Black Church

Jackson: IRS Regulations Designed To Silence Black Churches

Earlier this month, hundreds of pastors across the nation participated in the Alliance Defense Fund's annual "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," during which they openly endorsed or opposed political candidates from their pulpits in a direct challenge to the IRS.

Among those participating pastors was Bishop Harry Jackson who, along with Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, was featured in a short video from Odyssey Networks about the effort.

In the video, Jackson provided a rather unique explanation for his involvement in opposing IRS regulations that prohibit churches from engaging in politics, asserting that such regulations were put in place in order to prevent black churches from speaking out in support of the civil rights movement:

Of course, the reality is that the prohibitions grew out of an amendment inserted into the tax code by Senator Lyndon Johnson in 1954 (years before he became president) in response to attacks on him by tax-exempt groups that accused him of being soft of Communism during his re-election campaign.

If Jackson is going to be involved in leading this challenge to the IRS, it might be helpful for him to actually know what he is talking about.

Rick Perry Partners With 'Apostle' Who Believes God Is Punishing African Americans For Supporting Gay Rights

Willie Wooten of is one of the latest official endorsers of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. Wooten, of the New Orleans-based Gideon International Christian Fellowship, is a self-proclaimed Apostle who claims to have “had a positive influence in the governmental arena and has been instrumental in preventing ungodly laws from being enacted within the state of Louisiana and also throughout our nation.”

A critic of gay rights, Wooten has compared being gay to polygamy and incest and argued that “homosexual marriage is not a civil rights issue; it’s a moral issue. It is a deviant type of behavior and lifestyle. How do they do it? It’s too nasty.” Wooten feverishly works against legislation in Louisiana that would grant gay and lesbian couples legal rights and protect gays and lesbians from employment discrimination and school bullying. Wooten claims that because black legislators have oftentimes proposed such legislation, the black community faces a curse from God. According to an article from the Louisiana newspaper The Advocate:

"We call on our lawmakers -- and especially the Black Caucus members -- to be strong and courageous as you give priority to this matter and do all that is in your power to protect historic marriage," Wooten said.

Disasters "heaped upon" Louisiana's black community occur because "a lot of our legislators are not on the side of God and His moral laws,"

In fact, Wooten wrote an entire book about how the African American community is under a curse from God because black leaders have promoted liberalism and the Democratic Party. In Breaking The Curse Off Black America, Wooten blames African American political and religious leaders for crossing God through “immorality,” making God punish African Americans, which in turn leads to the curses of “adultery, incest, children from incestuous union, children born out-of-wedlock, destroyed virginity, bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism.” Wooten says that African Americans beget God’s punishment by voting for Democratic candidates and tolerating homosexuality, and only through Wooten’s brand of ultraconservative politics and spiritual warfare can Black America be redeemed:

Increased numbers of young people were embracing homosexuality (the “Down Low” bisexual lifestyle), prostitution, and all sorts of perversion. How could this be, knowing that we were raised in different environments? Now it is becoming clear. There is a curse on Black America. As I could see this truth being realized, God began pouring an abundance of revelations into my heart (p. 19).



The result of a curse brings regret, mourning, and grief. For example, if the sin is sexual, it could bring adultery, incest, children from incestuous union, children born out-of-wedlock, destroyed virginity, bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism, and sodomy. Other curses can be activated through rebellion against God and His words; parents, pastors, rulers and authorities, turning away from God, idolatry, pride, fleshly practices, and touching and harming God’s anointed (p. 64).



A dark cloud appears to hover over Black America, even with our measure of achievements, we are engulfed in a culture of sin. Our leadership has led people to agree with sin, leading them into a political party and boldly chiding them if they attempt to go any another way. That party, the Democratic party, is consistently on the wrong side of moral issues. The party led the way for proabortion and homosexuality legislation. Ninety percent of voting Black America have been steadfast in voting democrat. They have not voted issues, they have voted the party and the party has used them. Blacks have been crying out for the same issues and problems to be addressed. Still the masses have voted for ungodly laws. Blacks are on the wrong side of moral issues nationwide (p. 82).



The man of God could not have his testicles damaged or defective. This speaks of his inability to procreate. There is an inability by far too many black leaders to produce sons of God who are truly spiritual people. Consequently, there is a great lack of discipleship, and also, there is an out-of-control sexual appetite among too many pastors and church leaders. God does not and never will accept the black leaders’ mantra of “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” or “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” or “touch not mine anointed.” There is too much immorality in the Black Church, namely greed, pedophilia, homosexuality, lesbianism, adultery, and fornication (p. 107).

