By John W. Fountain
This is the second in an occasional series titled Chiraq.
On “Bloody Sunday” in Chiraq, where was “the church”? What were her prayers? Her hopes for those who dwell amid the gunfire and bloodshed here that has turned some neighborhoods into war zones?
Did she cower in the shadows of the crosses that hang in the sanctuary, behind the safe confines of the walls, out of harm’s way? Did the church spill into the streets by the thousands armed with the Gospel message of hope and peace?
Or did she sit silent, complacent and complicit amid the mounting carnage of this human rights atrocity occurring right underneath the church’s nose, near its front doorsteps?
By John W. Fountain
July 21, 2014
I'm so Chicago. ...I remember a time when we were a community... a time before crack cocaine, before drive-by shootings and children being struck by stray bullets inside their homes... A time when everyone went to church on Sunday morning and the smell of Sunday dinner wafted through the neighborhood. A time when churches were connected to our community and vital, and mega churches and prosperity doctrine were an obscenity to us all...
I'm so Chicago I remember tent revivals, the glow of light from the big top and the call to all to simply “come”... I remember when “Mr.” And “Mrs.” were every adult’s first name. ....and young people respected their elders, would never even say a curse word within earshot. I remember when we were more neighborly, less hateful and jealous of one another and understood the value of education. A time when teachers carried themselves like they were ambassadors of precious hope and promise. A time when parent-teacher conferences were crowded and earning bad grades was a disgrace.
I'm so Chicago I remember the time when it was shameful to have a child out of wedlock and some pregnant girls were sent Down South... a time before sagging when young men wore belts and we're taught to open doors and what it meant to be a real man... A time when twerking was unheard of, when modesty was the norm… A time before half-naked selfies, accentuated by duck lips and the kind of tastelessness once ascribed only to women of the night and that now is exhibited across generations—from babies to grandmothers.