In the past, African American churches were famous for leading and encouraging their congregation to get involved in the social and political happenings of their communities. This was most famously exemplified during the Civil Rights Movement.

Today, however, some black clergy are so disgusted at the choices for president that they are urging, if not demanding, that their followers do not vote on Election Day. The clergy are outraged that President Obama supports same-sex unions and they are afraid of a Mormon, as GOP nominee Mitt Romney is, whose religion looks down on those of African descent.

That’s a disturbing message for the nation’s first African American president, who can’t afford to lose any voters from his base in a tight race, says

Some black pastors and other ministers, says, claim their congregants are asking how a true Christian could back same-sex marriage, as President Obama did in May. As for Republican Mitt Romney, the first Mormon nominee from a major party, congregants are questioning the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its former ban on men of African descent in the priesthood.

In 2008, Obama won 95 percent of black voters and is likely to get an overwhelming majority again. But any loss of votes would sting.

“When President Obama made the public statement on gay marriage, I think it put a question in our minds as to what direction he’s taking the nation,” said A.R. Bernard, founder of the predominantly African American Christian Cultural Center in New York.

“By embracing gay marriage, President Obama is leading the country down an immoral path,” said William Owens, president of the CAAP, in a statement. “The black church has always been the conscience of America, and today we are calling on black pastors and black Christians to withhold support from President Obama until he corrects course. The man holding the most powerful position in the world is stooping to lead the country down an immoral path.”

“The hijacking of the civil rights movement by homosexuals, bisexuals and gender-confused people is unacceptable. There is no legitimate comparison between skin color and sexual behavior,” he said.

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Terry Shropshire

I'm a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.