What Is The Role Of The Black Church
This column is about The Black Church overstepping it's bounds
What Is The Role Of The Black Church
It has been one week since President Barack Obama offered his now famous opinion that he endorses marriage equality. The groundbreaking news that an American President supports the right for same-sex couples to join together in a legal union was met with tremendous euphoria from pretty much half of the nation and flat out anger and disdain from the other half. The type of fallout that the President may have to concern himself with the most however may be from a huge part of the base that got him elected in 2008, The African-American community and in particular the black church.
Let me just state first of all that black people aren't anymore religious than any other group in the country. Catholics, Jews, and Muslims are deeply devout in their religions, I'm willing to bet you however that within those groups you will find more people who would describe themselves as non-practicing than you would in the African-American community, as a friend of mine once joked finding a black agnostic is like finding a black Van Halen fan, if he exists you wouldn't know it.
The black experience in America since the first slave ships arrived called for the belief in religion. The notion that one day God himself would make life better was how slaves got through long and arduous days of backbreaking work in 100 degree weather. The modern day Civil Rights Movement led by the Reverends Martin Luther King and Joseph Lowry was tied completely to the black church, so it saddens me on a personal level to see the same black church and black pastors with a thirst for the spotlight engaging in bigotry.
Some idiot named Rev. Emmett Burns, a pastor in Baltimore is on record as saying he and most of his congregation, will not be voting for the President in November. Burns who was quick to say he won't be casting a vote for the GOP nominee Mitt Romney says that the President's stance on Marriage Equality is a turnoff. “We would have preferred that he would not have weighed in on this issue, People have come up to me and are saying they don't support this, they don't like this and they are staying home”.
If Burns thinks he speaks for every member of his congregation then he himself should be running for president. The other thing is that if you are a black person publicly advocating for people to stay home you might as well spit on the grave of Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Mickey Schwerner, Andy Goodman and countless other people who died so everyone could take part in the democratic process of voting.
Speaking for myself only, these things among others are the reason why I am completely turned off by organized religion. The black church in some segments are now vested in asking us to vote against our interests. This ridiculous stance against same-sex marriage being the latest example. There is also the position that the church is only interested in abstinence only teachings at a time when the nuclear black family is all but non-existent and 70% of black babies are born to single black mothers. To the church kids growing up in poverty is acceptable just as long as they don't mention the word condom.
Personally I have a problem identifying with a book that has talking snakes, torrential rains that last for forty days and nights, and people living to be 900 hundred years old, and even with that I could debate the most qualified expert on The Bible about God himself mentioning homosexuality and whether or not it's wrong. The fact is that it is irrelevant. We are supposed to be living in a nation that recognizes a seperation between church and state, yet that's not happening because some guy wrote a book 2,000 years ago.
As it relates to the black church, that royal asshole himself Jerry Falwell once referred to the Civil Rights Movement as the Civil Wrongs Movement. Imagine for a second if the kind of mindset was still in play. It just so happens that it is. It's the 1,000 laws that discriminate against the LGBT community. By the way my favorite Van Halen song is “Why Can't This Be Love”.