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My Take: Overcoming the black church’s tradition of homophobia
June 15th, 2011
05:02 PM ET

My Take: Overcoming the black church’s tradition of homophobia

Editor's Note: Carlton Pearson is spiritual leader and author of the The Gospel of inclusion.

By Bishop Carlton Pearson, Special to CNN

Homophobia is hardly unique to the African-American community. It’s a social malady that's due largely to the influence of fear based-theologies, particularly fundamentalist Christianity, Islam and Judaism, all of which grow out of the Abrahamic tradition.

When something or someone is perceived as being despised by someone’s God, the worshippers of that God tend to despise and hate that person or thing as well. When given the opportunity, adherents act out against them with the same violence they presume God would use. That can happen through literal violence or in other ways - including the use of comedy.

I'm referring to Tracy Morgan’s reported an anti-gay rant at a recent show, during which he said“he'd stab his son to death if he said he was gay." Morgan has apologized for the rant and this week phoned a major gay rights group, vowing to return to Tennessee to apologize to those who heard it.

Preachers, too, often issue vicious denunciations of homosexuality.

African-Americans have always viewed male homosexuality as more of a sign of weakness than evil. This stems back to slave times, when male and female slaves were randomly abused sexually, usually by men.

I heard statements from my grandfather as far back as I could remember that homosexual practices were something the "white man" taught us and that it was a sign of weakness and weirdness in their culture. He spoke of how the white man sought to humiliate strong black slaves through sexual submission and subversion. It was the white man’s perverted way of exerting power over us, my grandfather said.

The same slave owners evangelized the slaves into Christian moral codes and dogmas that insisted slaves renounce their native spiritual traditions.

In some West African traditions, particularly in the Dagara tribes of Burkina Faso, certain Shamanistic spiritual leaders - sometimes called witch doctors by Westerners - were known to be of homosexual or bisexual orientation.

They were considered to have a higher vibrational level that enabled them to be guardians of the gateways to the spirit world. They were marginalized but not demonized. Similar traditions are known to other faith traditions, even if they’re not widely discussed.

African-Americans in particular should be sensitive to the violent injustices humans can perpetrate on other humans because of fear, ignorance and hatred. The African-American church has traditionally used a kind of "don't ask don't tell" approach toward homosexuality. But once someone’s homosexuality becomes public, the denunciations begin.

Such denunciations, exemplified in Morgan's comments, can send young people into depression and even drive them to suicide.

In more than 30 years of pastoring and dealing with pastors, I have observed that often when a public figure, secular or religious, shouts out in anger about or against a particular subject, it’s usually a sign of the inner turmoil of the person crying out around that very issue. I’ve discovered that many who angrily denounce homosexuality have latent homosexual tendencies or fantasies themselves and fear them - or are actually quite conflicted about the issue.

The most troubling aspect of Tracy Morgan's remarks is the bodily harm he said he’d inflict on his own child if he were to be seen acting in an effeminate manner.

Acts of violence against perceived unacceptable behavior, particularly if the behavior isn't harmful to self and others, is a sign of the deterioration of conscience.

What we fear, including homosexuality, we tend to amplify and exaggerate. There was a time when the "white man" feared black people and were threatened by our presence. We suffered horribly because of it. How quickly we forget. What we make the issue we make the idol.

Homosexuals and homosexuality are not going away. The sooner we recognize and accept that, the sooner the society will move forward.  I encourage the African-American community and church to reconsider ways to address the presence of gay people.

We don't have to go along to get along. We can mind many of the same things without necessarily having the same mind about everything.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bishop Carlton Pearson.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion

soundoff (609 Responses)
  1. cynthia-494

    Amen! Hatred, intolerance, and ignorance are not morals or values I will be passing on to my children. No matter what great wisdom tradition of the world you choose follow Love should always be the foundation.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • atomD21

      Cynthia, that is wonderful. The only way to stop hate is to combat it with love. The more people like us there are, the better this world will get.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • lyd

      God hates sin. So who are you to suggest that hate is always bad? Hate for sin, crimes, violence, is good hate. Sodomy is a sin. No 2 ways about it. I hate sin. I hate sodomy.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  2. keeth in cali

    Thank you for this article. The historical and cultural information described have been long forgotten by blacks AND whites.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Bill the Cat

      Blacks also tend to forget that the state of Louisiana had 45% of its slave owners who were black. And those black slave owners who ran the sugar cane plantations in Louisiana were just as bad, if not worse, than the white counterparts. But that doesn't sell pity like "blame the white man"

      June 15, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Bill the Cat: Were there white slaves on these sugar cane plantations? Just curious.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  3. Joe, Louisville, KY

    Why not just stop Black churches – aren't they racist?

