Worship is not about where, but how

By John W. Fountain

A South African woman at a well, the only source
of water for hundreds in a township, fills her bucket
Photo: By John W. Fountain 
For weeks, a little chocolate girl named Brenda and I climbed the stairs of Sister Betty's house to practice for our church play. A Sunday School teacher and Bible enthusiast, Sister Betty drafted us for a dramatic interpretation of a passage of Scripture: St. John 4. I was about 10 and Brenda about 7 or 8. I was Jesus. She was the Samaritan woman.
            Over and over again, we rehearsed our lines with dramatic inflection. Brenda had a mean set of pipes and routinely did recitations in church, her voice bellowing like a megaphone: "O clap your hands, all ye people . . . "
            We were both budding thespians, good kids from good church-going families with praying grandmothers who loved the Lord. We arose on Sunday mornings fully aware that - barring serious illness or the Lord having returned on a cloud to rapture the church - Sunday School, and nearly all-day worship service, was inescapable.
            As a boy, I vowed, braving the risk of saying it out loud: "When I get grown, I ain't ever going to church, ever!"

"As a full-grown man, especially as of late,
 I have made no secret of my absence, 
or defection,
 from the institutional church."

No one can save us but us

By John W. Fountain
I am so sick of black so-called academics bemoaning the use of the term: black-on-black murder.
Look, of course, with regard to homicide figures, whites kill whites and blacks kill blacks--most murder is intra-racial. But when blacks make up 12 percent of the U.S. population and in some years have accounted for more than 50 percent of all murders nationally, it says that we kill each other at an alarmingly disproportionate rate.
In all my years of covering murder and crime, and all the stories I have written, I have never covered the story of a black person murdered by someone white. In fact, 9 out of 10 of us are killed by us. Fact.

The most sincere question on how to stop the killing: Do we have the will?

Republished from Chicago Sun-times July 4, 2012

“In the midst of all these challenges, however, my single most important responsibility as President is to keep the American people safe.  It's the first thing that I think about when I wake up in the morning.  It's the last thing that I think about when I go to sleep at night.” –President Barack Obama, speaking on National Security, May 21, 2009

By John W. Fountain
If we can find Saddam Hussein hiding in a hole in the desert. If we can hunt down Osama bin Laden, track him to a secret compound, slip undetected through another country’s air space and extract him never to be seen or heard of again.
If we can thwart terrorists worldwide, pinpoint their movement and send the message loud and clear that they and any who protect them can run but surely can’t hide. If we can declare war on those who have declared war on the sanctity of life in America, and who show blatant disregard even for women and children. If we can put a man on the moon… Why can’t we stop these homegrown thugs who amount to urban terrorists?