Some Black ‘Christians’ are really saying they won’t vote for President Obama because of gay issues?

Some black clergy see no good presidential choice between a Mormon candidate and one who supports gay marriage, so they are telling their flocks to stay home on Election Day. That’s a worrisome message for the nation’s first African-American president, who can’t afford to lose any voters from his base in a tight race.

The pastors say their congregants are asking how a true Christian could back same-sex marriage, as President Barack Obama did in May. As for Republican Mitt Romney, the first Mormon nominee from a major party, congregants are questioning the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its former ban on men of African descent in the priesthood.

In 2008, Obama won 95 percent of black voters and is likely to get an overwhelming majority again. But any loss of votes would sting.

“When President Obama made the public statement on gay marriage, I think it put a question in our minds as to what direction he’s taking the nation,” said the Rev. A.R. Bernard, founder of the predominantly African-American Christian Cultural Center in New York. Bernard, whose endorsement is much sought-after in New York and beyond, voted for Obama in 2008. He said he’s unsure how he’ll vote this year.

It’s unclear just how widespread the sentiment is that African-American Christians would be better off not voting at all. Many pastors have said that despite their misgivings about the candidates, blacks have fought too hard for the vote to ever stay away from the polls.

Black church leaders have begun get-out-the-vote efforts on a wide range of issues, including the proliferation of state voter identification laws, which critics say discriminate against minorities. Last Easter Sunday, a month before Obama’s gay marriage announcement, the Rev. Jamal-Harrison Bryant of Baltimore formed the Empowerment Network, a national coalition of about 30 denominations working to register congregants and provide them with background on health care, the economy, education and other policy issues.

Yet, Bryant last month told The Washington Informer, an African-American newsweekly, “This is the first time in black church history that I’m aware of that black pastors have encouraged their parishioners not to vote.” Bryant, who opposes gay marriage, said the president’s position on marriage is “at the heart” of the problem.

Bryant was traveling and could not be reached for additional comment, his spokeswoman said.

The circumstances of the 2012 campaign have led to complex conversations about faith, politics and voting.

The Rev. George Nelson Jr., senior pastor of Grace Fellowship Baptist Church in Brenham, Texas, participated in a conference call with other African-American pastors the day after Obama’s announcement during which the ministers resolved to oppose gay marriage. Nelson said Obama’s statement had caused a “storm” in the African-American community.

Still, he said “I would never vote for a man like Romney,” because Nelson has been taught in theSouthern Baptist Convention that Mormonism is a cult.

As recently as the 2008 GOP primaries, the SBC’s Baptist Press ran articles calling the LDS church a cult. This year, however, prominent Southern Baptists have discouraged use of the term when addressing theological differences with Mormonism. Many Southern Baptist leaders have emphasized there are no religious obstacles to voting for a Mormon.

Nelson planned to vote and has told others to do the same. He declined to say which candidate he would support.

“Because of those that made sacrifices in days gone by and some greater than others with their lives. It would be totally foolish for me to mention staying away from the polls,” he said in an email exchange.

Romney has pledged to uphold conservative positions on social issues, including opposing abortion and gay marriage. But many black pastors worry about his Mormon beliefs. Christians generally do not see Mormonism as part of historic Christianity, although Mormons do.

African-Americans generally still view the church as racist. When LDS leaders lifted the ban on blacks in the priesthood in 1978, church authorities never said why. The Mormon community has grown more diverse, and the church has repeatedly condemned racism. However, while most Christian denominations have publicly repented for past discrimination, Latter-day Saints never formally apologized.

Bernard is among the traditional Christians who voted for Obama in 2008 and are now undecided because of the president’s support for gay marriage. But Bernard is also troubled by Romney’s faith.

“To say you have a value for human life and exclude African-American human life, that’s problematic,” Bernard said, about the priesthood ban. “How can I judge the degree to which candidate Romney is going to allow his Mormonism to influence his policies? I don’t know. I can’t.”

Romney said in a 2007 speech that LDS authorities would have no influence on his policies as president. He also said he wept when he learned that the priesthood ban had been abolished because he was anxious for it to be lifted. But that has done little to change perceptions among African-Americans and others.

“Obama was supposed to answer for the things that Rev. Wright said,” said the Rev. Floyd James of the Greater Rock Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, at a recent meeting of the historically black National Baptist Convention. “Yet here’s a guy (Romney) who was a leader in his own church that has that kind of history, and he isn’t held to some kind of account? I have a problem with that.”

Obama broke in 2008 with his longtime Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright, after videos of his incendiary sermons were broadcast.

Many Democrats and Republicans have argued that Romney’s faith should be off limits. The Rev. Derrick Harkins, faith outreach director for the Democratic National Committee, travels around the country speaking to African-American pastors and other clergy. He said concerns over gay marriage have receded as other issues take precedence, and no pastors have raised Mormonism in their conversations with him about the two candidates.

“There’s just no space in this campaign for casting aspersions on anyone’s faith,” Harkins said in a phone interview. “It’s not morally upright. It’s not ethically appropriate.”

The Rev. Howard-John Wesley, who leads the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va., said he is telling his congregants, “Let’s not make the election a decision about someone’s salvation.” Last spring, when it became clear that Romney would be the GOP nominee, congregants starting asking about Mormonism, so Wesley organized a class on the faith. He said congregants ultimately decided that “we could not put Mormons under the boundaries of orthodox Christianity.”

But Wesley said, “I don’t want Gov. Romney to have to defend the Mormon church, the wayPresident Obama had to defend Jeremiah Wright.” Wesley, whose congregation has more than 5,000 members, said he will be voting for Obama.

The Rev. Lin Hill, an associate pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Va., said in a phone interview that he plans to travel with other local pastors to about 50 congregations over two weeks to hold discussions and distribute voter guides that will include a contrast between historic Christianity and Mormonism, and educate congregants about the former priesthood ban.

Hill is active in his local Democratic Party but said he’s acting independently of the campaign. He said Mormon theology becomes relevant when congregants argue that they can’t vote for Obama because, as a Christian, he should have opposed gay marriage.

“If you’re going to take a tenet of a religion and let that dissuade you from voting, then we have to,” discuss Mormon doctrine, Hill said. “We want folks to have a balanced view of both parties, but we can’t do that without the facts.”

The Rev. Dwight McKissic, a prominent Southern Baptist and black preacher, describes himself as a political independent who didn’t support Obama in 2008 because of his position on social issues. McKissic said Obama’s support for same-gender marriage “betrayed the Bible and the black church.” Around the same time, McKissic was researching Mormonism for a sermon and decided to propose a resolution to the annual Southern Baptist Convention that would have condemned Mormon “racist teachings.”

McKissic’s Mormon resolution failed.

On Election Day, McKissic said, “I plan to go fishing.” [source]

Because I literally have not one single positive comment to say regarding this issue or the ‘people’ in question and because everything I DO have to say would surely end  some important friendships I hold, I’ll say nothing on the matter.

Juuuuust going to sit here.

I will say it ‘s getting harder and harder to determine what IS a real Christian and what is not.  Is the real Christian the person who follows the strict letter of the Bible’s chapters xyz, or is the real Christian  the person who strictly follows LMNOP but decided to think for themselves about QRS?

In my opinion, i’d like to think that those persons who used common sense and compassion with their religious beliefs, would be the “Real” ones. But I don’t know… and I’m not positive of who is who these days.

I feel like the Animals outside the barn at the end of Animal Farm…

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

In the end, naive or not, I won’t let these few fools besmirch Christianity as a whole. Nor will I let Osama Bin Laden and the like be the depiction of Islam.

Your thoughts?

When not responding to the dictate:" Will the Defendant Please Rise.." CEO and Creator of OHN;Slaus, is a comic illustrator and Social Media whore who spends his free time building legos, playing video games, drawing fantasy characters and being abused by his wife, two sons and cat.


  1. says

    Like I said on facebook…these people are stupid….

    and also like I said on facebook:

    A dear friend of mine who is like a mentor (spiritual and professional) to me broke it down to me just the other day about gay marriage. She said gay people are no different than anyone else, they cook, clean, go to work, go to school, pay their taxes like everyone else. So the real issue boils down to the actual act of sex. She said how much of your time in your entire life is actually spent having sex. Maybe 1% of your whole life is spent having sex. So you are condemning an otherwise good person because of how they choose to spend 1% of their time which has nothing to do with you or your life.

    So they are willing to vote for a man who does not give 2 damns about 99% of America and really don't give 3 damns about black folks all because you are pressed about who is sleeping with who…if that ain't the most ignorant thing!

    I'd actually rather you just not vote…cause you are too stupid to have that right

    • Zuly says

      I don't know why you always insist you're "not that smart" because every time you comment on a serious issue like this, your comments are some of the most intelligent.

    • says

      Prolly should read this:
      Has an interesting take. (I ignored the comments so can't speak on those.)

      I heartily applaud people talking back on this issue with the issue of divorce. I'd like to see a chart comparing the divorce rate between hetero marriages (we already know its at 50%) with those of same sex marriages.

      My personal experience has been going to tons of 10 year, 15 year and 30+ year anniversary parties for my gay pals and having on the flip side having to (over and over again) run over gallons of ice cream and boxes of kleenex and a shoulder to cry on for my hetero pals divorce boohoo fests.

      I think divorce is a great place to start on this issue. And also the separation of church and state. We are not THAT country no matter how certain peeps want to make it so. See how messy and entangled and just plain ignant ish gets when you try to mix the two? I'm not feeling it no sirree.

