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May 13th, 2012
01:07 PM ET

Across country, black pastors weigh in on Obama's same-sex marriage support

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) - Addressing his large, mostly black congregation on Sunday morning, the Rev. Wallace Charles Smith did not mince words about where he stood on President Barack Obama's newly announced support for same-sex marriage: The church is against it, he said, prompting shouts of "Amen!" from the pews.

And yet Smith hardly issued a full condemnation of the president.

"We may disagree with our president on this one issue," Smith said from the pulpit of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington. "But we will keep him lifted up in prayer. ... Pray for President Barack Obama."

And Smith said there were much bigger challenges facing the black community - "larger challenges that we have to struggle with" - bringing his full congregation to its feet, with many more amens.

Days after Obama announced his personal support for same-sex marriage, pastors across the country offered their Sunday-morning opinions on the development, with the words of black pastors - a key base of support for Obama in 2008, that is also largely opposed to gay marriage - carrying special weight in a presidential election year.But black pastors were hardly monolithic in addressing Obama's remarks.

In Baltimore, Emmett Burns, a politically well-connected black minister who said he supported Obama in 2008, held an event at Rising Sun Baptist Church to publicly withdraw support from the president over Obama's same-sex marriage support.

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

"I love the president, but I cannot support what he has done," Burns said at the church.

In an interview with CNN, Burns predicted that Obama's support for legalized same-sex marriage would lead to his defeat in November.

The Rev. Calvin Butts, an influential black pastor in New York City, did not endorse Obama's views but denounced those who are ready to "watch others be discriminated against, marginalized, and literally hated in the name of God."

"Our God is love," he said.

And like Smith in Washington, plenty of black ministers talked about distinguishing between opposition to same-sex marriage and views about Obama.

"I don't see how you cannot talk about it," the Rev. Tim McDonald, based in Atlanta, said earlier this week. "I have to. You can say I'm opposed to it (same-sex marriage), but that doesn't mean I'm against the president."

Though African-Americans provided Obama with record support in 2008, they are also significantly more likely to oppose same-sex marriage than are whites. That may be because black Americans are more likely to frequently attend church than white Americans.

A Pew Research Center poll conducted in April found that 49% of African-Americans oppose legalized same-sex marriage, compared with 39% who support it. Among whites, by contrast, Pew found that 47% supported gay marriage, while 43% opposed it.

African-American pastors have been prominent in the movement to ban same-sex marriage. In North Carolina, black leaders helped lead the successful campaign for a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage and domestic partnerships.

In California, 70% of African-Americans supported Prop 8, the 2008 state gay marriage ban, even though 94% of black voters in California backed Obama.

McDonald, who founded a group called the African-American Ministers Leadership Council, says he opposes same-sex marriage, but that he is more concerned about issues such as health care, education and jobs.

But he says more black pastors are talking about same-sex marriage than ever before. "Three years ago, there was not even a conversation about this issue," McDoland says. "There wasn't even an entertainment of a conversation about this."

In Atlanta, at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church - where Martin Luther King Jr. got his start - the Rev. Ralph Warnock addressed the president's remarks near the end of his sermon.

"The president is entitled to his opinion," Warnock said. "He is the president of the United States, not the pastor of the United States."

Warnock said that there is a place for gays in the church, and that "we don't have to solve this today."

Black churchgoers on Sunday appeared split on same-sex marriage, though many of those opposed to it said they still supported Obama.

"It's a human rights issue, not a gay issue. All people that pay taxes should get ... the same privileges and rights," said Terence Johnson, a congregant at Salem Bible Church in Atlanta.

At Shiloh Baptist in Washington, Shauna King said she does not support same-sex marriage, but that she respects the president's decision on it.

"I think he was very honest in what he was saying and personally he decided to do that," said the 38-year-old mother of two. "As individuals, we all have to make that decision for ourselves."

"I believe it speaks to what America is," she said. "That we all have different views and are respected for our views individually."

Black opposition to same-sex marriage has dropped dramatically in recent years. In 2008, Pew found that 63% of African-Americans opposed gay marriage, 14 percentage points higher than the proportion who expressed opposition this year.

