Feb
11

Brother Bigot

By

From Yale University Divinity School’s Black Church Homophobia: What to Do About It?

“The Black Church community’s obstinate stance in regard to issues surrounding gay and lesbian rights is most striking when one considers both the historical black struggle for social equality and the Black Church’s prominent role within that struggle. It appears inconsistent, if not hypocritical, for the Black Church to be in the forefront of racial justice concerns, yet resistant, if not repressive, when it comes to the rights of non-heterosexual persons.”

From Rev. Dr. Kenneth Samuel, senior pastor of Victory for the World in Stone Mountain, Ga., and vice chair of the African American Ministers Leadership Council:

“Certain text in the Bible, as we know, had been used to support slavery in America for over 200 years,” he said. “Certain texts have been used to justify patriarchy and sexism,…militaristic warfare, beating of children…. We have toxic text in the Bible that needs to be interpreted in the light of the truth, and…from the light and lenses of the all-inclusive love of Jesus.”

President Barack Obama:

“I am also proud to announce my support for an important piece of legislation introduced in both Houses of Congress last month — the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009. This legislation will extend to the same-sex partners of Federal employees the same benefits already enjoyed by the opposite-sex spouses of Federal employees…Extending equal benefits to the same-sex partners of Federal employees is the right thing to do. It is also sound economic policy. Many top employers in the private sector already offer benefits to the same-sex partners of their employees; those companies recognize that offering partner benefits helps them compete for and retain the brightest and most talented employees. The Federal Government is at a disadvantage on that score right now, and change is long overdue. As Americans, we are all affected when our promises of equality go unfulfilled. “

Mayor Terry Bellamy:

“I’m not going to support the motion. I’m not going to support it now and I’m not going to support it when the information comes back.”


Comments

  1. Keith Ogden’s press conference:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN0AB5E9Miw&

    Rev. Ogden: “The question we have is why so fast? Why are they in such a hurry?… They are trying to justify that it is a ‘civil right’. In our estimation it is not a civil right… We are challenging this because they are trying to rob the city treasury and manipulate the public by offering them benefits.”

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  2. Michael Muller says:

    I happened to sit in front of Reverend Ogden and Vernon Myers at the Council meeting. Every time Gordon said anything positive about gay people, I could hear them hiss and moan. It’s clear to me that they do not like gay people and would rather gay people not be in or come to Asheville.

    Just shameful coming from people in their position.

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  3. Yes, that is clear to me too. I left my own opinion out of that comment.

    I thought his comment on “Why are they in such a hurry” was humorous. I am sure that during the civil rights movement, the powers at be were trying to say “Whoa, whoa, whoa, why are we in such a hurry to push these crazy ideas through so quickly.”

    It is the same republican mentality with Health Care Reform.

    Positive change is coming Reverend Ogden, either get on board or get out of the way. My frustration is that so much of the GBLTq community helped to get Obama elected alongside Reverend Ogden, attending and organizing the same ‘WNC for Change’ meetings inside Ogden’s Hill St Baptist Church. Now when it comes to doing something for the GBLTq community, he sees them as an abomination. Ogden’s memory seems to be short lived.

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  4. Doug Hattaway says:

    Mike, I grasp your intent to mention the connection between homophobia and the black church, and cannot affirm nor dispute any such possible connection, however, I believe the issue he presents must be the focus and not what ethnicity he may represent. Ironically, although he states homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice”, his ethnicity is not a choice either and seems to me irrelevant to the issue.

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  5. Kim says:

    Precious persecution. It’s hard for some Black’s to share it and the only difference to be pointed to as a reason for not sharing it is lack of choice regarding skin color? That’s really unfortunate for all concerned.

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  6. Alan says:

    I’m laughing out loud at all the hallucinatory threats the bloggertolls on cit-times and topix are making to sue Asheville for discrimination against heterosexuals, when the practice is perfectly legal in North Carolina. Just because some blue states ban discrimination on sexual orientation doesn’t mean North Carolina does. These morons will find absolutely no basis for such a suit and of course it is largely a taste of their own medicine. This is a far cry from the white New Haven firefighters. They can’t just hallucinate up an antidiscrimination law when it suits them, one that they prevented in the first place. And that’s in addition to Gordon’s access to marriage defense, not instead of it, the lawsuits won’t even get to that point because there IS NO SUCH LAW.

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  7. designation says:

    @ Doug Hattaway: Religion is undoubtedly a “lifestyle choice” and is protected from discrimination by law. It is wildly hypocritical to rail about “lifestyle choices” when religious choice is most certainly not innate.

    @ Alan: I only hope that some straights will eventually see that banning discrimination based on sexual orientation (SO) includes straights as well as gays.

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  8. Doug Hattaway says:

    @ designation. Religion obviously is a lifestyle choice, I agree. For clarity, I do not support his views, but I believe comments against his view should be limited to his views and not what ethnicity he is. I hope you agree that just because one is black (could be of mixed ethnicity by my view) and of some variety of Christian faith does not mean they are homophobic. By the way, I appreciate your perspective that even if homosexuality were a choice, it certainly could be added to the list of protections along side religion. Absolutely valid point.

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  9. MauraHennessey says:

    “Homosexuality is a choice”
    Apparently no one needs a University level education, or at least a good one, to be a minister there. The AMA, Reverend, disagrees with you as does the APA.

    “Homosexulaity is a choice?”
    Who’d have chosen to be such a thing during the Bush years, or even today, when the Religious Right, obsessed with imposing Biblical law on a secular nation, is after us all of the time, preaching hatred that fires up unstable minds to commit violence against us?
    In Buffao, NY, gangs fired up by the “Black Church” have taken to staking out a Lesbian club and comitting violence against the women as they leave.

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  10. Michael Muller says:

    Doug,

    Sorry for not responding earlier. I’m just catching your comment now.

    Ogden’s race is entirely relevant. He opened that door when he claimed that his race entitled him to certain civil rights that my sexual orientation does not afford me. Besides, it illustrates rather nicely that old white Republicans haven’t cornered the market on bigotry.

    Homophobia is a huge problem in the black community. Just ask Corretta Scott King, John Lewis, Julian Bond, Andrew Young, Dr. james Lawson…and the huge number of young gay, lesbian and transgendered African-Americans who must live every day with its hateful consequences.

    MM

    P.S. Be sure to check out the post “Esther Awesomeheimer” if you haven’t already.

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