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Friday, November 21, 2008

Did African-Americans’ Yes Vote on 8 Repudiate King’s Dream?

A nation will be as strong as its laws are wise. America’s legal system, without credible dispute, was founded on a biblically based system of law. That foundation has served to help make America one of the greatest nations in the history of the world. Americans are as wealthy, healthy, generous, strong, educated, compassionate, and, yes, tolerant as any people who have ever walked the face of the earth. Central to producing such a great nation has been a normative structured family of two people, one male and one female, given the task of raising each succeeding generation. As a nation, this has been the Judeo-Christian family value by which we have prospered.

Admittedly, America, the place where every person is said to possess the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, has not always lived up to its lofty aspirations. As an African-American, Langston Hughes spoke for many of his brothers and sisters when he said, “America was never America to me.” But praise God that because of the brave efforts of many Americans of diverse ethnic backgrounds, the terrible legacy of overt institutionalized racism has been dying a slow death for many years now. The testament to this cultural transformation is November 4th 2008, when Americans of all stripes elected the first African-American President.

Yet on the same night when African-Americans danced in the streets all across America, celebrating the mortal blow delivered to institutionalized discrimination, many homosexuals accused them of being a principal party in institutionalizing another form of discrimination. Gay activist Wayne Besen wrote, "There is something particularly galling and repugnant about people who have felt the sting of discrimination, turn around and step on another minority. What happened at the ballot box feels like a personal betrayal and the hijacking of history." He poignantly added, “Let's not pretend that the repudiation of Martin Luther King Jr's dream by African American voters did not hurt more than, say, rejection by white evangelicals. It did.” While I can empathize with his deep disappointment and even anguish, my response to his rationale is, wow! The basis of his charge is that on the same night many African Americans voted overwhelmingly for Obama, 70% of them voted yes for a traditional one man one woman definition of marriage in California. African Americans were the key voting block responsible for the passage of prop 8.

Besen deduced that African Americans voted to “take away a gay person's right to marry primarily based on a book -- the Bible.” He also believed that the less educated a person was (regardless of their ethnicity) the more apt they would be to vote yes on 8. I actually agree in part with his analysis as to why African Americans voted yes on 8. The secularization of our education system by the Left makes it so that the more education a person receives, the more secular their value system is likely to become. I am not advocating that people stop going to school. I am noting how radically Left our educational system has moved from the Christian foundation of nearly all of our Ivy League schools and our collective education system. For example, no on 8 proponents used an expensive TV ad campaign to persuade voters that they didn’t have an agenda to introduce a homosexual lifestyle in our schools. The catch is that, at least in part, the campaign was paid for with a million dollar donation from the California Teachers Association. Why? They realize what everyone knows—that people just don’t wake up thinking there is no difference between having a mother and a father and being raised by two intimately involved women or two romantically engaged men. You have to undergo a substantial amount of re-education to believe that. Besen openly admitted that the future strategy for same sex marriage advocates must involve re-educating people to embrace a secular worldview rather than a Judeo-Christian one. So I agree with Besen that the Bible played a key role in informing the decision for many African Americans to vote yes on 8. There is a much higher church attendance among African Americans as a group than other ethnic groups in the US, and, therefore, African Americans are much more inclined to embrace a biblical definition of marriage instead of a secular one. Read Besen’s article “Proposition 8 and Race” particularly his “solutions to ponder” section.

The point with which I profoundly disagree with many prop 8 opponents is that they imply a significant number of African Americans voted yes on 8 because they read the measure incorrectly. For sure the nearly 40 million dollars that prop 8 opponents spent to confuse voters affected many people. However, the equal amount spent by proponents of 8 clarified the issues for African Americans. Once in the polling booths, folks didn’t have a problem understanding the 14 words on prop 8. They clearly understood them and the nearly countless negative implications a no vote meant for Californians and our nation as a whole. What many African Americans and everyone else who voted yes on 8 were thinking is, Where would we stop if we legally defined minority status based upon sexual desires, and granted those groups civil rights? Wouldn’t we have to classify bi-sexuals as a minority group and redefine marriage again? Wouldn’t we have to define polygamists as a minority group and redefine marriage again? And wouldn’t we have to grant incestuous partners civil rights to marry? That’s to say nothing of what would happen if we adopted a gender-neutral worldview? Which bathrooms would people go in? Would teachers tell little elementary school girls they could marry each other when they said that boys were yucky? Don’t all little kids think that the opposite sex is yucky? If a great number of kids grew up embracing the no on 8 secular worldview, then how would we produce a new workforce to outpace our nation’s mortality rate? Far from erroneously marking yes instead of no, many African Americans thought the issues through quite well and decided to thoroughly reject the notion that what someone chooses to do in their bedroom should be the basis of granting them minority status accompanied with civil rights to redefine the ancient tradition of marriage. If it is not obvious that man and woman are designed differently to come together in a complimentary way in marriage for the survival of human society, then everyone had their right to vote “no” on 8. As law abiding people, it should seem that at this point all Californians should honor the twice stated will of the people and all of human history which has defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Last, let me emphatically state that voting yes on 8 in no way makes someone an unloving, hate mongering, unreasoning, intolerant religious bigot, “a hijacker of history,” or a repudiator of King's Dream. A person can vote yes on 8 and affirm one of the greatest truths in the Bible, John 3:16, which explains how God so loved all sinners that He gave His unique Son to die so that those who are actually guilty of death could experience His love and forgiveness. The apostle Paul writes:
  • Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
God doesn’t force people to find their joy in obeying His ways. And US government doesn’t force its citizens to vote to affirm the desires of any one group. We can all choose or vote according to our conscience.

