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Friday, 8 March 2013

Hattiesburg Race And Prayer

Hattiesburg Race And Prayer
Here in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, we have a black mayor who appointed a black police chief. We are now in a situation where the mayor and city council are locked in conflict over the police chief. According to the council, the mayor is refusing to submit his appointment (the chief) for their approval because he fears they will not approve him. The council has been very critical of the chief's management style, which appears to be responsible for several officers quitting. According to the mayor, he is not required to submit the chief for council approval at any particular time and has decided to wait until late in his term so they cannot remove him.

Tensions have been building for quite some time. The chief has alleged that the officers who have left (mostly white officers) did so because of the race issue. A local black pastor has gotten in on the act by alleging racism and attempting to organize citizens against the council. A well written article by one of the white officers who quit just appeared in the paper in which he explained that race was not the issue and that the chief's authoritarian management style was the deciding factor for him and many other officers.

On the front page of yesterday's paper, there was an article about how the pastors from several area churches (of which there is no shortage) are holding mass prayer sessions for members of their congregations to pray for the mayor and city council. Evidently, this is supposed to help them reach an agreement over this mess. In a difficult situation, we do not need reason, negotiation, or compromise. We need prayer. We need Jesus.

You know what? This may actually work. Not because prayer does anything but because of the publicity. For some reason, pastors asking people to pray is instantly newsworthy and will get tons of coverage. Media saturation may actually influence attitudes. So in this strange way, prayer might actually accomplish something.

Tags: local politics, prayer, race, religion, Christian, Christianity, politics, Hattiesburg, MississippiCopyright (c) 2013 Atheist Revolution.