Vice President Mimic the Black Preacher's "Celebration" : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

What do you think of Vice President Gore mimicing the closing celebration, sometimes known as a "Whoop", that a number of black preachers and some white preachers enter as they close their sermons. I was offended that he would stoop to trying to employ a work of the Holy Spirit in order to gain votes. Thus far, only one nationally known preacher, black or white, has exhibited the courage to speak out against such behavior. Bishop Carlton Pearson, of the Higher Dimensions Family Church of Tulsa OK, writing in the Monday 25 September edition of the Dallas Morning News said, "When I saw Vice President Al Gore pandering to the NAACP crowd, even emulating the sterotypical oratory of African-American preachers, my stomach turned." I agree with Bishop Pearson. Vice President Gore would never mimic the oratory of Billy Graham or any other preacher except black preachers. I think this shows that he does not consider our job as vessels carrying the gospel of Christ to be serious business. President Clinton has also engaged in such behavior. What do you think?

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2000


It is unfortunate that the leadership of our prominent black denominations has literally handed its' congregants on a silver platter to political candidates. Thusly, couldn't you say it is rather ironic that Mr. Core would do a caricature of that group?It was sickening to see the prelate of another major demonination (not A.M.E.--thank God!!!) refer to the President as "a black man in white skin...and an honorary member of that denomintation." If our leaders play and don't demand to be taken seriously, what can we expect? The Black Church probably represents the largest voting bloc in our community and should be taken seriously. The candidates should approach us with a greater degree of respect. That won't happen until our leaders insist that they "come right." The NAACP should demand a apology. Don't hold your breath, though. With regard to Bishop Pearson's statement, (I'm still looking for it !!!Please help me out)I would daresay that this was just the opportunity for which he was waiting. Check out his political stances and statements of the past.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2000

Gore's pandering to the NAACP crowd is nothing more than a 21st Century minstrel show. Donna Brazile, Gore's black campaign manager, is a smart but culturally naive political strategist. She should have lobbied strongly against this behavior which is reminisent of Stephin Fetchit. The truly sad part is the warm reception he recieved by those in attendance, many I'm sure who claim to be clergymen. This simply confirms the narrowminded perspective/caricature which many white politicians have about the black clergy. You see the VP would never try to emulate black cerebral preachers like Gardner C. Taylor or the late Samuel Dewitt Proctor because that would be "acting white". So the next best thing is to "make it plain" and cheapen the power of the message thru this type of obseqious behavior. For sure if David Duke was to do something similar the response would be totally different. It's too bad that the distinguished black journalist Carl Rowan died over the weekend because I would have liked to get his take on Gore's behavior.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2000

A Calm Look At Gore's "Preaching"

Before we get to lost in a tidal wave of indignation, let me just interject, that prior to Vice President Gore speaking to the NAACP, he addressed the General Conference of  the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

May I also elevate for observation, that Vice President Gore ended his speech to the A.M.E. gathering enthusiastically, in what could be considered in other confines a "whoop."

Just bear with me a second  to take this exercise a step further. You do not have to be a black preacher to know how to effect a "whoop"  Many Southern white preachers have a similar enthusiastic delivery to their message.

If you ever have listened to a Senate or House debate, there are many white Southern politicians who in the midst of excitement and enthusiasm also effect a delivery that could be called a "whoop," and this is not for the benefit, or the vote-seeking, of a black audience.

Perchance do these Southern politicians emulate a style with which they have been brought up with seccularly and politically.

Before I even go to the motivations of why this even is an issue, and if you can not sniff a little partisan politics perhaps you too are suffering from a massive head cold, usually, if someone was imitative, you would call it a sincere form of flattery.  Yet here, we are rolling out massive epistles of condemnation for a person who perhaps only is doing what comes natural to us.

Here we are acting like the "whoop" a cultural treasure of our own that no one else has a right to. Is it not more the case, that politician delivery has been evolving and becoming more emotive since Jesse Jackson first brought a fiery church style to the national attention more than a decade ago and once again, not pandering for black votes.

Some, not all, of the posters on this subject already have come forward on board as being pro-Republican which does not help keep this a non- partisan issue.  But if the worse we have to say about Gore is that he has some church-influence.  By the way, I am neither Democrat or Republican.  I prefer to stay non-partisan until I step in the booth that way preferences printed on a piece of  paper do not influence realities under my nose.

Rev. John.


