Is the Black Church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in the same-sex marriage debate?

black church

Before and since President Obama announced his support of same-sex marriage we at Wondaland have been talking about this subject. I REALLY want to know what you all think of this article and would love to hear your thoughts on same-sex marriage.

Happy Monday!

Love,

Jane

See the full text below from CNN writer John Blake:

(CNN) — Some people wonder if the black church will punish President Barack Obama for announcing support for same-sex marriage.

Here’s another question:

Why would the black church cite scripture to exclude gays when a similar approach to the Bible was used to enslave their ancestors?

“It’s so unfortunate,” says James Cone, one the nation’s most influential black theologians and author of “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.”

“The literal approach to scripture was used to enslave black people,” he says. “I’ve said many times in black churches that the black church is on the wrong side of history on this. It’s so sad because they were on the right side of history in their own struggle.”

Call it historical irony: Black church leaders arguing against same-sex marriage are making some of the same arguments that supporters of slavery made in the 18th and 19th centuries, some historians say. Both groups adopted a literal reading of the Bible to justify withholding basic rights from a particular group.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Opposition to gay rights is not the standard position of all black churches. Still, while several predominately white mainline denominations have officially accepted gays and lesbians in various forms, the vast majority of black churches still consider homosexuality a sin.

Black church leaders recently helped lead a successful drive to amend North Carolina’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The Rev. Fred Robinson, a black pastor in Charlotte, says most black churchgoers aren’t hypocrites. They take scripture, and sin, seriously.

“Black people are not confused,” Robinson says. “If you look at the scriptures that oppose homosexuality, Old and New Testament, they are clearer cut than the ones people used to justify slavery.”

Yet there are other factors beyond the Bible that shape the black church’s resistance to same-sex marriage.

“It’s more than scripture – it’s history, culture, how we were raised,” says the Rev. Tim McDonald, founder of the African American Ministers Leadership Council.

Some black church leaders are still fighting hard just to persuade straight black couples to marry. Accepting same-sex marriage when so many black households lack a husband and wife makes McDonald uneasy.

“I am not comfortable performing a wedding ceremony of the same sex,” says McDonald, an Obama supporter. “That’s just where I am.”

Some black pastors, however, embrace a literal approach to the Bible not just to exclude gays but to get rid of competition, says Edward Blum, a San Diego State University historian.

Some black pastors cite New Testament passages such as Paul’s demand that women keep silent in churches to argue against black women in the pulpit.

That argument is harder to make when black women’s energy and donations form the backbone of the black church, Blum says, but some still get away with it.

“The biblical literalist reading has kept male leadership in power in a church that is hugely female,” Blum says. “It keeps power in men’s hands.”

The one book that mattered

Black churches also embrace a literal reading of the scripture because of its unique history, says Blum, author of “W.E.B. DuBois, American Prophet.”

During slavery and segregation, many blacks saw the Bible as the one document they could trust. The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, state and local laws – all found some way to ignore their humanity, Blum says.

The Bible, though, was one book that told them that they weren’t slaves or three-fifths of a person, Blum says.

It said they were children of God.

“Throughout the 18th and 19th century, what document could they trust?” Blum says. “When the Bible says it’s so, it’s something that black people believed they could trust.”

Their enemies, though, used that same veneration of the Bible against them. Slaveholders had a simple but powerful argument when critics challenged them: Trust the Bible.

They cited scriptures such as Ephesians 6:5. (“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling. …”) And they said Jesus preached against many sins, but never against slavery.

Since the Bible is infallible, and scripture sanctions slavery, it must be part of God’s order, slaveholders concluded.

“Slavery is everywhere in the Bible,” Blum says. “When Americans who were in favor of slavery defended it with the Bible, they had a treasure trove of clear biblical passages that accepted enslavement.”

Blum says abolitionists found it difficult to mount an effective counterargument. They couldn’t just say trust the Bible. They preached another approach to scriptures.

They said you couldn’t enslave people based on the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. (Obama cited the Golden Rule and his Christian faith in supporting same-sex marriage).

“The abolitionist turned to the ethics and spirit of the Bible,” Blum says. “They were theological modernists before modernism.”

And what are black clergy and churchgoers today when they cite the Bible to oppose same-sex marriage?

Robinson, the North Carolina pastor, says they’re not homophobes.

“It says in the Bible that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God,” he says. “How do you explain that one away? A lot of honest Christians are not trying to hate homosexuals. They’re saying that if I take the Bible seriously, I’m not sure I can say it’s right.”

Robinson says that some opposition to homosexuality is actually based in compassion:

“If I’m concerned about your soul, I have to tell you the truth in love.”

Cone, who teaches at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, says black churchgoers opposed to same-sex marriage are instead mimicking their ancestors’ oppressors.

“I tell some people, ‘These people were against you.’ They would have lynched you. How are you going to now join them and help them lynch somebody else?’”

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/12/is-the-black-church-guilty-of-spiritual-hypocrisy-in-same-sex-marriage-debate/

45 Comments

  1. Society lead us to believe that being gay is wrong, so sad. This article has a lot of information and history, very interesting.

    Personally, I don’t think anyone should be discriminated by their sexual preference. Various studies will point to different, even conflicting positions, such as a combination of hormonal and environmental influences. Biological factors may be related to the development of a heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual orientation including genes and brain structure. Everyone will have their opinion and views to this topic.

    On the flip side, I love you Janelle and your band is beyond amazing, you guys deserve all the great successful things that are happening and wish I you all the best in the future!!

    Lola.

  2. MorningSunInMoscow

    Interesting article.