On Friday, a handful of black leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and former NAACP leader Julian Bond, released a letter supporting Obama's position on same-sex marriage but expressing respect for those who disagree.

"The president made clear that his support is for civil marriage for same-sex couples, and he is fully committed to protecting the ability of religious institutions to make their own decisions about their own sacraments," the letter said.

"There will be those who seek to use this issue to divide our community," it continued. "As a people, we cannot afford such division."

But the letter itself was an implicit acknowledgement of discord within the African-American church community on gay marriage.

Black pastors who preach in favor of same-sex marriage know they may pay a price if they take Obama's position, says Bishop Carlton Pearson.

The Chicago-based black minister says he lost his church building and about 6,000 members when he began preaching that gays and lesbians were accepted by God.

"That's the risk that people take," he told CNN. "A lot of preachers actually don't have a theological issue. It's a business decision. They can't afford to lose their parishioners and their parsonages and salaries."

Pearson navigates the tension between the Bible's calls for holiness and justice this way: "I take the Bible seriously, just not literally," he says. "It's more important what Jesus said about God than what the church says about Jesus."

In Obama's interview with ABC this week, in which he announced his personal support for same-sex marriage, the president talked about squaring his decision with his personal religious faith.

"We are both practicing Christians, and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others," Obama said, referring to his wife, Michelle.

"But, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it's also the Golden Rule," he said. "Treat others the way you would want to be treated."

- CNN’s John Blake, Chris Boyette, Meridith Edwards, Dan Merica and Stephanie Siek contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Gay marriage • Politics

soundoff (3,700 Responses)
  1. Init

    Im glad that blacks are for gay marriage and all that goes with it. I knew they always took that stance good for them

    May 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • stanknasty

      80% of blacks voted for prop. 8 in California banning gay marriage...you may want to hold that thought for a moment.

      May 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • jim

      can you not read? article says most are against.

      May 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Bob

      I would like to think Obama's announcement is the guilt he feels over Prop 8. The Mormon bigots that backed Prop 8 plastered ads everywhere saying that Obama was against gay marriage. Statistics showsed that the Black put it over the top (it passed by a few percentage points while whites and latinos were solidly against its passage). So the record Black turnout plus low turnout for whites and latinos in California (because everyone knew Obama would win the state by a landlslide) plus Obama's implicit endorsement made it pass.

      May 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • namethename

      Bob, so why did we went to vote on prop 8?? Judges overturned it, so what is the point in voting than if only what judges in the 9th district like will go through?

      May 13, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Justin

      Init... Did you even read the article? Or did you just assume that because President Obama approves gay marriage that ALL blacks approve gay marriage? Please share.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Larry

      Calm down everyone he seems to be using this new thing called sarcasm

      May 15, 2012 at 6:03 am |
    • robjohnson

      You might want to read and study the issues before posting comments on issues you know nothing about, you really sound stupid right about now. Go research the issues and return.

      May 15, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  2. atheist

    Everyone keeps saying "there are large issues", only because the issue at hand doesn't have to do with them and or they don't support gay marriage.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Typical libtard thinking.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  3. DaveC

    Not really any news to me. Almost all of my black friends (men and women) are vehemently against gay people. Yet there is a substantial amount of gay people in the black community that is thriving and hidden. Go figure.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      simple math really. blacks are generally poor. poor people are generally religious. religion and h.omophobia have a high correlation.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Babykitty

      Are you talking about openly gay black people or the ones on the down-low?

      May 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Samsung

      Bootyfunk, did you really write, "black people are generally poor"? You're misinformed... while the percentage of poverty among African-Americans is substantially higher than it is among white Americans, only a minority of African-Americans are poor.

      May 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • reality check

      38.2% of black children under age 18 live in poverty. That's a minority that is close to majority and should not be scoffed.

      May 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • rick

      it's not a matter of color or race...it's a matter of education. the more educated you are the more prone you are to make an informed decision. Why didn't Jesus show up everywhere to introduce himself to the world? It's kind hard to believe that he completely missed Africa. No worries...the church has been really good at spreading his word.

