Thursday, October 29, 2009


Allah make us from the sincere!
Being in the pulpit was like being in the theatre; I was behind the scenes and knew how the illusion was worked. I knew the other ministers and knew the quality of their lives. And I don't mean to suggest by this the "Elmer Gantry" sort of hyprocrisy, concerning sensuality; it was a deeper, deadlier, and more subtle hypocrisy than that...I knew how to work on a congregation until the last dime was surrendered - it was not very hard to do - and I knew where the money for "the Lord's work" went. I knew, though, I did not wish to know it, that I had no respect for the people with whom I worked. I could not have said it then, but I also knew that if I continued I would soon have no respect for myself." (38)
From James Baldwin's "Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind" (1962) fromThe Fire Next Time

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