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Is the black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in same-sex marriage debate?
Delman Coates at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church is among a minority of black ministers in Maryland who have endorsed gay rights.
May 12th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Is the black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in same-sex marriage debate?

By John Blake, CNN

(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?’”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Culture wars • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Politics

soundoff (4,348 Responses)
  1. hiphop

    Nobody hates gays! In order to hate something or someone it has to be actually of some importance to the person. Like, you can hate a dog that bit you, or peed on your leg. You hardly care about a dog that just walked by. As far as you are concerned, he doesn't exist! Same with gays. That's why they have to be in people's faces all the time, to be noticed. Still, people couldn't care less – they have more important things to worry about, like what's for dinner! 🙂

    May 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You are pure low life, low rent, low mentality, trailer park trash. Go watch Springer! And I hope a dog bites your nuts off and then pi*sses in your mouth!

      May 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  2. Vance

    It's amazing that this country is still governed or rather influenced by mythology. Regardless of your belief system allow everybody the same rights under the law. If you truly believe in a God or Gods or whatever, then you should realize your are not the one judging. Everyone will be held accountable on judgment day. ( As if) So all you allow man to express his free will. Our laws should reflect that, even from a religious point of view. Oh wait, this makes too much sense. Never mind. Carry on.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Fufu

      By all means lets give pedophiles, practicioners of beastiallity and rapist the same rights. After all they just naturally feel this way.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • UfUf

      "By all means lets give pedophiles, practicioners of beastiallity and rapist the same rights. After all they just naturally feel this way"

      These acts that you mentioned above brings harm to others, Gays have no harmful affect on others, its the others way around.

      May 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  3. WachetAuf

    There is something about all organized religion which makes all of them hypocritical. It is pure narcissism. Jesus Christ, if he were to come back to this earth, would not be recognized by any of his so called followers. He would, instead, be reviled. Neither would he acknowledge them. He is not one of them.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  4. hiphop

    Hey, it's nothing a good surgery won't cure! Just make a he into a she, and she into a he, and then they can get married (heshe married to a shehe!). Ha ha ha! I'm having so much fun I'm going to barf!

    May 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      The mathematician that was responsible for breaking the Nazi code ending world war 2 happened to be gay. Later he was arrested and given doses of estrogen for having a relationship with another man. Does that seem right to you hiphop?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  5. E

    The Holy Word of God speaks,

    "You shall not lie with a male a s with a woman it is an abomination" (Leviticus 18: 22)

    "If a man lies with a male as he lies with woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They surely shall be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them" (Leviticus 20: 13).

    "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what was against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1: 26 – 27)

    May 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • momoya

      The "Holey Turd of Gawd" also commands you to stone your children when they're disobedient and provides instructions on how to sell your teenage daughter into slavery.. Are you in favor of ALL of your god's commandments or just the ones you feel like going along with?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • E

      Momoya, I want you to know that "Jesus loves you." The Bible does not instruct us to stone our children. Can you provide the verse?

      May 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • JKhur

      Deuteronomy 21:18-21 – There yi=ou go E – actually it's the whole town that gets to stone your disobedient children.

      May 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  6. saoirse72

    Next time a Black person runs for office and gays oppose him can they also say Gays are hypocrites?

    May 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  7. hiphop

    In principle, all the zexual deviations are the same – the only difference is the object of their desire (same zex, corpses, children etc.). Since the only evolutionary "purpose" of any living thing is to replicate its DNA (in mammals through zexual reproduction)

    May 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You are truly lost in a world I would never ever want to venture into. It really has to be hard being you.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • hiphop

      voice of treason: Go f a horse!

      May 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  8. hiphop

    Gay Social Engineering Manifest Motto: Manipulate, Deceive and Influence.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Vehemently oppose Religion = Voice of Reason

      May 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Truth7

      It's amazing that studies have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that a huge percentage of gay people were mo.le.sted when they were children, but for some reason, they try to hide those facts.

      In one study, 46% of male hom.ose.xuals admitted to having been mo.le.sted as a child, compared to 7% of straight men.

