I am very grateful for African American pastors who are holding the line on same-sex marriage. The Washington Post tells the story of these pastors who are taking some heat over their commitment to traditional marriage. They are being accused of being on the wrong side of history on the most important civil rights issue of our day. These pastors are pushing back saying that gay marriage is not a civil rights issue. The Washington Post reports on an interview with Pastor Nathaniel Thomas:
[Rev. Thomas] knows that some gay activists are incredulous that black ministers could oppose a civil rights initiative. “‘How dare a black preacher take this position,’ they say, ‘because you’ve felt this pain,’ and I have,” he says. Over the decades, he has marched for voting and housing rights and fought for equal protection for blacks.
But Thomas and the 77 other Baptist ministers in the association do not see same-sex marriage as a civil rights matter. Rather, they say, it is a question of Scripture, of whether a country based on Judeo-Christian principles will honor what’s written in Romans or decide to make secular decisions about what’s right. In Maryland, as in California and New York, opinion polls have shown that although a majority of white voters support recognition of same-sex marriage, a majority of blacks oppose it, often on religious grounds.
Thomas, 61, says a couple of young women in his church told him that maybe it’s not so bad to allow two women to join together because, in many cases, men are not in the home.
His booming voice softens: “We do have a flat tire in our community when it comes to marriage and men in the household. But do we flatten the other three tires to move forward, or do we work on fixing the flat tire? Do we give up on the lack of strong black men leading our households and justify another change in our social structure?”
Black pastors commonly resist the comparison between the push for gay marriage and the civil rights movement of the last generation. I once heard Dwight McKissic put it this way: “To equate civil rights with gay rights is to compare my skin with their sin.” I think he’s right. Read the rest of the article here.