LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–It is regrettable that homosexual rights activists and those who are pushing for the recognition of same-sex “marriage” have misappropriated the rhetoric of the civil rights movement.
I am appalled when I see homosexual rights proponents standing around in circles singing civil rights-era hymns and songs. I am baffled when I see black leaders disagree and dispute over whether there are parallels between the homosexual rights movement and the civil rights movement. Black Christians should rise up and bring some clarity to the situation.
Black civil rights leaders such as Julian Bond, Coretta Scott King and Congressman John Lewis certainly are no help. They have wholeheartedly bought into the homosexuals’ agenda and are useless as spokespersons because they have no clear moral voice.
Reverend Jesse Jackson, with whom I don’t always agree, distinguished between the political push by homosexual rights activists and the human rights thrust of the civil rights movement in a lecture at Harvard University (although he has subsequently backed away from his comments).
Despite the support or wavering opposition of former civil rights leaders, homosexuals have never been considered three-fifths of a person as blacks were in the U.S. Constitution. Neither did homosexuals need a Brown v. Board of Education in order for them to have equal educational opportunities. Homosexuals have never needed a Civil Rights Act regarding accommodation, housing, lodging and travel. They have never needed a Voting Rights Act.
It is not only regrettable, but it is also infuriating that black civil rights leaders are so lacking in their analysis of this issue. As a follower of Jesus Christ who is black — as one who believes, trusts and obeys the Word of God — I find it amazing that there is such confusion on this issue. No matter how much the homosexual “marriage” crowd abuses rhetoric of the civil rights era, they will never be able to commandeer the One who made the civil rights era unique — the Spirit of the Living God. Homosexual activists can corrupt and confuse the mentality of Julian Bond, Coretta Scott King and John Lewis, but they can never corrupt the Holy Spirit of God and make Him get on their bandwagon.
The civil rights movement originated in black churches as ministers and Christians — both black and white — found discrimination, segregation and inequality based upon race inconsistent with the Declaration of Independence which declared “that all men are created equal” and are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”
But more importantly, Christians found racism inconsistent with the Word of God, inconsistent with Christianity, inconsistent with the God who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth and also created humanity. The Bible teaches us that out of one blood, God made all nations. The Bible teaches us that God’s people are those of every kindred tribe, tongue and nation. So the civil rights walkers could walk in marches, they could stand against dogs, stand against water hoses and feel the assurance that God was with them.
Homosexual activists cannot stand up in the face of opposition and say, “God is with us.”
It’s time for Christians –- particularly those of us who are black — to stand up and stand upon the Word of God. This will be a good litmus test to challenge the commitment of many blacks to biblical authority. Don’t believe the lie that this is not a religious or moral issue. That is just a rhetorical device designed to deaden your senses. This is all about morality. This is all about ethics. For those who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, who happen to be black, this is all about biblical authority.
In March a group of black pastors in Atlanta signed a statement condemning comparisons between homosexual rights and civil rights. They called for the passage of a state constitutional marriage amendment, which subsequently passed the Georgia House and Senate. These ministers clearly defined the issue when they said, “Folks, we are facing a defining moment in our nation’s history, when one of the pillars of our civilization is being shaken.”
With all of the problems regarding the family in black communities, with all of the divorce, with all of the problems of children being raised without fathers, with all the problems of fathers in the penal system, how can any black Christian even entertain the thought of supporting something that would redefine the very core institution of civilization — marriage?
God was with the civil rights marchers. He is definitely not with those who have corrupted His created order of sexuality and are seeking to destroy His institution of marriage.
Kevin L. Smith is the Martin Luther King Jr. Fellow at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit