#Never Again Is Now: Restoring Unity

By Michael Greer

I went to 8/28 in Washington five years ago. It was a life changing for me.  So when Glenn Beck announced he was having an event on it’s anniversary I knew I needed to be there. And it truly was another life changing event.

In order to get to Birmingham, Alabama from Los Angeles, you have to fly into Houston and then take a smaller plane to Birmingham. When I boarded the plane I asked how many were going to the Glenn Beck event and more than half raised their hands.  It was an interesting flight.

Glenn Beck put this event together with Bishop James Lowe of the Guiding Light Church in Birmingham. Guiding Light is one of the largest Black churches. Bishop Lowe, as a child, was in Sunday school at the famous 16th Street Baptist Church when it was bombed and four teenage girls were killed. He also started his ministry as the associate pastor of the 16th Street Church. Bishop Lowe, along with 60,000 ministers, joined the Black Robe Regiment to stand against the moral decline of our country and to unite us at a time when we are more divided than ever in our lifetimes.

These were the most inspirational, spiritual enlightening, uniting days of the lives of those who were there, and, in my case, I suspect there was some divine intervention.

It began by my being booked into the closest thing to the Bates Motel I’ve ever seen. It was in the middle of nowhere and when the taxi dropped me off, I felt abandoned. I opened the door to my room and was overwhelmed by a musty tomb-like odor. I turned on the lights and it was still dark. The furniture was worn and the front of the drawer of the bedside table was missing. I took out my phone to call a cab. My cell said “no service”. I looked for a phone in the room–there was none. I went to the lobby, there was no phone there either. HELP ME! I got the desk clerk to call for a cab.

I was taken to the Westin near the Convention Center. I asked the desk clerk if they had a room because I was escaping the Bates Motel. She took pity and even found me a discount on my room. SAVED! I fell into the nice clean bed and didn’t have to worry about being stabbed in the shower.

The next day the only event scheduled was at the Guiding Light Church that evening at 7:00pm.  So I went sightseeing and took a cab to the Civil Rights Museum with a very talkative cabbie. Tony was agitated about the government wanting to take his guns. He said towns where most people have guns there is less crime, and he felt everyone should have a gun. I was in total agreement with until he said he thought we needed a woman President and Hillary or Elizabeth would be great. I wondered if he knew who was trying to take his guns??

After visiting the museum and the famous 16th Street Baptist Church across the street, I walked back to my hotel along the route Martin Luther King once took.

The VIP event was for pastors who committed to restoring unity and morality. Bishop Lowe opened by saying this was Glenn Beck’s event and he wasn’t going to speak, he was just going to introduce Beck. An hour later and after saying, “in closing” three times, he introduced Glenn. Glenn said he was going to cover the things the Bishop didn’t. ”Good Night!” We laughed and then he talked for an hour. The choir sang ( I LOVE gospel choirs) and there was dancing in the aisles. The choir had written a song for the event, “All Lives Matter”.

 

After dinner we returned to the Guiding Light Church for the main event of the evening. As we approached there were cars parked along both sides of the road as far as you could see and the parking lot was full. There was a giant screen set up next to the church and there were thousands of people sitting on the lawn.

David Barton spoke first about American exceptionalism. He reminded us we have the oldest Constitution in the World. Since 1776, Korea has had nine constitutions, Poland seven and the same holds true for other countries around the world. He said we were 4% of the population of the world but have had more inventions, patents, ideas and products than all the other countries combined.

He then spoke about the history of ministers, Black and White, in our founding and that they were the ones who gathered men together from their congregations to fight in the Revolutionary war. They were the ones who addressed politics and the rights God gave us. John Wise in 1680 spoke about taxation without representation, the consent of the governed and all men being created equal. The Sons of Liberty took his sermons and had them reprinted in 1772. David spoke about Wentworth Cheswell, who, along with Paul Revere, rode to warn the rebels, the British were coming. He was the first Black man to hold elected office and held various offices for 49 years.

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Bishop James Lowe and Glenn Beck

There was more singing, there was more dancing, there were little girls cheer leading, “We say, thank you….you say, Jesus”. And hugging broke out all over the place.

Bishop Lowe addressed the importance of uniting Blacks and Whites against the evil that is undermining our country. He got a lot of criticism for doing this event with Glenn but he said he felt moved to do it because it was the right thing. Glenn spoke about church attendance being down because our churches have abandoned their purpose. People are hungry for rules to live by, for a moral foundation and churches no longer speak about the evil that we are facing today.

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When Christians are being beheaded, burned alive, driven from their homes, their women and children sold into sex slavery, our churches are silent. He said when we are selling baby parts, we will not be held blameless if we don’t stand against it. As we left the church everyone was again hugging and blessing each other.