      May 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • DD--Washington, D.C.

      What is the real ignorance among African Americans is that the majority of their children are born out of wedlock, significant numbers of their men have taken a particular liking to prison, if white women have had to deal with the degree of lack of care and sympathy that black men have given to their responsibilities–they'd be angry too. A SIGNIFICANT number of your young men drop out of high school; your women because of the abuse they have endured often take the low-road–and GAYS are your number one concern? The same people behind the ANTI-GAY initiatives are looking to segregate you, AGAIN!!!

      By the way....all this talk about people burning in hell reminds me of Hitler burning people he didn't like, like gays, in ovens. You really want to say god is like Hitler?

      May 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • john carlson

      Couple that with the discrimination both Blacks and Gays share and it makes no sense. Guess people gotta find someone to hate to make them feel better. I think I'm going to start discriminating against the Church. I find I feel better about myself when I do that.

      May 14, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  4. Anthony

    Im not gay, and I am a Christian – my opinion is based solely on the politics of this argument! I think it is very important that we remember that what Christians think should really not matter – what happened to separation of church and state – if anything, this is a state issue and not a federal govt issue... but since it has been brought up, i'll chime in on something – I bet when the Reverend was young and he was told to sit in the back of the bus, he didn't like it and didnt' think it was fair... neither do I... but now, he want's to condem a group of people and say that they can have equality under the law... that is the epitome of hypocracy!

    May 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Cathy S.

      The gay people can have civil unions with rights.They don't have to get married to have rights.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • dorothy

      Right Cathy....because we learned a long time ago that "separate but equal" really works well when it comes to civil rights. That was sarcasm if you didn't pick that up.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • maggie

      Well, Cathy, then don't do it. You're free to make your own choices, not free to make them for others.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • mike

      Cathy..what gives you the right to judge other peoples rights. Why should you determine what is right for some and not others

      May 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • rick

      Cathy you are a bright star! Republican? St. Olaf? you are pretty much saying we are all equal but african american should sit on the back of the bus or they should use the other door? Why is it so hard to understand? gay/lesbians getting married won't TAKE ANYTHING away from your family. i'm sure you have your own issues keeping it together.

      May 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • enoch100

      Maybe Anthony, Christians should have their right to vote taken away? Lets send 'em to the Lions.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • iab

      I agree with you Anthony. This SHOULD not even be an issue, What about separation of church and state. This is being used to keep black ppl from voting for Obama. Another way of suppressing the black vote. Just look at all the changes that being put in place to keep many Americans who have voted in the past from voting in November. I see it and the more intelligent Americans see it.

      May 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Separation of Church and State applies only to the Government. That does not mean that the people in the government don't have religious views and opinions. The Founding Fathers just wanted to avoid the head of the government also being the head of the Church as it still is in England.

      May 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • geeky

      "if anything, this is a state issue and not a federal govt issue"
      It becomes a federal government issue when the federal government creates a separate tax status for married couples, and grants social security survivor benefits to married couples, among other things.

      May 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  5. GK

    This article just reaffirms that the only reason the african American comunity voted for Obama is because he's black.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      which is the same reason you and your friends voted against him.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • chelestina

      This reply is for Ms. GK, please think before you open your mouth, in your feeble attempt, to speak for African Americans! If that's to difficult for you just eat shi-t and DIE!!!

      May 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Samsung

      GK, most African-Americans are Democrats. Barack Obama is a Democrat. Most African-Americans voted for Barack Obama. What would have been strange is if a largely Democratic voting demographic (African-Americans) had NOT supported Obama.

      May 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • jim

      no, he is right. they are willing to go against their religious beliefs to vote for their president. shows me which factor comes first in their minds. their god or their race. interesting

      May 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • gd

      BINGO, we have a winner!

      May 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Judge Dredd

      All you thinking GK is wrong. Check out when Howard Stern had some people go ask some black people about the last presidential election. What he did was take McCain's policies and made them Obama's (pro-life, keep troops in middle east, etc.). Guess what, black people still said they would vote for Obama. He even asked if they are cool with a VP like Palin and guess what, black people still said they would vote for Obama. Face it, blacks only look at race. Now who is more racist?

