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09 January 2009

Comments

Derrick from Philly

Well, it's perfectly appropriate for black gay folks to protest his appearance at the MLK Observance at Ebeneezer, and it is perfectly appropriate for white, black, Latino...whatvever kinda' gays to protest his appearance at the inaugural. Protest all you want. The elders at Ebenezer will decide if Warren speaks, and President Obama has already decided about him giving the invocation at the inauural.

After January 20th let the ugly preacher pack up his stuff and go on back to California. Then let's get on with trying to fix this mess the Republicans have created.

Warrem must be having a ball with all this attention.

Why do so many evangelist look like the kind of men who used to stick their thing through the hole in the Peep Show booth?

You didn't want to hit it, so all you could say was, "Take that thing back...I know what you look like!"

alicia banks

amen!

no justice, no peace

i hope they make much noise at this event that is sure to have mlk jr. and bayard rustin rolling in their graves...

the secret service can protect warren and his bbff obama as they slap us in dc

but gays in atl should be the slappers at the event!

see more at:
OUTLOOK
http://aliciabanks.blogspot.com
ab

Cevin Fisher

Yes Derrick, we all understand the decision has been made. But it's still important to speak out when you believe injustice has been done. Not everyone is willing to blindly accept or ignore everything that is disturbing connected to the President-Elect Obama or his friends.

And many of us are trying to fix everything the Republicans have done. Many of us have been complaining about Bush and the Republicans for years and others are just now saying we should focus on the damage and forgetabout Rick Warren. We can do all these things at once.

And I see no evidence Warren or the conservative evangelists will disappear after January 20th. Obama has indicated he will expand faith based initiatives, which many gays especially black gays have opposed. I'm sorry, but I do not believe this is the last we will see of Rev. Warren at the White House or black churches.

devereaux

The honorable Dr. Martin Luther King and his fierce wife Coretta Scott King would roll over in their graves. Especially Coretta, whom we all know was very committed to the rights of all people and was a strong gay ally.

Shame.

kevjack

I think this is the beginning of what may become a very difficult few years for us. Once Obama gives approval, it's perfectly OK for the black "leadership" to fall in line. We need to be organized in our outrage at this invitation. Not only for the invitation, but for what it says about "us"-- that it is perfectly acceptable to embrace those who teach that we are less than full human beings who deserve the same rights as others.

Martin and Coretta must be rolling their eyes at this mess...

Tommy Ross

haven't we been talking about this for years...white social conservatives making alliances with black megachurches? we saw them do this in California around Prop 8...

rick warren was one of the leaders of the anti-Prop 8 crusade. ignore this if you want.

and we all know and understand "the elders" of Ebenezer Baptist can choose whomever they want to speak at their church. i thought black gay men and lesbians were the fiercest critics of homophobic pastors and sermons at our churches? now it becomes "oh ignore it, it will go away"

sorry, folks, obama opened the door with warren a nd many other black churches will welcome warren and other white evangelicals who are against us.

Tommy Ross

kevjack, i just read your comment.

AMEN my brother!

Derrick from Philly

"Not everyone is willing to blindly accept or ignore everything that is disturbing connected to the President-Elect Obama or his friends."

No, not everyone...just a little over 70% of the American public--I believe the polls say.


"Obama has indicated he will expand faith based initiatives..."

"expand" is the key word in your sentence, Cevin. Maybe that "expansion" will include projects proposed progressive religious folks like our own RevKev.

I don't know how smart a political move it is to put hypocrites like Warren in the spotlight for a few moments--giving the conservative religious folks some reassurance that SlimJim won't blow up the White House, but President Obama aint dumb. He's one helluva' politician.

M. Mark

Brotha KevJack and Tommy Ross are on the money. President Elect Obama has opened the proverbial barnyard door and given his seal of his approval to Rick Warren and many social and political conservatives. Warren has his blessing and he ain't going nowhere. I am sure he will be back at the White House.

I'm really glad the black gay activists in Atlanta are speaking out. Too many black gays around the country have been far too quiet on Rick Warren. Obama is a politician and I have been fighting for black gay rights BEFORE he came on the scene and will be fighting for black gay rights AFTER he has left the White House. I love him and support him but have no problem saying this was a bad decision and may be the beginning of a very tough four years. I do not "support" this decision.

As always to Brotha Rod: Thanks for keeping it real. I am glad the black gays in Atlanta are looking out for themselves. And as always I am glad you are reporting all the news on black LGBTs from everywhere.

Cevin Fisher

Derrick, I'm confused. Are we using POLLS now to justify what positions our government or society should embrace?

