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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How Black Churchgoers are Disgracing the Civil Rights Movement

About a month ago, a YouTube video depicting the so-called exorcism of a homosexuality demon out of an African-American teenager caused a stir on the internet. The teenager, who was not identified, was seen writhing on the floor like an epileptic having a seizure. During this time, his so-called pastor was heard commanding the demon to leave his body while church members looked on and chanted. As a black man, I was totally disgusted and very embarrassed watching other black people behave so stupidly. African-American churchgoers appeared to have forgotten the struggles they endured and are still enduring to gain acceptance and basic rights in a predominantly white society. The blatant non-acceptance of this teenager as a normal human being by these parishioners mirrors the non-acceptance of blacks as normal human beings during the Jim Crow era. It is with extreme sadness to note that in terms of the treatment of homosexuals, black churchgoers have made a mockery of the Civil Rights Movement. The struggle that blacks once had in order to not be treated differently because of their skin color is arguably no different than the struggle homosexuals are having because of their sexual orientation.

Earlier this year, Jermaine Jakes—son of the popular televangelist, TD Jakes—was arrested one morning after midnight in Dallas, Texas, after he unknowingly dropped his draws to two undercover police officers. One could imagine how embarrassing this would be for any parent. But especially for TD Jakes, who has openly stated that homosexuality is a brokenness and that he would not hire a sexually active gay person. This hatred that Jakes preaches to those that foolishly listen to him not only distorts the Bible, but it has also helped to bring segregation back into the picture. This same attitude has been observed among several other so-called religious leaders, who have justified banning gays and lesbians from their churches simply because of their sexual orientation. Yet the child predators and women abusers are welcome with open arms.

What Jakes and several of these false Christians seem to forget is that there was a time that African Americans were also not welcome in churches. In fact, whites also used the Bible to justify slavery and the killing of blacks the same way that black parishioners are using it against homosexuals. One does not need to understand these facts from listening to anyone, they are easily documented in history books. One could learn from these same history books, or even a reputable news source, how many senseless wars have been fought over conflicting religious beliefs—and I stress the word beliefs—because they have never been proven as facts.

Here are some facts.

These so-called religious leaders preach about what Jesus teaches while they say that homosexuality is a sin. Yet in my research, I’ve yet to come across a passage in the Bible where Jesus spoke negatively against homosexuals. In fact, I don’t recall the word homosexuality ever appearing anywhere in the Bible. One could go further in questioning racists about where Jesus was quoted as saying that black people should not be treated equally as whites.

The best way to end this nonsense would be for black churchgoers to exercise more common sense in choosing their ministers. I once attended a church that was similar to the one displayed in the YouTube video. I admit that I loved the singing and that the minister was very charismatic. However I knew to draw the line the evening a guest pastor was invited. In his sermon he boldly spoke negatively about female and gay priests being ordained in the church. It was clear that everyone in the congregation, many who were women, accepted what this pastor by applauding him. I, on the other hand, could not. Simply because I’ve learned that discrimination in any form is ethically and morally wrong. In many cases it’s even illegal. If most of these black churchgoers would learn their facts from reputable sources instead of the charlatans in their churches, they would also learn to make better educated decisions on their own. Furthermore, it would help them differentiate real facts from Holy Crap.

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