    When it comes to these controversial issues (slavery, women and gay rights, etc) in the bible, hypocrisies are bound to flare up. I think it would be unfair to say that the black church is more hypocritical on the issue of gay marriage than the white churches are. As the article states, whites did use the literal interpretation of the bible to enslave blacks, but white churches are just as hypocritical on the matter of marriage, but just in different ways. Just like the black churches, white churches believe in the literal biblical interpretation of marriage: Marriage between one man and one woman for long as you both shall live. The hypocrisy comes when divorce rates in American are over the 50% mark. Way to protect the sanctity of marriage.

    As a lesbian, but first as a human being, I not only believe in gay marriage, but equal human rights. We’ve walked into a conundrum many moons ago when someone thought it was a great idea to blend lawful human rights with religion. Now, the word “Marriage” which at one time SOLELY referred to the religious sacrament is now also the term we use for the legal partnership. Ay, there’s the rub.

    I am a strong believer that religion should remain as it it. I believe most gay people feel the same way. The law should have no say in religion. Separation of church and state. If God (or any deity in which one believes) says marriage is strictly between a man and a woman, then that should be that. No church should ever be forced to wed a same sex couple if it is against their religion.

    BUT every human should be afforded the same HUMAN and LEGAL rights as anyone else. That means that if 2 men or 2 women want to be together in a legal union, they should;
    1) be allowed to do so
    2) be allowed the exact same rights as all others who are afforded the right
    3) have it referred to by the same name.

    The problem now lies in the fact that the LEGAL union of 2 people is referred to by the same name as the RELIGIOUS sanction. Allowing me all of the same rights as a legally married straight couple yet having it called a “civil union” is not equal. I am being treated differently in the eyes of the law, even if only in name.

    My whole point is just this: Marriage should be strictly a religious matter. Legally, it should be referred to as something different, a “civil union” if you will. This way, there is a clear cut separation of church and state. Marriage remains strictly a religious sacrament which will then allow for ALL HUMANS to join in a legal union with whomever they choose and be treated the same in the eyes of the law.

  3. kryzdroid

    I totally agree with @MorningSunInMoscow.
    Churches don’t have to accept gay marriages, they even don’t have to accept homosexuality as something normal. It’s religion.

    But state isn’t church. It should allow people to live how they want to. Freedom above all :)

  4. @MorningSunInMoscow, I agree with your legal standpoint

    Socially, I’m disgusted at how my people have went from being The Discriminated to The Discriminator. I would think we would know better by now. Marriage by the way, is not solely a Christian tradition. And what if there was a Religion where Gays were encouraged get married? What would be the Christian argument then? What.. our Christian Religion is right and yours isn’t? Smh Of course they would use that argument. I’ve heard Churches condemn other religions, heck I’ve even heard certain Christian Denominations condemn other Denominations to hell because it’s not the “True Church” . Now, if you condemn other denominations of Christian churches to hell, how can I expect for these people to accept me? LMAO People need to learn there are other Laws to go by other than their Religious laws.

    So in my opinion, Yes…majority of Black Christians are being big Spiritual Hypocrites.

  5. Though I’m a black of the Catholic faith, I would have to agree with the statement in the article about the Black Church’s stance on same-sex marriage as also having roots in in history and culture, not just scripture. I will also agree with the statement by the pastor that not supporting same-sex marriage is not about hate, but speaking the truth in love.

  6. Regardless of whether I agree with a person’s faith, all people should be able to believe whatever they choose to believe – including those who subscribe to an organized religion. It is unfortunate that black Christians have been singled out so significantly on this issue. Various organized religions – not just black Christianity – believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Adherents to those faiths should be allowed to believe that. Just like others are allowed to believe that marriage can be between a man and a man or even between three or more people.

    On the issue of whether black Christians (and other Christians … and Muslims … and Jews) are using their sacred texts to ‘discriminate,’ it is worth noting that ‘slavery’ as defined in the Bible was drastically different from slavery in the United States. Those who taught that God justified the American slave trade were as guilty of historical ignorance, an inability to contextualize and poor hermeneutics as they were of racism. There is nothing in the Bible that supports slavery as it occurred in the U.S.

    I am not a Mormon – and have lots of issues with the faith. But as I watch how Mitt Romney is being dragged in the media for his faith, I, as a person of faith, can’t help but to wonder if this country that was founded on the principle of freedom of religion is moving to a place where we skewer people of faith. There are a lot of things that I believe in part because of my faith. I hope I am always free to believe them here in the U.S.. If not, then we’ve become a lot more like the countries our white forefathers left than they would have ever hoped.

    • MorningSunInMoscow

      I have to disagree with this comment…to an extent.

      ” I, as a person of faith, can’t help but to wonder if this country that was founded on the principle of freedom of religion is moving to a place where we skewer people of faith.”

      I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t think the majority of people in the country are trying to “skewer people of faith”. I actually see it the opposite. People with very strong religious beliefs are trying to force their beliefs on certain religious issues onto others, thereby trying to take away those certain people’s human rights. When this happens, of course there is going to be harsh backlash. If there was a religion out there that said people with red hair weren’t allowed to marry because they have no souls, the rest of the country would be in outrage because that claim is outrageous.

      The church is trying to take away LEGAL rights of certain people. The country is just standing up for those rights. And I, for one, am proud of it.

    • You can see the opposite, but you’re only looking from your perspective. I challenge you to try to look from the other.

      Supporters of gay marriage and supporters of traditional marriage BOTH are looking at one another saying your beliefs are wrong, your opinions are wrong, your faith is wrong, your worldview is wrong, your sense of morality is wrong. This is not a one-sided attack. That’s why it’s called a culture war. There are two sides in this thing attacking each other while trying to protect themselves. Allowing one side to play the victim and the other the bully is not helpful.

