Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide the Black Community

Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide the Black Community

Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide the Black Community

Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide the Black Community

Synopsis

This book explains how faith, politics, and fear contribute to the homophobic mindset within the Black Church and the African American community.

Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide the Black Community explores the various reasons for the Black Church’s aversion—and the general black cultural inflexibility—toward homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and acceptance of the LGBT community. It connects black cultural resistance toward homosexuality to politics, faith, and fear; follows the trail of faith-based funding to the pulpit of black mega-churches; and spotlights how members of the black clergy have sacrificed black LGBTQ Christians for personal and political advancement.

The author systematically builds his case, linking the reasons blacks are intolerant of deviation from acceptable sexual behavior to the 1960s struggle for racial equality, and tying longstanding black sexual mores to present day politics, social conservatism, and the lure of federal funding to black churches and religious and social organizations. He also spotlights specific homophobic black ministers and draws back the curtain on their alliance with White social conservatives and religious and political extremists to reveal an improbable but powerful union.

Excerpt

In one of the most surprising twists of the 2012 presidential race, Vice President Joe Biden announced his unconditional support for same-sex marriage. “I am absolutely comfortable” with it, he told David Gregory of Meet the Press on May 6, just days before North Carolina voters passed a state constitution banning all rights for gay couples. This wasn’t just a typical Biden gaffe. This was an unscripted game changing moment for President Barack Obama, who had no choice now but to follow Biden’s lead. In a tight race where a crucial swing state had just joined 29 other states with constitutional bans and 40 states overall with various prohibitive laws, the president stepped into history by announcing his support for gay marriage. Newsweek captured the moment with a cover shot of President Obama, looking contemplative, his eyes toward the heavens and a glowing rainbow halo atop his head. Headline: “The First Gay President.”

As gay rights activists hailed President Obama for being the first sitting president to support marriage equality, controversy erupted from the pulpits and broadcast mics of conservative black pastors. Overnight, a man who had been viewed by legions of black ministers as ordained by God to be the second coming of black redemption in the United States—a messiah figure fulfilling Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, dream—was now under attack for threatening to destroy the institution of marriage, the black family, and the legacy of the civil rights movement. Reverend Bill Owens, a leader on the black Religious Right and the founder of the nearly 4,000strong Coalition of African American Pastors, repudiated the president . . .

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