by Yvette Carnell
As some readers will remember, awhile back I criticized the manifestation of Christianity in black political movements. There seems to be, among some black Christians, a desire to magically and instantaneously forgive even the most egregious crimes committed against black Americans.
Take banned NBA owner Donald Sterling for instance, who was not only caught on tape admonishing his girlfriend for bringing blacks to the games, but also discriminating against blacks in housing. None of that stopped a black church in Los Angeles from giving the racist billionaire a round of applause when he visited their church.
CBS Los Angeles reports that Sterling visited Praises of Zion Baptist Church on S. San Pedro Street and Senior Pastor J. Benjamin Harwick welcomed the elder racist with enthusiastic applause.
“Stand up brother Sterling, we’re going to give you a round of applause,” Hardwick said.
The pastor says he didn’t invite Sterling but was instead approached by the billionaire.
“He didn’t invite him. Sterling, we did not call Sterling. As members of Praises, Sterling came to us, asked our pastor, we took a vote on it,” Muki, a church member, told CBS Los Angeles.
Of course, the pastor preached about forgiveness during the sermon.
“We love all of God’s children regardless of your race, creed or color and we want my friend to know we are praying for you.”
During an interview with CNN, Magic Johnson, who Sterling mentioned during his racist tirade, also told Anderson Cooper that he would pray for Sterling.
“It’s sad. It really is. I’m going to pray for this … man,” Johnson said.
Asked about the sermon, Sterling said “[It was] beautiful, I loved it.”
In 2006 the U.S. Justice Department sued Sterling over allegations of housing discrimination in Los Angeles and Sterling eventually paid $2.7 million dollars to settle the suit.