Gingrich-Founded Group Says Black Community Will Never Accept Marriage Equality

A few weeks back, Jim Garlow announced that, due to Newt Gingrich's possible presidential run, Gingrich and Rick Tyler had stepped down from their roles of leadership in Renewing American Leadership – leaving Garlow in control as Chairman, CEO & President.

Ever since, the updates from ReAL have taken on an even more pronounced Religious Right tone, with Garolw announcing things like the formation of a ReAL prayer team and now sending out messages like this one from Vivian Berryhill, founder/president of the National Coalition of Pastors' Spouses, announcing that the "Black faith community" will never accept marriage equality:

America is now witnessing a bold, organized and calculated assault on families in the move to redefine what constitutes marriage in our culture. As a wife, mother, grandmother, and religious leader, I have drawn a line in the sand, as I say, “Enough is Enough.” And I am standing with other religious leaders across America in declaring, “Leave the 5,000-year-old definition of marriage alone for the preservation of the family!”

...

Now, the homosexual lifestyle and agenda is not new to the Black church community. However, the inclusion of “same-sex” marriage as acceptable and biblically “okay” is both new and dangerous. It is no surprise that on any given Sunday in some Black church in the US, a Black preacher continues to extirpate that message by reiterating to his flock that “God made Adam and Eve… not Adam and Steve”.

That message has been so steeply ingrained… it is no wonder that the very concept of same-sex marriage is soundly being rejected, and continues to be viewed as taboo in the majority of Black churches ... In spite of what the polls and political pundits are saying, Black folks by and large are not embracing legalizing homosexual marriages as an accepted way of life––even those of us who have covert or overt homosexuals within our own families.

To the notion that “two moms,” living together, raising their children and openly flaunting that relationship in the Black church community will be endorsed as the norm anytime soon, I say: FUHGEDDABOUTIT! It will not happen for two reasons: there remains a large portion of African-American parishioners who view the gay lifestyle as sinful and an abomination, and the majority of God-called, God-fearing, Bible-believing clergy firmly believe they must answer to God for that which they support and exegete from their pulpits.

Harry Jackson Credits The Black Church With Stopping Marriage Equlity In Maryland

Last week, an effort to pass marriage equality legislation in Maryland failed and Bishop Harry Jackson was invited on to CBN News to explain what happened, where he declared that the Black Church had risen up and warned African American legislators they had better not listen to Democratic Party leaders who see them "as lemmings who are willing to just march off to your death" because there would be a price to pay when they returned to their communities.  Jackson went on to warn that they would now set about trying to remove legislators who support marriage equality from office and "stop gay marriage in its tracks":

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Freedom Federation has released a variety of voting guides and scorecards targeting specific Congressional races.
  • The Family Research Council has also released its scorecard for the current Congress [PDF].
  • Does anybody else get the impression that this post was prompted primarily by the fact that Christine O'Donnell turned down an interview request from CBN's David Brody?
  • Four Christian missionaries who were accused of inciting a crowd while videotaping themselves proselytizing to Muslims at the Dearborn Arab International Festival in June were acquitted on Friday.
  • I did not know that Dr. Wynne LeGrow, the Democrat who is challenging Rep. Randy Forbes, is an avowed atheist.
  • Harry Jackson defends Bishop Eddie Long and says that media coverage of the issue is an "attempt to cast aspersions on the black church as an institution."
  • Finally, GOProud laughably hails Ann Coulter's appearance at Homocon 2010 as "a complete and total success."

What’s Obama To Do?

As a way of dealing with the controversy surrounding the various remarks made by his pastor Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama is set to deliver a speech tomorrow where he promises to talk “about not just Reverend Wright, but the larger issue of race in this campaign .”

Regardless of what he says in this speech, it’ll probably do little to appease the rank-and-file conservative Christian voters in the Republican Party who never liked him anyway and now seem to really, really dislike him, at least judging by most of the comments mailed into CBN’s David Brody:

I am sure Obama was listening to rev Wrights sermon about "America causing this to happen...and that the chickens came home to roost...etc."Right there Obama has lied on TV, to news reporters and to his supporters-claiming he knew nothing of these awful hate filled sermons.

