“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’ “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:34-39
One of the more interesting aspects of American Politics is the role of the Black Church. Tax law and the left mantra of “separation of church and state” not withstanding the Black Church has frankly been the political center for the black community. If you don’t have the ministers you don’t have the black vote.
I’ve written several times about the president’s need to keep the left hand from knowing what the right hand is doing. I suspect that a lot of the congregations in black churches around the country were unaware of the president’s position but I also suspect their pastors were but as long as the president’s position was not explicit they were able to deny this both to their congregations and to themselves.
Now with all the press about the announcement and the Newsweek cover that their congregations will see on every newsstand for those pastors denial is an untenable position.
In the hours following Mr. Obama’s politically charged announcement on Wednesday, the president and his team embarked on a quiet campaign to contain the possible damage among religious leaders and voters. He also reached out to one or more of the five spiritual leaders he calls regularly for religious guidance, and his aides contacted other religious figures who have been supportive in the past.
The damage-control effort underscored the anxiety among Mr. Obama’s advisers about the consequences of the president’s revised position just months before what is expected to be a tight re-election vote.
These Pastors whether contacted by the White House or not have a decision to make: How do they define themselves? Are they Pastors who happen to be black or does race trump what they have preached for years?
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”
As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. John 6:60-68
Where do the pastors stand? With those who went home, or with the twelve who stayed?
At least one pastor in Maryland has made his choice:
Rev. Dr. Emmett Burns, who insists that, while he and his peregrines won’t support Mitt Romney, they have no interest in going to the polls.
And where one pastor, even in a state as blue as Maryland is willing to stand up and be counted others will follow all over the country with the potential of disaster for the left up and down the ticket.
Two final thoughts: I’ve talked about the Barber Shop election saying the following:
the Peggy Josephs and the “Obama Money” crowd in Detroit expected great things for themselves; instead got a president who has kept his distance from the community that provided his most loyal support.
The result? That’s the question. We are seeing only slight glimpses of discontent, but what is it that we aren’t seeing?
Let’s say it aloud: If Barack Obama had Jimmy Carter’s pigmentation there would be democrats lining up to primary him with slogans like: “We can do better” and “Let’s nominate a fighter for the working man“. Those potential candidates are discouraged by the party because if even 10% of the black community abandons them, democrats become unelectable.
Forget the absurdity that a vote based on race to begin with and imagine you are a Black voter disgusted with the president’s record but getting pressure over racial solidarity. The Gay Marriage suddenly makes staying home a matter of sticking with your Pastor and your God.
But let’s say that enough Black voters and Black Pastors decided that Obama at the top of the ticket is reason to equivocate this year. What happens in 2016 if the Party decides to go all in for Gay Marriage in 2016? I submit it will be a lot easier for those same Black ministers to decide to stay home for Mrs. Clinton or Joe Biden that it is for a President Obama.
Update: And there is another one
A Texas pastor who once led the Southern Baptist Convention in introducing a resolution that recognized Obama’s historic achievement has voiced his displeasure with the president’s support and approval of gays, reports the Associated Baptist Press.
Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, wrote in a blog on May 9 that Obama’s statement is worthy of incurring wrath of biblical proportions. . . . “President Obama has betrayed the Bible and the Black Church with his endorsement of same-sex marriage
If 15% of the Black vote that would normally vote for Democrats go home 2012 is going to be a landslide of, dare I say it Biblical proportions.