      May 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • john carlson

      Well said Bootyfunk!

      May 14, 2012 at 12:59 am |
  6. tlew4512

    It is sad to use an interpretation of the Bible, and a narrow understanding of God (theology) to deny Americans citizens of their rights. I read in the Bible that "God is Love". It's about Love and intergrity. Pastors, get real.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      guess you missed all the parts that support slavery...?

      May 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Cathy S.

      I think that gay people can have civil unions and still get rights.They don't have to get married to get rights.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • mike

      It is really pathetic to see religious people of all sects try and always justify things by quoting the bible. The bible is just a book, you can justify just about anything in life if you search for the right passage. It is totally unjustified to use the bible as a reference. It seems pretty simple to me and you dont have to belong to a religion to espouse it. God wants only one thing from us in our lifetime, that is true love and compassion for all with absolutely no expectation of anything in return..sounds easy..but it is probably the hardest thing we will ever have to achieve!

      May 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • JayNYC

      And Cathy, black people can use the other water fountain and still get water, right? And they'll still get to their destination in the back of the bus, right?

      May 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • edwardo

      @JayYNC – EXCELLENT POST!! I like that.

      May 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • tnms16

      God hate sin God is God of many things one is love, peace, joy wrath, judgement, don't forget he destroy the world becaused of sin, Sodom and Gomorral

      May 13, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • tlew4512

      didn't miss anything l generation away from salvery, born in Alabama. And, I did not even miss getting an education. What about you, booty being funk?

      May 13, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • tlew4512

      married couples have rights that civil unions do not have.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • kev

      you may read the bible but you don't understand it may be one day you will try this 1 cor 6;9-11 sodom &gomorrah

      May 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Since the Protestant Churches have no central authority they can interpret The Bible any way they want, which is why so many erroneous versions were destroyed over the centuries. Even Martin Luther tried to delete the Books that disagreed with his view of theology. I was in college before I knew that Protestants and Catholics use different versions of the same Book.

      May 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  7. jason

    it's amazing to me that a group of people that have and still endure such discrimination and oppression can have the audacity to want to limit the civil rights of anyone. hypocrisy at its worst.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Duce

      Agreed, but it is in ignorance. It's hard to place blame on ignorance...

      May 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Me

      That's because you are either clueless or couldn't careless what God thinks..

      May 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • jason

      interesting because 50 years ago god was against interracial marriage and now he seems to be ok with it. it seems to me that god just agrees with whomever has an agenda.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Elaz

      Well said. Its pains me that African Americans who have endured so much discrimination in this country and throughout will be so brazen to denounce equality for any group of people. They should know ppl used the bible to condone racism and slavery. Its sad and backwards. This issue transcends religion You dont have to like it but dont ever deprive anyone of their happiness and equality in God's name

      May 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Samsung

      Jason, you're easily amazed... there are plenty of racist gay people, anti-Semitic feminists, and Jewish misogynists.

      My point is not to suggest that people in these groups have these flaws more than other people, just that there is nothing surprising about someone from an oppressed group not being enlightened in their view about another oppressed group.

      May 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • jason

      i agree. i am amazed any time i see one oppressed group go ahead and oppress another. it's disgusting. and shows a complete lack of insight.

      May 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Tony

      Jason,
      Remember when some old english teacher made you read Animal Farm by George Orwell? Remember when the pigs began to look like man and the man like pigs? The old english teacher wasn't just having you read that book because it was a good farm story. It's because Orwell understood that, given the opportunity, the oppressed frequently become the oppressors. It's the I've got mine, quick!, slam the door!! way of thinking.

      May 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  8. madmaninthemiddle

    The question is, will this reduce black volunteerism and voter turnout. A 5% reduction in black turnout would cost him Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina. A similar reduction among Latinos would cost him New Mexico and Nevada. This has more potential to cost him the election than the talking heads are acknowledging.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  9. SMH

    Funny how the black community NEVER even knew about Christianity, Baptist or any other religions in the USA until they were brought over here as slaves. With all the hate black people have endured over the years... HATE and discrimination flows through them for others who are different from them. Hate on folks things will get better over the years for the rest of us.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      sadly, blacks have adopted he religion of their oppressors.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Duce

      The fundamentalist views of the black community are derived from their masters as when they were allowed to achieve literacy, the first and most important book (in their view) was the bible. There was no one to tell them that the stories weren't meant to be taken literally.