      Supporters of traditional marriage are diverse – and all of them aren’t ‘very strong religious’ people, so let’s not turn this into a ‘religious people’ against irreligious people issue. There are people who do not subscribe to a particular faith who would prefer to see marriage be between a man and a woman – and they are making their voices known.

      The ‘church’ is diverse. Not everyone professing to be a Christian thinks alike. In fact, Obama said it was his Christian faith that led him to support same-sex marriage. So please let’s be careful in our generalizing about church people. It’s not fair and it’s not helpful.

      Technically no one is ‘trying to take away those certain people’s human rights,’ because you can’t take away a human right that you don’t already have.

      If there were religious people out there that said I believe redheads can’t marry, they’d be free to believe that. That’s the awesome thing about America. And if you think Americans would universally be up in arms, you’re deceived. Apathy is HUGE in America – and I think that manifests most clearly at the polls.

      Right now same sex marriage is a state’s rights issue. If polling is correct in saying that the majority of Americans currently support same sex marriage, then why aren’t they putting some action to their beliefs?

      Two years ago, while living in a state that took the marriage issue to the voters, voters overwhelmingly approved of marriage as being between a man and a woman. At dinner the night of the results, a bunch of young professionals ripped into the state’s voters about being ‘narrow-minded, Bible-thumpers.’ But how many of those young professionals do you think actually went to the polls to vote? If they cared so much about the rights of their gay friends, why not do something about it when given the opportunity? Their sitting on their butts and doing nothing when asked to made them as ‘guilty’ of denying gays the chance to marry as those who actually went and voted to keep marriage between a man and a woman.

    • MorningSunInMoscow

      ETS, let me just quickly clarify: The only reason I strictly used the religious as the main culprit in my last statement was because I was responding to your statement on freedom of religion. I can easily broaden my last comment to encompass MANY different groups or individuals in America. I simply stuck to Religious groups in response to one of your statements.

      And I’m not saying that anyone’s religion is wrong. I’m a Catholic. I don’t think my religion is wrong. I have Jewish friends. I don’t think their religion is wrong. So on and so forth. People are free to hold whatever beliefs they choose. The issue comes up when they are infringing upon the civil rights of others. And regardless of what you say, marriage is a civil right. No, we may not have that right at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ok to KEEP that right from us.

      I 150% agree with you that this country is generally apathetic. It’s sad. What doesn’t affect one directly isn’t thought of as a genuine issue. But as we already determined, we can’t generalize a population. There are many in America (and all over the world for that matter) who let apathy take over. But there are MANY who are willing to take a stand for the legal human rights of others. And THAT is a beautiful thing.

      I have no desire to diminish anyone’s religion. Like I said, any religion should have the right to believe what they will. But this nation cannot and should not be governed by those beliefs. They should be governed by what is just and fair.

  7. Honestly I think its just another one of those things that is left up to an individual’s interpretation. And there are way too many factors that shape one’s opinion. Two people can sit and read one thing in the Bible and draw two completely different conclusions from it. We’re not always going to agree with every pastor as Christians, but we shouldn’t let our differences divide us. Theres religion…and then theres love. God is love so its a matter of standing firm in His love and not letting the opinions, interpretations and conclusions of others alter our own beliefs. When its all said and done the only thing that matters is a person’s heart. Equal rights for ALL!

  8. We can quote scripture as much as we like, but that just distracts from the point of religion as something to enhance one’s life, not restrict it. Even the most conservative religions like Islam have compassionate intentions that have become misguided by gross misinterpretations of scripture. And it has been proved that faith and equality can co-exist: in Denmark it is the church that leads the push in favour of marriage equality. I think the hypocrisy lies not in the reference to slavery, but in the inability of certain churches to see the full picture, and in their assumption that an injustice that has existed for hundreds of years is still an injustice. Chris Gregoire, the Washington governor responsible for pushing the new marriage bill is proof that a devoted Christian can hold egalitarian beliefs not in spite of her faith, but because of it.
    Here in Britain, it is not local churches that are the issue, rather 3 or 4 conservatives that get a disproportionate amount of media exposure. So many news articles quote Keith O’Brien, even though he speaks for only the most extreme of opponents. Vicars are being pressured into giving anti-equality sermons, and risk shame if they conduct a ceremony for a SS couple they know and love, regardless of their personal views. I for one will not allow the ignorance of the few to dictate something so central to my life as my marriage, especially if they claim discrimination to be part of God’s mandate.
    The key argument I hear is that the LGBT community is somehow trying to ‘redefine’ marriage, and take away the church’s religious freedom. What about my religious freedom as an atheist? Or the religious freedom of the Liberal Jews who are asking to be allowed to perform SS weddings in the UK? When women got the vote, we did not redefine voting. We just made the system fairer for everyone, and strengthened democracy as an institution. It’s no different with marriage.

    Would love to hear how you respond to my thoughts Janelle. Drop me a reply if you want x

    • ‘The key argument I hear is that the LGBT community is somehow trying to ‘redefine’ marriage, and take away the church’s religious freedom. What about my religious freedom as an atheist? Or the religious freedom of the Liberal Jews who are asking to be allowed to perform SS weddings in the UK?’

      This is the key point. SOMEBODY’S religious freedom/faith/worldview/beliefs/opinions are going to be lost in this. No matter how you dice it, when this thing is all said and done, someone will walk away with the message ‘People who believe what you believe are not welcomed here.’

  9. My answer?

    The “black church” is most certainly guilty of hypocrisy in the same-sex marriage debate. I’d go even further to say that the majority of those opposed to same-sex marriage are guilty of hypocrisy.

    Who has given the right to tell people who can and cannot marry?

