Recently representatives of Wisconsin Governor-elect Scott Walker asked me to assist with the Governor's Inaugural Prayer Breakfast in Madison. Walker, a young, dynamic conservative Republican and Christian evangelical who is the son of a Baptist minister, was swept into office last November in the anti-incumbent tidal wave that hit most of the nation.
Just as loving mercy is a
means to doing justice, so is walking humbly with God. Yet in the sexuality
debates raging in the mainline church, humility is seldom easy to find. Both
sides cling to the fiction that they harbor gospel truth.
William Robeson, a former slave and father of civil rights leader and singer Paul Robeson, became pastor of the Witherspoon Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1879. After 21 years of service, white members of the presbytery forced him out because of his outspoken efforts to end racism and repeal Jim Crow laws in Princeton. The congregation had to sell the manse due to loss of funding. The church repurchased the manse in 2005 and turned it into the Paul Robeson House, a meeting place to advance human rights. In an act of racial reconciliation, the Synod of the Northeast is clearing the debt of $175,000 that remains on the mortgage held by the congregation (PCUSA, November 13).