Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And God said, "Let There Be Clowns."

PASTOR KENNETH WHALUMS, JR., THE MAN WHO WANTS TO BE MAYOR OF MEMPHIS, serves as pastor of the New Olivet Church, a place that, according to its website, offers "compassion and refuge, reaching out to a lost and hurting world." This would-be mayor apparently presides over a church with some apparently serious comical religious practices.

This past Sunday, August 24th, a pair of lesbians attended his church to learn more about his candidacy and the man who would be mayor. Monique Stevens and her partner Yas Meen, were asked to participate in a "Sanctified Dance," and lie down in the floor and "blow kisses to God." They declined.

Now, I confess I rather like the idea of a preacher standing at the pulpit wielding his Big Sword, who watches the women in his church thrashing on the floor, praying at the top of their lungs, throwing open their legs to the greater glory of God as they invite the Holy Spirit into their bodies. I can just see the men grinning and shouting and urging the women on. In fact, it would make a great comic scene in a pornographic novel or the next Eddie Murphy movie.

But I can also understand why a pair of lesbians might refuse to participate. So they were called names -- "demons!" and "devil worshipers!" and roughed up and shown the door by some of the clown-congregants. Stevens' glasses were broken, and both women suffered bruises and scratches. "I was there to support him as mayor," Meen says, "but if he going to act like that in church, how will he act in front of the citizens of Memphis?"

Hmmm, I rather imagine the entire city of Memphis on its back, all the citizens thrashing their arms and legs in the air, blowing kisses while Whalums gloats over them and waves his sword. It could be a tourist attraction!

Meanwhile, enjoy another photo of "Whalums the Barbarian."


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