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9 comments | Monday, December 29, 2008




The founding members of the newly formed Atlanta Black LGBT Organization is calling on Ebenezer Baptist Church and the King Center to rescind their invitation to controversial evangelical pastor Rick Warren. Warren is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday observance in Atlanta on January 19.


In a press release sent to loldarian.com by founding Atlanta Black LGBT Coalition member and veteran activist Craig Washington, the group states- "Rev Warren's hateful opposition to civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and reproductive rights for women, and his intolerance of diversity contradict the values of freedom and equality that this day represents. Bestowing Rev. Warren such a prominent role does not foster greater understanding between divided communities. Instead it drives more wedges between disenfranchised communities that are continually pitted against each other by the agents of racism and homophobia. In effect it enables oppression and implies that there are still some peole acceptable to hate".







The controversy surrounding President-Elect Barack Obama's choice to invite Warren to deliver the invocation at his Presidential Inauguration still has many in the gay community as well as numerous ardent Obama supporters seeing red. It's baffling to many that a candidate who promised to "bridge the divide" and unite the country after 8 years of clear division would choose to give a national platform to such a divisive figure who has compared gay relationships to "incest and pedophilia".


According to an interview given to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, King Center spokesperson Isaac Farris said Warren was invited to speak last May long before the Obama Inauguration controversy erupted. The center chose him in part because of his getting evangelicals working to solve social problems such as poverty, he said.


The King family members are divided over gay rights. Coretta Scott King, King’s wife, advocated for equal rights for gay men and lesbians before her death in 2006. The Kings’ youngest child, Bernice King, in 2004 led an Atlanta march calling for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. It's also important to remember Dr. King's close relationship with Bayard Rustin, an openly gay black man who organized the March on Washington where King gave his famous I Have A Dream Speech.


The Atlanta Black LGBT Coalition are encouraging Reverend Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church and The King Center "to correct this dangerous mistake while there is still time".

9 Comments:

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I'm glad to see that at least one black gay organization sees Rick Warren's invitation to speak at the King Memorial as the travesty it is.

December 29, 2008 8:44 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

So who you want Obama to invite...Rev. Wright from Chicago?!?

Get real man...you guys take this sexual orientation acceptance thing a little too far. Seriously!

December 29, 2008 9:49 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

"you guys take this sexual orientation acceptance thing a little too far. Seriously!"

Spoken like a person who has no idea what it feels like to be discriminated against based on something as immutable as sexual orientation.

Try viewing this situation from the perspective of someone who doesn't benefit from heterosexual privilege. Seriously!

December 29, 2008 9:53 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

This is Anon-9:49PM-

I understand completely the struggle and discrimination of the LGBT people. I am a gay man myself. However, we often say that our sexual preference is just a small part of us, yet we magnify it and take it to the extreme with our activisim. In that perspective, I do not use my sexual preference in my daily business of work, community, education, etc. I was not hired based on my sexual preference, I did not attain any of my degrees based on sexual preference and I did not select my house based on a sexual preference. I don't use my "gay" lifestyle as a meter in my dail business intereating in society seeking acceptance or attention. Therefore, my comment was geared towards saying that we are taking the sexual orientation aspect of our lives, which we say is a small composite of who we are holistically and placing it as the cardinal source of attention. Unfortunately, I feel it is over done, far too extreme, frankly unnecessary.

Just take a moment and do a high-level comparison of Rev. Wright versus Rev. Warren. I never heard Rev. Warren disrespect gay people from his pulpit, preaching liberal political messages or exclusions of the "white" race like Rev. Wright. Rev. Warren can definitively defend his record on helping all people and frankly he is entitled to uphold his beliefs if we agree or not. Rev. Wright has been a shame to the Black church for his outrageous comments and his church has done nothing significant for the gay men and women of Chicago, but to use them for their money and preach watered down sermons with no biblical depth or validity, just the "Black" theology he spew Sunday after Sunday.

Nonetheless, I take no offense to Obama's selection of Rev. Warren. It was a much better choice than Rev. Wright. I would prefer if he would have select T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Eddie Long or Frederick K.C. Price. They are much more enjoyable to hear than Rev. Warren, but I digress.

Have a good day.

December 30, 2008 1:57 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I am responding to Anon-1:57AM-

Your comment caused my blood to boil which is not a good thing. Luckily, I saw a thread on another blog called "Doing the Damn Thang" that expresses my feelings precisely on this subject. I copied it and pasted it below:


"One of the things I've learned is that in order to have a dialogue, objectivity is a must. So, while I do not like scapegoating anyone, I think it goes without saying that most of the resistance the LGBT community faces comes from religious institutions. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It is ok for people to view the homosexual lifestyle negatively. However, the problem is that clergypersons are adding to the existing homophobia by using pulpits as platforms of hatred and confusion. To preach a sermon about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is fine with me because it is not applicable to me as a gay man. However, once you go beyond what is written, you betray trust and become less credible. Let me explain.