      Why aren't people focusing on ending sick people who go after children? You know why? Because evil focuses on degradation and wants it to continue. Read Noah, Sodom and Gomorraha, it's all happening again. It's time to end this madness that is destroying lives. Does evil care about gay people? No. They will use them mercilessly to advance it's own agenda.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • JKhur

      Really truth? Whcih studies exactly are those again? ANd who paid for them? And what methodogy was used? Not all studies are created equal: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/index.html

      May 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  9. Pravda4u

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard yet. Gays trying to claim they are going through the same thing that African-Americans did is very insulting to the hell that they went through. This is driving a huge wedge between the gays and African Americans. Were gays sold into slavery by their own countrymen? Dragged thousands of miles away and treated like animals? The gay movement is losing their minds...

    May 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Fufu

      TRUTH

      May 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • John

      Amen.Could not have said it better

      May 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Polli

      I am really sick of the Media–ie, CNN and Fox, etc dictating what the issues are....they are sticking this gay thing down our throats and they should be making less of this. Obvioulsy there is something else going on they don't want us to know....

      Per 2000 Gallup poll Gays made up less than 1% of our population....in 2011 estimates were higher but specualtion of 5% was deemed inrelaible....

      Why are we being held at ramson by our Leaders over this 1%?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Pravda4u

      You said, "This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard yet."
      You're not the brightest bulb, are you?

      You said, "Gays trying to claim they are going through the same thing that African-Americans did is very insulting to the hell that they went through."
      Nobody is saying that. Nobody is claiming that the injustice done to gays even gets close to the atrocities committed against those held and sold as slaves. The argument is that the same justification is used for the injustice.

      The discrimination and hate perpetrated against gays is done, predominantly, based on the christian fairy tales. It is justified with bible quotes. It is forcing a belief upon others.

      You said, "This is driving a huge wedge between the gays and African Americans."
      Maybe it is because the African Americans have been thoroughly indoctrinated into christianity. Another holdover from darker times in American history.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Truth7

      They have to make a "lifestyle" equal to race in order to get their "rights". I feel for them, however, healing is available from God.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Vance

      I am African American and Straight. The Gay and Lesbian community are not losing their minds and not losing friends. They have had many of the tactics used against the African American community used against them. They have been beaten, discriminated against, had rights with held and lived in many cases in the closet. They have suffered unduly and that should be recognized and fixed.

      Just as some would argue that all races have been enslaved at some point, and that even Africans were slave owners, therefore the African American community should simply shut up. Well wrong is wrong. I don't need to make comparisons. Wrong is wrong. One struggle is no worse or better than another. It's a matter of perspective.

      PERIOD

      May 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Polli

      You said, "they are sticking this gay thing down our throats and they should be making less of this."
      Start by not discriminating against them and the issue will go away.

      You said, "Obvioulsy there is something else going on they don't want us to know...."
      ROTFLOL. Conspiracy theorist much?

      You said, "Per 2000 Gallup poll Gays made up less than 1% of our population....in 2011 estimates were higher but specualtion of 5% was deemed inrelaible....
      Why are we being held at ramson by our Leaders over this 1%?
      "
      Because bigots keep trying to force their delusions on society and discriminate against a disliked minority. Mind your own fucking business, and the problem goes away.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Truth7

      You said, "They have to make a "lifestyle" equal to race in order to get their "rights"."
      You've got to be a complete moron to think that being gay is a choice or a lifestyle. Choosing to believe the religious nonsense and living your life according to a fairy tale is a lifestyle choice.

      You said, "I feel for them, however, healing is available from God."
      Your imaginary friend doesn't exist anywhere outside your simple mind.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  10. be

    That darn gay agenda: Marriage; Family; and Service to Country.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  11. polycarp pio

    The author of this article is obviously repobate and I have found over my long years that to engage in debate with a repobate is a waste of time. The author forgets that many more christians read the very same scripture and did not find any justification for enslaving their fellow man, that was the great divide amongst north and south. If one wants to twist scripture to defend their position, they do so at their own peril. This LGBT crap is an abomination and is clearly delinated in scripture and to compare it to the enslavement of blacks shows how demented the justifiers are. PP

    May 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • saoirse72

      The problem is they want to call Blacks hypocrites after 400 years of forced labor. They think Gay folk suffered the same. This ain't true. We don't care what you do....but don't tell black people how to vote. What is this 1890?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • JKhur

      That's your first problem – your holy text is completely open to interpretation rendering it a malleable and not very reliable source of diirection. Your second problem is that iit is completely irrelevant what interpreation you use since your holy text is no more a source of legal authority for our secular nation than any other religion's text.