    It is baffling that in 2012, same-sex couples have to fight for rights to marry just because the popular (religious) voting opinion believes it’s wrong. Furthermore, marriage is not solely a religious issue. While many religions celebrate and honor the beauty of marriage, marriage is also exceptionally a legal entity. I’d say that marriage is more so legal than anything, considering it requires documentation and introduces a plethora of new rights and privileges. The religious aspects of marriage are great, but they couple WITH the legal aspects. Remember: you can get married in a courthouse as well as a chapel.

    The fundamental basis of marriage being “wrong” is based on religious opinion and adherence to religious belief. While I’d never ask anyone to change their religious view-I think something is said for not allowing religious views to not govern relationships for the entire nation. If one personally chooses to not marry someone of the same-sex because of religion…then by all means, don’t. Live your life, and let those in same-sex couples do what they want.

    According to the first amendment of the constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”-a point that leads to the common phrase: the “separation of church and state.” With this law of the constitution in mind, same-sex marriage should honestly be a non-issue. Religious (the church) opinion and belief should not affect political governance and rights (the state). The two shouldn’t even be discussed together.

    Politicians must be open-minded (on this issue amongst others) and realize that even if you personally disagree with something, that you and your religion do not speak for everyone. This issue is paramount, and without this understanding, historical accounts of injustice will merely repeat.

    When concerning our president, I personally applaud his statement and view on same-sex marriage. I find it amazing to have a leader whom first observes, then learns, studies, and then makes a decision. For those who support other candidates’ stalwart and immovable opinions-I must disagree…I find it comforting to know that my president actually considers issues and thinks about them, even when popular opinion may be otherwise.

    On the issue of hypocrisy, a reverend on MSNBC’s “Chris Matthews’ Hardball” stated something along the lines that many African-Americans are torn between what to think about President Obama. They supported him before, and want to support the first black president; however their views on him have completely altered because of “what he stands for.” I find this to be HIGHLY illogical. First, you should never have voted for president Obama because had African American lineage. Vote because of the issues and whom you believe will be best for the job. Let’s say Obama wasn’t running this election, and let’s also say that Herman Cain was the republican nominee (ha)…I would certainly NOT vote for him. I could care less that he’s black-I disagree with his vision. Secondly, because Obama supports same-sex marriage doesn’t change “what he stands for.” If you agreed with him until this opinion, this ONE opinion didn’t change him. If anything, its testament to the power of analyzing an issue that is important to a very large population of the nation.

    To close, I’d say that the voters, who vote based off of religious opinion alone, are doing the nation a great disservice. I personally love God, and I have faith, however, I do not have a religion. I don’t condemn religions; I just choose to not follow one. I make decisions with religious tolerance and ambivalence. Religion can just as easily divide as it can unite. I mean, this article states a difference in opinion from the “white church” and the “black church.” Why on Earth in this day in age are churches split on opinion and split in race!?”

    I think that to make great decisions for a number of people, you cannot have predetermined answers-you have to look at all sides.

    Best of luck to you all, and thanks Janelle for posting about this issue!

    • The Black Church is not a hypocrite because they came from slavery. There are no literal passages about slavery in regards to african americans. All Slavery in the Old testament related to Egypt/Israel or Israel/Israel and Israel/Everyone Else. Although the new testament acknowledges Slavery, it does not support slavery. The bible does have literal passages regarding homosexuality (I will ignore all old testament passages here). Also, even though Paul wrote what he wrote about women in the church, he also wrote to female leaders in some of his churches (look of Lydia, Phoebe, and Timothy’s mother). He also said there is no male or female, jew or gentile, slave or free in Christ. The new testament does not support homosexuality, just like it does not support sex outside of marriage, and it strongly discourages divorce. Christians might be hypocrites if they have sex outside of marriage, or get divorces, but not because their ancestors were considered subhuman slaves and lynched for amusement, and revenge.

      Most if not all Black Christians today, Acknowledge homosexual people as humans, that deserve rights. They are outraged at hate crimes (this might have been different in the past). Black Christians are no more hypocritical than a white, asian, latin, or african Christian. People are changing, and I am not sure why you are so surprised about religion and rights, because these things take time. It’s taken black people at least 200 years, and they still have not arrived yet. On the other hand the Gay rights movement has been around for 47 years, and they’ve made a lot of progress. They will continue to progress, but don’t forget that it takes time for people to grow. The poles clearly show that people’s views are changing about homosexual marriage, it just takes some people longer than others.

      I agree that the marriage issue is a small issue, because there is not much that Obama could do even if he wanted to. Obama told everyone he would end up at this point 4 years ago, when he supported civil unions, and said his views where evolving. This was the only place it could evolve to. I think it was a surprise he did it now (even he was surprised), but it was inevitable.

  10. I think that if the church leaders read the Old Testament in its original Hebrew, or at least researched the passages from that perspective, they would have NO doubts regarding what it says about gay people and even slavery. Unfortunately, the worldview of every church leader is tainted by the ancient Greek culture where a man is his own god, who gets to decide what’s right and wrong.

    On the other hand, I agree with the many points mentioned above regarding the separation of church and state. And true–there are plenty of white churches and churchgoers and entire denominations who are opposed to same sex marriages, so it’s not fair to single out the black ones only because the President is black. Just because the black President says something, it doesn’t mean that ALL black people are or should be of the same opinion. Clearly, we all are human and have a tendency to err.

  11. EssKayGA

    People have the right to believe whatever they want, and I, as a God-loving lesbian, have the right to get married. We as Americans are supposed to be free from church rule, yet people are successfully using religious doctrine to deny gay people their civil rights. All marriages in America are civil unions. You can get married in whatever church under whatever God you want, but unless you have that government license (common law states excluded), your marital status has not legally changed. Neither Christians nor homophobes nor homophobic Christians invented marriage, so why some feel that all people should be governed by their beliefs is beyond me and seems appallingly arrogant.

    When we say ‘One nation under God,’ we never specify whose God. Athiests and people of other religion and opposing denominations get married all day, every day, yet the black church doesn’t have shit to say about that, so it’s clear this isn’t just an issue of upholding what the Bible says. If that was the case, people would have to stop coming up with excuses for picking and choosing which parts of the Old Testament are still supposed to be followed based on what vices they don’t want to give up.

    I’ve experience the vitriolically opposed black churches and the “truth-in-love” black churches, and I’m disgusted by them all. Don’t do me the favor of damning me to hell in love. If I don’t believe I am wrong and a sinner for being gay, why would you think I’m going to welcome you trying to pray the gay out of me or calling for my black community to trample on my civil liberties like I’m a second-class citizen?

    So, yes, I do think the black church in a general sense is hypocritical, but so are the white church, Christians of other colors, and many people of other religions. Clearly, the black vote alone cannot pass all these oppressive laws and amendments. I find it amazing, baffling, and frightening how so many seem to have forgotten what happened the last time the human and civil rights of a group of people were “left up to the states” and decided by a biased majority, they don’t see the foolishness going on in Arizona and Texas right now. Those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Some of these politicians are already undoing women’s rights piece by piece. How long do you think it’ll take for them to get back around to black people?

  12. Ok Janelle, you said you want to know (my)(our) thoughts, so here ya go… I understand both sides of this issue. I’m not gay myself, I’ve even been called “homophobic” back in my high school days, mainly because gay guys made me a bit uncomfortable. But now I’m more mature, and as for this issue, personally I’m FOR bringing more Happiness & Love into our world. And if gay people want to marry because they believe that’ll make them more Happy & Loving, then I don’t stand in the way of that. I say let them be. Let them get married. Let them be as Happy and In Love, as any of us heteros. I’m AGAINST haters and their ignorant judgements of people (unless I know the hates and I just accept them being who they are). Guess I treat some of these haters the same as I treat homos, I let them be themselves. Just like I want to be respected for being myself.

    P.S. If I seem a lil ignorant in my comment, then oh well my bad, that’s how I am at this point

  13. Which term do you mean.. I’m guessing homo? Well if so, then are you also sensitive to the term hetero? If you’re a homo and I’m a hetero, than am I being equally derogatory towards us both? I’d like to know…

    • MorningSunInMoscow

      You would be true with that statement if one thing weren’t true: The derogatory term “homo” was created and used out of hate in order to oppress and depress a certain population of people. That was never the case of the term “Hetero”.

    • Okay well I won’t act like I had no idea homo could be used in a derogatory way. I was thinking more like how humans come with blood types A, B, and O, same as how humans come with sexual preferences Hetero, Homo, and Bi-sexual. I usually thought of homo as more of a PG or maybe PG-13 type of word, where as faggot of dyke are more mean R-rated derogatory terms, used for hurting feelings or bullying, and are unnecessary. So is “gay” the most proper, clean, respectful way of distinguishing those from “straight” people?

      Keep in mind, all these names and terms we’re talking about here, are just labels that can never fully define who we REALLY are (we’re all included in this no matter who or how any person is). We are always much greater beings underneath and beyond any names, terms, or labels that are put on us, especially by haters.

      Remembering that, hopefully we’ll all be less insulted by derogatory terms and name-calling. However, if people want to share their point of view, or even debate or argue, that’s fine with me. But it’d be nice if people would apply their inner strength and not get upset or let their feelings be hurt so easily.

      Peace

    • Nathan, between you and ETS, I’m going to be able to strike out on my Derailment Bingo board (Google it, the image, it’s fantastic).

      There are no negative connotations about being straight. No one is going to attempt to kill you if you kiss your girlfriend. You could even propose to her using the Jumbotron at the Superbowl and people are going to cheer, not jeer, because as far as the general populous is concerned, nothing is out of place. I can’t make fun of you because you’re straight (“Oh my god, he’s so straight. Ugh. Straight people, next thing you know they’ll be humping inanimate objects”) nah, being straight is the norm. I’m straight so I won’t catch crap about that if I date or express like towards a guy. Morning can’t do that because of lacked privilege in her orientation.

      And yes, “homo” is insulting because it dehumanizes and puts linguistic focus on what makes that person “different” because we don’t talk to straight people that way, identify them strictly by simply who they like to date. No one’s going to call you a “het” and base all interactions with you because of that, bringing it up in convos, asking prying questions, etc. PG, R, NC-17, X-XXX, it doesn’t matter what movie rating you give it, nothing good comes from sounding like Westboro Baptist Church.

      Labels, lol. Word have power and labels exist for a reason. There are good labels (“This is cereal, that is breakfast but can be eaten at night” Three labels used: Cereal, breakfast, night)and bad labels. They identify things. Now, there’s a good way and bad way to identify things. We can’t have good conversation if you don’t learn what will and won’t offend people because how can we have chats if someone’s pissed? If you think labels and names are meaningless then you’d be fine with being called Dimwit McGee because I think of Nathan from Nate Wonder and I don’t want to connect him with derpiness but I’m going to assume you wouldn’t.

    • No derailment here. I’m actually sticking to the original question and refusing to look at this issue microscopically, but putting it in context.

      I have no examples of the types of discrimination you’ve mentioned happening to straight people. But a lot of what you mentioned actually does presently happen to people of certain faiths and I believe that much of the coverage directed towards the ‘black church’ (a community that I’m not even a part of) is a masked hostility towards people of faith who interpret texts and practice faiths differently.

    • Very valid points there, Olivia. I get it now. But next time, do you think you could make your replies a little longer and more detailed? lol ( j/k )

  14. I think one of the main problems is that religious institutions think they have a monopoly on marriage. errrr, wrong. Not everyone is religious or wants to get married in a church.

    If people could just open their eyes, and do a little research, opponents to same sex marriage would learn that before colonization in America, numerous Native American societies were marrying people of the same sex, along with opposite sex couples. Not to mention and honoring and uniting couples who did not fit gender norms such as transgender and two spirited people. (two spirited meaning folks who carry the masculine and feminine within them)

    I live in Canada, and we’ve had same sex marriage where I live since 2003. And the more straight folks realize that this legislation doesn’t affect or harm them or the institution marriage in any way, the more public opinion has grown for equal rights. And the worries religious folk have about marrying same sex couples if it goes against their beliefs are unfounded. In Canada certain religious groups are never forced to marry same sex couples if they don’t want to.

    Opponents need to calm the fuck down and get there facts straight. Something you’d think straight people would be good at. lol.
    Love and happiness is worth the struggle.

  15. Aw, some threads are frozen, I think. Just when I managed to fish out my derailment bingo board.

    Ah wells. I don’t 100% agree with considering the Black church being guilty of spiritual hypocracy in the same-sex debate, I just think that the church sees itself different from the same sex debate when compared to slavery. Considering the history of Black Christianity, (restricting everything to the Americas) and White Christianity, it kind of makes sense why Black Christians and White Christians would perceived the same book differently. One, White Christianity, is using it as their norm and even to justify what they’ve done sewn into what they were already taught (the scripture of slavery as mentioned in the article and also the story of Cain and Abel and the son of Ham story which kinda made the whole “enslaving another human being” mental blow land softer because as they saw it, they weren’t harming innocents but descendents of terrible beings/not-fully-humans) and the other, Black Christianity, is using it to justify that they are indeed people and to make some sense of the world they’ve been cruelly chucked in. So it makes sense they’re going to cling to that like it’s air and if you pass that down generation after generation, it’s going to permeate deeper and deeper to the point it becomes part of the Black gaze. All this block o’text winds down to White Christians used the Bible to justify their thinking (tho abolitionists also used the Bible to challenge the idea as well and rightfully call bulls**t) and Black Christians figured that part was wack but the whole “Jesus loves you no matter what [on particular conditions]” sounded pretty good and a whole lot better than being compared to cattle and interalizing the dehumanization. Black Christians didn’t see being gay and being enslaved as the same thing possibly because it wasn’t a collective experience that affected them the most at that moment. Instead, they saw that the slavery stuff was interpretation but the gay stuff being a solid and unbreakable rule in the Bible. (If it was all rambles and confusion, I blame my sleepiness)

    The part where I think it is hypocrasy is the “Hey! Bigotry sucks – oh my god a homosexual, run before they hump us all to hell and spread the disease to our precious and straight children!” part. Sometimes a bigot can’t tell they’re letting their intolerance show if they’ve been raised in a culture where the intolerance is normalized. If you’re taught that being gay is an abomination and that you’re going to hell for it and people who are gay are some of the weirdest, freakiest, wayward people you’ll ever experience and that’s the norm in thinking, you’re not going to get a Prop 8 protester out of all of that. Just like if you think that Blacks are the laziest, most vile and wicked people who are no brighter than the mop they clean with and that’s the norm in thinking, you’re far likelier to get a Rick Santorum than anything else. Since Christianity tends to be the lynchpin in Black culture and the Black mindset, heterosexuality (preferably the male-dominated and rape culture justifying sort, apparently) is stomped in to the point other sexualities have a hard time being portrayed correctly. Homosexuality even gets to be logged as Whiteness (“Gay? You’ve been around too many White people. What Black people you know is gay? You just need Jesus, that’s all. Keep the Devil and his lies away”) as a way to herd a particular idea of Blackness, which is kinda limited in itself.

    The part that I find the most striking is dragging religion into this at all. If someone does not agree with something due to their religion, that’s on them. I’m Pagan, why would I care what a Christian think is right for me? Law should be most beneficial to all and make sense to all. For example: “murder”. We can all pretty much agree, regardless of religion, that homicide should be illegal generally. Not color what kinds of murder is or is not acceptable to one religious preference because it’s not fair to others, especially in a nation that’s technically not supposed to be tethered to any particular spiritual belief anyways. If Christians don’t like same-sex marriage, then fine, they don’t but they shouldn’t have their beliefs become the laws I and my friends and other people of different faiths have to live with because it means those laws are poorly supported by a one-dimentional perspective, not well supported by sound logic that can be generally agreed upon, regardless of background.

    And one final part, what ETS said: “This is the key point. SOMEBODY’S religious freedom/faith/worldview/beliefs/opinions are going to be lost in this. No matter how you dice it, when this thing is all said and done, someone will walk away with the message ‘People who believe what you believe are not welcomed here.’” I would have totally trolled right here if I wasn’t so sleepy so I’ll just call bulls**t. It’s bulls**t because it sounds like someone doesn’t wanna give up their religious privilege because I can say for fact we already have ideas here in America where the message is pretty clear “People who believe what you believe are not welcomed here”, ask Muslims if you’re fuzzy. The law is easing up to allow more people, not just people Christianity want to green light, to have equal rights because being married is not a Christian right or privilege, it’s not even a strictly Christian concept given marriage occurs in every religion in some shape or form, even in religions that are older than Christianity. So the “religious freedom/faith/worldview/beliefs/opinions” that are going to be lost are the ones that should have gone the way of the Betamax a long time ago. It’s called evolution, not a bad theory. And how are you losing freedom in any sort when making room for more freedoms? That makes no sense.

    • Hey Olivia! How do you feel about the Prime Law (as far as a Law being most beneficial to all and making sense to all, goes)? I’ll post it below:

      The Prime Law®*

      (The Fundamental of Protection)

      Preamble

      *The purpose of human life is to prosper and live happily.

      *The function of government is to provide the conditions that let individuals fulfill that purpose.

      *The Prime Law guarantees those conditions by forbidding the use of initiatory force, fraud, or coercion by any person or group against any individual, property, or contract.

      Article 1

      No person, group of persons, or government shall initiate force, threat of force, or fraud against any individual’s self, property, or contract.

      Article 2

      Force is morally-and-legally justified only for protection from those who violate Article 1.

      Article 3

      No exceptions shall exist for Articles 1 and 2.

    • Looks like a lol’ler-coaster to me. I take it you found it on the Twelve Visions Party website and did a copy and paste. Why they have that R there like it’s under a division of Tyco or something is beyond me – I mean, did they actually trademark that word? – but eh, I needed something to laugh at. Looking at this stuff, I think that they should put their energies better somewhere else, there’s already the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as greenlighted by the United Nations. That already maps out what is considered humane or not, such as law not benefitting one or another religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and/or background.

    • Haha I did copy & paste it from the Twelve Visions Party website right here:
      http://tvpnc.org/the-prime-law/

      And here is the link to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
      http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

      I like the Prime Law better, because it’s much more simple, you could even memorize it. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is so long I didn’t even feel like completing reading it. It’s definitely more complex & descriptive.But what else do you know about the Twelve Visions Party’s intentions? (Oh nevermind I’m getting way off topic)

  16. Hi Janelle

    I’m a big fan of artists like yourself who are not afraid to speak their mind, discuss and support causes that are important to them and wider society. I applaud you for exploring issues like this, which can attract very polarised opinions. I’m black/ dual heritage, and my father is retired now, but he was the head of a religious denomination in the UK (United Reformed Church), and brought up his children to respect everyone and not to judge.

    He was and is, very supportive of gay rights, and gay ministers in his churches, because he follows the religion of the New Testament and love and harmony, rather than the Old. I have plenty of gay and lesbian friends and my life is richer because of it. If one believes in God, they must also believe that She made us all…

    I personally believe marriage is out moded, should only be for religious people (which I’m not really) and in the UK, it is only really useful for tax purposes; but I’ve been to about a dozens weddings (gay and straight) and I’m always touched by people who are prepared to make a lifelong committment. Whether a couple are same or opposite sex or race makes no difference in my eyes, the only important thing is that they take their vows seriously.

    I definitely think we in the black community have a problem with homophobia, whether it comes from the macho-side or the religious-side of our culture, I find it can be patronising at best and barbaric at worst. I hope you continue with your social activism as your career develops. Peace and love from London, England.. xx

  17. The Black Church has a long history of hypocrisy on many levels. It’s as if once you go beyond it’s doors all brain activity ceases. “My God” tells me that it’s Love. Anything who’s foundation is based and rooted in love is Godly. Besides, who can honestly judge me, other than the supreme entity that I serve?

    Him…

  18. I believe it isn’t in the power of any man to lay judgement on another for what ever reason it maybe; Not when we all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God. Is same sex marrage and sexuality a sin? It very well might be but it is no different from the judgement they are casting this very moment. So if the homosexuals are indeed sinning, so are the people that judge them. I personally do not agree with homosexuality but i will not judge it I will not pervert and twist Gods word to work in the favor of my own personal opinion. Let every man life how he choose to live for only HE will be rewarded or judged when the lord comes not you so don’t concern yourself with. And only God can judge so don’t try to take God’s place.

  19. Undeniably consider that which you stated. Your favourite justification seemed to be at the internet the easiest
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  20. Personally I do not think the Black Church is guilty of spiritual hypocrisy if they choose not to support same sex marriage. However, if they insist on calling themselves the “Black” Church, they are guilty of spiritual hypocrisy as the Bible tells us that every human being is an equal child of God descended from the same original parents, so we can’t go and divide the church up along racial lines.

    According to the Bible, there is a simple explanation as to why the world is so completely filled with horror and destruction including slavery. God, being a God of love, and desiring to create beings capable of loving Him back created humanity with free will, as love cannot exist without the free will to choose it. But this of course opened the way for human beings to turn away from God. Since the God of the Bible is a God of perfect love, justice and peace, then all that can exist outside of Him is hate, injustice, pain and war. So by turning away from God, Adam and Eve brought these Godless conditions into the world, which was from that moment under a curse.

    The Bible is pretty clear that this world we are living on is fallen and broken. Things like slavery will never be gone from the world we are currently living on. Slavery, like poverty, pain, war and suffering will continue on this earth until it is destroyed in the final judgment.

    Therefore the Bible never tells people to try to completely eradicate slavery. Just as Jesus said ” The poor you will always have with you…” (Mark14:7) we will also always have slavery with us in this world. That doesn’t mean that the Bible condones poverty or slavery. It merely states that it is an unavoidable condition of a fallen world.

    The verse regarding poverty from Mark 14:7 concludes in this way “…and you can help them any time you want.” It’s important to keep this in mind. Jesus is telling us that while we are going to have to accept that we will never be able to overcome the evil of this world, we mustn’t just throw our hands in the air and do nothing. Even though poverty will never be eradicated, it is our duty to try to alleviate it.

    Likewise with slavery as the apostle Paul makes clear in 1 Corinthians when he states “Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you–although if you can gain your freedom, do so.” This shows the attitude Christians are expected to have to the miserable conditions on Earth. The Bible shows that slavery is not a good thing, but unfortunately some people will be slaves and they will not be able to escape from it in this lifetime.

    So I think it’s pretty silly that anyone is attempting to argue that black Christians are hypocritical about slavery. Especially in light of what God says to prove how great he is right before he gives out the ten commandments to Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” If God thinks slavery is so great, why would he use this statement to prove how much the nation of Israel owe to him?