      The greed mentality was also adopted during this period and holds strong today.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Babykitty

      I would say that Christianity is definitely a step up from religion they left behind in mother Africa. Maybe you've never heard of their practices? One of them is muti–making magical charms by cutting the limbs from living creatures–especially albinos and children.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • plato101

      They never knew about democracy or human rights either. They knew nothing of indoor plumbing or basic sanitation or disease prevention. What is your point?

      May 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Duce

      How about no religion at all? At least not fundamentalism! It is highly corrosive to the human mind.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "I would say that Christianity is definitely a step up from religion they left behind in mother Africa. Maybe you've never heard of their practices? One of them is muti–making magical charms by cutting the limbs from living creatures–especially albinos and children."

      as opposed to abraham being told to sacrifice his own child? as opposed to the practice of murdering anyone that doesn't believe what you believe? heard of the inquisition? the crusades? witch burnings? yeah, christianity really has a lot up on african religions... lol!

      May 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Babykitty

      Bootyfunk, as no one really knows all of the facts of history, I usually limit my arguments to what is going on TODAY. Today Christianity is a step up from African religions that call for muti that still go on TODAY and are widespread throughout Africa.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • tlew4512

      As a black American, I find these comments insulting, and nothing constructive.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Duce

      @ TLew – I hear you but my comments are fact. It is essential to understand why...

      May 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • reality check

      Poor blacks in America are considered wealthy by the standards they were removed. Slavery, while horrible for those who experienced abusive masters, is a blessing for those living here now as opposed to the conditions they would be experiencing if they were in Africs.

      I didn't vote for Obama, not for the color of the skin, but because of the content of his character. His voting record of "present" was enough to show me all I needed to know.

      People act as if Obama's words regarding gay marriage are unique. They are not and even Dick Cheney used the exact wording YEARS ago.

      May 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • tlew4512

      Duce, they are your facts, and you are using your facts incorrectly to insult a race of people, Hate does not flow through black Americans. That is not a fact.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  10. TruthSpkr

    Don't update your books of ethics listening to these politicians.. – These are Political HUNGER GAMES – they are playing.. Mentally each one of them is a "ZOMBIE". They will be ready to do anything..

    May 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  11. Bet

    There is no more important issue than going against Christ. I hope Obama realizes his misstep before it is too late. Marriage is between a Man and a Woman. Period

    May 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • IslandAtheist

      He's a closet atheist, he doesn't buy-bull.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      There is no LEAST important issue than Christ and the Bible. Equal rights, freedom and equality. That is what matters. You have a tiny pea brain.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Duce

      You're half correct. It is extremely important to go against christ.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • be

      Gays arein the courts fighting for marriage, family, and the right to serve their country in the military. The religious right are in the courts fightnig to cotrol women's reproductive rights, keep their pastors out of jail for se x ual misconduct, and for misappropriation of funds. Hmmmm.....which side seems more moral and Godly.......I think President Obama can sleep easilty by having responded appropriately to the question, "What would Jesus do?"

      May 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      get married in a church with church approval but without a gov't issued marriage license = not legally married
      get married in a courthouse without church approval but with a gov't issued marriage license = legally married

      marriage is a legally binding contract between two people. you can have ritual and ceremony, but it's not necessary.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • wrong side of the bed

      Perhaps the bible people should point out to the president that he is probably going to burn in hell ,right?Mind-numbing stupidity.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • so tired

      seperation of church and state. i chose no religion. and i hope you dont drink, smoke, or have tatoos–thats against the "rules" too

      May 13, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  12. Roy V

    Rev. Smith, you religion is only when it suits you? Your religion is changed and does a complete 180 when it goes against your political beliefs? What comes fiirst Rev? You political ideals or your ideals of Christianity? No wonder people scorn and mock Christians – it's because of hollow messages like you portray with this statement. Just flat out tell us you're a hypocrite and save a little self respect.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  13. dorothy

