundreds of Black people. So in 1970, a concerted effort was made to depopulate the Black community of any industries to eliminate the jobs.
When Black men cannot provide for their families that creates Mental Violence. Mental Violence automatically begets some form of escape to cope with it.
So in 1980, they dropped off crack deliberately to the Black community. No one can talk to me about a war on drugs. There is no war on drugs. There is only a war on Black men.
Raton: Why is it difficult for Black people to take responsibility for our own actions?
Dr. Johnson: Because we were taught not to. For 246 years of forced servitude, Black people were engineered to only care about the American social order and the slave master. You were taught not to have any selfregard for you or for your loved ones.
Another Black person was not any of your concern.
And so you fast forward to 2012, and another Black person still today is none of your concern. It is difficult for Black people to look after our own needs.
That’s why we gross a trillion dollars in this American economic system and use little to none of this money for our own benefit.
Black boys are catching hell everyday; being special educated, medicated, effiminized every day, and we have the economic potential to build schools just for our Black boys in America to fix this. And we don’t do it?
Where does that come from? Where does that extreme sense of neglect for one’s own children and even one’s own future come from? It comes from our enslavement – the deliberate, the deliberate teaching of self denial.
Black people are actually trained and conditioned not to come together and build something unique to us that would be of substantive healing benefit to our children, to our community, and to our future. No, you don’t see that happening. We come together for church.
We come together for the Super Bowl. We come together to gossip. We come together to dance and to party. We come together for concerts.
But we do not come together to build for our people. We don’t come together and put all of our vast knowledge together to save our people. So there is no wonder that our children are in pain, are failing, suffering and dying.
Raton: Lastly, how did it feel to be a part of “Hidden Colors”?
Dr. Johnson: It was an honor to be in “Hidden Colors.” When I got the phone call from co-producer brotha Ola, I guess that would have been towards the end of 2010, he gave me a call and said we were putting together a documentary and we absolutely have to have you involved.
So we set up a time for director and executive producer brotha Tariq Nasheed to meet me in my office in Philadelphia. That’s where my portion of the interview was filmed. He asked me some questions. I answered them.
I had no idea that “Hidden Colors” would end up being the hit that it was. In fact, I had not guarantee that my interview would even be used in the documentary.
And so I am sitting home one day and I get a phone call from one of my close friends who lives in New York City and he said I am at the movie theater watching you. And I said I have never been in any movies so you can’t possibly be watching me.
And he said, “Well, the ‘Hidden Colors’ documentary released today at one of the movie houses in New York and we’re watching you and everybody in here is going crazy over who is this Umar Johnson.
We never heard of him. We have never seen him.” So that documentary did a lot to bring me into the homes of Black people who don’tlive in the northeastern corridor of the United States. After “Hidden Colors” dropped, I was pretty much known everywhere. And so that DVD really helped raise the consciousness of Black folk, not just because of my participation, but because of every one in it – Tariq Nasheed, Shahrazad Ali, Dr. Booker T. Coleman, Sabir Bey, Dr. Phil Valentine, and Dr. Frances Cress Welsing.
It was indeed an honor to be a part of this historical sharing. And in fact, it is interesting that you asked me about “Hidden Colors” because I just confirmed by interview for “Hidden Colors” – Part II.
So the second week of February, we are going to be at it again. Brotha Nasheed is going to be coming to Philadelphia for the interview and hopefully with the grace and blessings of the ancestors and the will of the Almighty, we will be able to drop some more jewels for our people.
Raton: Thank you
The purpose of an accountability team is to ensure that the leader stays true to the call of God for their lives. This is best illustrated by Proverbs 15:22, which states: “plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed (NIV).”
An accountability team must have:
• an extensive and intimate knowledge of the Christian Leader.
• the ability to be confidential.
• the desire to be Holy Spirit led.
• the ability to discern the truth.
• a willingness to pray, seek, and operate in the wisdom of God.
A good Christian leader is willing to submit to an accountability team because they realize that only through intentional accountability will they accomplish the goals God has set for their life. The demands of life and leadership, and the temptations of the flesh can cause even the most well intentioned divinely inspired leader to go astray.
No matter how much one loves God, sin, pride and imbalance—both natural and spiritual must be monitored by oneself and others or there will be dysfunction along the way.
This was true for King David, King Nebuchadnezzar and Moses as the following passages note:
1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,
3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”
4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home.
5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.
27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.
(2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27 NIV)
This story has always been intriguing to me because the truth of matter is that both David and Bathsheba needed accountability. David’s servant attempted to remind the kingof his wrong thoughts by stating in verse three that she is a daughter and a wife.