    On the other hand, the Biblical teaching on homosexuality and marriage is extremely clear. If you don’t like it or aren’t willing to accept it then you have no option other than to reject Christianity altogether.

    No matter which way you look at it, whether from a religious or secular perspective, homosexuality cannot be called normal. It makes no evolutionary sense as gay people are not the fittest to reproduce and pass on their genes, and it makes no sense if you assume a creator who designed the human body since the reproductive systems of men and women are complimentary.

    The causes of homosexuality have not been firmly established, however it is likely a combination of psychological, environmental (hormone disrupting chemicals etc) and genetic factors contribute. Since no “gay” gene has ever been located it seems that psychological and environmental factors are probably more significant than genetic ones.

    As a Christian I think God knows exactly what the causes of homosexuality are, and that they are neither beneficial or good. So rather than normalizing it with a marriage certificate, I think it would be better to investigate possible treatment options. For marriage relationships, the Bible shows us that an even balance of masculine and feminine factors is ideal. Even gay people seem to realize this on some level, as same sex couples will always have one partner who plays the more masculine role and one partner who plays the more feminine role. If it’s so normal to be in a same sex relationship, why all the heterosexual role playing I wonder?

    Janelle, I’m assuming you are a Christian of some description from some of the things you have said and your song lyrics. But if you support gay marriage I have to wonder why. Jesus was extremely clear and strict in his marriage teachings. So strict even his heterosexual disciples didn’t want to get married after hearing them. Once you start compromising on the teachings of Jesus Christ, you are on very shaky spiritual ground. If you think Jesus lied about something, then how can you believe he was the physical manifestation of God? I don’t see that you really have an option here. “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” (Numbers 23:19)

    I understand as a celebrity in a largely satanic industry, you are going to come under some heavy attacks from Satan when you talk about Jesus. He doesn’t want you talking about Jesus in front of millions of people, so he’s going be very angry and will be constantly tempting you to distort your message and mislead people. I think a big temptation for you is the massive approval the Obamas are giving you right now. Personally I don’t think it’s a good idea for Christians to publicly support any political parties or politicians since the Bible indicates that all governments are eventually destined to come under the total control of Satan. Remember what the Bible says about it: “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.” (Psalm 146:3)

    To conclude, on a biblical basis I do not believe that the Black Church is guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in the same sex marriage debate. But I think people who do support it and yet claim to be Christians are massive hypocrites since the Bible is so clear on this subject. You can’t have it both ways.

    Janelle, I think you have a good caring heart, and you are certainly one of the classiest acts out there and the best role model for girls I have seen in your industry. Just try not to go down the Oprah path.

  21. I think living in Modern Society, we really need to let go of the “This is not Natural” argument seeing as how, 90% of the things we do here is not natural. Do you own a car? Because Jesus walked. Also, since we’re going on the basis of what’s natural, I’m gonna need you to do more research on the Animal Kingdom because there are over 400 species of Animals in the wild that not only have Homosexual relations, but relationships as well. Matter of fact, here’s a little research for you just incase you Don’t feel like opening your mind and typing in the Search bar…Homosexuality in the Animal Kingdom And here’s a Playlist about it Out in Nature I understand that people have their own Beliefs about certain things and that’s fine, but Separation of Church and state is to ensure that Everyone has equality, no matter what religion or lack there-of.

  22. I have read so many comments and don’t really remember what the question was lol but I’d like to add that religion is a form of segregation in my opinion. I was raised baptist and of course taught that being homosexuality is a sin, a disgrace, almost like a disease. However as I have grown older and wiser and closer to God spiritually, I have found that love is love and a spiritual union is one that a religious union has no say so over. I have been exposed to many different religions and I find that no matter how much in common, there is always an underlining factor that leads to separation. So to love someone of the same sex is supposed to be the worst sin of all. I beg to differ. I think that wanting approval for same-sex marriage in a baptist church is a contradiction within itself. I dont feel that will bring forth equality. However to marry whomever you love in a spiritual union, in church, out of church, or wherever you’d like and to be respected and honored for your union through whatever benefits that heterosexuals are afforded is a huge step toward human equality. I’m glad Obama has raised this very controversial topic because now we a putting all of the USA’s injustices on the table for everyone to see and racism sexism classism religionism all need to be addressed. Obama is laying it all out and as they say people fear what they don’t understand. I’m all for One Love and burying all forms of discrimination. And for Obama 2012. One Love, c ;)

  23. Didn’t God destroy a town because of homosexual, same sex behavior? If he says homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom, its clear cut regardless of how u spend the other scriptures. God didn’t make a mistake, he didn’t say “I was wrong homosexuality is now ok.”. When he created us don’t our bodies coincide with each other, as opposed to the unnatural aspect of same sex fornication? U have same sex females wearing fake penises, and men going anal – all against how the body was created, by God, to perform unnatural sex acts. It’s not Gods will.

  24. here is what i think…

    all sin is just that…sin. all people sin. no one should judge. i kindof liked it back in the day when what people did behind closed doors was THEIR business. but now that it’s all out in the open…i still think that all sin is…sin. i just dont get WHY people focus on homosexuality so much! i mean, it is not like it is mentioned in the top ten (ten commandments) nor the seven deadly sins, nor have i ever read anything about Jesus (God Himself in the flesh) saying anything….ANYTHING about gay people. If so, could someone please reference the scripture? I said all that to say this: people really need to sweep their own porch before they go worrying about what other people do….if you have a problem with gay people, you have a problem with family, neighbors, teachers, judges, police, butchers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, theives, con-men, hustlers, etc etc etc….we are all the same basically and no one needs to judge. however, i DO NOT SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE because i dont CONDONE DIVORCE in any way shape or form. remember…just because you can do it, does not mean that you should.

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