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May 11th, 2012
10:07 AM ET

Complexity in black church reactions to Obama’s gay marriage announcement

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) – After Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. first gained wide public recognition in the mid-1950s, he made a special request to evangelist Billy Graham.

King was poised to join Graham on one of his barnstorming crusades, but would do so only on one condition. He asked Graham to publicly speak out against segregation, a request Graham declined, says San Diego State University historian Edward Blum.

“What Graham feared was losing all of his influence,” Blum says. “For him, personal salvation was primary, justice secondary. For King, justice was primary.”

After President Obama this week became the first sitting president to endorse same-sex marriage, black clergy and churchgoers could face a similar question to the one that fractured King and Graham: Should my ideas about personal holiness trump my notion of justice?

Read the full post on CNN's Belief blog

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. raceisamyth

    Free black Africans built their own boats and sailed to America to escape slavery.18 million Africans were taken into slavery when race based slavery was invented. Only 6% came to America by the British, not by Americans.

    Indeed, one thing people need to know is that there is a higher percentage of people in this country who own private jets now than people who owned slaves back in the day. Also, people seem to think African slavery stopped w/ Lincoln when it still continues today. The pattern of the slave traders from Holland, Spain, and England was to foment war between local tribes and have the winning tribe sell the losing tribe into slavery. Many of these families who engaged in such activity back then are still around and do it today. Those are the white people blacks should hate. But few people of any color seem to know their names. And the reason it doesn’t get taught in school is because it still is happening and black people don’t want to admit that fellow black people sold them into slavery. To deal with an issue as big as African slavery, you have to be open confronting the entire problem. Nobody seems to want to talk about it except blaming white people who didn’t even own slaves or aren’t descended from a slave owner.
    Lincoln just signed the paper. 600000 americans died to free the slaves. Most were white euros. Theres good and bad in all peoples histories. Those cartel familes played a huge role in destroying the American Indians also.

    Stop freaking complaining and learn real history before it gone. Its being taken away for a reason.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Riky

    This is an interesting question but the author sounds as if they have a lack of understanding about christian theology/belief. True justice for the christian is this... All have sinned and the punishment for sin is death... but Mercy is this: That God died in our place and if we turn from our sin he will forgive us. You can't try to define Justice to a black churchgoer based on a secular world view it just doesn't work that way.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tr1Xen

    Of course it's not a deal breaker. They'd vote for him no matter what, just because he's Black.

    May 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |