Pastor Supports Warren Protests

Jim Burroway

January 9th, 2009

Rev. Kenneth L. Samuel, Senior Pastor of Victory For the World United Church of Christ in Stone Mountain, GA., has written a stirring op-ed in the Daily Voice, supporting the protests against Rick Warren as Obama’s choice to give the Inaugural invocation, as well as Warren’s invitation to speak at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in January. Dr. Samuel writes:

While expressing some disagreement with Rev. Warren’s views about gay people, most [civil rights] leaders have generally defended his invitations to participate in these events based upon the conviction that both Barack Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr. stand for reaching out to persons of divergent views and bringing them together in dialogue.

While there is great value in such a conviction, the fact is that Rick Warren has not been invited into a dialogue at either occasion. He has been invited to invoke God’s presence on behalf of the nation at one occasion and to speak in tribute to the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the other.

To be sure, if Reverend Warren had been invited into a dialogue about marriage equality, he most likely would have declined…

I am certain that gay rights groups and their allies would certainly prefer to be joining hands and hearts with the Obama administration and the King Center in the quest to re-vitalize the American economy, improve public education, save Social Security, provide universal health care, protect the environment and end the war in Iraq.

Instead, we must now deal with the sting of having been again slapped in the face by fellow fire fighters before we can even focus on putting out the fire which threatens to engulf everyone’s house. These ‘minor’ insults are actually ‘major’ distractions that we should no longer allow. Lest we continue to be derailed from the common aim of “liberty and justice for all”, the protests must proceed.

[Hat tip: HRC Backstory]


January 10th, 2009

Hey, I thought all black people hate gays?

Jonathan Justice

January 10th, 2009

While all of us are saying our various versions of ” Thank you Jesus for having such awesome friends!”, let’s notice that a very large chunk of the religious right sees this stuff as their worst nightmare coming true. A lot of the money and political energy that pushed quietist fundamentalists and evangelicals into militant Republican activism was afraid of exactly this: That someday too soon (any decade of the last 12 or the next 5), religious liberals would no longer be restrained by the “concerns” of their more rightist brethern, and go ahead to do what they had been talking about. Thanks in no small part to the supposed success of the religious right over the last three decades, we have elected to the Presidency a man who is both a member of the United Church of Christ and black by the all too well understood “can he pass for white” standard that applied in most of this country till last summer. That he, and the rest of us, would then be called to the task of equality for LGBT people by the black preacher of one of the largest congregations of that denomination, leaves them spinning out of the loop, in danger of an even more serious fall occasioned by developing shortages of the money that made it all possible.

The part about the preacher’s church being at Stone Mountain, the site of the unfinished Mt. Rushmore style monument to the Confederate dead, is just icing on the wedding cake.

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