I recall watching one of my mother's Juanita Bynum tapes a few years back. She actually used the words "bulldaggers" and "dykes" in her sermon. She asserted that any church-going man who wore earrings was a homosexual. The interesting thing is that the people in the congregation hung onto every word she said. A Youtube video I saw a while back featured a minister who said "sissies cannot speak in tongues." Again, the people in the congregation high-fived each other, ran to the alter, and yelled "Preach it, pastor!" I heard an audio tape of a DC minister describing sexual acts in the presence of his entire congregation (which included children). Despite their intentions, this sort of irresponsible behavior legitimizes the overall negative perception of the LGBT community.

What I despise more than anything is being demonized and classified as anything other than a competent, caring, compassionate, educated, flawed, man. Since the inception of the gay rights movement, people have used propaganda to prevent LGBT persons from experiencing complete, absolute freedom. Anita Bryant, the former Florida beauty queen, started an organization in the late 70s or early 80s -called Save our Children- and was instrumental in having legislation protecting LGBT people in Dade County, Florida repealed. Her position was that the homosexual agenda centered on LGBT persons being in intimate contact with impressionable children. Her famous quote, which has remained in existence, is "They can't reproduce, so they recruit." This type of behavior formed the template for what we are still seeing today (i.e. Proposition 8).

There's only one expectation I have of clergypersons: objectivity. If you are going to preach from the Word of God, preach EVERYTHING and spare no one's feelings. When it comes to sacred texts, I truly am an all-or-nothing man. Either everything is true or nothing is. That may make me extreme, but it's fair. Encourage your members to own other human beings, teach your women to remain silent in the church, and require those who have sinned to cut off the offending body part. These statements may sound delusional, but it is no different from what members of the LGBT community are being subjected to on a daily basis. We are told to feel bad about ourselves. We are made to swallow Leviticus whole. It's complete hypocrisy and an unfair double standard.

In closing, I would like to take the opportunity to refute as many myths as I can. I am NOT a pedophile, mentally ill (at least not because of my sexuality), satanic, demonic, immoral, or hellbound. What I am is a complex man who is interested in developing a romantic, emotional, physical relationship with another MAN. I do not want anyone's acceptance, validation, or approval. As a budding activist, I am not preoccupied with forcing churches or any other religious institution to perform same-sex marriages. I want the government to provide me and my kind with the same RIGHTS and OPPORTUNITIES that my heterosexual counterparts have. I want complete, absolute, unconditional democracy. Why is that such a liberal idea?"


I hope "Doing the Damn Thang' doesn't mind that I copied and pasted his essay here. I just thought it was so good. I hope darian doesn't mind either.

Finally, it's not just that Rick Warren doesn't support marriage equality (although that's bad enough). He also equates homosexual relationhips with adults having sex with children, incest and polygamy. He thinks gays are criminals and perverts. Don't you get it!

And WHO said that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright should be invited to speak ANYWHERE?

December 30, 2008 9:25 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Rev. Wright? Warren? Lawd...sounds a hot mess. Lmao...U know its funny how these anonymous people bother me. But I digress on that. While I do respect others for being themselves without letting their sexuality become a big part of their life if they choose to do that. For those that are proactive...LET THEM BE. Ain't nothing extreme about fighting for your rights or any rights that have been denied to someone based on their sexual orientation. I'm sure whites thought blacks were extreme in sixties when they demanded civil rights. But again I digress on that issue as well. The point is...rescinding Warren was great but putting Wright up..No!!! Hell no! Why do we need preachers, reverends, ministers (whatever) coming in anyways?

December 30, 2008 8:38 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Well Anon 9:25- I am a gay man that disagree with portions of the essay you posted. I'm all for the equal rights we deem we are missing. However, can gays honestly say they can stand in "holy" matrimony in the presence of a holy God? Unfortunately, I don't think we as gay people would ever qualify for that and no governmental institution can legislate on that.

December 30, 2008 9:01 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

"However, can gays honestly say they can stand in "holy" matrimony in the presence of a holy God?"

As a black gay man, my validation does NOT come from any religion. I'm an agnostic, so religion means nothing to me except as a root cause of homophobia.

I wouldn't want to be married in some church by a preacher. I would insist on a CIVIL marriage ceremony which is
just as legal as a religious marriage ceremony.

December 31, 2008 1:02 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

This is Anon-1:02 AM-

I have actually been called a faggot IN a black church. This is ONE of the reasons why I stay away from "church" AND religious people.

Black gay men who talk about how holy they are and/or how holy the church is and/or how holy certain so-called preachers are leave me cold because they are self-haters. If they hate themselves then they MUST hate me so I stay far away from them.

Thought: If one of these black gay men (I call them church queens) heard me being called a faggot in church they would probably join in and say "amen". Admit it. You know who you are.

December 31, 2008 7:46 AM

 

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