Commenting on an article about Al Sharpton speaking out against homophobia in black churches, Nick Sweeney achieves just this by writing:
I am disappointed that Mr. Sharpton has elected to use a national hero like Martin Luther King to promote such a political position from a pulpit.
Why should someone be disappointed with Sharpton? Civil Rights for blacks is a political position — would Nick Sweeney have been disappointed for Sharpton to promote that from the pulpit? I doubt it. So I guess Nick Sweeney is only "disappointed" that he promotes something Sweeney disagrees with. Now, is that a fair or rational basis for "disappointment"? No.
As far as we can tell there are few if any mainline churches who are attacking people who are homosexuals. Most churches, regardless of the ethnic make-up, reject acceptance of homosexuality as normal. Mr Sharpton contends that churches are somehow making scapegoats or promoting violence against people who elect to practice that behavior.
At one time, few mainline churches attacked black Americans but they also rejected race-mixing as normal. Was that OK? No — and by refusing to stand for justice and equality, they were effectively helping those who did commit violence.
For Mr. Sharpton to slightly intimate that Reverend King would support those who practice homosexuality indicates that Mr. Sharpton is in need of a history lesson.... Mr. Sharpton should ask this question: Would Reverend King, who was a man of God and one who communed with God, have rejected any man? I think not. But would Dr. King ever welcome a person to come in and live in sin in the presence of his congregation? Absolutely not. The Scripture would not have allowed Dr. King as a moral man to do so.
How does Nick Sweeney know he would not have? Sharpton likely has a better idea of what King would or would not have done than Sweeney. Coretta Scott King was an ardent supporter of civil rights for gays. Does he suppose Mrs. King might have a better idea of her husband's beliefs than him? Bayard Rustin was a gay man who worked closely with King in the Civil Rights movement and, as far as anyone knows, King never told Rustin that he was immoral and wouldn't be welcome in his congregation. Or does Nick Sweeney imagine that he knows better?
As a Christian I am confident Dr. King would love all people, but he would not welcome their sin as Mr. Sharpton has.
As a Christian, Nick Sweeney is self-righteous, arrogant, and homophobic. Nick Sweeney presumes to speak for someone he never knew in the arrogant assumption that they would share his hateful bigotry when the truth is that those much closer to that person have rejected that bigotry. Nick Sweeney can offer no basis for his assertions except the snide insult that no moral Christian would act any differently from him when the truth is that his bigotry makes him the immoral party here.
Mr. Sharpton says to be open minded. Many can be. But he should not foist acceptance of his political ideas on our black chuch community because of his political ambitions. The true church is not a political tool and is neither black nor white. Our allegience is to God. I beg Mr. Sharpton to consider stop using God as a political tool for political advancement. For many of us it is an affront to the work we have done as Christian people.
Funny, but white racists used to use similar arguments against black Civil Rights leaders like Martin Luther King. How ironic that Nick Sweeney began his comment presuming to speak for King and, by the end, he started channelling the spirit of white Christian racists who opposed King. This is only to be expected since Nick Sweeney's position on gays today is almost indistinguishable from the arguments and bigotry which white Christians used to hold regarding blacks in America.
Mr. Sharpton can be as political as he wants but he should stay out of the church. His political ambition and attempt to sway our people from God’s Word is wrong. Mr. Sharpton may reject God’s word as narrow if he wishes, but he should not ask us to support his folly.
This is also ironic because conservatives usually object when anyone suggests that politics should be kept out of churches. Of course, this is usually in response to complaints about brining political campaigning into churches — few people object when moral issues that have political implications are brought up in churches. Here, however, we find precisely that — but only because Nick Sweeney objects to the position in question. I really don't think that Nick Sweeney has adopted a principled position against raising moral issues in churches when those issues have political implications of some sort.
Marriage, Gay & Straight:
- What Is Marriage?
- What's The Point of Marriage, Gay or Straight?
- Marriage: Religious Rite or Civil Right?
- Interracial Marriage: Loving v. Virginia
- What Does the Bible Say About Monogamy, Polygamy?
- History of Marriage (Marriage)
- Benefits of Legalized Marriage (Gay Life)
Gay Rights, Gay Marriage, and Religion:
- Does Equality for Gays Threaten Religious Liberty?
- Does Religious Liberty Protect a Right to Treat Gays as Unequal?
- Is Religiously Motivated Discrimination Against Gays OK?
- Evangelical Christianity & Homosexuality
- Catholicism & Homosexuality
- Roman Catholicism on Gay Marriages (Christianity - Catholicism)