Why are black preachers biased against homosexuals?
There used to be a time when the bastion of hope and community advancement was found in the pulpit in our neighborhood churches and the voices of our resident ministers. In most cases, whether in good or bad times, it was clear that the black church was there for its people. Presently, this may no longer be a reality.
Upon the public announcement by President Obama, that he supports the rights for all people, including gays to get married, many black extreme right-wingers instantly began to show their disdain for the president and his personal beliefs As a consequence, the president’s announcement has created uproar in the black Christian community. On the one side, there are some who are upset because they feel that the LGBT community is usurping the Civil Rights Movement, and others use this to both attack the president and reveal their homophobic predilections. Some black pastors are even trying to force the president to reverse his beliefs.
Some would suggest it is impossible for a minister to be homophobic and filled with hate. Unfortunately, we have seen examples of such hate in the past, whether it was via the Ku Klux Klan toward blacks or the way black churches have dealt with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Such views can only be fueled by hatred, albeit misguided. For example, many say they cannot support a president, even if they perceive he is doing a great job, if their Christian values and beliefs do not match his and he supports gay marriage. However, these same preachers have never held any of the white politicians in their states that have made the right for gays to marry law accountable in place like Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Personally, I, like many other blacks, have never liked the conflating of the civil rights with the gay rights movement. Yet still, most do not show the hated preached from or churches as individuals when compared to church leadership. And the loudest tend to be gay, whether it is a Patrick Jerome Whitehead or Eddie Long or the late James Cleveland.
The African American community is not a monolith, and there are many different segments with varied political and cultural beliefs. Homophobia has always been a factor among blacks and as a group tends to be more homophobic than whites. In California in 2008, exit polling showed that 70 percent of black people voted for Prop 8 (an amendment which restricted marriage to opposite sex couples only).
Moreover it is true that most, blacks disapprove of equating civil rights with the gay rights movement. However, in the past the church was in the forefront as a place for all, but it is clear that bigotry and the form of homophobia still runs rampant. I take it is OK for the choirs to be filled with members of the LGBT community and it is OK for them to place money in the collection plate, but to as for equal rights — that’s where it ends. The reason is that many actually are gay and hide their behavior with the Bible and by attacking others.