Bishop Mahee

What Are Black Conservatives Conserving?

Filed By Bishop Mahee | August 22, 2008 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Black Conservatives, religious right

I have had a number of debates via telephone with my mother wherein I have tried to get her to understand not only the homophobic, but also the racist, classicist, anti-choice, anti-woman agenda of the Christian right. The Christian right are bringing African-American conservatives such as Alvida King, Reggie White, Alan Keyes, and Pastors like Bishop Eddie Long (and here in South Florida Rev. O'Neal Dozier) to the forefront of their cause purely to penetrate the African-American Christian community.

My mother has literally said to me "Thank God someone is bold enough to try and stop you guys." to which I have responded to her "Do you not realize that after they have put us Gays and Lesbians in our place they will come for African-Americans next?"

I am convinced that these people will not stop until the world looks like them- White, middle-class, and straight. Since when have African-Americans become so trustful of these people who probably would have been the same people turning a hose on COLORED people claiming integration was a sin? When did we as Black folk get the revelation of homosexuality as the new sin and join forces with the same people who just yesterday wanted to keep their race pure and made intercultural marriages illegal?

Now they come to our churches, developed in part because we could not even sit next to them in their churches, spewing more divisive politics.

Since when do we release the attack dogs of our mouths- with our pulpits serving as lynching gallows- and feel privileged enough to say "you guys" as if we have gained a special status with our oppressor, when in fact Black conservatives are but a tool helping to conserve the sentiments that cost so many Africans in America their lives?

When blacks "conserve" the Christian Right, the struggles our grandparents, parents, and ancestors went through become shallow. When Blacks conserve with the Christian right, they become negligent for the struggle they create for tomorrow. When Blacks conserve with the Christian Right, it says that we do not trust ourselves enough to formulate our own agenda, and Kujichagulia (self-determination). Therefore, we follow their agenda.

So what are Black conservatives conserving? A fundamentalist, shallow irresponsible agenda that I doubt will even acknowledge their worth as a human being as inherently valuable as their own. The Christian Right does not see African-Americans as human beings but as a necessary pawn to forward their agenda. African-American conservatives must realize that the Christian Right is neither Christian nor are they right.

It grieves me to think that the Churches that were once dedicated to crying out for justice and against injustice in the 60's will be used to call for oppression. I wish that Pastors would use their platforms to empower their congregations and call for a Presidential administration to strengthen the schools in our communities, make sure that people of color have better access to health care, that there be more funding for HIV/AIDS (since heterosexual African American womyn are the highest rising statistic) instead of getting distracted by hate and prejudice. Not to mention that instead of uniting a community, actions like these divide us; for "those gay folks" are not strangers from without, but they are the members from within.

I know this because I have had to Pastor the gay and lesbian congregants because these types of Pastors would not, because they could not.

In truth, however, the finger cannot be pointed solely at Conservative Black Pastors. For those of us who support these intuitions in the secrecy of "don't ask, don't tell", those of us serving these intuitions that do not serve us with our time, talent, and our tithes are just as much to blame. Power concedes nothing without a demand.

So I will tell my brother's and sister's worshiping in churches that they cannot worship openly and freely- if the church you serve is not serving you, then get a new one.

Continue to walk in the light, redefine your faith, and remember- it's all about the rhythm.

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