-- Anonymous, September 25, 2000

Rev. John, methinks we have peeped your hole card, so to speak. I have always been of the opinion that the "whoop" was the work of the Holy Spirit which has been poured out on all. Certainly if you ever hear me whoop and I do sometimes, it will be at the unction of the Spirit of God, not to get black votes. Blessings

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2000

Rev. Alton,

No I would prefer to think that you misused the term initially, if you want it to be designated as a work of the Holy Spirit, Mr. Gore might have been happy to have seen the large gathering of sun-kissed potential votes but I dare say, the Holy Spirit was not a force in the nature of his delivery. Therefore, I stand on point. Since "whoop" was used, by you, initially, in a secular context, I continued on that path and thread in my analysis. No peep card displayed, my cards still are tight to my chest. BTW, I even have a problem with the usage of the term "whoop." You can preach with the power and fire of the Holy Spirit without "whooping." And if your preaching is all style and no Spirit(substance), then all of the practice and imitation will still not get you any where. What Gore did was not imitate anything Holy Spirit inspired, he spoke with enthusiasm and from a Southern perspective. If someone, or you, described it as a whoop, then I would have to suggest it is something you think, not I, can be theatrical not of the Holy Spirit.

Rev. John

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2000

Paris get a life.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2000

Wow what a lively discussion! I am not offended at the style Mr. Gore chose to use in his address. I did not hear it for myself and so can not in all fairness respond whether it was a "whoop" or not. As a voter, I am much more interested in the message of Mr. Gore in terms of what affect his presidency will have for African- Americans and the US policy for the continent of Africa. I am a Democrat and proud to be a democrat. But I will vote for the issues, It is also my understanding that Mr. Gore has a degree in Theology. If so it is not hard to imagine that perhaps he also took homelitics classes also.(preaching). Let's stay focused on the issues, and vote for the candidate that we feel best represent our causes, whether they are democrat or republican.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2000

For years my dad and I would watch politician speeches just to see if they would try a "Whoop" at the end of their speech. Some would do alright their whoop would stay on subject and the crowd would stand with applauds. Southern politician speaking to church groups black or white are good at whooping. I cannot fault someone for knowing how to reach their audience. A good sincere whoop will be remembered.Those ministers that know how to let God's words come out in this form are known to everyone as a good preacher. Those minister that do not are known as good teachers or pastors. Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore have been practicing reaching people for years and you have to give it to them, they know how to Whoop!

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2000

I did not see Vice President Al Gore speaking to the NAACP, all this commentary about it on this website causes me to ask the question, what is a "whoop", why is it offending so many? Is it something reserved for blacks only? Help me out here. BRansom

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2000

It would certainly appear to me that if what is being referred to here as the "whoop" is in fact the unction of the Holy Spirit, He is poured out on all flesh. If on the other hand it is a form of Black theatrics, then perhaps as Bishop Payne would have long ago informed us--like the Amos and Andy Show--it is a idea whose time has long since past. In either case I would think no apology should be necessary, except to those who are looking for a fight of partisan politics.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2000

Some of you need to read the orgonal question. The socalled "whoop" is the celebration at the end of a sermon initiated by the unction of the Holy Spirit or by the intense emotion generated by the love of God displayed in the message. In other words, No Message -- No Celebration. Not all persons who preach are called by the Spirit of God; Some who are not called have been known to speak by the Spirit of God (King Saul is an example; Paul teaches us that some preach for other reasons than the Spirit of God; not all who are called are preach by the unction of the Holy Spirit every time they preach; in all instances the gospel is preached and effective. What happens when the Good News is heard is not afunction of the persons or motives for preaching. When one surrenders himself/herself to the Holy Spirit, and the gospel is preached, the message climaxs with intense emotion (joy because God has allowed you to deliver the good news, gratitude for the good news to all men, or whatever; the celebration will take place within the preacher who is a product of his culture, etc. Some, not all, black folk worship with intense emotion and the sermon closes with the call-response celebration know as "whooping", which by the way need not be louder than normal conversation. I would like to hear from the Reverand Caesar Clark of the Good Street Baptist Church of Dallas regarding this subject. The point of the matter was this: Our VP thought it not robbery to use this celebration as a means fo getting black votes. He did not understand or care that some of us feel strongly about the ignorance he demonstrated in so doing. Blessings Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2000


I am interested to know of your formal academic training in theology? Did you attend a rather fundamentalist seminary or divinity program? To what denomination do you belong? In what field is your earned doctorate? (e.g. Philosophy, Systematic Theology, Ethics) Do you have any political affiliation? just a few questions that would allow me to understand your perspective in context. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, November 02, 2000

As most of you may note, Gore continues to "preach" in black churches to get votes (T.D. Jakes in Dallas), as does his mentor, Clinton. I wouldn't have a problem with this if he would "preach" in the white churches also. Is it because they won't let him.....or maybe he considers black folk are so inferior .....or maybe he does not respect the black pulpit.... or he is just looking for votes. I will not allow politicians in the pulpit of the church I pastor. They can speak from the floor. They must attend the complete worship. I don't play that hit and run stuff.

-- Anonymous, November 02, 2000

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