    June 15, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • keeth in cali

      I don't think they are all racist, but I'm pretty sure you are.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  4. GodMadeEarth

    Same 5ex relationships are not tolerated by God. That's not an opinion, that's written in the book. If you claim that God is happy with your 5exual orientation then you need to provide the scriptural evidence. The intention of 5ex is reproduction, the Bible makes that clear. If you are not having 5ex for reproduction, you are having 5ex to satisfy lust. There is no other reason to have intercourse aside for pleasure or procreation. Period. So, unless you are making a baby, don't have 5ex. That's age old biblical law. If you are willingly engaging in 5ex with the same gender, then you are obviously satisfying your lust, because the other option is a biological impossibility. You CANNOT get past this barrier. You must be married to have 5ex. Your spouse must be able to mirror the relationship of Christ and his church. Two men or two women cannot bear the fruit of marriage. I'm sorry that you struggle with lust, I'm sorry that you identify with this lifestyle. The number 1 barrier between God and his people, is their unwillingness to turn away from sin, no matter what the sin is. Narrow is the way...if you think your lifestyle puts you on the narrow path, then you have been lied to. Please seek help.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • xtheist

      the book is fiction ya know.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • GodMadeEarth

      You can believe that if you like. Just don't try to lie about it's content.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Blended fabrics aren't tolerated by god. It's in the same book. Ham and cheese sandwiches! Twice cursed! Yep, same book.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • David, CA

      no- that is still your OPINION. It's embarrassing to have to explain this to you. I know you would dearly love it if God hated gays as much as you, but you are placing a lot of stock in a collection of stories found to have countless contradictions, errors, and downright fantasy.

      If you're going to hate someone and feel the desperate need to judge someone because you feel inferior, or you are just an AH- be honest about it and stop hiding behind a myth.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • auguron

      @GodMadeEarth if only you and the rest of the church would take your advice not to lie about the content of your myth collection, you would be taken seriously for once.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • ironwolf56

      @John I agree with your underlying opinions here but you and others (I've seen this trend a LOT recently) are doing a disservice by half-knowing what you're arguing and stating it incorrectly. Blended fabrics, pork products...banned in the Old Testament...for Jews. One of the first rulings of the Christian church in the New Testament is many of the old laws no longer apply, so please stop using this incorrect strawman and try to argue intelligently, you're just coming off as an angry person who doesn't know what they're talking about otherwise.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • GodMadeEarth

      "Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee." – Is this the scripture you're refering to? The old testament book of Deuteronomy? These are laws for the Jews, my friend. Jesus laid down a whole new set. All the things that where once unclean are now made clean. That's why I can eat a porkchop and still be ok with the law of God.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Ironwolf56 Where in the New Testament does it say it is okay now to use blended fabrics and eat pork and shellfish? Meanwhile, to suggest people like me shouldn't cite the Old Testament when Christians do all the time, well, that's pretty rich. Of course, the REAL rebuttal to the Christians is that secular society is not beholden to ANYTHING from the bible. The black church has done some real good, but it is now doing some real harm and it is the very religiosity that is doing the harm.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • GodMadeEarth

      "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination." (Leviticus 20:13). "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you." (Leviticus 18:22-24).

      "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is 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).

      Here is my evidence that the Bible outlaws same 5ex relationships. Nobody said I hate anyone. I will, however, defend my church and faith against corruption. I would gladly accept a man or woman who is g@y into my church. It's not my job to hate you, it's my job to spread the word. I'm doing that. If you disagree, don't come into my church. If you want to love God and still engage in sin, you will probably find alot of christians trying to show you your error. Sorry...it's God's word, not mine. Quit being angry with me for believing it. My only issue here is....people changing the word to suit themselves...no matter the motive.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Does mummy know you're playing with her computer ?

      June 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @GodMadeEarth – So, I trust that all the women cover their heads in your church and none speak up. And you of course observe the Sabbath on Saturday and keep it holy. And of course your church encourages men NOT to marry, And you all recognize that your worst enemies are in your own family and act accordingly. And on and on and on ....

