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Black NC faith leaders: 'We agree with God' on controversial HB2
Pastors don't equate LGBT activism, civil rights
Published Wednesday, May 25, 2016 4:00 pm
by Latisha Catchatoorian

African American pastors gathered in Raleigh Tuesday to support HB2, which restricts transgender to using restrooms of the sex listed on their birth certificate.

RALEIGH – U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, with the support of President Obama, recently referred to transgender struggles as an issue of “civil rights.”

Faith leaders who stood in front of the Capitol building Tuesday called Lynch’s remarks “offensive.”

One of the provisions of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender they identify with. The state has seen much opposition against the bill signed into law in March, but more than 50 faith leaders from across the state stood in solidarity in support of it.

“We’re here to debunk and dispel the many fallacious ideologies that people have attached to HB2, which is simply common sense legislation,” said John Amanchukwu, youth pastor at Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh. “Our president and our Attorney General Loretta Lynch have made some inflammatory comments and statements that are erroneous at best. A person’s ability to self-identify as something they are not has nothing to do with civil rights.”

“The language of ‘civil rights’ shouldn’t be hijacked to give privileges to the politically vocal while taking away freedoms from people disfavored by government,” said Bishop Patrick Wooden, senior pastor and bishop of Upper Room Church. “As you can see, I am African-American. I have been African-American since birth; God made me this way. For the attorney general to equate the legitimate struggle of the civil rights movement to the things that HB2 stands for is embarrassing and is wrong.”

Clarence Henderson, chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Civil Rights, participated in the Greensboro Woolworth sit-ins during the civil rights movement. He said transgender identity is a “feeling” and that to call it a “movement” offends him.

“I stand before you to tell you what civil rights is and what it isn’t. It certainly isn’t transgender (identification)… If you were born a man, that’s who you are. If you were born a female, that’s who you are. Tell me how you’re going to tell the families that came on those slave ships, in chains… tell their families (that it is comparable) to transgender (identity),” he said. “You tell me how many transgender people have been lynched.”

Only .3 percent of the American population identifies as transgender, though some experts estimate the number to be greater than reported. Pastor Kenneth Fontenot, senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Wilson, said no law intended to protect a minority should be passed at the expense of the majority.

“The laws passed in the 1960s did not bless black people while they hurt white people,” he said.

Fontenot highlighted his point by pouring maple syrup on a stack of bread, saying that covering bread in syrup does not make it pancakes.

“It has become more and more challenging each day to witness our common sense liberties and freedoms being challenged and assaulted by an overreach of more and more government. I strongly believe that restrooms and showers separated by biological sex is common sense, not discrimination,” said Leon Threatt, senior pastor at Christian Faith Assembly in Charlotte.

Gabriel Rogers, senior pastor at Kingdom Christian Church in Charlotte, said that just like God loves everyone, so do the ministers, but if the government gives liberties to transgender people, it’s difficult to police the ill-willed with predatory intentions protected by the same law.

“What are we going to do with the trauma when our young girls and our young boys are exposed to (opposite sex) genitalia? What are we going to do when someone is confused about their own sexuality because they’ve been exposed to someone who was confused in and of themselves?” he said.

Jimmy Bention, pastor of Metrolina Christian Center Church of God in Christ in Monroe, was incredulous when he said society is “soft-shoeing” the issue because the conversation is about  “penises and vaginas.”

Added Wooden: “The African-American community is not monolithic. We’re not rogue pastors. We’re not ashamed to admit we agree with God.”



Posted on July 8, 2018
they agree with the god that said that blacks should be slaves?

Posted on May 26, 2016
Black Pastors back there white masters again!There slow evolution of consciousness, thinking and leadership affects the sheep they lead and reflects the lack of improvement in Black community. We reap what we sow!
Posted on May 26, 2016
HB2 harms Black straight or cis gender people! It is disturbing that the Charlotte Post presented such a ill-informed perspective without sharing what HB2 actually does. It is not a bathroom bill that only decides where folks relieve themselves.

HB2 limits our ability to file state lawsuits for discriminatory firings due to race, gender, religion, handicap, national origin and biological sex.

HB2 prevents municipalities from mandating a living wage standard rendering mayor's and ciy councils virtually helpless against poverty wages that disproportionately affect Black folks.

Media coverage of this bill is complicit to further violence against Black and Brown folks and all poor people.

Most assuredly, the civil rights movement and the struggle for Black Liberation and self-determination for people of color is against HB2.
Posted on May 26, 2016

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