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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. Big_D

    It sounds like some of these religious folks have decided that a hardened heart is the solution. Why does a social issue have any precedence when our economic system is what the important issue is? All they want to do is deny equal treatment to a sector of people for inheritance and the right to visit each other in the hospital. The "Christians" should try and read the Bible. Jesus threw out Leviticus and gave us his life for our sins. We need to worry about saving our economy. Jesus took care of our souls.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • SAS6907

      This has nothing to do with a hardened heart, but everything to do with the love of God. Nobody is condeming anyone.
      Sin is sin, we did not define it, God did. If we don't like or agree with the Creator says, it doesn't matter, He made us and the rules. All things pertaining to behavior and morals are clearly spelled out in the bible. It's not opened to interpretation because it is given as a matter of fact. God being the loving Father that He is, took the time to explain why things are the way they are and why His commandments are the way they are, the entire old testiment, testifies to examples of what happens when you go against His rules. People, societies, and nations perish because of their lusts.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Sin is sin, we did not define it, God did. If we don't like or agree with the Creator says, it doesn't matter, He made us and the rules."

      There are many things listed in the bible as abominations such as: Unclean things (Lev. 7:21) ; Cheating (Mic. 6:10) ; A proud look (Pro. 6:16-17) ; A lying tongue (Pro. 6:17; 12:22) ; Hands that shed innocent blood ((Pro. 6:17) ; A wicked scheming heart (Pro. 6:18) ; A false witness that speaks lies (Pro. 6:19) ; A sower of discord (Pro. 6:19) ; A false balance or scale (Pro. 11:1) ; The proud of heart (Pro. 16:5) ; Justifying the wicked (Pro. 17:15) ; Condemning the just (Pro. 17:15) ; Refusing to hear the law (Pro. 28:9) ; Wearing clothes of the opposite sex (Dt. 22:5) Re-marriage of former companions (Dt. 24:1-4) ; Cheating others (Dt. 25:13-16) ; Making images/idols (Dt. 27:15) ; Eating unclean things (Isa. 66:17) ; Robbery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Murder (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Adultery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Violence (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Breaking vows (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lying with a menstruous woman (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

      Yet you arent' trying to deny the people who do these things their civil rights. What a bunch of hypocrites.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • SAS6907

      Again, sin is sin, all of which makes us guilty enough to be thrown in the lake of fire, However, Jesus made a way for us, so we don't have to perish. Accepting this fact, that Jesus came in the flesh to show us the way to live, to give us truth, and by the grace of God, gave us life through His sacrifice for OUR sins.
      Please don't try to re-write the Word of God, it would cost any of us that did, our lives, both now and forever.

      Converning civil rights: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
      You have all the same rights as any other citizen in the US.
      No where does it say to defy God's laws for mankind.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ SAS – Again, we are NOT a theocracy. Whatever you think your version of a gog wants, needs, desires, or demands, is irrelevant, because your god, like all the other gods we've invented, has no legal standing in our secular nation.

      Not sure why you are un willing or unable to understand this.

      May 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  2. jasoncdanforth

    Al Sharpton of all people should know what it's like to live under oppression.

    Oh, right. He's Al Sharpton, one of the most opportunistic evil politicians we have. He's made his entire career on maintaining the illusion of being oppressed...

    May 14, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  3. old golfer

    What with over 70% of all black babies born in America not having a Father, I would think that black pastor's should be talking about marriage, period.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • bresson

      70%? I'd like you to cite your figure there because it is totally false and unbelievable.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  4. Randy

    Regardless of the claim, the black community is a monolith. 95% of them voted for Obama last time and they will do the same this time, in spite of Obama taking this stand against the Bible. In the end, the Bible will be trumped by race, as always happens. Happened with OJ, happened with Trayvon. Did you see 95% of whites vote for McCain? No.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • bresson

      Stand against the bible??? How about "Judge not, lest yee be judged"? Youre taking a stand against that bit right now! And I'd say thats more important than worrying about what your neighbor does in bed and with who. Hypocrite!

      May 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  5. Big_D

    I guess since the president supports rights of inheritance and visitation for gay couples the USA will have to suffer more tax cuts for the rich and less services. We should just start living outside the system like they do in Russia. When the whole system is corrupt and supporting a oligarchy of elite we can still trade in goods. Why do they speak of the evils of communism then repeat them?

    May 14, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • yalesouth

      what?

