For Some Black Pastors, Accepting Gay Members Means Losing Others

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Principessa

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    For Some Black Pastors, Accepting Gay Members Means Losing Others
    For the complete text of the article go to: For Some Black Pastors, Accepting Gay Members Means Losing Others - New York Times

    March 27, 2007
    By NEELA BANERJEE
    ATLANTA — When the Rev. Dennis Meredith of Tabernacle Baptist Church here began preaching acceptance of gay men and lesbians a few years ago, he attracted some gay people who were on the brink of suicide and some who had left the Baptist faith of their childhoods but wanted badly to return.

    At the same time, Tabernacle Baptist, an African-American congregation, lost many of its most loyal, generous parishioners, who could not accept a message that contradicted what they saw as the Bible’s condemnation of same-sex relations. Over the last three years, Tabernacle’s Sunday attendance shrank to 800, from 1,100.

    The debate about homosexuality that has roiled predominantly white mainline churches for years has gradually seeped into African-American congregations, threatening their unity, finances and, in some cases, their existence.

    In St. Paul, the Rev. Oliver White, senior minister of Grace Community Church, lost nearly all his 70 congregants after he voted in 2005 to support the blessing of same-sex unions in his denomination, the United Church of Christ.

    In the Atlanta area, a hub of African-American life, only a few black churches have preached acceptance of gay men and lesbians, Mr. Meredith said. At one of those congregations, Victory Church in Stone Mountain, attendance on Sundays has fallen to 3,000 people, from about 6,000 four or five years ago, said the Rev. Kenneth L. Samuel, the senior pastor.

    “My pastor in Alabama said gays had three rights: to redeem themselves, to repent or to die of AIDS,” said Mr. Brown, 32. He added, “The African-American church thinks AIDS is a gay disease, and that everyone who got it deserved to.”

    DeMarcus Hill, 32, said he admired Mr. Meredith’s “ability to embrace those people who everyone had rejected.” Mr. Hill once attended and worked at Tabernacle Baptist, and he is still friends with the Meredith family. But after reading the Bible closely, Mr. Hill, who is studying to be ordained as a Baptist minister, said he could not stay at Tabernacle because sex outside heterosexual marriage was not countenanced.

    Mr. Hill said he agreed with Mr. Meredith that God loves everyone, including gay men and lesbians. “But God corrects you because he loves you,” he said, explaining that for gay Christians, such a correction would probably mean lifelong celibacy or eventually being with someone of the opposite sex.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    RE: The last sentence of this article :eek: WTF!?!? Maybe it's because I'm not Baptist, or perhaps just naive; but that does not sound right!

    I am unfamiliar with the "God corrects you because he loves you" theme or verse of the bible. What book is that in? I have made many mistakes in my life, none of which God corrected. I'd like to think I was forgiven, but who knows.

    I agree that Black churches need to stop shunning and start welcoming andaccepting gays and lesbians. I am saddened but not surprised to see so many congregations dwindle down to nothing. I would hate to see these churches close completely because I'm sure they have done some good in the past for their communities and could continue to do so in the future.

    I believe the time has come for my people to put away their hate and fears and realize that gays and lesbians are not heathen heretics.
     
  2. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    Yeah, talk about minority minorities.

    Then again, I tend to avoid churches of any kind. Faith is very, very blind to the wellbeing of others at times.
     
  3. madame_zora

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    It saddens me that people who have themselves experienced the horrors of discrimination would visit that same hatred upon their own brothers. We just never learn, do we? Prejudice knows no racial boundaries.
     
  4. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    Damn straight Z. I feel we are our worst enemies.
     
  5. stuieelove05

    stuieelove05 New Member

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    It is really sad to see and read about this. I am a black gay male, and i have expierienced lackluster approval from my black counterparts, they all are less excepting of gay life styles than any other people. We as a people will never be complete until we learn to accept each other no matter what, cause that is what Dr. King and others who have died tried to get done.
     
  6. kalipygian

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    Well, I wish the Lady Chablis on them. :biggrin1:
     
  7. Shelby

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    People draw their own lines as to what is morally acceptable and what is not. Why are yours better than someone elses?

    At its base isn't that discrimination too?
     
  8. Shelby

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    Busted?
     
  9. madame_zora

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    No Shelby, and it should be obvious. The fact that it's not speaks volumes, though.

    When one side says "Let everyone be treated as equals and live in peace" and another side says "Only people who think like ME should get the benefits of fair treatment", they are not equal arguments.
     
  10. Heather LouAnna

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    hahaha!
     
  11. kalipygian

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    I thought about how she crashed the uptite debutante ball in 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil', picturing her doing the same in a similarly uptite church had me laughing.
     
  12. Shelby

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    Where does the one side stand on this? Did the couple do anything wrong? I say no.

    Or to take it a step further what is the appropriate age of consent? Are children (whatever the hell that means, I'm still my parents child for chrissakes) not included in the everyone mentioned above? At age fifteen I had a sexual relationship with a 29 year old nurse. I cherish the memory. Do you disapprove? What about if our sexes were reversed?

    How about Sweden? Is it on the right track regarding sexual mores? Do you agree with the jailing of the pastor?

    Is Texas awesome?

    Do parents have the right to discipline their children as they see fit? Who gets to draw the line of what's not acceptable and why?

