Monday, July 16, 2007

Not All Black Pastors Being Duped by Christian Right

While far too many blacks have been duped into supporting the anti-black white Christianists attempt to prevent passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act (see my post, it is encouraging to see that some blacks understand that the Christianists are playing on religious belief to get black pastors to lobby against the hate crimes act.

One such group is the National Black Justice Coalition ( which is running ads supporting the adoption of the Hate Crimes Act in a number of national publications. The text of the ads is as follows:

“Pastors have nothing to fear. The bill clearly protects free speech and does not muzzle any minister. ” The bill clearly states, “Nothing in this Act … shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.” [HR 1592, Sec. 8] It does not make criminal any behavior that is not already against the law. We support the current hate crimes legislation in Congress because it expands protections for our fellow clergy members, the African-American community and even more Americans.

We stand united with a diverse group of faith leaders urging the Senate to pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards
Church of the Open Arms
United Church of Christ
Oklahoma City, Okla.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel
Victory Church
Atlanta, Ga.

Rev. Dr. Dennis Wiley
Covenant Baptist Church
Washington, D.C.

Rev. Dr. Christine Wiley
Covenant Baptist Church
Washington, D.C.

Bishop John L. Selders, Jr.
Amistad United Church
of Christ
Hartford, Conn.

Rev. V.H. Dixon, Jr.
Hobson United
Methodist Church
Nashville, Tenn.

Rev. Irene Monroe
Harvard University
Divinity School
Cambridge, Mass.

Bishop Yvette Flunder
City of Refuge
San Francisco, Calif.

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pa.

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