Is The Black Church Brainwashing Black People With Homophobia?
A powerful NewsOne article from writer Terrence Jermaine Starr asks if the Black Church is brainwashing our community with homophobia.
The article points to the fact that nearly half of all African Americans are against same sex marriage, and vote overwhelmingly in support of ballot measures that outlaw marriage equality. Most of these voters cite religious beliefs as the basis for their views.
But is that enough to make such a strong assertion? Is our community any more or less homophobic than American society at large?
“Some LGBT advocates say the black church is so interwoven in the fabric of the African American psyche that convincing black Americans that religion has nothing to do with homosexuality will be a futile endeavor. Black people and the church are ‘inextricably linked,’ says Pastor Joseph Tolton of Rehodoth Temple Christ Conscious Church in Harlem.
‘The church still has so much influence and they continue to use influence in a negative way,’ Pastor Tolton says. ‘So that you’ve got people being driven further and further into the closet.’
But other activists, like Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition in Washington, D.C., prefers taking the emphasis off of religion because, she says, faith has nothing to do with ensuring every American has equal protection under the law.
‘At the end of the day, discriminating against LGBT people because of your own social prejudice is just wrong,’ says Sharon Lettman-Hicks.
‘One thing people have to realize is that LGBT black people are black people too,’ says Sharon Lettman-Hicks. ‘When we look at the conversation of resistance in the African American community, we have to look at in context.’”
Do you think the Black Church is brainwashing the Black Community with homophobia?
Is the Black Church any more homophobic than other religious institutions?
Is the Black community being unfairly scapegoated for homophobia?
Sound off below!