      June 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • USMCVET

      When are you going to learn there is no GOD! And if you happen to be one of those people who talks to the invisible FAIRY in the sky, that would be an indication you might be suffering from SCHIZOPHRENIA!

      June 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • ironwolf56

      @John Several places in the New Testament say where the Old Law has been set aside. One example Romans 7:6 "But now we have been released from the Law having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in the newness of Spirit and not in the oldness of Letter." Again I don't disagree with you and others I just see it as a disservice that those arguing Christian theology always bring up those old JEWISH laws as if those ever at any time applied to Christians. Most of them no Christian sect has ever followed so it's disingenuous to always bring that up as if it's a modern thing.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • GodMadeEarth

      @John, When Mathew said that our families are our own worst enemies he spoke in reference to being in a secular house as a solitary christian. The rest of the verse goes on to say that if we love family more than God, then we are not worthy of Jesus. I believe that is true. God comes first and my family may resent me for placing my faith before them. That's my burden as a christian. Hope that answers that question.

      The act of covering a woman head during prayer is not bible law, it's catholic tradition based loosely on paul's writings. Proverbs say that hair is a woman's glory, which I must agree with. Paul states that women should cover themselves with long hair. Some translations speculate that he means fabric, but it never mentions it. It does mention that the covering should be long, unless she shames herselves by having it shorn (shaved), making her appear like a man. By that, we can deduct that the covering is hair. Regardless, some women use fabric. That's fine. Not a problematic area if you ask me.

      The last point is concerning women speaking in church. That verse concerns women speaking during a gathering of Saints. The Biblical view is, men take the roles of Pastors. It is not in God's design to have women lead the congregation. It's not an argument of worth and intelligence. It's an argument of design. God designed the church to be lead by a man. That being said, the Bible also has alot to say about the value of a woman. It states that Eve is the mother of all living but it says that in Adam all die. It says that a good woman is clothed in strength and dignity.
      Her children arise and call her blessed;
      her husband also, and he praises her:
      “Many women do noble things,
      but you surpass them all.”

      June 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Head covering is based LOOSELY on Paul's writings??? Yes, you are a hypocrite.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • GodMadeEarth

      @ John, I'm convinced you do not know what a hypocrite is. You need to elaborate on your next character attack.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @GodMadeEarth You are blind to your own hypocrisy. I can't fix that for you.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • Steve

      I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham. I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. (Seuss: 4:62)

      It's just a book.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Blink

      If you are not having 5ex for reproduction, you are having 5ex to satisfy lust. There is no other reason to have =intercourse =aside= for PLEASURE or procreation=. Period. =So, unless you are making a baby, don't have 5ex.=

      Wait wait wait...So do you want to tkae pleasure out of 5ex or not? It sounds like maybe YOU like to, but it's not okay for anyone else to, but you want to Bible thump and force everyone to believe what you believe. I mean, that's just what I understood. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm a little confused...

      June 16, 2011 at 5:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So GodMadeEarth is using Old Testament scripture to rationalize his ho.mophobia while in the same thread IronWolf is saying that the Old Testament proscriptions are null and void.
      So which is it?

      GodMadeEarth – if you're quoting Leviticus, then John Richardson's point is 100% valid. If you've eaten a pepperoni pizza then you have offended your god.

      June 16, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • FairGarden

      God does allow hom o se x uality. Me and my partner are Christians and ga y. Nothing wrong with it.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Frogist

      @GodMadeEarth: I'm always sincerely curious about people who make rants like yours about lust. Are you married? Have you never experienced lust for your spouse? If so do you simply not act on it because you wouldn't be having se-x because you want to make a baby, but because you simply liked the way your spouse looked in his/her undies? It's fascinating! BTW these are absolutely rhetorical questions. I am not in any way asking you to divulge your private se-x life on a public forum. I just find your point of view really just fascinating and was wondering how far you actually take that into your real life.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • PraiseJesus

      Pick up a history book. It's about pagan rituals and idolatry, not ho-mo-se-xuality as we know it today. KNOW IT TODAY! God has shown they are created this way, that they are in fact his creation! It's because Christians are in this century that they are welcoming them into the church and allowing them to marry because they put the scriptures into historical context and stopped taking it literally. You are spreading hate and lies so you are working for Satan. I reject your lies in the name of Jesus!