      May 14, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Big_D

      Why does a social issue have any precedence when our economic system is what the important issue is. All they want to do is deny equal treatment to a sector of people for inheritance and the right to visit each other in the hospital. The "Christians" should try and read the Bible. Jesus threw out Leviticus and gave us his life for our sins. We need to worry about saving our economy. Jesus took care of our souls.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • sithlord1

      I don't think Gay marriage should be a part of the presidential debate just like religion shouldn't. I'ts those types of issues that steer us away from the real issues in terms of Government, economics and what the commander in Chief should be focused on. Issues like these serve as a distraction that don't help us get the country moving forward and back on track. Thats why I can't stand 1 issue voters.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • SAS6907

      Jesus didn't throw out any law, He came to fulfill it.
      Remember what He said, "heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away."
      It doesn't matter who is speaking or when they are speaking, the word of GOD does not change.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • sam stone

      "the word of GOD does not change".

      Because it is ink on paper. What does change after it is printed?

      May 14, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  6. great

    Great to see Obama between a rock and a hard place, for so long this guy gets a blank check on never having to explain himself- glad to see the check has finally bounced. One thingBarack forgot about the African American community is that when it comes to faith they are very traditional- Barrack on the other hand has long ago, got into bed with the elitests white liberal snobs, now it's time to pay the piper. And it's about time.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • yalesouth

      so supporting fair treatment is elitist and being bigoted characterizes the blk church? that certainly is uncomplimentary.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Randy

      Yaleshouth – This is not about fair treatment. It is special treatment. What other types of non-traditional marriage is being supported by the President? Is polygomy being supported? Is marriage between adult siblings being supported? Of course not. When all people have the right to marry, then you can call it fair treatment.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  7. Moe

    Reminds me of "separate but equal" you would think African Americans would know better, I am African American, and I am ashamed by fellow African Americans on this issue

    May 14, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • MJ Taylor

      Agree 100%

      May 14, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • It comes down to this...

      Agree 100%, also.
      I hope there is a silent majority out there.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • justthesame

      Marriage is not an equal rights issue, its a religous one. Are we going to approve of ever different type of marriage request to be equal to everyone. i.e Polygamy.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • myweightinwords

      @justthesame, if it is a religious issue, it can not be legislated. Period.

      This is a civil rights issue, an equality issue.

      Furthermore, the bible supports polygamy. Anyone who supports "a biblical view of marriage" but does not support polygamy is a hypocrite.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  8. disappointedvet

    Reading many of the comments here, no wonder our country is having the problems it's having. Too many "if that had happened to my people" comments. Such diivision, especially division being pushed from political and religious leaders, is bound to tear the country apart. United we stand, divided we fall. Ring a bell?

    Not a supporter of gay marriage, not sure how a Church can support it; it's like saying sin is ok. the Church does not support infidelity, murder, stealing, etc...and should not support/condone those that do agree with it. It's hypocritical, which people already use against the Church.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Primewonk

      How in the world is being born gay a sin? That's as îdiotic as saying being born left-handed or black is a sin.

      Oh...Wait...It wasn't that long ago that religious folks thought both those were sins as well.

      Look, I'm sorry, but this is just one more thing (out of many) that your scientifically illiterate god got completely wrong.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Not a supporter of gay marriage, not sure how a Church can support it; it's like saying sin is ok. the Church does not support infidelity, murder, stealing, etc...and should not support/condone those that do agree with it. It's hypocritical, which people already use against the Church."

      You forgot a few abominations: Unclean things (Lev. 7:21) ; Cheating (Mic. 6:10) ; A proud look (Pro. 6:16-17) ; A lying tongue (Pro. 6:17; 12:22) ; Hands that shed innocent blood ((Pro. 6:17) ; A wicked scheming heart (Pro. 6:18) ; A false witness that speaks lies (Pro. 6:19) ; A sower of discord (Pro. 6:19) ; A false balance or scale (Pro. 11:1) ; The proud of heart (Pro. 16:5) ; Justifying the wicked (Pro. 17:15) ; Condemning the just (Pro. 17:15) ; Refusing to hear the law (Pro. 28:9) ; Wearing clothes of the opposite sex (Dt. 22:5) Re-marriage of former companions (Dt. 24:1-4) ; Cheating others (Dt. 25:13-16) ; Making images/idols (Dt. 27:15) ; Eating unclean things (Isa. 66:17) ; Robbery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Murder (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Adultery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Violence (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Breaking vows (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lying with a menstruous woman (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

      There are many in our society that break all of these but you're not trying to block their civil rights now are you. Adultery is one of the greatest commandments in your bible and with a divorce rate of over 50% you aren't trying to block their civil rights now are you. What a bunch of hypocrites.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  9. Moe

    I like how republicans want to regulate the average citizens personal life which doesn't effect other people(birth control,gay marriage, etc.) but don't want to regulate wall street who's actions do effect others, just imagine how much bigger of a loss JPmorgan could have been without regulations

    May 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • chris reid

      One thing about America , its nothing like the empire of Rome.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Primewonk

      That's right Chris – Rome officially converted to Christianity as the state religion. And then their empire collapsed.