      And should I ever get married – nobody else's marriage is going to have any say or impact on my own so I just smdh and wonder at people.

      If you are too "christian" to see a human rights issue when it stares you in the face then heaven help you. If you don't realize that the second you take away a human right from someone else the next one will be taken from YOU – heaven help you.

      I love Maya Angelou's take on christianity and christians:

      Self Proclaimed Christian: "I am a christian"
      Maya Angelou: "Already?"

      Faith is a process. It is a journey. You learn and you grow. And it won't end until your dying breath and I believe it continues even after that.

      Its time for these "christians" to grow up and set themselves on the true journey of faith. I'm not christian but I had a christian upbringing until I changed my faith to Buddhism when I was 16, but I believe heartily that The Christ would be mortally offended at these people calling themselves his followers in his name.

  2. TroyPowers says

    Will someone please tell these dumbfucks that marriage has NOTHING to do with Christianity. Marriage was here long before Christianity, and it will be here long after people have realized Christianity is a sham. CHRISTIANS DON'T GET TO DECIDE WHAT MARRIAGE IS AND ISN'T!

    This is a real fucking issue with me. Where the hell do they get off? Who gave you religious shit-for-brains' the right? If you practice a religion that feels the need to force its views on people who aren't even of your faith on issues that have fuck-all to do with your faith, you should graze on a whole garden of dicks.


    • caratime2 says

      "…Marriage was here long before Christianity, and it will be here long after people have realized Christianity is a sham…"

      **from slow clap to standing ovation**

  3. says

    If you are so shortsighted and stupid to NOT vote simply because you disagree with the President on this ONE issue, then you get what you deserve. Just blind and dumb for no damn reason. SMDH

  4. BarefootandPreggoCee says

    Now, I'm no longer a Christian, but I believe that there is a God. That being said, one of the biggest things that irks me is that so called Christians ALWAYS pick and choose what parts of the Bible they want to adhere to on which day. I don't recall seeing in the Bible that pastors should ball so hard mofos wanna fine them, and yet I know for a fact the pastor at my old church doesn't have a day job..but drives a Lexus…feel me? Now, with the issue of homosexuality and Christianity, I would like to point out that homosexuality was arounf LONG before Jesus made his appearance, and it's not going anywhere. The Bible also states that we shouldn't eat shellfish, get tattoos, no premarital sex…and way more fun in the rules that Leviticus lays down, but I dang sure know I used to run into fellow parishioners at Red Lobster after church. And to get Technical, the crime of Sodom and Gomorrah wasn't homosexuality, it was a lack of hospitality towards those less fortunate.
    Now, if these "Christians" want to ignore the basic tenets of Love thy Neighbor, Judge not lest ye be judged, and of course he without sin casting the first stones…that's fine. But when they don't vote and Mittens gets into office and cuts off social welfare programs that some of these parishioners are getting, then I sure hope that these churches are willling to step in to fill the gap that they helped to create. It is so stupid to let one issue that actually has NOTHING to do with you (unless you are Bishop Eddie Long Stroke) be the factor in who you vote for.

  5. says

    So you gonna judge people cause their sin is different from yours?? I swear the Black church kills me!! They will accept an adulterer, a killer, a rapist, a drug dealer, a woman beater, alcoholic, crack head, then turn around and look down their nose at a gay person….*throws up hands and walks off*

    • BarefootandPreggoCee says

      I find it soooo hilarious because outside of Blasphemy and depending on what thread of Christianity Suicide, no sin is greater than another. That's in that good book that people always quote when it's convenient. I personally like to bust out with Leviticus if we are going to play the Scripture game…oh and Deuteronomy. The more obscure parts since people forget about the Old Testament unless they have an agenda lol

      • says


        with 1 exception

        Matthew 12: 31-32

        31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

        when ever I am in a debate about gay marriage…I drop this on them and walk away

        and I am a Christian!!!

      • originalwharris says

        The thing is, homosexuality isn't even mention in the New Testament – you know, the section of the Bible that actually applies to Christians.

        • BarefootandPreggoCee says

          Exactly. It's mentioned once in Leviticus the same book that says you can stone your daughter, women have to marry their rapists and you can't wear a cotton-poly blend.

  6. WanderBoi says

    These people are friggin' idiots. And it's not helping my opinion in any way to think that these folks who won't go to the polls are sheeple. You aren't going to exercise your right to vote that many fought and died for, that to this day, some people are trying to block said right, because some MAN told you to? If it's that damn easy, and you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

  7. Damelo Suave says

    You won't for Obama because he's pro gay marriage. You won't vote for Romney because he's a Mormon, and they're considered a cult, plus they're not too fond of Black folk anyway.

