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Critics Responses to Rainbow PUSH Town Hall Meeting with Ministers on May 18, 2020

Remarks about local ministers agreeing with Mayor Lightfoot to “fundamentally change” the way Black Christians worship.

“I am deeply saddened by Meeks, the mayor, and my mentor, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. The word fundamental means “the central or primary rule on which something is based.” Historically, Blacks have needed permission to worship. We are now being mandated to stay in our homes until a mayoral task force creates a better way for us to practice. This is overreach. The government cannot tell us when, where, or how to practice our religion,”, said Jimmy Lee Tillman, II, of Martin Luther King Republicans

“You cannot change the fundamentals that God has established, in regards to worship. Church is a choice. Revelations 22:17 says, ‘And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’, said Rev. Pervis Thomas of New Canaanland MBC.

Remarks about meeting with group of Black Christian ministers specifically

“Will the mayor also meet with members of the Jewish faith or Muslim faith to discuss “fundamentally” changing their worship?”, questioned Tillman.

“It is a shame how Mayor Lightfoot looks at the Black Church,” Rev. Thomas said, “our worship is more than the choir passing the microphone around, “spitting and sweating”.

Remarks about the ability to go to commercial stores and not the church.

“It was insulting that the ex-Democratic lawmaker, Rev. Meeks would suggest that people do not “shout” praises to God in places like Wal-mart. Many Black Christians praise the Lord in public places. The cashier should not be more essential than the minister. I should be able to grab a word from the Lord like I can grab a gallon of milk.”, said Tillman.

“The liquor store is open for those who want to drink alcohol for comfort during this crisis, and the church should be open to comfort those with The Word, in-person.”, said Rev. Thomas.

Remarks about the potential for churches to be closed until 2021

“After we began this protest on May 1st the governor allowed up to ten people in church services. It is our hopes that he will increase that number to 50 or even 75. It will be terrible to miss the rest of the year.” said Tillman

“Many churches will not be able to survive until 2021. Those few pastors do not speak for all the Black churches in Chicago.”, said Rev. Thomas.

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