James David Manning
|James David Manning|
February 20, 1947 |
Red Springs, North Carolina, United States
|Occupation||Protestant Christian Pastor|
James David Manning (born February 20, 1947) is chief pastor at the ATLAH World Missionary Church on 123rd Street in New York City. Manning grew up in Red Springs, North Carolina, born to an African American family, and has been at ATLAH since 1981. ATLAH stands for All The Land Anointed Holy, which is Manning's name for Harlem.
Manning's congregation, "ATLAH Worldwide Missionary Church" is the former Bethelite Missionary Baptist Church. The church is also the site of the ATLAH Theological Seminary, which offers classes on preaching and prophecy. Through the ATLAH church, Manning hosts an online series called The Manning Report, which features criticism on such topics as the negative influence of black celebrities, homosexuality and the alleged criminal acts of current U.S. President Barack Obama.
Manning was born on February 20, 1947, in Red Springs, North Carolina. He grew up in the town, which was then segregated. He picked cotton and tobacco as a boy, and took a bus to New York the day he graduated from high school. He became radicalized in the 1960s and said he was driven by his hatred of white people. As a younger man, Manning burgled homes, mostly on Long Island. Between 1969 and 1974, he said, he broke into as many as 100 houses, and once threatened an associate with a loaded shotgun. He spent about three and a half years in prison in New York and Florida for burglary, robbery, larceny, criminal possession of a weapon, and other charges before his release in 1978. While in prison, he became a devout Christian. Manning has said that his past life of crime and then incarceration have helped to shape his wider perspective upon life, and that he doesn't shy away from discussing it.
Beginning study in 1982, Manning graduated from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York where he was awarded a Master of Divinity in 1985. During his graduate studies, Manning went on a religious study tour to Latin America, and later to Africa. In his theological group study tour of Africa in 1985, Manning visited both Liberia in West Africa, founded by former African-American slaves, and apartheid-era South Africa. Manning met his future wife on the tour, as well as the US ambassador to Liberia Bill Swing, South African F. W. de Klerk, and Bishop Desmond Tutu. Manning has said that his visit to Africa had an influence on his views about race. Manning has said that his witnessing of black societies other than African-Americans influenced his views on the wider nature of black people.
Manning also holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from his own ATLAH Theological Seminary, an unaccredited educational institution. According to Manning, he attended the Oxford Round Table in 2004.
Opposition to gentrification in Harlem
Manning is fiercely opposed to the gentrification of Harlem and calls for its residents to boycott its shops, restaurants, doctors, banks and churches. That action, combined with a general rent strike, would force all property owners out of Harlem, he said, leaving the neighborhood to its rightful inheritors: black people.
Manning calls his plan "No Dew, Nor Rain," after Elijah's warning to Ahab, king of Israel, of a coming drought. "When there's no dew, no rain, there's a drought – there's all kinds of suffering," said Manning. The whole of Harlem, he said, is to be a "drought zone."
Manning said the intent of the boycott was to return Harlem to its pregentrification days of 1990, without the crack, crime and boarded-up buildings. His hope, he says, is that declining property values will make housing affordable for black people.
Criticism of Barack Obama
Manning came to public attention during the 2008 presidential election after ATLAH posted several sermons of his that were harshly critical of Democratic candidate Barack Obama on YouTube. Among other accusations, he called Obama's mother "white trash" for becoming pregnant by a black man out of wedlock, an issue he discussed during a press conference at the National Press Club on December 8, 2008.
It is common knowledge that African men, coming from the continent of Africa—especially for the first time—do diligently seek out white women to have sexual intercourse with. Generally the most noble of white society choose not to intercourse sexually with these men. So it's usually the trashier ones who make their determinations that they're going to have sex.
Manning defended his sermons in an interview on Fox News, saying that "we also have to talk about his character." The sermons drew the attention of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service objecting to alleged violations of laws granting tax-free status to churches on condition that they refrain from certain forms of political activity.
Manning has continued his criticisms of Obama after the election, comparing him to Hitler or Satan and frequently calling him a criminal and "long-legged mack daddy". He produced a video in summer 2009 in which he predicted that there would be a white backlash against Obama, complete with riots, and attended one of the first "birther" events. In an interview with Israeli radio station Arutz Sheva, Manning asserted that Obama had chosen to befriend Muslims instead of Jews; he also offered praise of Meir Kahane.
In responding to a comment by Bill O'Reilly, a commentator on Fox News Channel, calling birther lawyer Orly Taitz a "nut", he and Taitz organized a protest outside Fox News headquarters in New York City in November 2009, which drew an estimated 15 to 20 attendees.
In May 2010, Manning staged a show trial of Barack Obama at his ATLAH church in Harlem for wire fraud, with Manning acting as prosecutor. Although the treason and sedition charges had been deleted from consideration at the trial, Manning expressed the opinion that Obama should be hanged.
Criticism of black leadership
In his sermons and in video messages posted on his church's web site and on YouTube, Manning has denounced the influence of Charles Rangel, Al Sharpton, Cornel West and Jay-Z. He has also had harsh words for black people in general, and black men in particular.
- Manning, James (June 2, 2010), Pastor James David Manning BIO, retrieved November 16, 2011
- Williams, Timothy (2008-03-31). "Minister Sees Salvation of Harlem in Boycott". The New York Times (New York City, USA: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
- Seminary page
- "My Mission to Africa", Youtube, August 8, 2012
- Paul Vitello, "Pastors' Web Electioneering Attracts U.S. Reviews of Tax Exemptions", New York Times, September 2, 2008, retrieved 2008-09-20
- About Pastor Manning: The Oxford Letter
- "Harlem development pits African drummers against new condo owners", International Herald Tribune, August 11, 2007, accessed 2008-05-23
- Mara Altman, "Do the Dew", Village Voice, April 3, 2007, Retrieved 2008-05-23.
- "West Harlem Pastor Urges Participation in Rent Strike", Columbia Spectator, January 17, 2008, accessed 2008-05-23
- "Pastor Manning says Africa is cursed and Blacks should not support Black businesses."
- John L. Jackson Jr., "Are we entitled to all our 'opinions'?", Chronicle Review, November 14, 2008 (archived from the original on 2009-03-04)
- ATLAH Worldwide's Channel, YouTube, accessed 2008-06-04
- "Manning's fierce prayer for Bristol Palin", YouTube, September 2, 2008
- David Weigel, "Case Not Closed: After losing at the Supreme Court, Obama conspiracy theorists meet the press", Slate, December 9, 2008
- "Pastor Defends Hate-Filled Obama Sermons", Fox News, March 28, 2008
- "Harlem pastor to discuss video", Pensacola News-Journal, September 3, 2009
- David Weigel, "'If I’m Not Dead on Monday, I Will Be Back'", Washington Independent, December 17, 2009.
- "Audio: Reverend Manning Talks About American Black-Jewish Relations", Arutz Sheva
- Koppelman, Alex (November 11, 2009), "Taitz's protest against Fox News falls flat", Salon, retrieved 2009-11-30
- Alex, Pareene (2010-05-17). "The trial of President Obama, Part 2". Salon. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
- Alex, Pareene (May 14, 2010). "Live from the Obama trial: Alex Pareene in Harlem". Salon. Retrieved November 30, 2013.