In what may go down as an important sermon, especially for Dallas, a prominent black megachurch pastor recently blasted fellow African-American religious leaders and members of his own flock who are angry at President Barack Obama for backing same-sex marriage.
The sermon, a portion of which was posted on YouTube and picked up today by the popular national gay blog Towleroad, was delivered by the Rev. Frederick Haynes III, senior pastor at Friendship-West Baptist Church, the week after Obama came out for marriage equality. The six-minute clip begins with Haynes saying that when Obama took the oath of office, he swore to uphold the Constitution, born out of the Declaration of Independence, which says that all men are created equal.
“Notice it does not say that all straight men are created equal,” Haynes told his congregation. “It does not say that all men unless you are gay or lesbian are created equal. He swore upon oath to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution, not the Bible, but the Constitution of the United States. He is not the pastor of the United States; he’s the president of the United States. And for the first time in the history of this nation, we have a president who has dared to use his position to make the Democratic promise available not just for a select few who are up and in, but for everybody regardless of their race, their creed, their color or their sexual orientation.”
Haynes said he salutes Obama and “can’t believe” how many conference calls he’d been invited to with other black pastors to discuss how to call out the president for stating what was a “personal opinion.” Haynes suggests those pastors’ desire to ostracize gay people is either due to fear based in ignorance, or because of “a projection of their issues.”
“It really blows my mind how outraged you are,” Haynes said. “First of all, take a chill pill. Take a deep breath. Everything’s gonna be all right. You are not going to lose your 501(c)(3) if you do not marry a same-gender-loving couple.”
But Haynes said people are so upset and emotional they have to “clothe [their] anger with the Bible and justify [their] bigotry with scripture.” Haynes said he thinks black people have so many issues with sexuality in general that it sometimes prevents them from having healthy discussions about homosexuality.
“Why are you so angry? Jesus never said a word about it [homosexuality]. … Well, maybe we need to talk about what issues you may have, because evidently you’ve got some major issues, or there is an ignorance that is rooted in fear. Y’all are not feeling this, but I’m going to preach the gospel anyhow, because you do understand, my brothers and sisters, that the sad reality is, we love to judge other folks’ sins, because it keeps it off of us, as opposed to looking at us.”
Watch the sermon below.
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