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. remorse2

    How does this issue solve the economic problem of the country ? Is this a diversion to overlook the real problem of the country and help the 23 million unemployed for more than 2 years ?

    May 14, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • It comes down to this...

      The quote below is from the Bible. It was given to God's chosen people. Christians are considered children of God when they become believers therefore they endeavor to live by His principles and understand how obeying His laws affect the economy.
      "When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes...".
      Take it or leave it. Your choice. As for me, I have prospered living according to this principle. Our nation needs to turn back to God's ways in order to prosper. That's how this gay marriage issue is related.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • It comes down to this...

      Too bad our president doesn't understand this but a nation that has strayed from God got what they deserve.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  2. Loudmouthelephant

    What do YOU think about gay marriage? Participate in our week-long, social media/internet users gay marriage poll at The Elephant in the Room. Vote at loudmouthelephant(dot)com

    May 14, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • remorse2

      ECONOMY is the real problem of the country ! ! Don't change the topic !!

      May 14, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  3. Abe Lincoln

    All of these years of social programs and pandering have not helped raise blacks and others out of poverty. Are you better off now than you were when Mr. Obama took office? Now the Democratic party and Mr. Obama have abandoned basic moral standards. Republicans believe in creating the conditions that make it easier for people to raise themselves up out of poverty. They also support traditional moral values. It's time that blacks took a second look at the Republican party.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Kevin

      Because tax cuts for the wealthy and gutting public education funding helps those less fortunate, regardless of the color of their skin, right?

      May 14, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • mendacitysux

      Abe Lincoln was the first gay president. Don't think the republican party would take him now

      May 14, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      That's what Reagan taught us.
      Make the super-rich even more ultra-mega-rich and some of that wealth will trickly down to the unfortunates.
      Step 1 – Make the mega wealthy even richer – SUCCESS!!
      Step 2 – Trickle Down – FAIL

      But at least America has a lot more mega-millionaires now.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Brent Stallo

      As a matter of fact, I am better off since Obama took office. My business has rebounded from the recession.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • It comes down to this...

      All the money in the world won't help our schools. Returning to God's ways is the only thing that will help everybody.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Brie

      Someone said we need to return to God's ways to improve. Which ways were we talking about? Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc?
      I'm sure they meant Christian, but there again, there is a lot of variety in ways.
      I agree we need to instill more morals, respect, etc. in our society and our young, but I think we need some kind of discussion, then consensus on what that means, and to make sure we aren't trampling on someone else's rights.
      I think religion has a lot to offer there, but not if it's intending to take over. Many religious people continue to perpetuate hate and intolerance in the name of a loving God, which I would imagine is not what God wants to see.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  4. ian twolan

    Typical black reaction, news story, sentiment, logic (illogic?), hypocrisy etc..

    May 14, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • dnice

      You guys are no position to call ANYBODY hypocrites with the amount to destruction and hate you've season this earth with since your conception. MF'er please!

      May 14, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It’s called success… something we are still waiting for from YOU homie.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  5. Dan Jones

    What is sad is that race or skin color is even a factor in an election. I am white, yet I couldn't care less what color or gender a politician is who is running for any office, to do so is racism. Why would black people, who have spent so much time and energy trying to abolish racism want to be racists themselves by voting or not voting based on skin color?

    May 14, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Primewonk

      And yet you see no problem supporting discrimination based on the sèxual orientation a person is born with.

      Perhaps you are not familiar with the term hypocrite?

      May 14, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  6. Rational Libertarian

    Al Sharpton looks increasingly like he's on crack.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • dnice

      So does your mother, hey...but we're not judging

      May 14, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Wow, what an insightful response. You must be the envy of all your friends.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  7. sogooden

    I am an african-american woman who does not believe in Gay Marriage, but I am woman and human enough to understand that there are more important issues that this. I am also American enough to respect a person's opinion for what it is, an opinion. The GOP/Republicans will try to use this as another divisive issue saying they know what is in the heart/minds of African-Americans. They are way off base and out of touch as usual. I don't know where they get the poll numbers from but I don't know 1 person in my age group (25 – 50) who feels this is an issue or important enough not to support Obama and we have talked about it in depth.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yet you're not American enough to respect someone's personal liberty, which is what this is about.

      Also, there may be more important issues facing the country, yet this is a very important issue for the 20+ million gay people and those of us who still believe in the value of personal liberty.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  8. John

    Religion does not change to fit today’s values, whether you agree or disagree with church’s teachings is up to each individual but the role of churches is not here to change to make people feel better about their own choices. For myself I do not agree with Gay Marriage but I have no ill will towards people who are gay and I feel I am in no position to pass judgment on others. I do however have the right to cast my vote based on my believe be it religious, economical or any other criteria I see fit.

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

      So you would support a const!tutional amendment or referendum intended to clarify that equality for all means just that, and that any consenting adult can marry anyone they want to.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Kevin

      Churches have always changed their official positions when they become untenable given public sentiment. You're telling me that in the last 1000 years, the Catholic church hasn't changed views on a number of important moral things because its members are unwilling to continue to see things through the world-view painted by the Church?