In the morning we were taken by bus to the 16th Street Church where we were escorted into the church. There were maybe 50 of us there. Glenn and his wife and his two young children came in and greeted everyone, beaming. I think you get a good sense of a person when you see them with their family. His kids would come up and wrap their arms around him and he would smile and stroke their heads. They would climb in his or Tanya’s lap and get a hug. Glenn’s security was everywhere and he was wearing a bullet proof vest. How sad is that?

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Everyone was taking pictures. Chuck Norris and his wife were there. Several people who had been part of the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s were there. Rafael Cruz (Presidential candidate’s father) lead us in prayer. The pastor of the 16th Street Church gave us a history of the church and we watched a movie about the bombing and the four teenage girls killed. Bishop Lowe showed us where he had been when the bomb exploded.

We went outside and saw the March had lined up, stretching as far as you could see. The local newspapers said there were 20,000. The police said more like 30,000. Glenn spoke to the Marchers and Rafael Cruz said a prayer. Althea led everyone singing, “Jesus Loves the Little Children”.

RESTORING UNITY - ME

We all joined hands and marched down the same streets Martin Luther King took. A blimp with “All Lives Matter” on it’s side flew above filming the March. We passed a group dressed in African clothing beating African drums in support. People waved as we passed. I was right behind Glenn and Bishop Lowe. Jeffey, puffing and panting, holding a sign was behind me. A security man with Glenn’s guard dog followed alongside.

The arena was nearly full. Only the very top of the top tier was empty. The Guiding Light Choir got things rocking. Jon Voight came out and started dancing with the choir. He said gospel music was his favorite.

Johnny Moore spoke, young man in his 30’s had dedicated himself to getting as many Christians out of the Middle East as possible. He had been on Glenn’s show talking about what he had been able to do and Glenn had offered to try to raise a million dollars for his cause. In three days he raised a million. He then said let’s try two million. By the eighth day they had $2.7 million.

There were many speakers and wonderful music. Bishop Lowe and Glenn were the last to speak. Bishop Lowe is a wonderful speaker. In spite of the danger this country is in, he was uplifting and inspirational. He said if our country and our churches wouldn’t stand against evil, we will. He said if God asks who will stand, the entire audience stood and said, “We will”.

Glenn covered the war on Christianity and his commitment to help Johnny Moore get as many Christian families out of the Middle East as possible. He wants churches to pledge to sponsor a family. He said he will get them into Mexico and walk them across the border if necessary–even if he goes to jail. Obama is bringing in hundreds of thousands of Muslims from the Middle East but has refused Christians. Glenn pledged to raise $10 million by Christmas.

The last event was a screening of the Christian movie, “Woodlawn”. It is a true story that happened in Birmingham in the 60’s. Two brothers, Andrew and Jon Erwin, wrote and directed the movie. It takes place in Birmingham after the schools were desegregated. A formerly White high school now had Black football players on their team. The White players fought with the Blacks and tried to get them to quit the team. A young minister came to speak to the players and before the atheist coach’s eyes, he converted the entire team. One young Black player becomes a star player being wooed by ‘Bama’s coach Bryant (played by Jon Voight). It’s a wonderful and entertaining movie that I highly recommend to all when it is released in October.

After the movie, the cast and producer and director spoke about the making of the movie. They talked about how hard it is to get Christian movies made, but that the public is hungry for them. They pointed out that “War Room” was the number one movie that weekend.

The young actor, Caleb Castille, who played the star football player is a Birmingham native and was playing football for ‘Bama when he was cast in his first starring role, his first acting role. He said he owed everything to his father (who was in the audience). He said how important it was to him to have a supportive, loving father.

Kevin Sizemore played Jerry Stearns in the movie. He was brought to tears when he told that Jerry had died during the filming of the movie. Jerry’s family was in the audience and Kevin had them stand.

During the movie there is a scene where the fans in the football stadium light candles in support of the team being allowed to pray. I looked around and all across the arena people had taken out their cell phones and turned on the flashlights. It mirrored the movie.

The next morning the hotel shuttle driver asked why I was in Birmingham. I told him about the event and he said he was so sorry he didn’t know about it because he would have loved to have march with us. He wished me a blessed trip.

As I waited for my plane with my giant tote with “Never Again Is Now” on the side, a pretty Black woman sat beside me and said she was there, too. The woman next to her said she had been there as well. A couple across from us said they were also there. We all exchanged e-mail addresses and names and when we got to Houston had lunch together before we went our separate ways.

It’s comforting to be in the company of SO MANY like minded people.

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Michael GreerMichael Greer retired from the film/television industry and is the co-organizer of the Santa Monica Tea Party and the Los Angeles Tea Party, on the board of directors of the Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights and was a member of the Republican Central Committee for the 41st Assembly District.  Her website is: http://madderthanhell.wordpress.com/

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