    I don't think we have to worry about the Christian vote (they say one thing in public and do quite the opposite in the privacy of their bedroom, home, office, or voting booth. In their heart of hearts, everybody knows President Obama did the right thing here.....and more and more Americans are becoming brave enough to admit it.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Mike

      I agree with you completely Dorothy, well said.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • reality check

      Obama copied the words Dick Cheney used YEARS ago. Obama too copped out with his "states rights" garbage. States rights should have decided slavery and education of black children, right?

      May 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  14. Philip

    First of all, the ethical/sociological/theological discussion of gay marriage does not hinge on what black pastors say about it. Secondly, it doesn't hinge on what the president says about it. The argument stands outside of the individual arguing. There is an intimate connection between the argument and the arguer, but their skin color or political position doesn't add a premiss to the argument; it only adds spin. Philosophies don't need to be taglined.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  15. Andrew

    Proving that religion blinds. Like Israel is completely violent and oppressive: Sometimes victims take the wrong lessons.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • reality check

      I am sure that Israel isn't responding to its neighbors. You may want to pull out a religious map of the area.

      May 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  16. PJ

    Obama is probably the best President we have had in decades. He is Black, so many are against him consciously or subconsciously. We must re-elect this President who is truly for the Middle Class and for the Oppressed. He will go down in history,not only as the first Black President, but one of the greatest.

    May 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • tony

      You mean 1/2 b lack.... lol I have a Labradoodle too!!!

      May 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • jeff

      Got no clue how you figure he is for the middle class, everything he has done has driven more middle class people into poverty and/or welfare.

      May 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i'm with you PJ. Obama rox! he's already done a lot for this country and will continue the good fight next term. woohoo!!!

      May 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Bob

      amazing how you can read peoples sub conscious. I'm gay, and I don't support Obama's re-election. Most of my black friends don't either. I wonder what their deep seated issue is. I mean, all of us that do not support him have some sort of defect right? Libs are a trip......

      May 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • maggie

      WEll, Bob, I've always wanted to ask why you insist on belonging to a party that doesn't want you?

      May 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • reality check

      Bob, I am FOR gay marriage and I want you in my party. I believe in Women's reproductive rights, their uterus/their choice. I support greater fiscal responsibility which is the issue I take primary concern. Obama has been an abysmal failure.

      What many in the Democratic party don't realize is that Obama said the same words that Dick Cheney said YEARS ago regarding Gay Marriage. States rights AREN'T enough and it needs to be federally mandates, which I am confident will happen in the near future. What they ignore is that Obama's first Executive Order was not to Mandate Gays openly in the military, but to seal his own records. His current words are ONLY to tempt the ignorant, but a little research proves my words correct. Google "dick cheney" and "gay marriage."

      I am also Agnostic. Both parties have issues which I disagree, but the greater one this election is in my wallet. Gay Marriage will soon be law as it is a civil right, even if Obama says it isn't.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Tired

      As a gay man, based upon the BLACK communities response to GAY RIGHTS, YOU ARE ARE YOUR OWN. I would NEVER VOTE for OBAMA. I'll vote REPUBLICAN, KEEP MY MONEY. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  17. Sarcastro

    Why can't blacks and gays just compromise at something humane and dignified- like gays counting as 3/5 a vote?

    I can't imagine they'd have any problem with that...

    May 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • tnms16

      we don't compromise with sin

      May 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  18. neguys

    these black congregations are so full of hatred...... tick is against you and you'll be left out in the cold !!!

    May 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  19. Juan

    These "Preachers" seem to be forgetting that at least 25 to 30 percent of the men who attend their church are on the "Down low"

    May 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • tnms16

      that's not true

      May 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  20. The Central Scrutinizer

    Is this level of utter stupidity nurture or nature? I just went to a Kristin Chenoweth concert last night and have never seen so many happy couples in my life. Married couples and Gay couples. Loving each other and enjoying the show. It is that simple.

    May 13, 2012 at 1:59 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.