      June 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  5. jonny

    Unfortunately , so many that suffer hate and fear in this society so easily spew hate and fear at another group , refusing to see the sick cycle they're trapped in .

    June 15, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  6. Percheron

    It's wrong for black men to be gay, especially when there are so many chubby white women to "engage".

    June 15, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  7. an angry man

    Free speech for everyone except those that don't approve of the stuff I like. Those people need to be condemned for being haters. Don't you all know it's about excepting everyone. There's no such thing as wrong anymore. Well, if you don't think it's ok for everyone to do whatever they want, then that's wrong.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Me

      That's right, why do we even have laws? Anything goes, there is no such thing as right or wrong.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Frank

      T_T while right now they are all about excepting everyone, what you mean is "accepting" everyone.
      And lol @ this statement: "Free speech for everyone except those that don't approve of the stuff I like." While you direct that statement sarcastically at the religious right, it applies just as thoroughly to you in this instance. A church is like a private club; if they don't want to accept gays, no one has the right to force them to.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Jonathan

      YOU KNOW YOUR GOD IS MAN MADE WHEN "HE" HATES ALL THE SAME PEOPLE YOU DO *

      June 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Pyrrho

      Frank – If a church is a private club then they sould be paying taxes.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • auguron

      Yet another imbecile who fails to understand that you still have the right to free speech. We, who oppose your attempts at religious tyranny, are simply exercising our right to free speech. The only thing you lack now is the capacity to silence us with mobs and violence.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  8. Steve

    Anyone with any sense knows hom0-s3xual behavoir is abe-rrant, ab-normal, non productive, a per-version.

    It doesn't mean though that they are bad, or deserving of condemnation, what iaid above is simply factual.

    People are capable of loving man, woman, beast or inanimate objects, but where do you draw the line?

    June 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • David, CA

      No- that is not factual- that is your OPINION. Sorry to have to explain it to you. You must feel pretty embarrassed.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Where to draw the line? Consensuality. I don't care if you make love to a rock, as it can't experience any ill. But children and animals and non-consenting adult humans can experience ill effects. Animals and kids can't consent. Adults can.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  9. HERO

    satanic Church.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  10. GetOverIt

    I find it incredible that BLACK people, of all people, would dare discriminate against a group of people based on how they were born. It hasn't even been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act. Have they really forgotten so fast? Maybe black people should be back in chains where they belong. After all, that's what my made-up God says!

    June 15, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • bob

      God didn't say bone each other up the but.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Pyrrho

      Bob: God didn't say billions of other things. Could you enumerate for us all the other things God didn't say. For instance God didn't say "flying in an airplane is OK" and God didn't say "flying in an airplane is not OK" etc, etc, billions of etceteras.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Ironwolf56 When Christians stop QUOTING the Old Testament, I'll consider letting them off the hook. But even then, it's never made explicitly clear in the New Testament, let alone by Jesus, which portions of the law were supposedly suspended and which were not. Meanwhile, you think I sound angry? What about people who fulminate about se-xual relations that don't involve them that occur between consenting adults? That's just plain monster raving loony stuff.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • auguron

      @John Richardson That raises a good point. Why is it that particular Old Testament verse that is still valid? According to them, all the other Old Testament verses were meant for society back then or "interpreted differently", including the dirty little secrets about slavery and trivializing men who force themselves upon women, that they don't want you to know about.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • atomD21

      @auguron... You must not go to church. Don't you know that they all take the whole Bible as fact? Well, except the parts that disagree with their theology or are too hard to answer questions about. For example, I've never seen one person who has been divorced and remarried in the church be publicly outed as an adulterer, like Jesus said they were (Matthew 19:9). And you'd never hear the majority of the bible belt set decry gluttony, because there goes the potlucks and Sunday trips to Golden Corral. I'm a Christian, but I'm pretty sick of ignorance ruling in the church. God didn't give us brains so we could let them atrophy. If we would all take a minute to actually read those nice Bibles we own, we would realize that the entire message of the Bible has nothing to do with pointing out others' sins or acting holier than the guy next to us. The entire message of the Bible is to love everyone and get over ourselves. Our selfish natures are destroying this world and Jesus' entire message was about stopping that. So we need to stop cherry picking fun verses that support our religious/political agendas, and start using the Bible as it was intended (read:a guide to a better world).

      June 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @AtomD21 Best of luck in your quest! If the church has a future, it is in people like you!

