September 5, 2012

AME Bishop Vashti McKenzie Cheerleads and Prays at Democratic Convention

Earlier today, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie of the African Methodist Episcopal Church addressed the Democratic National Convention as Co-Chair of its Credentials Committee, urging President Obama’s reelection and the election of Democratic majorities in Congress.  Later she offered an opening prayer.

“When President Obama stepped into office he pulled our economy back from the brink,” Bishop McKenzie told the convention.  “Today there is only one person with The Plan to return this country to prosperity: President Barack Obama!”

McKenzie continued:  “So we are here in Charlotte to make sure President Obama returns to the White House …to take back the House of Representatives and elect a stronger majority in the U.S. Senate.”  She expressed confidence that Americans would not want to return to the “failed Republican economic policies of the past.”  And she called Democrats the “world’s most forward looking” party, because it urges “inclusion” and “diversity,” citing “gender, race, creed or sexual orientation.”

The 2.5 million member African Methodist Episcopal Church, of which McKenzie is the first female bishop, unanimously opposed same sex marriage in 2004.  A church spokesman in July denied the church was withdrawing endorsement of President Obama over his endorsement of same sex marriage, explaining the church does not endorse or oppose candidates.  McKenzie presides over the church’s Texas area.

McKenzie is perhaps the only clergy at either the Republican or Democratic Convention this Summer who’s both offered official prayers and served as a convention officer.  She offered this invocation at the convention:

This would be the time that you would take the hand of someone who was close to you. Let us bow our heads and close our eyes and center our thoughts on God.

Merciful God, who has been our dwelling place for many generations, we invoke your presence to ask you to quicken our hearts that we may be swift to hear the needs of others. O God, let us not be weary in well doing as we confront the ancient enemies again: injustice, poverty, apathy racism, and sexism, and an evil violence that stains the tapestry of the 21st century with the blood of the innocent and unsuspecting.

Remind us again of the brave dreams that were born in the heart of our ancestors, the dreams they were willing to live and die for. Grant us courage to continue to flesh out their dreams and grant us the wisdom to reshape the strategy for this present age. Empower us to work, to save our children because if we do not, no one else will. Guide us to make the sunset years of our seniors a season of dignity without them having to choose between shelter, sustenance, and prescription drugs. Do not allow again women to be enslaved by prehistoric ideas about biological function. If we fall, help us to rise again and put within us a faith and a hope that cannot be quenched. Inspire all harassed souls of every race, nation, religion, and hue with the assurance that all the forces of good are moving them onto peace, health, and wholeness.

Help us to use our freedom wisely and not to hide behind safe walls where it is so easy to be thankful around a table of blessing without reaching beyond ourselves to assail the walls of prejudice and fear: Lord, You know our work is not done! We have to improve life not just for life for those who have the most skills and those who know how to manipulate the system, but those who don’t. Help us to rise above self-interest and selfish interest to seek a common good and a common future. Let us deliberate in such a way that closes the gap between policy and praxis.

Let us be determined to help move this nation forward, not as a collection of interest groups but one nation, under God, indivisible. Shine your light on us so that others can see that even though we are marred and broken vessels, you still use us as channels of your grace to bring mercy, and joy, and peace into the lives of all. Help us to use the tools of nation building, our vote, and our voice for a better future for all Americans. And together we say “Amen!” Squeeze your neighbors hand again and say “Amen!”

10 Responses to AME Bishop Vashti McKenzie Cheerleads and Prays at Democratic Convention

  1. Donnie says:

    Interesting that she never mentions the millions of African-American babies that have been murdered due to Roe vs Wade.

    • Jacques says:

      I do not believe she has to single out blacks simply because she is black. As a representative of God, all persons should be important to her. Note, she said “evil violence that stains the tapestry of the 21st century with the blood of the innocent and unsuspecting,” not just black innocents but all innocents of every age.

      • Donnie says:

        I agree completely, I was just wondering, since Black leaders are always talking about gun violence being harmful to Black youth, but usually ignore abortion.

        Her quote definitely applies to abortion, but given how the DNC 2012 has become “Look how much we love abortion!” 24/7, I somehow doubt that was what she meant, otherwise she probably wouldn’t be allowed to say it.

      • mrskbw says:

        Jacques, Thank you for make such a great point. I would add – what about all the shedding of innocent blood of American babies of all races, in the name of convenience or “choice”? It doesn’t get anymore violent, evil or barbaric than a mother allowing the killing of her child. To put it in the words of the bishop “prehistoric ideas”. She surely does not know what she is saying.

  2. Lester says:

    She definitely did address abortion in her prayer: “Do not allow again women to be enslaved by prehistoric ideas about biological function.” Say what? “Prehistoric ideas”? I wonder how her Creator responded to that prayer request!

    I also found it interesting that the response of the AME denomination (who unanimously opposed same sex marriage in 2004) to Obama’s endorsement of same sex marriage was to explain they do not endorse or oppose candidates. Yet here is their elected head openly calling for the reelection of Obama and other Dems to take back the House of Reps and build a stronger majority in the Senate.

    It’s always bothered me that godly African American pastors who rightly oppose abortion and gay marriage will open up their pulpits to Democratic politicians who do not share these values in order to help get them elected. Strange bedfellows indeed!

    • mrskbw says:

      Are you hearing this?? I draw your attention to this part of the bishops prayer -” Help us to rise above self-interest and selfish interest to seek a common good and a common future. Let us deliberate in such a way that closes the gap between policy and praxis.”

      How much more selfish can a people become that chooses to exterminate the next generation because of timing, income,relationship,or career. Talk about selfish motives! And she is asking God to bless this “work”. Lord forgive us. We are a sinful people.

      • Lester says:

        Amen, sister! The Dem’s official party platform clearly endorses taxpayer-funded abortion and so-called “marriage equality” in spite of the biblical prohibitions. Add to that they had to take 3 contested votes to include the word “God” in their platform and recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel.
        Yet this religious leader serves as the co-chair of the credentials committee and calls for the election of anyone wearing the Dem label, because they are the “forward looking party”. They certainly aren’t looking upward with that platform!

    • Sherry says:

      Thank you for speaking up publicly and calling her on her own words. The day godly people stop speaking up for what is right and Biblical isthe day this nation will surely fall and it is certainly goin gdown in a hurry under Obama.

  3. dr j72 says:

    I think all of you gave very good observations especially bibical. I was one also observing and saying until I found out that 48% of women who are murdered were pregnant. President Obama says we should come up innovated ideas to help our mother to change their minds . Instead of talking I have a small school in my den for four yr olds. I pick them up and take them home,this way I get to talk to young mothers and Fathers
    about their babies being a gift from God and how much God love them and appreciate them for taking care of their children. We need more tv and movies showing how to love our children. i know there is so much talent here . Let’s do the work of Jesus Christ people!!!!

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