Catalyst Conference is fast approaching in Atlanta. After informing the leaders of this event who Cornel West is, his message and his history, I thought I would check the Catalyst Conference website to see if they decided to update his bio with a more accurate description.
Surprise, surprise, …they didn’t.
According to the site,
In short, Cornel West has a passion to communicate to a vast variety of publics in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.
If you know the history of MLK, and what Cornel West is using his legacy for, you will most likely disagree with Catalyst’s description. Unfortunately, the average attendee of Catalyst doesn’t know anything about West. In a recent op-ed, published in the NYT, West states,
King’s response to our crisis can be put in one word: revolution. A revolution in our priorities, a re-evaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens.
In concrete terms, this means support for progressive politicians like Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Mark Ridley-Thomas, a Los Angeles County supervisor; extensive community and media organizing; civil disobedience; and life and death confrontations with the powers that be. Like King, we need to put on our cemetery clothes and be coffin-ready for the next great democratic battle.
Read this op-ed in the NYT, written by West, on the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and decide for yourself. Let me know if you find the Catalyst Conference description to be accurate. Better yet, let them know: [email protected] or 888.334.6569.
Cornel West has the same freedom of speech that I do, and if the organizers of Catalyst find him to be a leader of good character fit for influencing the young Christian leaders in Atlanta, they have that right. However, they also have the responsibility to do their homework on the speakers they put in front of an audience of 13,000+ young Christian leaders.
The organizers of Catalyst describe the event on their website with the following,
Catalyst is a powerful gathering of young leaders, a movement of influencers and world changers who love Jesus, see things differently, and feel a burden for our generation. We seek to learn, worship and create together with a momentous energy passionately pursuing God.
If you live in plan to attend or participate in the conference, or you are associated with Catalyst, have you done your homework? Does it matter that a organization trying to lead the youth to become stronger leaders, while developing a stronger relationship with their God, would choose Dr. Cornel West as a “main” speaker? I think it does. What do you think?
Many adults in Atlanta, members of churches of the pastors participating in Catalyst, and friends of mine, who I have made aware of this situation, have raised concerns and have been contacted by Catalyst organizers and other speakers for the event.
One Catalyst organizer, to a friend of mine, raised the argument, “As Christians, shouldn’t we be open to all opinions?”
If you’re dealing with an honest broker, maybe. Actually, no, not all opinions. I’m not open to the opinion that Jesus Christ was a victim, like West’s version of Black Liberation Theology teaches. I know the Truth, and that is a lie pushed for political reasons. Nor am I open to the views of Israel and the Jewish people preached by West’s friend, Jeremiah Wright. Do they have the right to their opinion? Yes. Do I have to be open to it, and invite it in my life? No. As Christians, we aren’t to invite evil into our home to prove it to be evil. We are to call evil what it is, expose it, and stand with our feet firmly planted on the other side.
Does Cornel West’s NYT op-ed display any integrity? For a man who knows as much about Dr. King as he claims to, he rarely talks about his life as a pastor. His agenda is published in a
formerly popular newspaper. Cornel West is using the dream of Dr. King to push for progressive policies. Are the leaders of Catalyst not concerned about Dr. West’s views on 9/11 or his relationship with the infamous anti-semantic former pastor of our president, Jeremiah Wright?
Not silencing the freedom of speech of another, does not mean putting a Marxist on stage in front on 13,000 young adults at a Christian conference, and handing him a microphone. Christians have compromised values and principals, in the name of ‘political correctness,’ to the point where we can be fined or sued for praying in public. Enough with the compromising, it’s time to decide where you stand.