      June 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • atomD21

      @John Richardson... Thank you very much. You don't know how refreshing it is to have a decidedly unorthodox view actually applauded.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • auguron

      @atomD21 Truly a shame that it isn't applauded more. A message of love and selflessness is truly an honorable thing.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @AtomD21 You see the big picture. That's what sets people like you apart.

      @Auguron Once I read a few of your posts, I hunted down all the rest! You rock!

      June 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  11. Doesn't matter

    Because a person speaks out against perverts and doers of the Devil does not make them ho m ophobic. Any church who accomidates gays is no Christian Church. I reject this "choice" in the name of Jesus. God has put it on my heart to speak out.

    June 15, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Eric G

      Of course, you have verifiable evidence that your god exists.............?

      If you can't prove that your god exists, you prove by default that those are your views.

      If they are your views, you are a hom-ophobic coward, hiding behind your non-existent god, to justify your own hate.

      So.......

      Please provide verifiable evidence that your god exists....
      or........
      Admit that you are a coward.

      June 15, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Doesn't matter

      Eric it is obvious you do the will of Satan. I am going to reject you in the name of Jesus.

      June 15, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Satan

      Oh, yes, I hired Eric soon after I drank all the milk and ate all my cookies. And I have a unicorn, too. 😈

      June 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Jesus H. Christ

      Don't listen to my twin brother. He makes a lot of stuff up. And quit picking your nose!

      June 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • GayAllTheWay

      God has created gays to show you that your are wrong, backed up with science and psychology to prove it. The church I go to knows this and through Christ love we can worship as one. You do not have Christ's love in your cold heart because it is filled with hatred and prejudice. I reject this hatred through Jesus! Praise Jesus!

      June 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Doesn't matter

      GayAllTheWay I do not hate you. I reject your "choice" and pray that you repent and change your way. If you church supports your "choice" then they are not a true church. You are living a lie and supporting the Devil.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • GayAllTheWay

      "GayAllTheWay I do not hate you. I reject your "choice" and pray that you repent and change your way. If you church supports your "choice" then they are not a true church. You are living a lie and supporting the Devil."

      No, God knows I love him and he has shown that gays are born this way, I am his creation! You are blind and deaf by Satan to the truth and you continue the work of the devil. I reject your hatred through Jesus's love. Praise Jesus!

      June 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • tati

      Eric G – you sure sound like a man with anger issues. Why is he a coward? Just b/c he does not agree and says so? I am not religious, but Bible is pretty clear on the subject of gays.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • JD

      God created man in his image. Then man sinned. Sin is not from God. God loves sinners, but hates their sin. You are born in sin, but God has never said that he excuses your sin. God will forgive your sin only if you sincerely repent of it. You don't sound repentant.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • ric

      God told you to speak out?
      Well, his just hung from my line and told me to as well.
      He wanted me to tell you to shut up.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @tati

      I could be wrong here, however... I believe that you missed what Eric G. was talking about. He first asked for the verifiable evidence that -Doesn't matter's (God) exists. Without evidence, therefore...the rest of his(Doesn't matter's) argument is moot if... there is 'no' God.

      So, Eric is asking for verifiable evidence 'before' accepting 'any' of the rest of -Doesn't matter's arguments.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 15, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Odds

      /popcorn

      Two Christians accusing one another of doing Satan's work!

      Who is right? God only knows!

      What is it with Christians? You're never content to let anyone be.

      What if I told you that God made me a jerk as justification for treating you like dirt? The kicker? When I'm done telling you everything you've ever done wrong in your life, voting to have your rights restricted, and topping it off with the pleasant reminder that you're going to burn-in-hell-you-dirty-sinner!, I'll tell you that I do this out of LOVE!

      You people are insane. It's a good thing I know that not all Christians are as horrible as the ones I typically encounter preaching on internet forums!

      June 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • atomD21

      @Odds... Yeah, we're not all ignorant. The saddest part to me in all of this is just like you said, Christians can't even get along with each other, let alone the rest of the world. sometimes I wonder if God regrets letting us run the church...

      June 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  12. Wehaddad

    Why do equal rights seem to stop at skin color with the black church?

    June 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • JLS639

      The same reason blacks are as supportive of profiling of Muslims as whites are. Unfortunately, suffering bigotry does not impart wisdom.