      May 14, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Geocentrism anyone?

      May 14, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Primewonk

      John wrote, "Religion does not change to fit today’s values"

      Really? Why did the SBC form in the 1850's? And why did the SBC formally apologize in the 1990's?

      May 14, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  9. bird

    Amazing to me how black leaders will kneel before Obama on this. If Romney had come out and said this, these same black pastors would be crucifying him endlessly. Just more proof of the hypocrisy of the church, and blacks in general.....

    May 14, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • txjew

      They struggle how to respond because they have no worthy alternative. Romney offers Black Americans nothing for their future – less resources for their poor, higher tax burdens on the working poor and middle-class, less access to education to take them out of poverty.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  10. 13directors

    Religion is mind control for the oppressed.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  11. lj

    GOD our Heavenly Father wants us to love the sinner but hate the sin.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • 13directors

      Bigotry is sinful.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • keepitreal

      I couldn't agree more the problem with today's christians is there is no love. That doesn't mean we have to accept what they do but we do have to love them as a person

      May 14, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Primewonk

      Then you should have absolutely no problem posting the book, chapter, and verse, where your god says this.

      [Hint – You can't. Because he doesn't say it. Ever. In fact, it,s a quote from Gandhi – a Hindu.]

      In fact, your god commands that you go and kill gay folks. I fail to see how ordering gays to be killed is "loving them".

      May 14, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  12. mm hmm

    And there's their back door out of this sticky situation – they're going to pray for Obama. That will make everything ok and justify their "vote with their own color no matter what" reality.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Jueceman

      Its called lesser of two evils. Blacks always act out because we understand, we never had a choice, even when we were given limited choice labeled "freedom". Just like most Americans, unless your filthy rich, how can you say your absolutely "free'

      May 14, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Patricksday

      Why Vote for a Robot like Romney who is only programed to serve the Wealthiest Americans in the History of the Country, while the working class have their unions stripped away and are tossed crumbs with NO BENEFITS while you scream about Obamacare that would provide health care for ALL regardless of preconditions. Corporate America is what is destroying the USA not 3% of the Population that is Gay.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  13. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS–-->>>>>>>>>>

    "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions are supposed to obey the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-s-ex unions not same-s-ex marriages.

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex se-xual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.


    May 14, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • It comes down to this...

      Riiiight, and before long the Royal Ccllegeof Psy c will be stating because we are all animals beast ti al ity should be considered normal. Come on people, get a clue, it doesn't matter what the "elite" want to call this. We all have a proclivity to sin; we inherited it from Adam and Eve. That's why Christ had to come and redeem us. You either believe it or you don't.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Observer

      well said.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:
      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      May 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  14. martin

    These black pastors are supporting a president that has a complete disdain for the Bible. Yet, each time Obama comes out and says something in utter contradiction to the Bible, black pastors across the globe make excuses. The truth is, black pastors want to serve and rely on the government far more than they want to serve and rely on God.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • 13directors

      Please cite your proof of Obama's disdain for the bible.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • It comes down to this...

      @ 13directors

      Obama supports gay marriage. The following verses are from the New Testament are from the BIBLE. Either Obama is ignorant of the scripture or could care less what God has to say.

      Romans 1:25-27
      25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

      26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their sin.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God punshied those people becuase they rejected Christianity to take part in a pagan or/gy.
      That is was a bi-se/x or/gy is beside the point. God was angry at their apsotacy.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  15. Ronnie12345

    typical of everyone to mock blacks when they can i knew before I even looked this would be a negative story.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It should be a negative story. Blacks in the media constantly complain about discrimination but have no problem doing it themselves. It’s called hypocrisy…
      Truth hurts.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Ronnie12345

      Only black do it right ya your not a bigot lots of whites are like that the truth hurts.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  16. Vidyashanti

    Clergy of all colors want to keep their hold on people and surprisingly quite a few are engaged in the acts prohibited by their religion.

    They may not like what the President said today but in 5-10 years they will turn around and quote 'scriptures' to validate Gay Marriage.

    They may help defeat Obama but in next 4 years they will see that they have damaged African-american community & the country beyond recognition. May God grant them wisdom.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Dan Jones

      I hate to break it to you but there are NO scriptures to support gay marriage. The Bible is very explicit on this issue. It would make as much sense to suggest finding scriptures to support cold blooded murder.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • sam stone

      luckily, or secular laws are not dependent on what the bible says. equal protection under the law. as it is, it seems like bigotry masquerading as piousness

      May 14, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."


      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Dan Jones ... your little book of myths supports cold-blooded murder ... look how many times (and how many people) your "god" slaug'htered ... just because he didn't like them, or commanded others to do "his" bidding. Gee what a nice loving "god" you have there.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Isaac

      Go back to sleep. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. The scriptures are very clear.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ Dan – and there are no verses condemning loving committed long-term monogamous same sèx marriage.

