The beliefs of Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson and Religion
Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. was a two-time presidential candidate (1984 and 1988), shadow senator of District of Columbia (served with Florence Pendleton from January 3, 1991 to January 3, 1997), African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. Jesse Jackson is also the father of incumbent U.S. representative Jesse Jackson Jr. of the 2nd congressional district of Illinois. Both Jesse Jackson and his son are democrats and were active on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. They’ve also endorsed their support for the Barack Obama 2012 re-election campaign.
Jesse Jackson attended the Chicago Theological Seminary right after graduating from North Carolina A&T in 1964. However, Jesse Jackson dropped out to focus on his civil rights activities. In 1968, even without earning a theological degree, Jesse Jackson was ordained as a minister. Consequently, in 1990, Jesse Jackson was later on awarded an honorary theological doctorate from Chicago. Because of his impressive body of work and previous credits, Jesse Jackson earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2000.
For Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., religion is closely associated with politics. Jesse Jackson once remarked that – “My religion obligates me to be political, to seek God’s will and allow the spiritual word to become concrete justice and dwell among us. Religion should use you politically to do public service. Politics should not misuse religion. When the Word becomes flesh and dwells among us, that’s called good religion.”
Jesse Jackson has organized two well-known non-profit organizations that advocated black self-help and civil rights to the American minority groups. In 1971, Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) was created right after Jesse Jackson resigned from Operation Breadbasket. Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH became a successful organization in moving the government to action. Jesse Jackson was able to put into action Operation Breadbasket’s original objectives, enabling development for African-American people across the U.S.
An off-shoot of Operation PUSH, Jesse Jackson founded PUSH-Excel to advocate education among the youths – keep them off the street and provide decent jobs as well. Former president Jimmy Carter was so impressed at what Jesse Jackson was accomplishing that the government supported these programs and became a major sponsor.
At the wake of Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign where he mentioned the term “Rainbow Coalition” in one of his speeches, Jesse Jackson formed the National Rainbow Coalition. Their objectives leaned towards voting rights, demands for social programs for racial minorities, homosexuals, labor unions, small farmers and the poor.
Jesse Jackson’s stand on the issue of abortion had been contradictor. Jesse Jackson started out supporting the pro-life movement because of his affiliation to the Baptist ministry. Then, Jesse Jackson has supported a plan for a constitutional amendment to ban abortion in 1975. Jesse Jackson also supported the Hyde Amendment (a plan to stop funding for abortion through the Medicaid program). Jesse Jackson’s deeply rooted religious beliefs in politics prompted him t publish an article condemning abortion, comparing it to slavery. Jesse Jackson stated that the right to privacy cannot be prioritized over the right of life because that will equate to slavery. Jesse Jackson posed the question, “What kind of a person and what kind of a society will we have twenty years hence if life can be taken so casually?” Jesse Jackson went on to state that the nation’s moral fabric is in jeopardy if people wouldn’t consider killing a baby an act of conscienceless.
Jesse Jackson’s powerful words seem to fade overtime when he became a supporter of the pro-choice movement. Jesse Jackson commented that abortion is a right that women are free to exercise and that the government should not stop a woman from having abortion.
Another sensitive issue that the Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. involved in was the Terri Schiavo case. It is a long legal battle between Terri’s parents and his husband in the matter of prolonging life support for Theresa Marie Schiavo, who was diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state. Highly publicized, the case went on from 1998 until 2005 when Terri finally died because of severe brain damage. Along with his son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. supported Terri’s parents in prolonging life support even if their bid was not successful.
Jesse Jackson has always been an outspoken man. Jesse Jackson’s views in some issues might be misconstrued as too liberal by some and he was quoted saying things that might be unbecoming for a Baptist minister. Jesse Jackson has made several comments about Barack Obama and most notable was his hushed statement during a Fox News interview, criticizing Obama’s Father’s Day speech that condemns black fathers. Jesse Jackson Jr. is an avid supporter of Obama and apologized in behalf of Jesse Jackson, stating that his father was rude in saying such.
Deeply involved in the community’s well-being, Jesse Jackson was arrested charged with one count of criminal trespass on private property on June 23, 2007. Jesse Jackson was at the forefront of a protesting group in front of a gun shop in a poor suburb in Chicago named Riverdale. Along with his compatriots, Jesse Jackson accused the gun shop of selling firearms to local gang members and subsequently contributing to the community’s downfall.
Jesse Jackson’s Anti-War campaign had brought international recognition. Jesse Jackson’s religious and political visions made him a viable person sent to negotiate the release of POWs and foreign government hostages.
Before the start of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Jesse Jackson went to Iraq to talk to Saddam Hussein in securing the release of foreign nationals detained as “human shield” and was successful in helping free twenty Americans and several British nationals. Jesse Jackson was also sent to Kenya as Bill Clinton’s special envoy for democracy in promoting free and fair elections in 1997. In 1999, Jesse Jackson went to Belgrade during the Kosovo War to plead the release of three American POWs. Following televangelist Pat Robertson’s heated remarks about Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Jesse Jackson went to denounce Robertson’s words as immoral. Jesse Jackson went on to say that Venezuela poses no threat to the U.S. after meeting with Chavez. Jesse Jackson is also a known supporter of developing an independent Palestinian government.
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