Jewish World Review Jan. 23, 2000/ 28 Teves 5761
If we could read Jackson's mind during prayers for Clinton ... . .
TIME: 1998. Place: the Oval Office.
President Bill Clinton, wife Hillary; daughter, Chelsea; and the Rev. "Did Somebody Say Jesus?" Jackson are standing in a tight circle, holding hands. Buddy is sniffing and whimpering at the door of a small private office off to the side.
Let us pray:
"Dear heavenly Father, creator of all things, forgiver of all sins oh, please, say it's so, we are gathered here today to thank you for our many blessings, to ask forgiveness for our human frailty, to seek understanding and compassion in our hour of need.
"Brother Bill and his family need your help, Father and I, your favored son, could use a handout right about now. Yes, Father, Brother Bill has sinned. He has strayed. He has taken up with another woman at least she didn't get pregnant, you lucky S.O.B.. He admits it and wants to repent.
"He seeks your forgiveness as he seeks the forgiveness of his wife and daughter. Oh, L-rd, please don't let my wife find out. If you help me this one last time, I'll show up at every penny-ante protest for the rest of my life, defend the guilty and sacrifice my credibility, if you'll just keep The Devil Drudge away from my door.
"Hillary has stood by her man through thick and thin, through Hell and Whitewater, through tacky white woman after tacky white woman marital ups and downs, and she needs your help, too, Father.
"How the hell did he get that big-haired 'oogly' woman to do that thing and convince the world it wasn't even sex. I make love to a real woman like a real man, and da-n if she doesn't get knocked up. Oy, vey, L-rd, that's it! Immaculate conception! I'm like Jesus, right? That's what I'll say: It was an immaculate conception!
"Father, help Hillary da-n uppity woman to see that her husband is a weak man Amen brother, but he is a good man Yes. He meant no harm but fell prey to the evil that lurks within us all Uh-huh, name me one man who's gonna say, 'Oh thanks so much, really, but I believe I'll pass on a peek at your thong.'
"Help her to find it in her heart to love her husband in spite of his flaws and to recognize that he's a changed man, ready for redemption, prepared to humble himself before the world and Your Holy Grace.
"Not that I can blame the poor man. The woman probably hasn't been a woman since Little Rock. You understand, don't you, Father? I mean a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Kidding, kidding.
"And help Chelsea, too, to see her earthly father as a flawed but loving man, a leader among men Give that man a cigar and get back!, a devout and humble servant.
"He sinned, Father, and he has admitted to his sin Of course, only after Drudge dug up, and I do mean dug up, Paula Jones. Da-n fool shoulda tol' the truth as soon as possible. Americans will forgive a man his folly but not his lies. Live and learn. We must live and learn, Father, all of us, and always seek thy grace."
Fade out. Fast forward two years. The Rev. Jackson pre-empts a tabloid expose (but not Drudge), admits to fathering a daughter, now 20 months old, out of wedlock, and announces he's taking a sabbatical from public life. In his statement, Jackson says:
"This is no time for evasions, denials or alibis. Yo, Bill: When the tabloid's got your number, it is no time to slumber. No doubt, many close friends and supporters will be disappointed. I ask for their forgiveness, understanding and prayers."
Alone in his room later that night, the Reverend turns his gaze heavenward:
"Well, Father, at least I don't have to show up at any more loser demonstrations and play that dog-eared race card any more. Man alive, I was getting tired of invoking Selma every time some honky fool blew his nose the wrong way. I guess there's a silver lining to every dark cloud, eh, Pops?"
"Amen to that, son, amen to
JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.
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