      As for your bible condoning cold blooded murder – your bible is full of it. Your god commands that you kill gay folks, for no other reason than they were born gay.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  17. LeadershipVoices

    Leaders know, sometimes you have to make a decision – and your decision may not be popular. Tough decisions are based on core values.©2012 How much is your eternity worth? Don’t believe in eternity, then no problems with gay marriages or anything else. Supporting gay marriage comes down to your willingness to reject your religious core tenets. No religion/prohibitions, then no problems. If your religion condemns gay marriage then YOU pay the price for accepting. Is group think worth the price of eternal condemnation? If you believe in “judgment day,” then you know you face this alone in front of God. If you don’t believe, then no problems – anything goes. Transformational Leadership: If you won’t follow your core values don’t expect anyone to follow you. Sometimes you have to decide what your values are and what you stand for – then stand for “it,” understanding that people with different values will arrive at different conclusions and stances … if they believed in eternity they wouldn’t compromise their eternity for you.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • sam stone

      then get government out of the marriage business

      May 14, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Better to get churches out of marriage and government. Of course, each religious cult should be free to believe whatever they want and to practice whatever bullsh!t ceremonies they like, between consenting adults., in the privacy of their own homes and "houses of stupidity."

      May 14, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ sam stone
      Get the government out of the marriage business? Marriage is FROM the government. Your church can marry a couple but has no..repeat NO legal standing. Marriage is and always has been a contract. LOOK it UP.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  18. WASP

    america was founded on the principles of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." all these people argueing against same gender marriage need to remember that at one point in time, africans and women had to fight for equal rights. have these preachers forgotten what their fathers struggled to achieve for them? then why is it so easy for one group that was refused to be seen as equal to treat another group the same way they profess to hate so much. you want to know something funny? africans weren't christian during the slave trade, they had tribal beliefs, so now they are using the beliefs their ancestors were forced to believe to justify their position; how's that for irony.

    May 14, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Dan Jones

      Your argument is full of holes. First, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can not be applied to se*ual desires or else I could by the same argument claim that molesting children makes me happy and is therefore my right. We regulate marriage by law. We are still going to be denying marriage to people even if gay marriage is allowed. We state how close persons may be related, we limit the number to two, we refuse BIzexual people the right to marry both of the people they love. Why is it that gay people think they should be an exception to the other non traditional relationships?

      May 14, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Dan Jones
      Let me explain why YOUR argument is full of holes. The reasons you cite are already illegal and in their definitions explain why. Most of which has to do with the rights and safety of the other party involved. Same gender is between EQUAL and CONSENTING ADULTs.

      Try again.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • WASP

      @jones: you are correct marriage is governed by law.....so who writes the law? if i'm not mistaken it isn't the churchs. so the law can be written to permit same gender marriage and the church can't say nothing about it other than scream and shout at those that will listen to them. " marriage is between two consenting of age (meaning 18 years of age or older) adults." that is a easy way to write the law so christian freaks don't try and marry their daughter or cow.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • It comes down to this...

      The laws of this nation were based on Judeo-Christian laws. That is fact. Now we have people who want to veer from the bible which our laws came from and re-write them to suit their sinful desires, and it would not be Christians who would want to marry their daughter or cow, rather, it would be those who disregard the scriptures. Seems to me it would be those who believe gay marriage is okay.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  19. SomeNobody

    "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:20-21

    May 14, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Mirosal

      and your 3,000 year old verse is supposed to prove .... what?

      May 14, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • brandon

      "HAHAHAHA!!!" Me.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • sam stone

      Wow. A quote. You sure present a strong argument......

      May 14, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • It comes down to this...

      The verse where we got the foundation for the law of the land. Now we are going to replace God's laws with our own "brilliant" ideas? There lies the battle and those who prefer God's wisdom will stand firm, and rightly so.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • It comes down to this...

      Correction @mirosal
      The verse comes from the same book where we got the foundation for the law of the land. Now we are going to replace God's laws with our own "brilliant" ideas? There lies the battle and those who prefer God's wisdom will stand firm, and rightly so.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  20. Dl

    If black pastors were as much concenred about out of wedlock births by teens, fatherless homes and rampant ignorance, crime and poverty in their communities, as they are with gay marriage, we might actually see some community progress

    May 14, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • fred ca

      Wow, another sensible comment. Bravo. Bravo.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      but that would mean they would have to admit that they are not doing a good job in the leadership rolls so divert the attentions to those gays


      Religious hypocrites I tell ya

      May 14, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • fredcarnes

      And obama with his 'look...a pony with a shiny object' is not diverting attention. This is a non-issue being exploited by a non-president.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • HotAirAce

      If this is a non-issue, and everyone wants to stop being distracted by it, all those currenly opposing same s3x marriage have to do to move on is say "No problem – propose some legislation to make same s3x marriage legal and we will vote for it immediately!". That would take a non-issue off the table.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Adoni

      I agree. But if any black pastor that endorses gay marriage is a hypocrite and should be disbarred from the ministry. You can’t rationalize God’s word. God’s word doesn’t “evolve”. AND IF this country as a whole chooses that path. God will destroy Sodom and Gomorrah again.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:53 am |
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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.