Most Americans used to proudly sing "God Bless America." Despite her many failings, America as a nation has in significant ways acknowledged God’s ways. And in doing so has validated in her experience God's blessings. But of course Americans can choose to reject God and choose secular ways of thinking. And more and more often America is choosing to do that. The consequences of these choices would have to be the subject of another blog (cf. Romans 1:18-32). While we wait to see if the California Supreme Court justices will once again overrule the will of the people and rule that sexual preference constitutes a minority group with the civil right to redefine marriage, let me affirm as a Christian I am proud that so many of my African American brothers and sisters voted yes on prop 8. The witness of history testifies and the Bible confirms that they made the wiser choice on prop 8 on November 4th. And wise laws make a nation stronger for all of its citizens, even those who disagree.


Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Bobby:

What a wonderful artical. I pray that America, espcially African-American will come to see the truth concerning abortion, partcial birth-abortion and the adoption of children by homosexual as a truth concerning the family (Eph. 5: 16).

It is time for Christians to expose sin for what it is, darkness.


Bro. Bob Conard

Wayne Besen said...

The only sin is coming from fake Christians like you who are hiding behind religion to justify your bigotry and discrimination. Shame on you for using a book - the Bible - that was used to justify slavery and a ban on interracial marriage. Here is what a real Christian would say:

The Riverside Church in the City of New York stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers throughout the United States who suffer from social and legal discrimination based upon their sexual identity. Our congregation is energized in its resolve to speak boldly on behalf of God's love and justice for all couples who wish to live in covenant love with one another and share their lives. The recent California vote for Proposition 8 that passed with 52% of the ballots defines marriage as "only between one man and one woman." The Riverside Church reaffirms its commitment as stated in The Riverside Church Statement in Support of Same-Gender Civil Marriage:

Recent circumstances leading to calls for a Constitutional amendment to define marriage to exist solely between a man and a woman, and ultimately ban any legal recognition of same-sex unions, compels The Riverside Church of New York City to raise its voice in unity with those who cherish the principles of freedom, equality, and fairness for all. In so doing, we stand firm in our call for a more just and humane society-one where basic civil rights, and the right to simply be, are never denied to any citizen of this land .

We now continue in this tradition of progressive activism by reaffirming our commitment to pursue an open and candid conversation to forge greater understanding of such issues as family values, sexual identity, and biblical interpretations of human relations. Further, in an attempt to embrace all committed-relationships, the Church will take the bold action of no longer distinguishing between same-sex unions and (heterosexual) marriages. All ceremonies among two committed, loving adults at The Riverside Church will be recognized as marriages . . .

We further commit our resolve to support efforts leading to the development of social policies and laws that enable same-gender loving couple's access to the privileges, legal protections, and benefits of civil marriage.

My leadership at The Riverside Church will continue to advocate these same principles, and I am committed to speaking out on issues of justice and equality with respect to my Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Queer sisters and brothers. Please accept this letter of support as another gesture of this commitment. I call upon all people of good will to work together to craft public policies and foster communal practices that will usher in the Beloved Community of which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke so often. In this Beloved Community, all God's children can have their life-giving, loving covenants affirmed.


The Reverend Brad R. Braxton, Ph.D.
Senior Minister
The Riverside Church in the City of New York

Fitts said...


This is a great and informative post! This is a fight that will/must continue until the Lord's return. We cannot compromise on this issue.

You have stated the facts very well. It is my prayer that those who are enslaved to the sin of homosexuality will repent and turn to the love of God our Savior Jesus the Christ. It is only then that they will have the power to live a life free from the power of sin.

You are right in your assessment of the aggressiveness of the homosexual agenda. Satan would like nothing more than to distort the truth so that people will believe a lie. This is not a civil rights issue, this is a sin issue. God has already pronounced judgment on those who refuse to turn from sin.

It is great that Prop 8 passed; now we must continue to pray for those who are enslaved to the sin of homosexuality, that they would know the Truth that sets men free from the enslaving power of sin.

I believe we are now witnessing what Paul talked about in Romans Chapter 1, the giving over of a people who continue to suppress the truth of God's existence and continue to reject His love found in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Just my two cents!

Again, great post,


Anonymous said...

Pastor Bobby:

Wow, wow, and double wow...... Once again, you have written, by FAR, the best blog/commentary/essay/article/ sermon that I have read on this subject (except the Bible of course :) . I can't wait for my husband to read it, and I am forwarding your blog to everyone on my email list.

Though, at times it is extremely difficult to do so, we must rely on the Grace of our Lord to approach ALL situations that we are faced with using the power of His eternal Love, always being ambassadors of the Gospel on which we stand. For we know that no matter how crazy this world might get our Hope lies not on earthly things, but things above.

In Christ

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. You seemed pleased that Prop 8 passed but you are also pleased the Obama was elected.

Obama opposed Prop 8.

It seems like you are dancing at a skirmish victory, while joyful at the loss of the war.

Can you help me understand?

With all sincerity,
W L Morgan