I'm sure there are many polls in Mississippi, Alabama, Ohio and many other states which say gays should not have employment rights, hate crime designations, marriage, civil unions ... I'm sure those are the same polls the pastors and politicians use to support their anti-gay views and the laws they passed.

I am sure if you take a poll at Ebenezer or most black churches, most congregations will say black gays and lesbians should not have rights at all.

As I said, not everyone will twist themselves into a pretzel to defend Obama and Warren.

Anderson

People let us not make this personal. We should not argue with each other. "We" are not the enemy. The right wing conservatives and black pastors who preach against gays "are" the enemy.

I think Kevjack makes very good sense. "We" have to fight as a community for "our" destiny. This is up to "us." Now it is very obvious Warren will not be disinvited to the inaugural or Ebenezer. That is fine. But it is important "we" as black gay men take our own destiny into "our" hands.

Derrick, I'm keeping my options open. I am reserving judgment and want to see what will happen. But I'm sorry, very many of us (YOU included) have been critical of Rick Warren and other white gay homophobic evangelicals for many years. I'm not going to stop now just because he is Obama's friend. And I am darn sure not going to "trust" my future and my civil rights to the president or any politician. "Support" does not mean "obedience"...

Brandon

Oh this should be rich. Warren will talk about his "AIDS work" in Africa and all the black church folk will nod their heads and say amen and halleujah!

I want to see someone talk about what these white evangelical churches are really doing in Africa. And the fundamentalist churches they are supporting that attack and kill gay Africans. Let's talk about that black people!

Joseph

@Kevjack: You make very good points as you often do. Black LGBTs need to organize and prioritize. I am very glad to see Atlanta black LGBTs make some noise around this. Okay, Rev. Warren will still speak at Ebenezer, but it is important our community made their voice known.

Derrick from Philly

Cevin,

No, I'm not using polls to justify anything--I don't know really keep up with the damn polls. You made a caustic comment about "not everyone blindly accepting..." That was a rather caustic description of people who support the new President even if we disagree with some of his early decisions. My bringing in the "70% of Americans" is a caustic response to the idea that we who are still enthusiastic about Barack are "blind". No, we choose what battles we believe are worth fighting, and then we'll criticize our new President. The "Mark Warren Affair" aint the battle for us.

"twist themselves like a pretzel to defend Obama and Warren."

Another low blow, Cevin. I will defend Obama unless he disappoints me with right-wing federal judicial appointments (not going to happen). So, yes, I'm going to defend Obama. Warren could fall off the pulpit at Ebenezer and break his f...kin' neck for I care.

"twisted like a pretzel" Honey, you don't know me.

Cevin Fisher

Derrick, fair enough. I'll apologize for the sarcasm.

I'm not "fighting this battle." The black LGBTs in Atlanta made a decision and I agree with it. It's an affront to the memory of MLK, Coretta and Bayard Rustin to allow that man to speak on MLK Day. But yes it is their choice. I do not have to agree with it.

As far as supporting Obama, I (gladly) pulled the lever for him just like you did, so our "support" is equal. But I'm not a stepford wife.

Finally, yes, I do not know you. I know you have made some great comments over the year or two I have read this blog. But I know that you used a "poll" to blunt criticism of Warren. Why not use a poll to blunt support for marriage or ENDA?

Finally, you are absolutely right. Rick Warren at the inauguration is not "the" fight for black LGBTs. But I will be interested over these years to see what some of us are willing to fight for. Not very much, I would bet. And I wouldn't be too sure about those judges. Obama does want a second term and he was, after all, originally quite publicly supportive of John Roberts as Chief Justice. But he ultimately changed his mind, probably had something to do with the upcoming Democratic presidential primary and the "polls" which showed Democratic primary voters were against Roberts.

But you keep telling yourself "it's not going to happen", darlin'.

Josh Flagg

Somewhere out there the Republicans and antigay preachers are saying "Dance puppets dance!"

Inviting Rev. Rick Warren to the inaugural and now Ebenezer has given him respectability. Derrick is right that the Ebenezer and inaugural fights will not be won and we should "keep our powder dry". But Rod and Kevjack are also right by black LGBTs need to organize and look out for ourselves.
We are all right. Let's work together.

Derrick from Philly

"But I know that you used a "poll" to blunt criticism of Warren."

No, no, no, Cevin. I appreciate your thoughtful reply, but my comment about "70%" had to do with the support for Obama, not that redneck preacher.

The folks at Ebenezer obviously see this appearance by Warren in a completely different light than the black gay community. They must see it as a "triumph"--to have a conservative white evangelical come to praise Dr King's legacy.

