On January 20, 2009, just after Barack Obama is sworn in as America’s 44th President, Rev. Joseph Lowery will deliver the benediction.
A few weeks ago, the UK’s TimesOnline, reports that Lowery missed a personal telephone call from the President-elect, requesting that he give the inaugural’s closing prayer.
I called him back on his BlackBerry. I asked if I could speak to the 44th president of the United States and he said, ‘Brother Lowery, I believe that would be me.’
“I told him I would be honoured and humbled. It’s a momentous occasion in history, particularly for those of us who have been engaged in the struggle for first-class citizenship,” he said.
Dr. Lowery says that from the inaugural stage he hopes to be able to see the Lincoln Memorial, where his close friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech:
I’ve been told you can see a portion of the memorial and I believe that in my mind’s eye I shall see Martin Luther King shedding tears of joy,” he said in an interview.
He believes that Barack Obama is not only chosen as the American leader, but a leader of the world.
[He has] …been touched by the hand of God to lead this nation and, indeed, lead the world through leading this nation to an era of peace and abundant life…
Dr. Lowery was instrumental in the most emotionally charged days of the civil rights period. He, along with civil rights icons, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Frank Abernathy, founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). King asked Lowery to deliver the demands and the plans for the famous marches from Selma, AL to Montgomery, AL. to Governor George Wallace, infamous for his segregationist stance, and later famous as a born-again-Christian who asked for Lowery’s forgiveness.
The now retired, the 87 year old pastor of Atlanta’s Cascade United Methodist Church, is known for his fiery sermons, and using his rhetoric as a mighty sword from the pulpit.
He protested against the Iraq War with Cindy Sheehan outside the grounds of President G. W. Bush’s Crawford, TX ranch, and memorialized Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. at her funeral.
Many Americans were incensed at Lowery’s insensitivity as, from the pulpit, he verbally attacked President Bush, who was present among the dignitaries
We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there,” he said in a boisterous, rhyming oration. “But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here — millions without health insurance, poverty abounds. For war, billions more, but no more for the poor.”
Lowery’s remarks and other barbs were met with bursts of applause.
The ever-respectful, ever-generous-of-spirit President George Bush, sitting just a few feet away, it is reported, “stood and embraced Lowery with a smile at the end of his comments.” Lowery even rhymed his cheap shot. See video below.
The FrontPageMagazine expose shows us this glimpse of Lowery:
He once linked arms with PLO terrorist Yasser Arafat and sang “We Shall Overcome”
He believes that the U.S. Government was complicit in Martin Luther King’s assassination
He believes that the CIA has imported drugs from Central America
When Daniel Ortega headed the Sandinista Marxist dictatorship in Nicaragua, Lowery hosted a reception for him in Atlanta.
He has been called Jeremiah Wright’s “twin,” and the “other” Jeremiah Wright. Comparisons to Wright are seen at two United Methodist Board of Church and Society events:
Cleveland 2000: We demonized the saints and canonized the Devil. We’ve sown the seed and now we’re reaping the whirlwind [referring to the Cold War]
Pittsburgh 2004: [urging the church to take a sinful America] down by the riverside….[low minimum wages and the absence of socialized medicine] weapons of mass destruction…[urged beating missiles into] morsels of bread, [and tanks into tractors]
The article goes on to say Lowery blamed America’s supposed “re-segregation” on Supreme Court Justices appointed by Presidents Reagan and Bush, and he accused America of “killing and outraging Muslims.”
He is a recipient of the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center Peace Award, the National Urban League’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, and named one of the “Fifteen Greatest Black Preachers” by Ebony Magazine.
He married Evelyn Gibson in 1948. He is the grandfather of model, actor, and comedian Vaughn Lowery, also known as “Joe Boxer” from a K-Mart Christmas commercial. Watch the video as Vaughn unwraps his “present”
Video courtesy of YouTube