Anti-Muslim America! - The Meaning of our Current Political Anger

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 30 September 2010 0 Comments
Please login with your account to read this essay.



Everyday Health Inc. is pleased to attach to this week's column in lieu of the question and answer feature, a copy of a press release from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia issued last week, together with a citation from that college about our columnist, John Shelby Spong. We feel sure his readers would like to know about this honor bestowed on him.

Bishop Spong's Portrait Placed in Hall of the Prophets at Morehouse College

In a moving ceremony in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta the recently commissioned portrait of John Shelby Spong was unveiled. This portrait of the retired Episcopal bishop, author and passionate advocate for human justice will hang permanently in the Hall of the Prophets of the King Chapel alongside Dr. King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, Rosa Parks, Jimmy Carter and other civil rights leaders of recent history. The decision makers on the board of the King Chapel indicated that in their opinion Bishop Spong not only had been a long time opponent of racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, but that he was the leading religious voice in America and around the world for ending the violence of homophobia. He has been, one of them commented, to the emancipation of homosexual people from the homophobic prejudice of the past what Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the emancipation of people of color from the racism of the past.

The portrait, painted by a local Atlanta artist, was unveiled by Dr. Robert M. Franklin, President of Morehouse College and the Rev. Dr. Lawrence Carter, Dean of the King Chapel. Bishop Spong, in Atlanta to deliver five lectures on "Building a New Christianity for a new World," was accompanied by his wife, Christine Mary Spong, and his daughter, Ellen Spong of Richmond, Virginia as well as by a host of friends.

A copy of the official citation follows.

Tribute to Bishop John Shelby Spong

Unveiling and Induction of his Oil Portrait into the Martin Luther King Jr. International Hall of Honor at Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA
September 19, 2010
by The Reverend Dean Lawrence Edward Carter Sr.

  • A liberal, evangelical Christian, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, a critical thinker, a preeminent scholar, author of 24 books with over a million copies sold internationally and an acclaimed speaker;
  • A holder of seven honorary degrees and claimed by:
    • The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill,
    • Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia,
    • Union Theological Seminary in New York,
    • Yale University Divinity School in New Haven,
    • The Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley,
    • Harvard University and its Divinity School in Cambridge,
    • Edinburgh University in Glasgow,
    • Cambridge University in Cambridge,
    • Oxford University in Oxfordshire and
    • Morehouse College in Atlanta,
  • You served 24 years as a presiding, teaching bishop;
  • Host of an online community, "A New Christianity for a New World";
  • A champion of open, scholarly and prophetic, inclusive Christianity;
  • A strong proponent of the rights of the harassed, the violated, the oppressed, all races, women, gays, and the poor;
  • Extoller of the virtues of the ecumenical movement;

  • Yours is a faith engaged with the Post-modern world;
  • You dared to understand in Southern segregated Sunday Schools the strange intersection between sexual attraction and racial fear and that racism was an omnipresent irrational force;
  • You are the target of hostility, fear, death threats, called Anti-Christ, hypocrite and the Devil incarnate, but so were Gandhi, King, Mandela, and the crucified Jesus;
  • Your baptism into Christ is un-intimidated by un-Christian ignorance;
  • You fight nonviolently for an authentic Christianity based on integrity, love and equality, not hate;
  • You make contemporary theology accessible to all;
  • You are priming more pulpit pumps than any other liberal evangelical American homiletician;
  • You have taught that the evil we do is not because we have fallen, but because we have not emerged into humanity;
  • You believe that in and through the fully human Jesus, we engage in and interact with the reality of God;
  • Your unwavering goal is to reform the church and make Christian faith a force against injustice and a lack of compassion;
  • We know your heart, we see who you are, we feel your pain, we have been there too — and we know you belong to Jesus;
  • And so, it is my privilege to forever link your name with that of Martin Luther King Jr. and to honor you as the greatest living Christian prophet!
  • Mr. President, you may unveil the canvass and let the trumpets sound.



Leave a Reply