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Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.










                            Palm Sunday Liturgy

Life itself is about movement, not waiting for something good and wonderful like the "second coming" or even bad and terrible events envisioned by John of Pathos in describing his futuristic "Battle of Armageddon."  We would like to believe movements to achieve, acquire or otherwise obtain goodness are somehow inter-linked or at least emboldened by the movement organic in the life of Jesus as read and understood by many story-tellers including some educated preachers and priests able to think beyond their dogma into worlds of functional movement matters.

Movement is necessary to be born, moving from the womb to light of day often rather ready or not; and any preachers or teachers who counsel otherwise seemingly know little about Jesus or other salvation movements of the past two thousand years.  Imitation movements, like half-court basketball, might impress and woo unenlightened and uneducated minds; but the best and brightest among "the least of us" like Spike Lee understand full-court game theories matter in gaining consequential and decisive victories.  

In past seventy plus years of our lives, we have seen with our own eyes a quickening speed of goodness; and believe the phenomenon began with first generation conceptualization, congregation and campaign by Jesus to sanctify life, liberty and pursuit of happiness/goodness. Like other infants, Jesus moved from his mothers womb and thereafter for education, enterprise, and enlightenment of self and others at least thirty years before being crucified and placed in a tomb.

It takes a lot of ignorance to imagine a glorious birth on Christmas Day to a blessed mother but ignore the lessons learned about the boy, man and plan that emerged prior to believed resurrection on Easter morning.  Herein, we take issue with scholars both secular and non-secular who downplay and disregard the sheer genius of a movement that has spanned some sixty-eight generations of human life to-date (including a lot, maybe millions, of phony pretentious priests/preachers). But, we think the spirit of Christ is found where fathers and mothers are in pursuit of goodness for the child versus money-making schemes by priests and preachers.

Theoretically, this activism generated life-force  baselines for successful doctrines, strategies, plans, programs and projections into the future of humanity?   The baseline holds dear that goodness is born, not made; and, "much is expected of those to whom much has been given"  including the use and often sacrifice of life, health, wealth, power  and happiness to help generate new and better generations.

Consider as an example the below statement of fact according to: Mark The Evangelist 

"And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve." [Mark 11] 

It is our opinion that scholars ought always begin with a baseline of knowledge that is inclusive rather than exclusive; and long-term rather than short-term/mid-term feel good beliefs by pundits focused on personal success, sexual pleasures, love of self and power over other men, women and children (boys and girls)

Now, perhaps embellish the above with functional factors leading to decisive events Christians celebrate as Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter:

(1) From at least age of puberty:   historical campaign conceptualization, strategy and planning by Jesus in the majesty of HIS daring and dreams but yet doing the apprentice chores his father Joseph taught and expected HIM to do.

(2) From at least twenty-two years of age: organized programs, recruitment, training and testing of believers, demonstrations and resourcing his long-term plan for humanity.

(3) movements by Jesus to confront adversaries during final days leading to crucifixion as a single event at least twenty (20) years in the making of a decisive well planned strategic movement even more significant than (Lincoln enveloping the Mississippi River and freeing a million of the least of us). 

African-American scholars are reminded that such passages were regularly quoted and embraced by most preachers in opposition to the Abolition Movements, Emancipation Movements, Desegregation Movements, and virtually every other movement for change that benefited "the least of us." In fact, the Christian Leadership Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not supported by most Black and White preachers nor teachers.  But, goodness came into existence and prevailed because many gifted and talented of King's generation chose not to wait and acted to move for change.

But even so, not all believed then or now such as the Los Angeles based pundits a forty years after the fact of slavery being ended, ... reasoned empowerment minus believing what many ancestors believed before them.  A fanciful few are still unable to distinguish organized religion from the philosophy of life generated by Jesus. Religion existed for many thousands of years before Jesus, but the philosophy about energy and what matters for people to get on and up is relatively new. 

It is still most often confused by lowly educated self-taught preachers with bibles in their hand as badges of authority on the written word but rarely have been seen to write anything themselves.  As Black men in the early 20th century so often joked about men proclaiming they had heard the voice of God calling them to preach, "He probably misunderstood GOD telling him to go plow."  But, millions of women found  comfort in their preaching and singing in the name of God.  

We ought not be amazed by many movements such as 20th century African-American believers who reasoned that what matters most for them and theirs was empowerment from heaven on the day of Pentecost.  We are told via Wikepedia that in the same decade that Einstein was teaching his famed theory that in due time proved to be true, .... a one-eyed preacher named William J. Seymour (1870-1922), came  up to Los Angeles from Louisiana via Texas before World War I and set in motion modern-day Pentecostalism for the great wait to glory (no schools, no hospitals, no colleges, no philosophy of life long proven tried, true and necessary for birthing and raising up new and better generations to love and help others).  

History of Women in Pentecostal Movements

 Easter is perhaps a good time for scholars to reconsider successful campaigns (such as the Double V Campaign and Southern Christian Leadership Campaign in pursuit of goodness).  The two campaigns interlocked with spirit of goodness spanned three  generations and required visioning by gifted minds like Robert L. Vann and Martin Luther King, Jr. who had abilities to envision long-term requirements propagated by talented believers like Dorothy Height and Xernona Clayton Brady. In the best traditions of women like Mary Church Terrell and Mary McLeod Bethune, such women helped provision faith, hope and love that helped motivate activist women's clubs like that of Rosa Parks who in turn encouraged "the least of us students, teachers and preachers to demonstrate for desegregation."

