Those of us who go to church on Sunday do not only expect to be told that there will be milk and honey flowing freely and constantly in the streets of Detroit by a simple commitment to our faith. We also expect the church to leverage its resources to help those congregants who are sitting on the pews silently crying in their hearts because they cannot afford to pay their bills, buy groceries, purchase prescription medications, and to ward off fraudulent mortgage brokers preying on our senior citizens. These life and death issues go beyond strip clubs.
In his masterful letter from a Birmingham jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the greatest moral crusaders that ever lived, warned the church, “But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the 20th century.”
He continued, “Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust...Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom.”
The church can help Mayor Dave Bing, City Council and the rest of us liberate Detroit from the shackles of economic subjugation that often leads our Black men to the penitentiary. A tragic condition that forces young Black women to sell their bodies on our streets. It is equally morally reprehensible that we have allowed these social and economic conditions to prevail with our children as spectators.
Despite all of these troubles confronting us, I remain an eternal optimist because collectivelly we can utilize the energy from the strip club fracas to arrest ills that will give our children a meaningful future in the global marketplace.
Drawing from their past as prophetic voices, as they would call themselves, I’d like to see the men and women of the cloth who have tremendous influence over the lives of many residents now use their voices in righteous indignation, backed by action, to save Detroit.
At press time, the Detroit City Council voted 6-3 to ban VIP rooms and lap dances at Detroit strip clubs.
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