By Amos Doan
Christian Action League
December 5, 2019
The head of Moral Mondays in North Carolina, former president of the state’s NAACP chapter, current director of the Poor People’s Campaign, and pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Rev. William Barber II, hosted openly gay Democratic presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, at his church in Goldsboro last Sunday.
Various media outlets reported Buttigieg is having problems swaying black voters to support his candidacy. He has faced challenging questions in his home city of South Bend, Indiana, where he fired the city’s popular African American police chief, and a white police officer shot a black man.
The Associated Press (AP) reports his “lackluster performance is particularly significant in South Carolina, where black voters are a dominant force in the Democratic Primary, and one recent poll yielded him 1% support from that early-voting state’s African-American voters – far below former Vice President Joe Biden and lagging other Democratic rivals.”
Barber, however, during the Sunday service and a forum held afterward sought to dispel any notion that black voters won’t support a gay candidate for President.
“Stop putting that on black folk,” admonished Barber. “There ain’t no data behind that, that there is some rift between black folk and gay folk. That’s a false narrative that was created by the National Organization for Marriage…You can’t understand the LGBT community without understanding black folk; you can’t understand black folk without understanding the LGBT community.”
Barber went on to hail black LGBT social activists and celebrities such as Audre Lorde, Langston Hughes, Lorraine Hansberry, and Bayard Rustin.
“So let’s instead of pushing these unfounded, unfactual narratives, just decide that we are determined to show everybody the love of God,” concluded Barber.
But Joe Grabowski, a spokesman for the conservative National Organization for Marriage (NOM), told the Christian Post (CP), he believed Barber was mischaracterizing the issue and that there is a fundamental disagreement between gays and blacks on the subject of marriage.
“I think, in fact, the false narrative that’s being promoted by some elites in our society is that the Left, and particularly now the Democratic Party have the values of ordinary Americans in mind as they pursue their progressive agenda, whereas in actuality our experience in the past has been that the black church has been very strong in favor of traditional values on marriage and family,” Grabowski told CP. “That has always been the case, and its’s not us sort of offering a false option, but rather the Left offers this false option. That if you want to care about the welfare of black Americans, if you want to care about lifting them out of poverty and empowering their communities and things like that, then you need to go along with this progressive agenda to redefine marriage and family. We think that’s actually the false dichotomy. We say you can do both. If you strengthen the family, you are going to empower marginalized communities that have been disproportionally affected by the negative fallout of the breakdown of family and the sexual revolution.”
Grabowski also told CP that NOM had never said black people didn’t like or had an animus toward gays, only that there was a stark disagreement between them on the way to define marriage. Moreover, various data does show that the black community characteristically holds traditional values and rejects same-sex marriage.
“Denison University political scientist Paul Djupe has noted that polling supports the view that black voters are less likely to back a gay candidate,” reported CP.
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said he thought it was interesting the way the mainstream media described Buttigieg during the worship service at Barber’s church and his expressions of faith at the forum.
“They noted he brought his own Bible. Good!” said Rev. Creech, “I wish he believed it. Buttigieg has said the Bible is ‘inconsistent internally,’ and that ‘there’s simply no way that a literal understanding of Scripture can fit into the Bible.’ But the fact is we should take the Bible literally when it intends us to do so, and not otherwise. If the Scriptures say the ‘Mountains skipped like rams,’ or the ‘floods clap their hands,’ or they refer to the ‘arm of God,’ it’s presumably figurative. However, when the Scriptures speak of Christ’s empty tomb and that he bodily rose from the grave, that’s definitely meant to be taken literally. However, the charge that you can’t take the Bible literally is usually made by people who reject much of the Genesis account of creation, and especially passages like Genesis chapters 18-19 which describe God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, in large part, because of the pervasive sin of sodomy – the normalization of homosexuality – the culture’s full acceptance and practice of it.”
Rev. Creech also noted that Buttigieg has argued the Bible justifies abortion.
“If you treat the Bible like a smorgasbord, taking from it what you like and rejecting what you don’t, then it’s easy to see how you might conclude there are circumstances when it’s justifiable to literally tear an innocent child ‘from limb to limb.’ So if you refuse to take the Bible literally, where it’s clear it’s meant to be taken literally, then you’re bound to end-up sinning in the most literal of ways!”
The AP reported, “Buttigieg roused the crowd in Barber’s church by remarking that although politicians ‘are often specifically advised to speak to the middle class, the Bible urges awareness of the plight of the poor.’”
“We should care very much for the poor, the Bible indeed does teach us to help them,” said Rev. Creech. “But the Bible doesn’t teach that the government is authorized to take money from its citizens to give to someone it believes needs the money. That isn’t charity, as defined by the Scriptures. That’s a violation of the 8th Commandment, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ We can’t use the passages in the Bible about helping the poor as a pre-text for socialism or socialistic principles, no matter how well-intended. And that’s what Barber and Buttigieg masterfully do, and it’s grievously wrong.”
Buttigieg’s visit to Barber’s church was part of a three-state Southern Swing.