A group of Black Christian pastors were the face of a coalition of well-known religious non-profits at a press conference yesterday protesting a ruling that struck down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage. Michigan’s attorney general Bill Schuette is appealing that ruling, and the presser was organized by the Michigan Catholic Conference, the Thomas More Law Center, and “a national coalition of Baptists, Lutherans, Mormons and evangelicals led by Catholic bishops filed three separate briefs Wednesday in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati,” USA Today reports.
“You are my enemy! Anybody that’s an enemy of God is an enemy of mine,” declared Pastor Roland Caldwell of the Burnette Inspiration Baptist Church of Detroit. “And now the fight is on! We’ve come together to say, ‘Hell no. We’re not going to sit back.’”
Rev. Stacey Swimp of Flint, Michigan told the audience that same-sex marriage will “destroy the backbone of our society.”
“We love everybody, but we don’t love the (gay) lifestyle,” Rev. Rex Evans, pastor of Free Will Baptist Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan told the audience. There’s a “small group of people trying to destroy the foundation” of America. “It’s time to take our nation back.”
USA Today reports the “ministers criticized people who compare the struggle for same-sex marriage to the black civil rights movement, saying such a comparison is offensive and historically inaccurate.”
Noting that millions of blacks were killed by slavery and public lynchings, Swimp said that backers of gay marriage who compare their movement to black struggles are being “intellectually empty, dishonest.”
In their recent decisions legalizing gay marriage, judges have referenced the 1967 court case Loving v. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage in the United States.
The brief from the black ministers criticized the idea that allowing same-sex marriage is the same as allowing interracial marriage. Comparing the gay rights movement to black civil rights is “ignorant and myopic,” said Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law center, who attended the rally in Detroit to show support.
“Hallelujah” some in the crowd said as speakers attacked gay marriage and same-gender sexual relations. They criticized celebrities and sports stars such as Ellen DeGeneres and Michael Sam who identify themselves as gay.
“We believe in the Judeo-Christian conception on which America was founded upon,” said the Rev. Rader Johnson of Greater Bibleway Temple in Bay City, Mich.
Many quoted from the Bible and the history of Christianity to back up their beliefs. They also portrayed themselves as under attack from a secular culture that’s hostile to religion.
The ministers are intentionally ignoring that the Bible condones the very slavery of which they speak, and are intentionally ignoring how it was used in their lifetimes to uphold Jim Crow laws making them second-class citizens. The bible was also used in arguments opposing interracial marriage, ultimately struck down by Loving v. Virginia in 1967.
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