      May 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  12. Fufu

    Anybody who has truly sought GOD has found him.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Bob

      Just the old "secret decoder ring" argument. It fails, Fufu. Try again.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Knock Knock
      Who's there?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Fufu

      Great job discussing the issue with dismissive sarcasm and humor. Remember GOD will answer if you seek him.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, THERE you are! You never answered the question posed to you: how do you know that 'something' started time? How do you know that "something" was an invisible being?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Fufu

      Tom go back I answered 30 or 40 minutes ago. Nice try.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, you lying little turd, you didn't. Nice try.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      THIS dreck is hardly worthy of re-posting, you little feeb:
      Fufu
      Tom Tom you can see plenty of responses in this string that are insulting. Read through them all and see the insulting, sarcastic and smug writing. As far as GOD being invisible, there are many things the human eye cannot see. Sound waves?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Fufu

      Uh, so you call me out for not responding, then post my response? Feeling smart are we?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Vance

      Sound waves? really? Sound waves can be measured.. As can air currents...I could go on. However, the invisible sp[spaghetti monster is yet to be seen, heard, or quantified. So, he then is simply a theory at best. Moving on...

      May 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I never said you didn't respond, you lying sack, I said you didn't answer the question. And I was right.

      Nice try, bozo.

      May 12, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  13. hiphop

    The feelings of aversion preceded the bible, same as "thou shall not steal". One doesn't need god to tell you what's innate, a result of instinct and self preservation.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  14. n8362

    It is immoral to impose your religious superstition on others.

    You do not believe in religion because you honestly think it is true, you believe in it because you fear mortality or are seeking meaning in your life. It does not take a genius to figure out all religion is man made, so for humanity's sake, please stop lying to yourself.

    Deluding yourself in religion does not change reality. Lying to yourself is probably the worst possible way to try to find meaning.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • nope

      nope

      May 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • polycarp pio

      Keep telling yourself this garbage long enough and you will believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PP

      May 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • n8362

      It seems to be a good analysis. What would you disagree with?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  15. makesnosense

    Let me get this straight, from a religious stand-point as a Black Christian, voting for a president who believes that (1) Joseph Smith was a divine prophet of three Gods (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) and the Book of Mormon; (2) God was once a man who lived on another planet and physically procreated with Mary to create Jesus, who is now one of three Gods (see above); (3) Jesus Christ will return in Missouri; (4) Jesus Christ will establish a new kingdom that will consist of three levels: the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, and the telestial kingdom, is LESS hypocritical than voting for a president who accepts gay marriage? Am I missing something or did we just enter the twilight zone!

    May 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • saoirse72

      No smarty pants it is the decision of the Black people to vote they feel is right. You single issues idi ots who think you know what you are talking about should stfu. So you think black people should just do what you say because you are the one who is right....brother in the 1960's blacks were finally free to do and say what they wanted . Still to this day white folks want to dictate black people votes......screw you JIM CROW!

      May 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • makesnosense

      @saoirse72...during Jim Crow, Christians lynched over 4000 fellow Christians over race, so what’s your point? As a Black, either vote for someone who believes that gays should not legally marry each other and that God was once a man who lived on another planet and physically procreated with Mary to create Jesus, who will return to this planet in the state of Missouri, OR a person who supports that gays should be able to legally marry each other and that God was not a person from another planet, and that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and will not return to this planet in Missouri….make a choice.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  16. saoirse72

    So your Black you have to support Gay rights....wow....I guess White people are still trying to tell black people what they should or should not do. Then if you don't support the MAN they call you hypocrites....what a load of crap.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  17. imeubu

    This is fun! For those who think they know... one way or another.

    If we need a physical explanation or illustration... try this.

