|Black clergy rip Obama on gay marriage|
|Pastors criticize support for same-sex unions|
|Published Thursday, September 6, 2012 7:52 am|
The Coalition of African American Pastors have a message for President Barack Obama: Don't take black Christians for granted.
"We are disappointed in our president," said the Rev. William Owens, founder of CAAP. "We love our president and we pray for our president."
That dream doesn't include same-sex marriage. That's why CAAP has launched a website, www.10000signatures4marriage.com, to petition the president to change his mind. Owens said 85 percent of the visitors to the site agree with the group's stance.
Owens asserted that too many pastors – especially black ones – are quiet on the issue because they don't want to speak out against the first black president.
"They are drinking his Kool-Aid and it's more poisonous than (cult leader) Jim Jones' was."
But members of the gay and lesbian community reject CAAP’s views.
N.C. Rep. Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford), who is openly gay, said CAAP isn't about civil rights if it promotes discrimination.
"Clearly, if you fought on the streets, like my parents did, and follow the legacy that Dr. Martin Luther King and Jesse Jackson left, you wouldn't take that type of stance," he said.
But Owens and the other pastors who took part in Wednesday's press conference – including Charlotte's William McBride of the Prayer Healing and Deliverance Center – said same sex-marriage is not a civil rights issue and if Obama doesn't change his mind, this could cost him the election.
"Obama said he evolved to this decision," Owens said. "We need him to re-evolve again."
While he said he isn't telling people not to vote for Obama and his group isn't endorsing GOP candidate Mitt Romney, the pastors want to send the message that black Christians aren't automatically going to vote for him again.
"President Obama is trying to undermine God's institution," McBride said.
And while churches have non-profit status, Owens and CAAP member David Hall said this isn't a political issue.
"As a religionist, I am called and will preach the gospel message with compassion and clarity in this matter, in spite of emerging political opinions," Hall said.
North Carolina DNC delegate Janice Covington – the state's first openly transgender delegate – said, "I think they need to go back and read their Bible, because it explicitly says Jesus said that no man should judge another and for them to judge us and to judge Obama, they are committing a sin."
And, Brandon said, seeking attention.
"What we have is a bunch of ministers demagoguing trying to get attention for themselves," he said. "If they concentrate on fornication, adultery and greed – things that affect their church far more than any homosexual – then I think their church would see a different face to it."
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