When likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain accepted the endorsement of pastor John Hagee, a religious-right bigot, folks on the left wasted no time in condemning McCain as well they should. The Liberal OC’s own Dan Chmielewski even wrote a post about it. We on the left routinely blast those on the right who embrace the support of gay bashing bigots like Lou Sheldon, James Dobson or Pat Robertson. So then why do we give Senator Barack Obama a pass when he not only accepts the support of gay bashers he uses them to help garner support for his campaign?
As with most other controversial aspects of Senator Obama the mainstream media and those mesmorized by the Senator have chosen to ignore the issue surrounding the gay bashing gospel singers employed by the Obama campaign. In October the Obama campaign had a “gospel concert tour” in the state of South Carolina in which they raised funds and awareness for his presidential campaign. Two of the performers are well known for their anti-gay rhetoric, Grammy winner Donnie McClurkin (pictured above performing at the 2004 Republican National Convention) and the group Mary Mary.
McClurkin is on record as saying, “I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe that [homosexuality]is the intention of God. Sexuality, everything is a matter of choice”. While the Obama campaign preaches “change”, this type of thinking by the likes of McClurkin sounds like anything but. In fact if you closed your eyes and heard someone saying something like this we would sware we were at a Republican get together rather than a campaign event for a “progressive” running for president.
While McClurkin is a self-proclaimed ex-gay who “counsels” people how to convert from homosexuality, Mary Mary might be even worse. In a March 2007 Vibe Magazine interview they compared gays and lesbians to murderers and prostitutes. Group member Tina Atkins added, “Hopefully our music is impacting them in a way that, if they see there’s some things in their life that’s not quite right and doesn’t align themselves with what the Bible says – hopefully our music impacts them in a way that makes them want to change it.” According to Atkins that something that’s “not quite right” is homosexuality.
In 2005 these very same folks performed at an event for President George W. Bush. That Bush would have folks with bigoted views like this should come as no surprise to anyone. The theme of his Presidency has been one of division, bigotry and fear. However it is quite shameful for a Democratic presidential hopeful to pander to this same crowd.
At the South Carolina event McClurkin told the audience that he “prayed the gay away” and “I tell you that God delivered me from homosexuality”. Obama, who is desperately courting the conservative African-American vote, issued a statement in which he tried to distance himself from his gay-bashing supporters comments but he refused to remove them from his camapign event in South Carolina.
Obama said that McClurkin’s comments on homosexuality are, “deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans” but “at the same time, a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin’s beliefs. This also cannot be ignored”. So in other words, because a lot of people are bigots and they might vote for him it is okay to overlook their bigotry.
Bigotry is bigotry whether it gay-bashing or African-American bashing. If we are going to take the right to task for embracing the support of bigots, we must do the same with the left. In fact, I think we should hold those that come from our side to a higher standard. If we aren’t going to tolerate the rights acceptance of bigotry, we should never tolerate it from one of our own.