By Bill Matthews
Ministers like T. D. Jakes will have to get their messages across a little quicker
(PHILADELPHIA) President Obama is expected to approve legislation later today that will mandate that services at African-American churches stretch no longer than one hour.
“It’s high time something like this was passed,” Obama told The Peoples News. “I mean, really, taking 20 minutes to say Amen just isn’t helping anyone get their Jesus on.”
Congress was moved to pass legislation after many members of the Congressional Black Caucus attended Easter services on Sunday and were still in church on Monday.
“Come on!” said Rep. Barbara Lee, CBC chair. “In too many of our churches, there is a lot of things going on that have nothing to do with the Lord’s work. It’s one thing to have the pastor go on a little long, but on Easter, too many churches act like they’re putting on Broadway production.”
At the New Bethel Baptist Church of What’s Happening Now in Philadelphia, worshipers were held hostage for 17 hours. The service included steppers, an African dance troupe, a marching band, fire walkers, six elephants, two renditions of “I Believe I Can Fly,” an Easter Egg hunt, and a retrospective on the career of retired 76ers star Julius Erving.
“It was just too much,” said Myrtle Owens, whose perm had sweated out of her hair by the time the service ended. “Someone had to do something.”
The Rev. Leroy Wilson defended his marathon sermon.
“If the Lord can suffer for you on Good Friday, you can suffer for the Lord on Easter Sunday,” Wilson said.
He added that the church was justified in charging a $25 admission.
“They were going to give it in the offering anyway,” he said. “Why not just pay the man upfront and be done with it.”
The service still held offerings for the building fund, the sister school in Soweto, the homeless outreach and the minister’s anniversary dinner—all which took about 10 minutes apiece.
Thirty-eight people were carried out during the service from heat exhaustion and hunger, while one woman gave birth to twins.
“It all just adds up. No one should have to come to church and then unexpectedly act as a midwife,” said Cong. Chaka Fattah. “And no one should have to be gobbling up communion wafers just because they’re starving.”
With Obama, who started his own church a year ago, set to approve the legislation, many African-American ministers said they’re unsure how they’ll get their message across in so little time.
“The people come to see me, they expect to see a show. They expect to see some fireworks,” Wilson said. “If I cut out all the theatrics, all I’ll have left to talk about is Jesus. Does anyone at church really want to hear that?”
Note: This article is satire, brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News.
© 2009 The Peoples News
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