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Black conservative Christians warring against themselves

Updated on October 9, 2012

Black conservative Christians warring against themselves

On ABC News’ Good Morning American, President Obama, in an interview with Robin Roberts, revealed that his thinking about same-sex marriage had evolved. “I’ve just concluded,” he said, “that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” That statement sent shockwaves through the nation, and gays, so to speak, began dancing in the streets while black conservatives Christians began an Indian-style war dance around the campfire.

In the interview, President Obama disclosed that he had weighed the traditional religious views on marriage held by the church and civil rights guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution and concluded that his job as president was to guarantee the rights of the constitution.

Immediately after making his statement, according to a Washington Post article by Peter Wallsten and Scott Wilson, the President talked by phone with one of his spiritual advisors, the Rev. Joel Hunter, who expressed his disapproval and predicted that the announcement would cause him as much harm as it would help. The Rev. Hunter was right. The gay community is fighting for his reelection, while many in the black conservative community are warring against it.

During a recent visit to the hospital to see a cousin, President Obama’ reelection bid inadvertently came up and he said to me that many of his friends have said they will not vote for President Obama because of his statement about same-sex marriage (My cousin and I are black).

Another relative, who had been raving to me about the great preacher his pastor is, said to me recently that following President Obama’s announcement about same-sex marriage he preached about it the next Sunday. Having a son who is gay, he confessed that he now sees his pastor in a different light. My relative is a not a champion of gay rights, but he is not sure that his son was not born that way. His pastor’s sermon, therefore, hurt him deeply.

One of my former students, a M. Div. graduate and new pastor, called me about the announcement and confessed that he had decided to “sit out the election.”

On Monday, CBN News reported that 1,500 conservative pastors pledged to record their sermons and send them to IRS to protest the rule that non-profits cannot endorse political candidates. Among them was Bishop Harry Jackson, a black pastor in Beltsville, MD., who preached a sermon on “four reasons why I cannot support Barack Obama for president.” One of those reasons was “same-sex marriage.”

On Monday, also, Dr. Martin Luther King’s niece, Alveda King, spoke to a conservative women’s group at Hampton Elementary School in Hampton, VA, and urged the attendees to vote even if they did not agree with either candidate and said she will vote “God’s way,” which sometimes means writing in a name, according to a Daily Press article by Austin Bogues.

When one considers what is at stake in the November election, black conservatives who vote against President Obama because of his “personal” belief (not policy) about same-sex marriage will be voting against themselves. Certainly the president has not done all he could have done because of Republican opposition in congress, but he has worked hard for the middleclass—even black conservatives. But former Governor Mitt Romney, when he thought he was out of the reach of the cameras and microphones, revealed his real thoughts about 47 percent—including us: We don’t pay tax. We want a handout from the government. We will not take responsibility of our wellbeing. But the truth is many of us are retired, disabled, and military; and others of us are working two jobs and still not making enough money to take care of our responsibilities and to pay taxes.

If we defeat ourselves in this election, it will not be white America’s fault; it will be ours!


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