      Rosa Parks' story illustrates the problem. You see, the original person to act as a catalyst for the Montgomery bus boycott was a young lady named Claudette Colvin. However, she did not attend church and had a se-xual history, so she was unacceptable. The NAACP did not want to risk not having the support of the "good, upstanding" churchgoers who would think that a [pick your favorite derogatory term for a young woman whose actions are not approved] deserved her ill treatment.

      Those churches can be mean. Very mean.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  13. frank

    Church folks always trippin.

    June 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  14. Amalia Sheran Sharm

    Black people blaming their hatred of gays on white people.

    June 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  15. ScottK

    "The most troubling aspect of Tracy Morgan's remarks is the bodily harm he said he’d inflict on his own child if he were to be seen acting in an effeminate manner."

    I wasn't there, so I can't say for certain, but I cannot imagine he made "remarks" in any kind of seriousness, not that it's right to joke about, but come on, he was not making that as a statement of fact. This is media sensationalism plain and simple.

    June 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • JLS639

      There are all kinds of jokes I could tell and be kidding, but I know better than to tell them. I know better than to tell a joke about stabbing a member of a frequently persecuted group. Heck, my family has inside jokes that I will never speak in public.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ScottK; I'm with you on that. I can't seem to find footage of Tracy Morgan's rant/joke anywhere so it's really hard to figure out whether he was being serious or not. All I can find is someone else's paraphrasing of what he said on Facebook. The best I can figure is he said this as part of his comedy routine. I might not find it funny but to claim to understand his intentions without ever having been there is a bit presumptuous. I guess I'm glad he apologized for it since it does read very harsh and hom-ophobic. The topics brought up by this incident including anti-gay sentiment in black communities, that being gay is a choice, and bullying of gays is ok etc etc all need to be addressed. So I'm glad that it has made more people discuss those things. But it just seems like people would prefer to villify him over a comedy bit instead of having that discussion and speaking honestly about hom-ophobia which I think is the larger lesson to be learned here.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  16. GSA

    Seems off to me that you can preach the word of god yet hate someone. @JohnQuest – couldn't agree more, organized religion has no place in this world.
    That being said this guys picture is really, well um..... how should I put it, pretty gay.

    June 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • atomD21

      Slowly but surely people are realizing that the message of God as laid out in the Bible precludes the possibility of hatred. The only problem is that they make less noise than the idiots.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  17. ScottK

    Shouldn't the headline just be "My Take: Overcoming the church’s tradition of hom ophobia"?

    June 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  18. colin

    "When something or someone is perceived as being despised by someone’s God, the worshippers of that God tend to despise and hate that person or thing as well."

    Like there's a difference!

    I have never once heard a person attribute likes and dislikes to their god that were not a direct reflection of their own likes and dislikes. Every society that has ever existed has had its gods and they uniformly reflect the hopes, fears and prejudices of the society itself.

    It is so abundantly clear to me that we make the gods in our image and not visa-versa.

    June 15, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • JLS639

      You are correct. People don't start hating someone because of their religion. They use their religion to justify it.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yes, Colin, I picked up on that, too. God is the puppet and the believers are the ventriloquists.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  19. Labrat

    What is it with reli.gious people and s.eX? And this primitive domination thing? With a god behind you, you can get away with mu.rder and s.eXual assault and slavery?
    And that stuff is in the Bible. I guess it's just too hard for them to see how sick that stuff is.

    June 15, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  20. JohnQuest

    Get rid of religion, get rid of hom-ophobia in the church.

    June 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • tati

      That was tried it Russia and did not work. Check out history sometime.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @tati Agreed! Forcible banishment of religion is just another form of tyranny that is unjust in its own right and counterproductive to whatever worthwhile goal may be envisioned. Religion will wither away one enlightened mind at a time, not by force, but by rational persuasion.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • atomD21

      Religion isn't inherently evil. However, it has been allowed far too many liberties with truth and justice and is now an uncontrollable Frankenstein's monster of ideologies and agendas. I don't believe that destroying it all together is a worthwhile pursuit, but a tearing down to the foundation is necessary. Think of the good that could be done by a religious group (or any group, for that matter) focused on the sick and hungry, working together with other faiths, even atheists (some of whom are much more Christlike in their actions than Christians..), and everyone else in between. Those who claim Christ yet don't act like him are hypocrites and IMO, not truly Christian.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
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About this blog

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.