POB 240Manchester, ME 04351207/626-0594Stanmoody1@aol.com
What Do A Baptist Minister and A Muslim Have in Common?
December 9, 2011Author: Stan MoodyWhat do a Baptist minister and a Muslim have in common? Aside from a doctrinalrespect for ³The Book´ and a mutual respect for each other, what Maine residents Rev. StanMoody of Manchester and Dawud Ummah of Portland have in common is a baseline belief in thedignity of the oppressed in our society. You might say that, as with many other reformadvocates, they hold a view of money and time as tools to be employed for helping others.Moody, who has served in the Maine State Legislature and recently was a Chaplain atMaine State Prison, first met Ummah over the issue of Kufis, or skull caps for Islamic prisoners.³He came to my office, and we banged out a compromise that eventually was accepted by the prison administration. From then on, we connected as fellow travelers with a passion for the leastamong us.´Ummah, raised in Cleveland, OH, is a veteran of the First Gulf War and creator of theCenter for African Heritage (CAH) in Portland.
Divergent Personalities Coming Together:
How did these divergent personalities arrive at the same place?For Moody, who grew up in Portland¶s North Deering area, poverty and religion were thecatalysts. ³Being the oldest of 5 children in the poorest family on the street was one factor.Belonging to a Christian fundamentalist sect was quite another. I found myself in a life-longfight against biblical and cultural ignorance. While µPeople of the Book¶ are commanded to servethe least among us, most Christians are safely locked in a white suburban ethos protected fromtheir mission.´
or Ummah, his moment of truth happened while he was following his older brothers¶criminal vocation by learning to become a pimp. ³I fell for this young lady who posed someinteresting questions about the pimping business, like, µWould you pimp for your Momma andsister?¶ While I stumbled around that question, she asked, µWhen were you thinking of recruitingme?¶ That got a little too close to home for me, and I later eliminated drug dealing and debtcollections for the same reason.´ Both of Ummah¶s brothers have done time in prison.
Mentoring Prisoners, Their Families and Their Victims:
How does their shared activity of mentoring prisoners fit into this picture?As founder of the Maine Prison Chaplaincy Corps, Moody has been working quietly withhis local District Attorney, Sheriff and Probation Office as a backstop for keeping people out of prison. He also has been a resource for Moms whose sons are in prison or jail. He recentlyintervened in the case of an accused murderer whose Mom suspected civil rights violations by jail authorities. In another case, he investigated the suicide of a probationer who alleged abuse byhis probation officer. He continues to push for an impartial investigation into several suspicious