    My point is that just cause I believe something is right or wrong doesn't make it obvious or even right or wrong for that matter.

    btw - even though this post is a direct response to MZ I welcome anyone who feels the urge to add their two cents.
     
  13. D_Maurice Mountlilly

    D_Maurice Mountlilly Account Disabled

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    it's sad that one becomes either a slave or superstitious to ones belief or so-called ethics.especially blacks in america.
    even if those in the church are offended or afraid of gays(why?i don't know)i don't see how having them as a member of the church they attend is all that big of a deal.i think it all stems from the old school mentality of gay is evil/devilish.
    and it's the same superstition that got george w.the black vote down south.he promised all the older black voters (in the same type of churches mentioned in the article)that no gays from the communities they live in would get married if he was still in office.and the sad part was that above all the things wrong with the country(usa)this is an issue that stood out.
    insane as it sounds this is part of the world we live in.
    but on a flip side to those church members,where was the administration they all voted for when hurricane katrina ravaged the reigon?
    how dangerous and evil were gays/lesbians then?
    i don't wanna get all soapbox style it's just wild sometimes the way things are.
     
  14. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    Fair deal, but the articles you list are scenarios where power is NOT equal. Children do not dictate the law of sexual consent and are regarded as 'lessers', criminals in Texas do not gain the benefit of a right-to-kill law in Texas (I'm thinking if crime was 0% the law would still be in place :biggrin1: ) and children do not get a say on whether being beaten to a pulp by their parents is wrong or not.

    It's not quite the same as saying you're all equal, but some are more equal than others, because in positions of power and responsibility, true equality cannot exist.

    I'm seeing the issue as along the lines of whether group A and group B lead by leader C are equivalent.
     
  15. madame_zora

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    We were talking about churches where attendance was being afftected by allowing gays to attend- I was assuming (correctly or not) that we were discussing human adults, of the age of majority.

    I will answer each issue you raise individually, as they are individual issues.

    I say yes. Regardless of where you stand on "adulthood", I find it absurd to suggest that a nine year old is interested, or benefits in any way from watching her mother fuck some guy. It's sex abuse, and we do have laws to prevent that, which we should be enforcing.

    Here, it depends on the initiator and the maturity level of the younger person. Had she molested you while you were in her care at the hospital, I would say it is wrong and she deserved to be prosecuted. If you initiated, and felt ready to handle it, then it's fine. I initiated sex with a 17 year old guy when I was 12, and I was perfectly capable of making that decision, but had he lured me into it or pushed it on me, it would have been molestation. "Children" are very hard to determine, because people mature at very different rates. Our law attempts to make a line of demarcation to protect those who are defenseless, or weaker. While sexual maturity should be determined by that individual, some provision has to be made so that suck-ass grown-ups don't get to say "The nine year old wanted it!!!111!!!" or 49 year old grandpa doesn't get to claim his 12 year old grand daughter was hot for him.:rolleyes:

    This is not the same argument as adults simply not wanting to be around other adults because of what they do when they're alone with each other.

    Of course, animals cannot give consent to have sex with humans.

    WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH GAY PEOPLE?

    Yes, Texas is awesome. While I personally would not shoot someone for robbing me, I fully support someone's right to do so. If a criminal chooses to draw arms against his fellow man, he has no right to expect that man to just roll over, if he does not wish to do so. I fully support a person's right to protect themselves and their families from attack. I do NOT support anyone's right to initiate an attack.

    Oh god, I don't know Shelby. I guess people should just be allowed to beat the little fuckers silly- that's why they have them, right? How about this- if it leaves a mark, it's a beating. If it's just a "smack" or swat on the butt, then it's just that. I can't think of any legitimate reason to "smack" a kid in the face, though. That just sounds like parents being too stupid or too lazy to talk to the little bastards to me. I know what you're getting at, but it sounds like a lot of straw man arguments to escape addressing why it's okay to discriminate against gays.

    I guess you're saying that gays are equivalent to bestialists, child molestors, child abusers, and all manner of unsavory characters? Are they even as bad as niggers?

    So, equality amoung law-abiding adults is up for discussion? Poor you, I've had that moral dilemma settled for a long time.

    This is just another in a long, sad line of resistances made to human decency. It was wrong against women, blacks, hispanics, the disabled for chrissakes, and yes, even homos now. Get a grip.
     
  16. Shelby

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    I love you. Seriously. This discussion is sweet.

    What you don't see, or Lex sometimes either, is that I'm totally on your side.
     
  17. madame_zora

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    Believe it or not, I do know that. I love you too, snookums.:tongue:
     
  18. vinny_spiruccino

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    And what about me? I need love too ya know....

    After all, I am a white, gay, guy with ADD who grew up in a black household (at least part of the time growing up), and EVEN went to a black church JUST like the ones we're talking about here. Feelz me? Can I get a amen pleez?
     
  19. Shelby

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    Amen brother. :smile:
     
  20. surferboy

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    wow, i can't stand people so close minded. obviously, the reverend is one of the only true christians there. he underatands that there's nothing wrong with gay people, and has even embraced them into his congregation.



    wow, this dude needs to be fuckin shot in the stomach. who the hell does he think is to make such a statement?
     
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