50 years ago, Rick Warren was probably one of the violent racists who threw bottles at Dr King and the other brave Civil Rights heroes. Obviously, some black church folks see this act as a kind of "repentance and redemption"--all that goody goody evangelical drama of repentance.

I repeat, it is appropriate for black gay people to protest Rick Warren's appearance on MLK Observance Day at Ebenezer. But those church folks have a right to invite whomever they choose.

Should an appearance by Dr King's anti-gay daughter, Bernice, be protested if she decided to give a sermon at Ebenezer?

We can protest what is said by a pastor at a church, but we can't force the church not to invite certain people they want to appear.

Y'all can try though...you got 9 days.

Rod

Cevin, much of your position is perfectly understandable. But please try to make it with less sarcasm and name calling. There is no reason to make this personal.

We're all trying to advance black gay rights and visibility. There is no reason to get extra each time we disagree.

Derrick from Philly

Cevin,

one last thing: I can tell from the your writing and the others who wrote on this thread just how sincere y'all are in your reservations about Barack Obama's decisions so far. My argument is that these decisions are symbolic --just symbolic. Let's give him a chance to end DADT, push for and sign ENDA, and most of all--place progressive judges on the federal judiciary.

And Cevin, I don't have any business quoting any polls. I really don't know a thing about them. I just heard that Obama's approval rating so far is in the 70s. I wasn't talking about whether the public approves of his invitation to Warren.

But you know, Cevin, I've got a lot of mouth sometimes, but I do admit that I and too many other black gays have been too cautious about confronting the rest of the black community. So, let the Atlanta "children" voice their disapproval.

Cevin Fisher

Derrick, let me apologize for the name calling. And I appreciate your frankness.

I am very invigorated and excited about the prospect of having a president "of the people" and a Black man! In the White House! So yes, I am giving him a chance and want to see what he will do on DADT, ENDA, the courts etc. I am excited and hopeful. I just said I didn't like the Warren decision and it obviously opened the door for Ebenezer. The two positions are not incompatible. And I'm not concerned about Obama's approval ratings, the brother ain't in office yet, lol. But even if they were high next year, that does not mean someone is wrong to question him. The president works for us, not vice versa.

But let me ask you about discomfort around criticizing Obama or challenging Ebenezer. Are you assuming a president or politician is more committed to the (black) gay community than the (black) gay community? Or a black megachurch would have our interests at heart? I would say no to both. If you are comfortable trusting the president or congress will fight for our rights, okay, I'm just not. My experience shows me you have to push and remind politicians to do the work for the people.

But thank you for being honest. I think there are a great many black gay men and lesbians who somehow fear publicly saying, "No, we don't like this" means we will be ostracized. My brother, we are already being ostracized in our own communities, and the black churches are isolating and marginalizing us. Many black churches will not even hold funerals for our black gay men who die of AIDS. Why should the black Atlanta gays not speak out on this, even if Warren is not dumped? What should they wait for?

Marvin M

My late cousin was refused a funeral at a Missionary Baptist church in Indianapolis in the late 90s.

It was a shame, his family has attended that church for many years and he attended that church too. But he moved away to Chicago and had HIV and died of AIDS. The pastors and deacons were quite opposed to the funeral. They had no problem taking his money all those years or his families.

It was then that I decided to find a church family that would celebrate ME.

Eddy

Marvin, that is a very powerful story. Thank you for sharing.

And Derrick thank you for your honesty and Cevin thank you for apology.


I'm so glad we are all getting along! (smile)

Stuffed Animal

Black Gay people are not "queer". Nothing that God creates is "queer". When Gay activists use that word to describe LGBT folk, they are oppressing us just as much as Rick Warren does with his equation of SGL relationships with pedophilia. We need to raise our consciousness about derogatory language. The Revolution begins at home!

Curry

@Stuffed Animal:

The phrase "queer" is not one of my favorites, but it does have some currency among younger and older LGBTs. I always find it odd when black LGBTs use it because it seems out of place.

But by no means is it an "oppressive" term when use3d by US. It's patently absurd to suggest any black gay or lesbian is "oppressing us just as much as Rick Warren does" by using that term. Antigay Rick Warren has a powerful church and fights against same sex marriage and gay right. Gay activists, especially those opposing him, are fighting FOR gay rights, marriage and acceptance by society and religion.

If you don't like the term, fine. But it is very dishonest to say anyone using the term is oppressing. Charles Washington and the Atlanta black gay activists are doing a helluva lot more than leaving anonymous blog comments and having philosophical discussions on political correctness.

Viktor

How did this happen? Mrs. King would not have allowed this.

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