Obama being a member of this church for over 20 years and calling this guy his spiritual mentor and having him at present on an advisory committee is political suicide. He should pull out the race now, make a statement that he is leaving this radical black church and try to salvage whatever political career he has left. If he is the dems nominee they are handing the white house to the Republicans. It has been said time and time again that this guy should have been vetted. He is now, which is only the tip of the iceberg. The media has given him a pass.

[N]ow that he has made that statement, I await the video of Wright spewing a bunch of crap while Obama's family is shown applauding in the pews. I wouldn't be surprised if it's coming.

Of course, the fact that Brody himself has posted on the Obama/Wright issue a total of ELEVEN times so far (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) - versus the two times he posted about John McCain and John Hagee and the zero times he posted about McCain and Rod Parsley - might have something to do with that.

Anti-gay right-wing activist Harry Jackson also weighed in, saying that it is entirely reasonable that Obama be held responsible for the words of his pastor:  

“Should Mr. Obama be judged because of the acts of his pastor.” My answer is yes! Pastor Wright’s worldview and his understanding of race, culture, and religion of the bible will in some measure affect how Barak Obama views the world. Only time will tell whether Obama’s life and message have been helped or handicapped by the ministry of Jeremiah Wright. If Obama says nothing elese, many people will simply label him as a hypocrite who says one thing in public but acts differently behind closed doors. During the next few months it will be important for Obama to set the record straight concerning his faith.

Does that mean that the congregants at Jackson’s own Hope Christian Church ought to be made to answer for Jackson’s anti-gay rhetoric?   Presumably. 

For his part, Obama has publicly distanced himself from Wright’s comments, calling them “inflammatory and appalling” … and now that has gotten him in trouble with the Right as well:

The National Clergy Council finds Dr. Wright's recent comments extraordinarily indiscrete, inapt, inaccurate and ill-considered, yet we find Mr. Obama's disloyalty even worse. We adjure Mr. Obama to remain faithful to the man who in so many ways shaped him for the campaign he now undertakes.

Mr. Obama's tossing of Dr. Wright under the bus for political advantage is a painful spectacle and is a classic politics-as-usual move.

The National Clergy Council adjures Mr. Obama to stay faithful to his father-in-the-faith and take whatever criticism comes.

Considering that the head of the National Clergy Council, Rob Schenck, has been on a one-man crusade to convince the world that Obama’s Christian faith is “woefully deficient” and that he might really be a Muslim, it is probably safe to assume that his “stand by your man” advice is not being dispensed with the purest of intentions.

Just in Case, Right Wing Ready for Anti-Obama Campaign

Few constituencies were more surprised by Barack Obama’s win in last week’s Iowa Democratic caucus than the right-wing media—Clinton obsession has been its bread and butter for over a decade. Nevertheless, the Right is doing its best to prove it will pull no punches no matter who the Democrats nominate.

The Right has hardly refrained from attacking Obama—remember his visit to Rick Warren’s church over a year ago? Or last summer, when the National Clergy Council declared “Obama's Christianity [to be] woefully deficient”? But the last few days have seen a seeming uptick in the number of anti-Obama articles: For example, Human Events editor-at-large Terence Jeffrey warned that the Democrat is “the most pro-abortion presidential candidate ever.” A CNSNews piece surveyed African-American religious-right activists on the candidate, such as Rev. Clenard Childress of Blackgenocide.org, who implied that abortion is worse for blacks than was lynching, and Jesse Lee Peterson of BOND, who said, “For Barack Obama to support abortion shows a lack of love for the black community and especially for the unborn."

But the Illinois senator’s faith seems to be the most appealing target of the Right. Newsmax correspondent Ronald Kessler offers a menacing warning that Obama attends a black church whose pastor propounds the “thesis that blacks in America are oppressed.” “At the least,” writes Kessler, “Obama’s membership in [Rev. Jeremiah] Wright’s church suggests a lack of judgment and an insensitivity to views that are repugnant to the vast majority of white Americans who are not bigots.”

(In particular, Kessler objects to the “Black Value System” on the church’s website. “One can only imagine the outrage that would erupt if a white presidential candidate like Romney subscribed to something called the White Value System,” he writes. One can only imagine what Kessler would think if he knew about the Religious Right’s “Black Contract with America on Moral Values.”)

