The video of former President Bill Clinton nodding off in church is all over the Internet and morning news shows today. The Sunday service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was held at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem, N.Y.
I come to his defense with both empathy and advice. It has happened to everyone except maybe some pagan who has never experienced a long service in a warm sanctuary with padded chairs or pews.
Plus, Marty King III was speaking. Sadly, he didn’t get the oratory skills of his late father. Those went to little sister Bernice.
Though a longtime Baptist, Bro. Clinton seems to have forgotten the trusted three-step plan for sleeping in church.
Instead, he tried unsuccessfully to hide behind the wide preacher. But the wide lens caught him.
For such situations in the future, I offer this advice to both former presidents who sit on stages during significant services and ordinary pew riders like many of us.
Step one: Place your hands together with fingertips to your nose. This provides both support of the head and the appearance of praying.
Step two: Upon closing your eyes, move your lips a little so people will think you are praying and therefore more spiritual than sleepy.
Step three: Each time you awaken, nod in affirmation and hope that the preacher just said something with which you should agree. The former president did this step well. But his omission of the first two made the nodding unconvincing.
However, there will be many opportunities in the future for him to work on more refined ways to catch a few Zs in church. It is amazing that after all these years so few have perfected it completely.
Oh, there is one more word of advice: Unless you attend a loud Pentecostal or contemporary service, keep your chin up enough so that you don’t snore.