    I don't have a problem with someone voting based on their beliefs, cuz we all do that – whatever your core values happen to be. Just know doing nothing pretty much means neither party has to give two fuggs about you & you'll be stuck. Look at the whole body of work…

  8. Unca_Ruckus says

    Had a coworker talk about the "sanctity" of marriage. So, I made a deal with him. I would vote against same-sex marriage if joined me in the fight to ban divorce. Being that the divorce rate between hetero couples is close to 50%, I'd say that the "sanctity" of marriage is taking a hell of a blow. You got Kardashian marriages of 77 days, Ochocinco marriages of three weeks, ban all that. Of course, the murder and "suicide" rate would go through the roof, but the "sanctity" would be preserved. He no longer talks to me.

  9. phenomblak says

    Everyday, because I believe in God. I have to remind myself, that when it comes to most folk like this.. My God >>>>>> Your God.

  10. Tori D. says

    Those who refuse to vote because of the president's stand on gay marriage are as dumb as the backwoods hillbillies who vote Republican against their own interests because they don't want minorities to get government help. Cutting off your nose to spite your face? Check.

    And if we're talking Christian principles, let's weigh it: you have a group that's okay with the (arguable) sin of homosexuality vs. a group that totally rejects Jesus' ideas of taking care of the poor, sick, widows, etc.

    IDK what Christ these folks are following, but the one I read about was more into helping others than casting them away.

  11. Zuly says

    I think the main problem is that people think that allowing gay couples to marry in the eyes of the law is the same as allowing them to marry in churches. It's not. When you get married in the church, if you don't file for a marriage license and do the government paperwork, guess what…you're still not married in the eyes of the law and you don't get your nice government marriage perks.

    So. If church marriage is what dictates who can get married in the eyes of the law…

    There's a church somewhere in the south that will not allow interracial couples to get married in it. That's perfectly legal. Churches can decide what ceremonies they will or will not perform. Does that mean that interracial couple shouldn't be able to get married in the eyes of the law just because that one church disagrees with their union? No.

    Same with gays. They're not gonna bumrush your church demanding you marry them. They're gonna go about their lives with the same rights as you and never impact you in any freaking way.

    It amazes me that people are willing to fight against something that has NOTHING to do with them, that will never impact them negatively in their own personal lives, yet don't give one DAMN about the stuff that does matter.

    You worry about who someone else loves, but not about who is dictating what you can do with your body. But not about who is taking away your healthcare or retirement money. But not about the fact that you can't find a job, have no job security, or are getting paid less than your male counterpart for doing the same amount of work. Nope. Don't care at all about that stuff. Let's worry about who Joe Schmoe next door is sleeping with.

    Wow. This is why Americans are LOSING as a society.

    • says

      I think the main problem is that people think that allowing gay couples to marry in the eyes of the law is the same as allowing them to marry in churches. It's not. When you get married in the church, if you don't file for a marriage license and do the government paperwork, guess what…you're still not married in the eyes of the law and you don't get your nice government marriage perks.

      I freaking LOVE YOU for this. I've used this same argument but in addition to referring to interracial couples, I also point to atheists, who can legally marry but they sure as heck don't believe in a deity. So are their marriages not valid in the eyes of their Christian "god".

      This is only another reason I choose not to debate using logic, facts & examples with simple, narrow minded sheep who refuse to THINK for themselves.

      • Zuly says

        Yeah. I'm both an atheist and marrying a woman. Clearly I should've been struck by lightning long ago. Haha.

  12. Zuly says

    As a side note, Slaus, if saying what you really think will lose you some friends…I'm not sure if those friends are worth having in the first place.

    • says

      What I want to say..what i REALLLY want to say..will not only end relationships with friends and or family, but end half of our advertising agreements.

      : shrugs : Saying what I want to say is not worth losing OHN and causing massive amounts of family drama over. : shrugs: it just isn't.

      I don't play with my money.

      saying what I want to say would do nothing more but make me feel better to have gotten it off my chest, only to create a whole new slew of issues.

      Freedoms aren't free, and although im free to say what I want,there are consequences to deal with because it.

      part of being an adult is knowing when to say what and what for what reasons as well as dealing with the consequences.

      and i don't think the consequences are worth it. besides… you, troy and choc have pretty much summed up my level 1 feelings.

      not sure anyone in here is capable of saying my level 10 thoughts…

      • Agent00DivaCee says

        Thank you for acknowledging that freedom of speech doesn't equal freedom of consequences. So many people forget that.

  13. CaspercutieSTL says

    These people are fools. Marriage is not being threatened. All this chest puffing in the name
    off God, is a hollow demonstration of faith. IMO.

  14. Agent00DivaCee says

    Marriage is under more attack from the straighties than anyone homosexual…I don't know where people get that from.

  15. Rainbowsprinkles2 says