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Every denomination needs one of these...

Obama Faces Concert Critique from Gay Rights Groups

Friday, October 26, 2007

By Pastor Ted Weis, Congregational Church, Little River, KS

United Church of Christ member and Presidential candidate Barack Obama is facing criticism from segments of the gay rights community as his South Carolina campaign begins a weekend series of Gospel concerts in order to reach religious voters in the state.

The "EMBRACE THE CHANGE! Gospel Tour" takes place in three cities and features two popular artists who've spoken out against homosexuality-- Mary Mary and Donnie McClurkin-- a former homosexual who now renounces the lifestyle.

Gay rights groups, like Truth Wins Out, are upset the Obama campaign has not removed McClurkin from its list of performers. In response, an openly gay minister was added to the tour to give an invocation. And Obama himself issued the following:
I have clearly stated my belief that gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens... I strongly believe that African Americans and the LGBT community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I strongly disagree with Reverend McClurkin's views and will continue to fight for these rights as President of the United States to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division.
Still, that statement hasn't completely satisfied Joe Solmonese, President of Human Rights Watch, who made the following statement on Thursday:
I spoke with Sen. Barack Obama today and expressed to him our community's disappointment for his decision to continue to remain associated with Rev. McClurkin, an anti-gay preacher who states the need to 'break the curse of homosexuality.' There is no gospel in Donnie McClurkin's message for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. That's a message that certainly doesn't belong on any Presidential candidate's stage.
But as a matter of policy, Obama supports every issue of concern to gay rights groups, short of same-sex marriage-- even while a Winthrop/ETV poll of African Americans in South Carolina shows that 74% view "sex between two adults of the same sex" as "unacceptable," with 62% calling it "strongly unacceptable." Certainly if elected, Obama will be a friend to gay civil rights groups.

So why are these same groups insistent that McClurkin be removed?

If one went so far as to look at this situation through the theological lens of the United Church of Christ, isn't Obama's campaign simply trying to bring people from all sides together, so that "all may be one"?

Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary are demonstrating "tolerance" by associating their name with a candidate who supports the political agenda of gay rights groups.

The openly gay minister praying the invocation is showing "tolerance" by sharing the same stage with performers who believe homosexuality grieves the heart of God.

Where then is the "tolerance" of groups like Human Rights Watch and Truth Wins Out? If someone personally believes homosexual practices are wrong, yet wants to work with a politician who supports gay rights, why should that person be denied the ability to participate?

It goes to show: Exclusion is not just the exclusive work of political and religious conservatives.
posted by Living the Biblios, Friday, October 26, 2007


So true! Liberals are SO exclusive. Obama should share the stage with Klan Members and Neo-Nazis in an effort to bring people together so that "all may be one". We should always be forever "tolerant" and never criticize the actions or viewpoints of another.
commented by Anonymous Crazy "Liberal", 3:59 PM  
Quoting the Human Rights Campaign hardly is authoritative of "LGBT people." The HRC is widely criticized among people of color for its many acts of racism. However, to its credit, the HRC and the National Black Justice Coalition (Black LGBT group) asked Obama's campaign for four different Black pastors to speak. Two gay and two progressive & straight. But, no, Obama's camp choose a white, gay minister because he was UCC. This choice is so racist (1) because overwhelmingly Black gay people reject it, (2) Black people not white get to self-determine what is racist, (3) this will hopelessly reinforce the stereotype of gay = white that Black LGBT Christians battle with every day. All white Christians (and I am one) need to stand by our African American LGBT sisters and brothers and demand that Obama listen to the African American LGBT community and pick one of the African American pastors they choose. Thank you. You can read more at www.keithboykin.com.
commented by Blogger cybergrace, 5:11 PM  
HRC claim in their own press releases that they are "the nation's largest gay civil rights organization." Is that accurate or not accurate?
commented by Blogger Living the Biblios, 4:42 PM  
The HRC is the nation's largest gay civil right organization. And the Roman Catholic Church is the nation's largest Christian denomination, but do most American Christians feel represented by them? But, actually the HRC was righteous in this example and united with Black LGBT groups on this recent debacle.

As UCCers we have personal relationships with Jesus that are a lot different than most Christians. We take seriously people being able to be who God created them to be. And that means letting people represent themselves. If the overwhelming number of Black gay Christians and their organizations asked Obama to let four Black pastors speak for them (and two of them were even straight progressives), then who is Obama to choose a white pastor? I seriously doubt Jesus would have picked a white pastor. Jesus would know the double-hell Black gay Christian were going to catch from the homophobes in their family who were now more convinced than ever that gay=white. Hey, "even Obama thinks so!"
commented by Blogger cybergrace, 11:16 PM  

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