President Obama can’t afford to lose his most ardent supporters on Election Day, but many black pastors are urging their congregations not to vote at all since the choices are a Mormon or the gay-marriage-endorsing President:
“When President Obama made the public statement on gay marriage, I think it put a question in our minds as to what direction he’s taking the nation,” said the Rev. A.R. Bernard, founder of the predominantly African-American Christian Cultural Center in New York. Bernard, whose endorsement is much sought-after in New York and beyond, voted for Obama in 2008. He said he’s unsure how he’ll vote this year.
The Rev. Dwight McKissic, a prominent Southern Baptist and black preacher, describes himself as a political independent who didn’t support Obama in 2008 because of his position on social issues. McKissic said Obama’s support for same-gender marriage “betrayed the Bible and the black church.” Around the same time, McKissic was researching Mormonism for a sermon and decided to propose a resolution to the annual Southern Baptist Convention that would have condemned Mormon “racist teachings.”McKissic’s Mormon resolution failed.
On Election Day, McKissic said, “I plan to go fishing.”
It’s an incredibly selfish move, since Obama would never force these churches to marry gay couples within their walls (nor would Romney infect them with Mormonism). But when you are unable to see candidates outside the boundaries of their faith, things like this are inevitable. That’s why religious Americans should judge the candidates by their policies as much as which invisible deity they (pretend to) listen to.
Here’s a better idea for the members of those black congregations: Vote for Obama and get the hell out of those churches. Everybody wins.