September 26th, 2010
06:55 PM ET

Opinion: Why black church culture rejects homosexuality

By Shayne Lee, Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Shayne Lee, Ph.D, is an associate professor of sociology at Tulane University. He is the author of "T.D. Jakes: America's New Preacher," which analyzes major changes in the black church culture and contemporary American religion, and co-author of "Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace," which looks at the appeal of celebrity preachers.

As a sociologist who studies black churches, my research allows for compelling conversations with some of our nation's most powerful religious leaders. But my most memorable interview to date was not with a celebrity preacher, but a lesser known young gay Christian I'll call David.

Like many black Christians, David grew up in a theologically conservative church culture that views the Bible as the authoritative word of God. This supplied David with a healthy dose of guilt and regret for succumbing to same-sex cravings, eventually leading to his despondent spiritual state. In gripping detail, David recalled spending many days and nights fasting and praying for God to "deliver" him from his homosexuality.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Black issues • Christianity • Church • Homosexuality • Opinion • Race

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