Guest column pray for healing in the bill cosby saga gas national average 2013

During a time in America when segregation and racial prejudice was overt, oppressive and normative, William Henry Cosby Jr. worked hard to succeed in spite of the malicious racist barriers created to oppress African Americans in this country. Today, we see and experience a glimpse of America’s morassic racist past.

As a high school dropout, Cosby enlisted and served in the U.S. Navy and earned his high school diploma during his military service to his country. After military service, he attended Temple University on a track scholarship, and later pursues his comedic career as a comedy writer and comedic performer.

Cosby has won nine Grammy awards for his recorded comedy albums; four Emmys for his prime-time television performances; recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center and Presidential Medal of Honor Awards; and he has donated generously to institutions of higher education, according to FoxNews.com, a sampling includes “$20 million gift to Spelman College in 1988 and including, among many other donations, $3 million to the Morehouse School of Medicine; $1 million in 2004 to the U.S. National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, Va.; and $2 million from Cosby’s wife, Camille, to St. Frances Academy in Baltimore in 2005 … (and) $800,000 in scholarship grants were given through the William and Camille Cosby Foundation.”

And Cosby’s other charitable philanthropy includes generous donations to Airlift Research Foundation, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation, Jackie Robinson Foundation, Jumpstart, Keep A Child Alive, Robert F Kennedy Memorial, just to name a few!

Cosby has been uber generous in giving of his time, talent and treasures and his generosity has positively impacted thousands of people, dare I say millions. In light of Cosby’s recent legal woes, some universities, charitable groups and businesses are removing his name from various honors, awards, board appointments and rescinding honorary degrees bestowed to him. These groups are fastly distancing themselves from their once beloved benefactor. In fairness to Cosby, those same organizations should refund all monies they have received from his generous philanthropy. To keep his money is to be tainted and complicit in his guilt and affiliation, right? So, if organizations and individuals want to play hardball and take the high moral ground on punishing him, give Cosby back the millions of dollars that they so readily accepted!

Cosby’s own admission of infidelity in having consensual sex with women is a violation against his beautiful wife Camille, heartbreaking indeed. Cosby and Camille have been married for at least 54 years. I applaud her for standing by her man, though she has every right to clamor for a divorce. Why do I applaud her? As a pastor, I take marital vows seriously, most traditional marriage vows include some covenant statement like “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death” – very serious promises before God. Camille has decided, seemingly, to stand by her man. Her decision, not ours.

Marital relationships are already inherently filled with great interpersonal challenges, so to inject infidelity into the marital scheme is coarse and disrespectful. According to a New York Post news article by Naomi Schaefer Riley, Researchers at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture reported that, “Sexual infidelity is still the most common reason for divorce.”

I pray that Cosby has expressed deep remorse and repentance to his wife, family, friends, business associates, and most importantly to God. In God’s economy, forgiveness is given to all that seek it from Him, but often, the consequences of our wrong doings remain; we reap what we sow.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, and they report that every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. RAINN reports that one out of every six American women has been a victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. National news outlets have reported that at least 50 women have alleged that Cosby sexually assaulted them. If this is true, it’s horrible and he’s a monster. If some of the women are lying, then they are monsters, too. My heart aches for all women sexually abused by men, it’s my hope that all sexual abusers are held accountable to the maximum extent of punishment the law allows.

Reputations have been tarnished, emotional wounds have been inflicted, and legal sharks are still seeking blood in the water regarding the Cosby case. Cosby is a man. All of mankind is flawed and tainted with sin. We all fall short of God’s grace and need God’s redemptive love and salvation grace gift to restore us whole in right fellowship with Him.

It’s my prayer that the accusing women, along with Bill Cosby and his wife, find respective peace and spiritual-emotional healing in working through this mess. What damage has been done is done. Now, is the time for restoration and healing for all involved, may God’s peace and blessings rest upon all affected by this whole sad ordeal.