A Response to UCC Leaders Who Called on Talledega College to Avoid Participating in Trump’s Inaugural Parade

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The headline my fellow member of the United Church of Christ saw was, indeed, astounding if not surprising. Wrote this former colleague on the UCC regional board of directors from our area of Pennsylvania: “Have our church leaders gone off the deep end??? How can they continue to claim to be uniters, and inclusive?”

Good question. Here’s the headline she flagged on the United Church of Christ News website:

UCC leaders call on Talledega [sic] College to avoid participation in Presidential Inaugural Parade

The story opens this way as written, bold print for emphasis supplied:

The national leaders of the United Church of Christ have reached out to the president of Talledega [sic] College, one of the denomination’s Historically Affiliated Black Colleges, about his decision to allow the Alabama school’s marching band to participate in next week’s presidential inauguration parade.

The Revs. John Dorhauer, Traci Blackmon and James Moos, in a letter to President Billy Hawkins of Talledega [sic] College, are asking for a dialogue in hopes of removing the Marching Tornadoes from the parade roster at the inauguration of president-elect Donald J. Trump.

The national officers of the UCC, which is a longstanding investor and supporter of Talladega College, are concerned about the impact of Hawkins’ decision on the legacy of the institution of higher learning “founded by two formerly enslaved people of African descent who understood the education of black children as essential to the permanence of newly established liberties,” the letter states. “It seems incongruent that a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) with such rich and significant history would now agree to participate in the inaugural ceremonies of a man whose political platform and proposed cabinet appointments are the antithesis of the very principles on which Talladega College was founded.”

Soon enough the issue was settled, as reported in the New York Times. The headline and opening:

Ending Speculation, Black College Says Band Will Play at Inaugural Parade

On Thursday, after days of speculation that the college administration might bow to the pressure and remove the band from the parade roster, the president of Talladega College, Billy Hawkins, issued a statement confirming the participation of the band, the Marching Tornadoes, and argued, in essence, that the 58th presidential inauguration is about something bigger than Mr. Trump.

“We respect and appreciate how our students and alumni feel about our participation in this parade,” Dr. Hawkins said. “As many of those who chose to participate in the parade have said, we feel the inauguration of a new president is not a political event but a civil ceremony celebrating the transfer of power.”

In other words? The officers of the UCC were bullying a UCC-sponsored black college thusly: Don’t march in the 45th president’s inaugural parade because we liberals can’t stand him. You are supposed to be one of us. Do it our way or you will be financially punished. Adhere to our far-left demands or else. To which, Talladega President Hawkins, ever so politely and in the most Christian of terms, told the UCC leadership “thanks, but no thanks.” AKA, go pound sand.

As someone who is a member of the United Church of Christ? A former president of my church council? A former member of the Penn Central UCC Board of Directors? The latter like my friend who brought this to my attention? Let me blunt.

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Source: Spectator.org | JEFFREY LORD