      May 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  10. jefflazrn

    Amazing how the black church is using the bible to discriminate against others even though the bible was used to discriminate against them.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • yalesouth

      exactly, makes no ssense

      May 14, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Robert

      The reason people use the bible to comment on gay marriage is that God is very clear on this subject (Rom 1) , taking the guess work out of which side of the fence we should be on. The bible says "if you love me then keep my commandments"
      If you don't love him then you won't care what his word say's. It's really quite simple. Doesn't matter what color your skin is the truth is color blind and it applies to every living soul, if what your preacher say's about this issue doesn't line up with "thus sayeth the Lord" then you need to "Come out of her my people"

      May 14, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Randy

      You are so right. The Bible is also used to discriminate against rapists, pedophiles, adulterers, murderers. That is just plain wrong, isn't it? Everything that the Bible is against, should be encouraged, according to this logic. Duh.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • myweightinwords

      @Robert, if the bible was all that clear on the subject, you wouldn't have Christians on both sides of the argument.

      Obviously there is room for interpretation.

      Of course, there's also the fact that the USA is not a Christian nation, and that other religions (and Atheists) don't have a problem with equal rights.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  11. SuziqueWA

    I heard a caller on a talk show mention that even though he did not agree with Obama's beliefs, policies, or record, he will still vote for him because "he is a bro and we bros gotta stick together.". So much for what is best for our country!

    May 14, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • momoya

      Voters on both sides of the aisle use stupid reasons for voting the way they do.. Don't generalize based on just one voter.. That's stupid.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  12. Bambam

    More evidence that organized christian religion will ultimately destroy this country....if the organized Muslims don't get us first!

    May 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      LMAO!! You thin Sharpton is religious? He's using it for political purposes. Don't blame religion. Blame greedy, power hungry people and the stupid ones who follow them.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  13. Ben

    If there is no media bias, why is there a story about the "evolution" of black churches thought on this (even though it was the black vote that carried the ban in California in 2008) directly connected to a story about Republican intolerance. The press seems to have decided they just no longer are even concerned with appearling objective (and lying as they did in the past)...they have just decided to campaign for Obama.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • xab

      This is more a story of the yoke of religion than Republican oppression.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • oldpatriot

      Just more American hypocrisy in politics and religion – who cares, this is just more democratic propaganda, organized and planned to save as many votes from the church congregation while justifying Obama position with his base. This entire article is an example of the craven partisanship that has taken over the media in America

      May 14, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  14. xab

    I'm a Democrat but blacks have lost my support for any future acts/amendments/bills or policies that they want that favor them. How convenient for them to forget their own oppression at the hands of a vicious majority. Until they realize they are no beter than their oppressors were 50, 100, 150, 200 years ago, they can fight their own battles.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • oldpatriot

      its really no different than how the jews and Isreal have become the new nazi's, waging war against innocent people while the world tacitly sits by and watches. Hypocrisy doesn't care who the players are and American Christianity is as guilty of religious war as the jihadists!

      May 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • christine brooks

      Don't lump all blacks together.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • bayoubeauxns

      did you not notice that some black pastors agree with his position also. so you'd throw an entire race under the bus because of the beliefs of some? wow

      May 14, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  15. Alongtheway

    Wait! Why isn't there an article on the HISPANIC pastors, or IRISH pastors, or AMERICAN INDIAN pastors??? Until then - I don't want to see any more of this. NEXT!

    May 14, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • xab

      Because out of all races, blacks are the most bigoted against gay-marriage and gays in general. How can you not understand that?

      May 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • kirby

      As a gay black man, my race treats this as the cardinal sin. Even more disturbing when you look around our community and discover who have clear and define goals for their lives, stays out of the prison system, becomes educated and successful at what they do, loves their community, loves their neighbor, and have a caring and giving spirit without motive and self promotion, it is most of the time a black gay man. Word to the BLACK MINISTER: I am not a damn demon..! I personally know this from Jesus..!

