Black gays just wanna have church? The city of Atlanta recently unveiled its multimillion dollar publicity/rebranding campaign touting its "openness" in an effort to pull away from the "city too busy to hate" slogan which saw it through its rise to prominence in the New South.
Perhaps this new invitation of openness is what attracted the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) to begin its antihomophobia tour. And then again, its a lotsa black folks in Atlanta. Scheduled for January 20-21 at the First Iconium Baptist Church, the summit promises to strategize on how to stop homophobia in the church. That's where things get really tricky. These are times when all things religious have had some pretty freaky one night stands with all things political and consequently have produced some very ugly little children.
Such is the case with the NBJC's bogus war on homophobia. This time they are bringing the [Rev] Al Sharpton to berate preachers who won't roll over and play dead as activist homosexuals seek control of the church. Its the church storm of the century. Remember that? Give me what I want and I'll go away. The trouble is what they want. In order to get what they want, black activist gays have played fast and loose with word meanings. The objective, it seems, is to [re]create a syncretized church in which the new paradigm of worthiness is not holiness but
mushy co-existence equality.
You know what I mean: tolerance, acceptance, love, inclusion, etc. Clever, illusionary language so that what you appear to be
demanding asking for is harmless. But what they mean when they say such words, are a far cry from what the Bible or the church understands them to mean.
Take for example the highly charged epithet "homophobia". To explain it, let's use a little comparison.
Homosexuals contend that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. That's their justification for pushing for its widespread acceptance in the church. Ok, if a+b=c then, Jesus also never mentioned homophobia. Its not in the Bible either. Its an old trick applied to an old sin with new faces attached.
One of the "new" faces is Bishop Yvette Flunder. I've written about Flunder here and here and finally here.
Flunder has become the emerging darling of the black gay church movement. She's articulate, top heavy on the Pentecostalism, talented. Early last year she was a panelist at Harvard Divinity School's symposium on Black Pentecostalism. If you've got a few minutes, check out Flunder's spiritual follies here.
I'm not really sure, but it seems AL Sharpton probably was the true catalyst for the event by declaring war on homophobia. He cites his lesbian sister's uncomfortable experience in the church as one of the reasons.
Although I strongly disagree with about 98% of what the NBJC is trying to pull off in Atlanta, there are some points I agree with the activists on.
1. There is way too much invective and senseless anger being "preached" as an answer to homosexuality in the church. But is that necessarily homophobia? I'm not so sure.
2. The church must rethink its tactics in dealing with homosexual members.
But after reading the NBJC's press release, Im not so sure that they just want the church to be accepting to homosexuals. Remember that one night stand? NBJC's ultimate goal is to get the larger black community to sign onto homosexual marriage. That's an overtly political goal.
"The Summit is a direct response to anti-marriage proponents pandering to the black church for their own agenda. It is imperative that religious leaders realize and recognize the contributions of the LGBT community and the impact marriage discrimination will have on African American children and families."So now you know who's coming to town. And what they really want.