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President Obama, Same-sex Marriage, and the Civil Rights Movement


The Democratic Party platform group have announced the platform they drafted will, like the did president recently, endorse same-sex marriage and remove references to God. The positions will undoubtedly be highlighted at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week.

Will the rest of the Democratic party follow suit and formally incorporate a pro-gay marriage position into the core of the Democratic party principle by endorsing this platform language that strips out traditional marriage and God?

Our advice as the Coalition of African-American pastors, most of whom are Democrat, is don't.

The mainstream culture welcomed President Obama’s recent confession that he personally supports same-sex marriage and has hailed it as another victory for civil rights. To many members of the African-American community, however, his announcement was disappointing and a hijacking of the civil rights movement.

Historically, the Black Church has always been the conscience of America. The civil rights movement showed America that discrimination on the basis of race was wrong, and those of us who marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. took to the streets opposing the immoral laws and cultural bias of the day.

In a letter to the President and Attorney General Eric Holder, we requested a meeting to discuss his ‘evolution’ on same-sex marriage.  We wrote: “We pray for the President…President Obama is the fulfillment of our dreams for our sons--and he has broken our hearts by using his power and position to endorse as a civil right something that is simply wrong.”

Rev. King used moral and natural law to defend his rejection of racial discrimination, citing St. Thomas Aquinas in his well-known Letter from a Birmingham Jail:  ‘An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.’”  To Rev. King, the laws discriminating against blacks in the middle of the last century were therefore unjust because they were disconnected from the moral and natural law.

The same-sex marriage movement, however, is an attempt to do the opposite of what Rev. King did. It’s an attempt by some, recently the NAACP, to use political power to declare that an act contrary to God's law and to the natural law is a civil right.

And to use the civil rights as a cover for such a cause is a hijacking of the movement, and we who were a part of that movement reject it. We who marched with Rev. King did not march one inch or one mile to promote same-sex marriage, and the NAACP has abandoned its historical responsibility to protect the civil rights movement.

In the same way, by embracing gay marriage, President Obama, our beloved son, has begun to lead the country down an immoral path.

As black pastors who must always adhere to the teachings of the Bible and our own consciences, we cannot approve of same-sex marriage and its normalcy in law or society, nor lead our congregations down that path.

Those in the gay community are rightly to be protected from violence and harassment, and to be able to vote, to hold jobs and enjoy the general rights of citizens. But no one, including Barack Obama, has a moral or civil right to redefine marriage.

We are deeply saddened to admit our once strong pride in the president has turned to shame. He has drifted—‘evolved’ as he puts it—away from the common truths we have traditionally shared.

As fellow Christians and African-Americans, we ask President Obama to stand with the black church on the word of God and evolve again back to the common sense Biblical view that marriage is the union of husband and wife.

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