When we go to the ballot box this November we should go with two things in mind, the importance of the selection we are making and the sacrifices of those who fought for those rights before us. Black people did not always have the right to vote, or many of the other rights that we take for granted. Today it seems as if some of our own people want us to go back in time by not exercising that right. Groups of Black pastors are urging their congregations not to vote, or to only vote how the pastor endorses. That in itself is is disgraceful. It is the very definition of indoctrination; this is when a pastor teaches someone to accept doctrines uncritically. Why would a pastor of all people be willing to tell the Black community not to exercise the right that so many fought and died for.
When these Black pastors get together and make decisions for an entire race it is counterproductive to what our ancestors fought for and essentially their legacies go in vain. It sends a very strong message of disconnect, and reinforces the stigma of Black ignorance. There is always some form of division going on within the Black community. This division has seemingly arisen because of Obama’s stance on gay marriage.
I want to ask the Black pastors who are rallying against the president over his stance on same sex marriage, what are their views on voter suppression? Their thoughts on young women having babies out of wedlock? And what about the continued violence in our community? It seems so easy to pick on the homosexual life style. This is a clear case of how the oppressed can become the oppressor. When was the last time some of these pastors talked about very real and pressing issues within their communities? Why aren’t they speaking out about the new Jim Crow, our failing school systems and the unequal justice system?
We have to combat this effort with knowledge. The very fact that a pastor who has great influence on people would advocate not voting to persecute a group of people is astounding. These pastors will just blindly sell themselves out for a super PAC such as the National Organization for Marriage that is funding this campaign to suppress the vote. I think some of these men of God should reassess what they are really about and how they are looking in their own communities. Voting helps with schools, funding in our communities and with jobs. Voting also, helps determine how our justice system works. To be as crass as to try to sway people from taking part in the voting process is disturbing to say the least.
When will these pastors realize that this is just a ploy to curb the Black vote. Patrick L. Wooten, pastor of the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, North Carolina, has been funded by the National Organization for Marriage (N.O.M.) to spearhead this movement. The director of the N.O.M is Brian Brown. Here is the ad that has been running on Black radio and TV stations in North Carolina.
“African-Americans proudly celebrated Barack Obama’s historic election as President in 2008. It was the African-American community that helped him win here in North Carolina, but President Obama has turned his back on the values of our community with his strong endorsement of the homosexual movement. We worked hard to pass the marriage protection amendment this past May. With the strong support of the African-American community, the amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman passed overwhelmingly. The very next day, President Obama came out for homosexual marriage. Now his campaign leaders are working to deny North Carolina’s ability to define marriage, and they want to overturn our state marriage amendment altogether. Join me in saying ‘no more’ to President Obama.”
Other pastors have signed on to this same rhetoric not fully understanding that when they tell their congregation not to vote for Obama most will not even vote at all. Pastor William Owens president and founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) had this to say about Obama, “he has disappointed us, and now we will not give him a pass because he’s black.” Source: Fox News
These types of views have entire congregations seriously pondering whether they will vote in this year’s election.
Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, had these views on the president’s opinion, “President Obama has betrayed the Bible and the Black Church with his endorsement of same-sex marriage. The Bible is crystal clear on this subject, and the Black Church strongly opposes same-sex marriage. His endorsement is an inadvertent attack on the Christian Faith. America is now a candidate for the same judgment received by Sodom and Gomorrah. This was a sad, sad day and a very bad decision, by our beloved President. The moral impact of this day and decision is equal to the military impact of AL-Queda when they attacked the Twin Towers on 911. Today’s announcement is a moral earthquake equivalent to a tsunami or hurricane that will have far more devastating results than Katrina.” Source: Christian Century
What is it that these pastors are so angry about? Is it just the simple fact that the president made his opinion public? Would theses same pastors be calling for their congregation to vote for the president if he had just stayed quiet on the subject altogether. He is the president of the United States, not a pastor or moral overseer of the United States. The lines that we choose to cross determine our character. Do we follow the lead of the pastor or do we use our own mind and do what so many fought hard for? It has not been very long since the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought this same fight. We have a right to vote how we choose in this country and we as citizens should not feel pressured by anyone when exercising that right.
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