      May 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  16. Tony

    In Chicago kids are being shot down in front of schools by other kids, never an adult around, never a parent around, just kids running the streets. But on Sunday you get to hear tirades about who people sleep with at night instead of hearing what people need to hear; Which is get up off your butts and get involved in the lives of some of these kids running the streets like packs of wild animals. Always around for the media cameras when a child has been shot to blame the police, or lack thereof, but never the truth, and that is the parents failed the children. Years from now people will look back at these "Preachers" and "Ministers" as the disingenuous scam artist they really are. Less time worrying about people's bedrooms and more time on things that really matter would suit them best.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • kirby

      Excellent Tony..................well stated. Now let see how many gets it. All of those spiritual pigments on Sunday morning listening to this prejudice, in difference crap from the "black church pulpit" all in the name of Jesus. If it wasn't for women
      and gays the black church would have been dead long ago...! Its just on life support now..................................................

      May 14, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • chefdugan

      Believe ANY pastor, black or white, an you have just passed the ultimate self-delusion test. They are all full of BS and make a living off the suckers who attend every Sunday.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • chris reid

      Determination helps. There are people like yourself who are determined to help. the media may give these people only limited attention but indeed if its going to cover things when they go bad they should follow up with coverage on those like youself who are trying to offer help to kids who are in difficulty.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  17. Shadowcandy

    hmmmm...

    May 14, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  18. matt

    RON Paul-2012

    May 14, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Gary Johnson-2012

      May 14, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  19. CJ

    How can you back a president who does not hold the same values that you do. I think that is wrong. This is a BIG one. I wondered as soon as I heard Obama say it, what the black preachers will think of this....however I can't say I am surprised to hear that "although they disagree with him, they will still back him". No surprise there at all. As for those saying Romney's church says "one man, many wives" the Morman church DOES NOT condone more than one wife.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • James PDX

      They did until the government, backed by the religious right, came down on them. The idea that you would agree with another man on EVERY issue is naive. You have to pick the candidate who you think will be best overall for the country, and that is not Romney. Obama remains the lesser of 2 evils.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • ...

      You're right. The Mormon Church doesn't anymore. Pretty much because it is illegal in the United States. Mormons are still out of their minds for believing some of what they believe though. Sure, don't believe that gays should marry, but believe you'll get your own planet if you're a good mormon boy or girl. This country isn't and shouldn't be run by any church.
      Why shouldn't gays get married? I got married and don't even believe in God. What's worse to the Christians? I'll get married and divorced as many times as I please. I make no vows to or under God and feel no guilt or fear from it.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • thinking clearly now

      @CJ....If a voter based their vote on the issue of being in total agreement with the values of the candidate of their choice, then they would likely never vote again. No candidate will share all ones values or opinions. You have to look at the candidate as a whole and not just an issue. "No surprise there at all" is that meant to be a racially derrogitory statement? Are you suggesting that blacks can not look past Obamas skin color when choosing a candidate? Thats an ignorant assumption to make. There are many black Rebublicans in America! Also regarless if Mormons publically acknowledge it or not they are of the mind set that a man can have more than one wife. Even in their afterlife they supposedly rule there own world and are given many wives. Thats disturbing!

      May 14, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • CJ

      No I am not naive. I know you cannot agree with a candidate on EVERY issue, but as I said, I feel this is a BIG ONE. I would think the heads of churches would feel that as well. I have to wonder if they did the same article on CHURCHES or PREACHERS in general (not just black preachers) if the opinions would differ. I just think they are so into the fact that "they" have a black president, they will back him no matter what he says or does, and THAT is very sad.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • jefflazrn

      OK CJ, so I'm assuming that you are voting for Romney because you also have an elevator in your garage. Got it.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Neil

      THey disagree with him on that particular issue. No one agrees with every single thing that their candidate of choice believes.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • T1

      you must be white

      May 14, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  20. JG

    the black community has sold their soul to the Democrat Party,anthing they say is .meaningless.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm no Democrat nor am I black, but if I was a black voter and I looked at the historical treatment of my race as a guideline for who I'd vote for, I'd probably vote Democrat too. Things just went downhill with the Republicans after the emancipation proclomation.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • thinking clearly now

      Oh yes and the Republican Party is oh so good at keeping there promises. There objective is to help the under privledged and build stronger black communities. Pull your head out of the ground!

      May 14, 2012 at 10:08 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.