    Imagine a “rubber finger”... the little rubber thingy you slip on your finger for additional friction when you have a lot of papers to sort through. You can turn it inside out fairly easy creating two different “expressions” of the same object or state. One way you see one side of the object as the “outside”... and when you reversed it... that side would become the inside. Two states of being... one manipulation of one object or in this case “membrane”.

    Now envisage your “universe” is either the big space on the outside of the rubber finger... or the wholly contained little space inside the finger... the space where you would normally put your finger to sort your papers. You would have two very distinct spaces or “realities” depending on which side of this membrane you were “being”.

    Perception therefore can be defined as the reality you and your universe are currently experiencing. However with even this simple example... we can easily envisage the apparent existence of at least 3 other universes (four if you become the distant observer you are now as you manipulate the rubber finger to shape these other four spaces... two big and two small).... all “created” by you (you god you) by simply reversing (exploiting the polarity) one flexible membrane.

    I'll leave it there... but I can easily create 11 such “realities” or dimensions by manipulating the four we are currently seem to be experiencing... and somewhat able to fathom (height, width, depth and time).

    It becomes difficult to rationally question this simple but seemingly logical understanding of alternative “realities”. It gets even more difficult to argue with the arithmetic. Using today's super computers to calculate the permutations of possibilities when our known “states” are combined with these additional 7 dimensions the “possibilities” get truly unimaginable. Big big numbers emerge... something called the Law of Large Numbers... sort of like God but with the absolute probability... much too big for any educated person to seriously doubt that others have had their perspective altered by something “real” and that there could in fact be something that was actually “seen” or “experienced”. Something with which the rest of us (the sane ones) cannot resonate.

    The probability that this is true far exceeds the possibility that it is not true... by some really large number requiring the use of exponents which this text editor does not provide... 10 to the minus 243 so far and the computers will not finish the calculation for another 44 years.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    May 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vhoP2YPbyI&w=640&h=360]

      May 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Hitchens

      Why would anyone call the Salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ indifference?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Bob

      Hitchens, how come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there.

      And as for your god being 'loving', take a look at this loving chestnut, or many others like it in the bible:
      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Hitchens

      Why don't you answer the "why" Bob? Thinking for yourself just a little too hard for ya?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  19. Truth7

    Dear African Americans: this author isn't looking out for your salvation if he's trying to disuade you from staying true to God. As Jesus said, we'll be deceived.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Why are people starving in this world? Why is there poverty in this world? Why is there injustice in this world? Why are some children born mentally retarded in this world? Take your pick and answer reasonably please.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Fufu

      VOR, because there are people and societies that have given themselves to evil, much as it seems you may have done.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • GLCarmine

      OK – calm down. There are 42 million African Americans in the country. There are also loved and cherished black gay people in our community. You don't stay true to God by having a certain position on a policy issue. You stay true to God through the faith that He is in control and knows what He is doing. Which means that (1) you don't legislate individualized morality and, to answer your question, @voice of reason, (2) the starving, poverty and injustice in the world is cause by human beings not doing anything about it (through willful or accidental ignorance). This suffering has no bearing on God, because our greed, evil and selfishness created those situations and it is up to us to fix them.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Fufu

      Actually fufu, you are wrong. Proven.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  20. Engineer in Raleigh

    This is a predictable result of the fact that no one ever calls out bigotry when it's committed by black folks. What kind of message do you think is received when we do things like bend college admissions standards in favor of AA students at the expense of others?

    There are literally generations of people out there who think that nothing AAs can do could be described as bigotry or racism.

    May 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Tony

      Your response is exactly why I hate when these "news" outlets posts articles like these. racists like yourself can't wait to respond with your "why do black people get to do this when they always do that blah blah wah wah?!" and please note that i called you a racist and not "white people". They print this stuff just to get a rise out of you. There is no "black church". There are thousands of church's that may be predominately black, but I assure you, contrary to what you people believe, black people are actually capable if individual thought and philosophical approaches to life. And if what I am saying does not open your eyes to a few things, rest assured that people call out bigotry when it's committed by a black person all of the time, as I am sure that this post of yours is not your first cry of injustice against your people by "them blacks".

      May 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.