John Aravosis at AmericaBlog.com picked up this story line (http://www.americablog.com/2007/10/obama-to-do-gospel-tour-with-radical.html) about Barack Obama that I find unsettling:
As religious conservatives gather in Washington this weekend for the “Values Voters Summit,” Senator Barack Obama’s campaign announced its latest effort to attract people of faith to the campaign: a gospel concert tour.All three of the dates of the “Embrace the Change” tour are in South Carolina, where Mr. Obama is locked in battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for black voters.Gospel acts including Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker, Byron Cage and the Mighty Clouds of Joy are scheduled to appear.
I'm sorry, but to me, it's sort of like agreeing to tour with Hitler and the SS in order to pick up votes in Bavaria in the early 1930's. I guess we now know that Obama will stoop pretty damn low in pandering for votes. He's making Hillary look better to many I suspect by doing this. Besides, how many Democrats - even in South Carolina - are Christianists like Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin? Does Obama plan on visiting a couple of Klan functions while in South carolina too? Keith Boykin has more on who Obama will be sharing the stage with (http://www.keithboykin.com/arch/2005/09/30/is_donnie_mcclu):
But what makes McClurkin a controversial figure is his preaching. It began with McClurkin's 2001 book, Eternal Victim/Eternal Victor, where he explained his 20-year experience with homosexuality, which he said started after he was raped by an uncle. "Love is pulling you one way and lust is pulling you another and your relationship with Jesus is tearing you," McClurkin told the media. He says that God delivered him from homosexuality, and since that time, he has been counseling adolescent boys that homosexuality is merely a lifestyle choice that can be overcome.
Donnie McClurkin had a very rough childhood. That alone is a tragedy. But what makes his otherwise inspiring story so troubling is that he is now violating young people in much the same way that he was violated. By teaching young people that they can pray their way out of who they are, he is essentially creating a generation of newly confused adolescents.
Gay teenagers are already more likely to be abused in school or to attempt suicide than their straight counterparts. We've already reported on young gays and lesbians who have been beaten to death by their parents (3-year-old Ronnie Parris) and their neighbors (15-year-old Sakia Gunn). Do these young people really need to have their ministers beating them up too? We think not.
Comparing gays and lesbians to liars, McClurkin explains, "There are certain things like, you know, anybody who has a lying problem; they get to the point where they hate being so, having such a lack of character that they make a change."
In the same interview, McClurkin argues again that homosexuality is simply a lifestyle choice. "There's a group that says, 'God made us this way,' but then there's another group that knows God didn't make them that way," he says. Notice the circularity in his rhetoric. The people who say that God made them gay don't know what they're talking about because the people who say God did not make them gay are right. Well how do they know if someone was born gay or not if they are not gay themselves? It's insulting and presumptuous of others to tell gays and lesbians that they're not smart enough even to know who they are.
Is he really cured or, as with all the ex-gays I have studied, is it really about the money? Seems to me that McClurkin has a lot to lose financially if he were to admit he really is still gay:
Back in 2002, we reported that McClurkin's church, Perfecting Faith Church in New York, drew nearly a thousand people every Sunday, including his friend, Starr Jones of ABC-TV's "The View." The collection plate at the church reportedly brought in $100,000 a month.