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Pastors Must Take Back Civil Rights Movement|
August 19, 2013
The purging of Grammy Award winner Donnie McClurkin from performing at a
concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1963 civil rights March on
Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech should serve
as yet another wakeup call to Christian black Americans.
McClurkin, a black pastor and gospel music superstar, was asked to step down
from his featured performance by Washington Mayor Vincent Gray as result of
pressure from homosexual activists. McClurkin preaches against the homosexual
lifestyle from his pulpit and says he himself departed and was saved from this
lifestyle through God's mercy.
Political correctness and a militant campaign to delegitimize religion and
traditional values in America have become more important than our
constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech and religion.
Let's recall that earlier this year, the Rev. Louie Giglio of Atlanta, selected
by President Barack Obama to give the benediction at his inaugural, was asked to
step aside when it was found that over a decade ago he gave a sermon decrying
homosexual behavior and lifestyle.
Anyone who thinks this is a good thing, or thinks it doesn't matter, simply
doesn't care or get what a free country is about.
When King spoke on the National Mall 50 years ago, he said he came to cash in on
behalf of black Americans the "promissory note" guaranteeing the "riches of
freedom and the security of justice" transmitted in the U.S. Constitution and
the Declaration of Independence.
The Constitution's First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of
What kind of outrage is it that blacks should be willing to accept, in a
ceremony commemorating a signature event in civil rights history, that we
witness both abrogation of freedom of speech and freedom of religion?
We live in a free country. Those who don't wish to read the Christian Bible are
not forced to. Those who don't wish to live as Christians are not forced to.
But it is quite another thing when traditional Christian values are used as the
reason to blacklist a pastor, particularly from an event commemorating black
Let's be aware of the concerted effort on the left to purge from memory that Dr.
King was a Christian pastor, inspired by the truth of the gospel, who led an
organization called the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
No reference is made at all to King's Christianity at the new memorial to him on
the national mall.
I would argue that it is these very efforts to purge Christian values and
replace them with political power that has limited the success and achievement
of the civil rights movement.
It is the collapse of black family life, the escalation of crime and disease --
much tied to irresponsible sexual behavior -- that has occurred over the 50
years since the March on Washington that has been so deleterious to black
The civil rights movement was a Christian movement. It is high time that the
black pastor, rather than the black politician, return to leadership in black
American life. It is time for the Bible, rather than political answers, to
define black life.
In a poll done by Zogby International earlier this year, commissioned by BET
founder Robert Johnson, 28 percent of blacks agreed and 55 percent disagreed
that gay rights are the same thing as rights for African-Americans.
Yet homosexuals have hijacked the civil rights movement. And in doing so, they
have interjected the very values that are destroying black communities.
Let's take back our movement.
Rebuild black families by restoring the centrality of traditional Christian
values to black life. Only support politicians who sign onto this agenda. And
give black parents the choice to get their kids out of public schools and send
them to church schools.
Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal
and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based
public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle
Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do
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