I believe it was the intent of the servant to hold the King accountable to the laws of the day. Both David and Bathsheba were out of order and both operated with intentionality in their sin.
Bathsheba knew that the tub was in plain view from the palace. She also knew that according to the hormonal cycle if she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness she was also ovulating within the window that David summoned her.
Perhaps it was her intent to have a child with the king. Further, after she was pregnant the bible states that she sent word back to David. If she was “forced” or otherwise compromised how did she continue to have access to the king of Israel? I also believe that she and David worked together to hatch the plan to eliminate Uriah. Not only did they sin, but both parties got their servants to assist in the sin. When Christian leaders compromise the standards of God we impact and devastate those who are under our leadership. King Nebuchadnezzar is another example of a leader who struggled with arrogance, pride and disobedience.
Like David, King Nebuchadnezzar was held accountable by a prophet before punishment was enacted by God. I believe that is God’s desire to avoid embarrassing leaders through public humiliation. It is only when leaders refuse to be held accountable or listen to the voice of God through others or directly that God allows full exposure of our sins.While there are times that our moral failures are intentional, there are other times in which, in an effort to do the right things we end up doing the wrong thing. Nebuchadnezzar made the mistake that many leaders make; he began to falsely believe that the success he experienced was his own and of his own doing.
Nothing that we are blessed to accomplish as leaders is the result of our own doing. It is simply fruit that God allows us to experience by His grace and mercy.
To be continued next week…
Sunday, Palm Sunday, we begin the holiest week of the Christian year. On Palm Sunday we hear from Mark that Jesus entered into Jerusalem riding on a small, humble donkey and received the praise of all who lined the route, some threw down their garments and others laying palm fronds on the road while signing hymns of praise. They treated Jesus as the One who comes in the name of the Lord. It was a joyous time. Little did they know that this procession into Jerusalem would be the last time Jesus entered the city. This was the start of a procession that led to Calvary and the brutal crucifixion of Jesus, innocent and without sin, the Son of God and our brother.
After the solemn procession with palms, we lay our palms down and quickly move to the narrative of the Passion and Death of Jesus according to Mark. The “hosannas” cease and the calls for his death begin. In our church we read the entire Passion narrative from Mark 14: 1–15:47. It is a sacred time and we proclaim the Gospel with great solemnity as we all listen to what happened to this innocent man and God. It is a tragic story and one that did not need to end this way.
According to Elizabeth Johnson, a biblical scholar, this horrific death was the direct result of sin, nothing more or less.
But could it have ended differently? According to Johnson, yes. “To put it simply, Jesus, far from being a masochist, came not to die but to live and to help others live in the joy of divine love. To put it boldly, God the Creator and Lover of the human race did not need Jesus’ death as an act of atonement but wanted him to flourish in his ministry of the coming reign of God. Human sin thwarted this divine desire yet did not defeat it.”
And this is our salvation! The Cross became the sign and symbol of a God who would die for us, not because God needed it or wanted it, but because we put Him there and he did not retaliate! He said: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Not even a moment of revenge in spite of the horrific and unnecessary shedding of blood. And, we know, that “with the dawn rejoicing” as Jesus overcame death with new life.
But before we celebrate what we know happened on Easter Sunday, we continue with Holy Week and celebrate Holy Thursday, the Lord’s Supper and the washing of the feet of the Apostles. And on Good Friday we come together again to hear the Passion of Jesus according to John (18:1—19:41). And in the quietness of Good Friday evening we prepare for the Resurrection and the Life!
Please join us for Holy Week. Palm Sunday: 8 and 10:30 AM, Holy Thursday: 7:00 PM, Good Friday: 7:00 PM, The Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday at 8:00 PM, and Easter Sunday at 8:00 and 10:30 AM.
We are located at 4051 N. 25th Street, in the heart of the city.
Church Women United – Milwaukee will hold its March General Meeting and annual Memorial Service at First United Methodist Church of West Allis, 7520 W. Lapham St. in West Allis, on Wednesday, March 28 at 10 a.m., with coffee at 9 a.m. The speaker will be Representative Jon Richards presenting a program on Voter ID. For more information, please call the CWU Secretary at 414-736-5780, or the church at 414-774-5500.
Good Friday Service
Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, 1345 W. Burleigh St., will hold Good Friday Service on Friday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m. Minister Gary L. Parris of Metropolitan, and Minister Jarett Williams of Providence Missionary Baptist Church will speak on the topic: “The Crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” For more information, call 414-562-7200.