Mary Lee Brady AtkinsOne of our goals is to motivate newly emerging scholars to use their gifted minds in helping "the least of us" embrace and hold onto the functional faith that facilitated their lives (generation), liberties (civil rights), and pursuits of happiness (goodness).  We think faith in goodness is much to important for simply espousal by preachers and teachers.  Problem is that envisioning the functionalities of it require gifted minds like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. ... to envision life-long campaigns that generate demonstrations of faith, hope and love leading to movement plans to generate change via objective programs nurtured and led by talented believers.  We have to go out to see what potential new mothers are seeking to see.

SCLC Goals

And, the bottom-line for it all are new generations, pouring new wine into new bottles.  There are still other requirements such as security, disease, ignorance, heathenism, mental health, polygamy, and unemployment that need long-term vision, demonstrations and movements to address. We think it is not wise to seek wisdom from old bottles such as Professor Cornell West who brings forth the smell of Black Panther Party endeavors in the mid-1960s. The party was conceived and birthed with aspirations to gain political power, not love of anyone other than themselves in a cause based on color rather than contents of character (beliefs, virtues and values).  Without exception, the philosophy of life embraced by the Black Panther leadership was never in line with that of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized by Dr. King.

In our view, what occurred with the movement of Jesus fits the classical military doctrine of a movement to contact rather than merely demonstrate and threaten; and the Roman garrison under Pontius Pilot likely viewed it to be such in the decision to crucify Jesus an Aramaic speaking Jew descended from the DNA lineage of David and Solomon.  For some Messianic Christian scholars, his ministry was a decisive movement against the evil Roman Empire and pretentious priesthoods within it.  Other scholars tend to view such an act of courage to have been a mere demonstration focused on plight of the Jews in Jerusalem; but, keep in mind that while demonstrations do not always require courage most "in your face" movements certainly do. 

Organized religion by Christians, Jews, and Moslems is more or less centered on beginnings and endings such as the birth and crucifixion weeks of Jesus; and, tend to minimize the development of prerequisite capabilities such as labors in learning Hebrew and travels throughout Galilee as a journeyman carpenter for Joseph his master carpenter father.  In this capacity Jesus certainly had to muscle up, learn and listen to fellow travelers about their journeys and observations in the Roman Empire.  He certainly was not a couch potato and from age of puberty until at least the beginnings of his ministry described in new testament, ... the man was evolving a campaign plan embracing geography, history and people.  It is inconceivable that genius at any time or place would begin demonstrating power without in-depth considerations as to follow-ups and effects.   


                                   Education, Enlightenment and Campaign Planning By Jesus

Deductive reasoning by scholars might well conclude the gifted child we worship spent a lot of years in study and learning, a few years demonstrating his beliefs and faith; and then a rather quick decisive non-violent movement against adversary powers prompting a well documented historical reaction of evil against goodness.  There were thousands of frequent demonstrations in the vast Roman Empire embracing three continents and the Jews were allowed to demonstrate so long as they paid their taxes and there was no organized campaign against Rome's economic and military power. Neither the Romans or their Pharisee and Sadducee subject leaders thought it to be a mere demonstration. In fact, Roman doctrine was "you are free to say and do whatever you want to so long as you say and do what we tell you." Jesus and his followers were not ordinary Jewish zealots dating back to the famed Maccabee campaign against Hellenism imposed by Greek philosophy; but instead propagated a new doctrine that threatened everything Rome represented: slavery, success, patriarchal power.  Philosophical moorings in the teachings of Jesus gave rise to what most enlightened and educated people in the world now more or less view as goodness such as racial integration.

Jesus ushered in a new philosophy of life that most African-Americans have internalized for at least the past two centuries. We dare suggest all the successful campaigns, movements to contact and demonstrations by "the least of us" during the past two centuries owe it all to the indoctrinated philosophy of Jesus among many haves and have-nots.  Mind you to remember that philosophy is not restricted to the practice of religion and never the preoccupation of most preachers/priests who pretend to know things that make themselves matter more than "the least of us."  It is almost hysterical laughter to remember how many tens of thousands of young men flooded the religious seminaries during the Vietnam era conscriptions of their fellow age groups.  Perhaps the worst of them became do-nothing priests and preachers for pay and plenty of smiles; in route to the banks and avoiding bad boys who might rob and kill them.   Priestly collars are just another gang scam to "boyz of the hood." 

Even Marxist Chinese and Russian scholars agreed that English must be studied, learned and mastered by people of all colors to move on and up in the complex world of words used in defining industries, science, and technology; and, it cannot be translated into languages that lack a compatible literature and vocabulary.   And many of the young men who visited Tanzania in the mid 1960s were self-styled revolutionaries against what they considered to be against them, ... such as military conscription and possible assignment to Vietnam.  The Vietnam War was a change agent in the attitudes and behaviors among millions of young men, Black and White, born in generation #65 (births 1950-1979). And many sought escape from that which haunted them by enrolling in colleges to gain deferments and some by traveling abroad to gain refuge. 

Some African-Americans went to places like Tanzania as a perceived Marxist haven only to learn that men such as President Julius Nyerre (like President Kwame N'Krumah and future President Nelson Mandela) were not only believers but above all shared the historic African-American vision of Jesus;  and did not fear or hate the American government.  Some were further confused by perceived Marxists like Castro in Cuba who held a low opinion of the U.S. Government and organized religion; but believed in philosophy of life by Jesus as foundation on which such institutions were founded and rested.

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