But if Kessler wants to present Obama as a radical Christian, he’s going to have a lot of competition from those on the Right who want to present Obama as a radical Muslim, a (needless to say, inaccurate) smear that continues to be distributed as an e-mail forward. Daniel Pipes (nominated by Bush to the U.S. Institute of Peace) wrote an article for David Horowitz’s FrontPage Magazine purportedly “confirming” the senator’s secret Muslim past.

Kessler concludes his report on Obama’s pastor with a bizarre comparison:

But media bias or not, if Obama is his party’s nominee, his Republican opponent will rightly be able to make use of Rev. Wright and his radical teachings as effectively as supporters of George H.W. Bush used Willie Horton’s furlough to help Bush win the presidency.

The 20-year-old Horton ad would hardly be the first campaign strategy to come to mind, unless Kessler were recalling the ad’s widespread reputation as a crypto-racist attack on Michael Dukakis. In that sense, comparing it to these insinuations about the black church may be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Breakfast with Bishop Jackson

One of the early morning options was breakfast with Bishop Harry R. Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, a Religious Right-supported vehicle for promoting Jackson as a conservative Black church voice. The program was kicked off by a staffer who bragged about how HILC had worked closely in the last election cycle with Michael Steele, then the African American Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and a candidate for the U.S. Senate. HILC brought pastors to rallies and helped Steele figure out how to work the black church. Jackson announced that he and FRC’s Tony Perkins will hold a lunchtime press conference opposition passage of the Employment Non Discrimination Act. (But he assured us he would not have hatred for gays in his heart or spirit while doing so, praising the “ex-gay” Exodus as an example of a “heart of compassion.”)

Frequent Right-Wing Speaker Seeks to Define a 'New Black Church'

Bishop Harry Jackson will recruit across nation in 2007 and 2008.

Religious Right Insists—Abortion, Gay Marriage Is Enough for Churches to Talk About

At a summit of black ministers held in Dallas this week, some participants decried the “bedroom morality” preached by some churches at the expense of social justice concerns. In The Washington Times, a Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder of Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, fired back, asserting that “Their agenda hurts the black community; the fact that these ministers are saying that gay marriage and abortion are not Christian issues makes it clear that they are not men of God.” The Times also quotes one Bishop Harry Jackson, who said, "There is a new black church that Al [Sharpton] and Jesse [Jackson] don't speak to, and they are threatened by the new black megachurches and their pastors; and they tend to talk about us as if we are just uppity Negroes, asking 'why can't they just fall in line'?"

It may be helpful to know where Peterson and Jackson are coming from. Jackson has been a near-constant presence by the sides of Religious Right activists in pushing for right-wing judges and fighting against gay marriage. He spoke at both Justice Sunday and Justice Sunday II, televised church rallies organized by the leaders of the Religious Right to push for Bush’s judicial nominees, telling the audience, “You and I can bring the rule and reign of the Cross to America and we can change America on our watch, together.”

Gays are a particular target of his. In an article in Charisma magazine, Jackson wrote that the “wisdom behind” the “gay agenda” is “clearly satanic,” and he called for an aggressive “counterattack.”

Jackson’s six-point “Black Contract with America on Moral Values” is headed off with opposition to same-sex marriage, followed by school vouchers and Social Security privatization.

Peterson, a frequent spokesman on the Right who has an unhealthy obsession with Jesse Jackson, made headlines last September when he wrote that Hurricane Katrina’s victims were “immoral, welfare-pampered blacks that stayed behind and waited for the government to bail them out.” He continued,

About five years ago, in a debate before the National Association of Black Journalists, I stated that if whites were to just leave the United States and let blacks run the country, they would turn America into a ghetto within 10 years. The audience, shall we say, disagreed with me strongly. Now I have to disagree with me. I gave blacks too much credit. It took a mere three days for blacks to turn the Superdome and the convention center into ghettos, rampant with theft, rape and murder.

A few weeks later, he co-sponsored an event at the far-right Heritage Foundation to discuss the state of Black America, where he expanded on his opinion of Katrina evacuees: “I find that many of those people have lots of things. They have nice clothes to wear, they’re fat as a pig, they’re driving nice cars, big old color TVs. I think the reason many stayed there is because they lack moral character.” He criticized New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, saying that if you lived in the city, you were “out of your mind to wait on a Black Mayor to come help you.” And Rev. Peterson added that no Democrats were Christians: “You’re not born of God if you’re a Democrat… A real Christian can’t vote for a Democrat, the Democratic Party.”

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