I’m going to church Sunday. I hope to see you there.
COVID-19 stole Easter last year and 2020 was the first Easter in more than 30 years that I had not been in church on Sunday.
I’ve said before in this space that I started going to church nine-months before I was born. Yes, there was a rebellious stage in my early 20s, but “raise up a child in the way he should go” . . . Well, you know the rest.
This is the South and religion plays a major role in our culture. It is the foundation of most of our lives.
But now I’ve got something negative to say. Clarksdale is one of the most godless communities I have ever lived in.
Hear me out. There was a shooting one block over from my house on Monday. We had a murder in the alley around the corner last summer. We hear shots fired all the time. Look around, there are many bad things going on around here morally, economically and politically.
Read today’s paper. It’s here!
But the problem is not just the resulting evidence. It is much deeper than violent actions.
Some people just don’t care about their brother. They’ve got a good paying, government-sponsored job, drive a fancy car and live their life as they see fit. They have no reason to want things to change.
As you celebrate Easter, I hope you understand that is not the example this week celebrates.
The sermon’s not over.
Election in the Bible is a very lofty and complex concept. Elections in Clarksdale are very similar.
I am not one of those who believe things just happen in life and I have no control over the choices I make. I firmly believe I will be blessed or suffer the consequences based of the decisions I make. I have free will.
Now back to the news. We have a city election on Tuesday.
I hope you realize you have the opportunity to make something happen in Clarksdale April 6. When you walk into that voting booth, you are in control of the next decision you make.
I firmly believe you will be blessed or suffer the consequences based on the decision you make next week.
Choose wisely, because free will also places the responsibility for your choices on you.
A little higher up in our visit today, I was sort of hard on Clarksdale. As a newspaperman of more than 25 years and someone who really cares, I’ve learned sometimes you have to say and do the hard thing.
Let me also say there are good people in Clarksdale.
I sat across from a Godly man at Rotary on Tuesday.
He voiced his concerns about the community that he has lived in for more than 30 years. He has poured his life into his profession, his church and his family. He talked about a need for new, younger men and women to step up and take up the mantle of leadership in Clarksdale.
He talked of the vice, corruption and decay in the city he loves.
I couldn’t help but think of a Nazarene who once looked over Jerusalem and it broke his heart, too.
We’ve all heard the quote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” often attributed to Edmund Burke. I think it is very similar to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Let me say again, there are good people in Clarksdale and I am blessed to have looked into their eyes and claim them as neighbors and friends.
So I hope good people will vote on Tuesday, I hope godly people will go to church on Sunday and I hope you look every week for some way to make your town – Clarksdale, Mississippi – a better place to live.
Floyd Ingram is Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register. He is a Baptist, optimist and aggravated at the state of his world and community. Call him at 662-627-2201 if you are, too.