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NAACP Endorses Marriage Equality
May 19, 2012 5:42 PM   Subscribe

"The NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution." Today, the NAACP passed a resolution endorsing same sex marriage.
posted by cashman (98 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
Right on!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:46 PM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Seems like the movement for gay rights and marriage equality is really gathering momentum. I honestly hadn't expected things to change this fast and am very glad that they are.
posted by peacheater at 5:47 PM on May 19, 2012 [27 favorites]


Wow, good for them. I hadn't expected this.
posted by hippybear at 5:53 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is fantastic news that one of the largest and oldest civil rights orgs is on the side of justice and equality.
posted by dejah420 at 5:53 PM on May 19, 2012 [12 favorites]


Love always wins.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 6:06 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm glad to see them using "equality" and "discrimination" to define their position here, without any sort of ambiguity. Those are good words to use - people generally recognize "equality" as good and "discrimination" as bad, and I think that if people who are undecided here start thinking about the issue in those terms it's going to be very good for the pro-equality side.
posted by ethand at 6:08 PM on May 19, 2012 [16 favorites]


The arc of the moral universe is part rainbow.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:16 PM on May 19, 2012 [35 favorites]


Awesome.
posted by trip and a half at 6:18 PM on May 19, 2012


Wow. I'm stepping up to say I was wrong about Obama's statement supporting gay marriage being a bad move that wouldn't accomplish anything. This (all of this, since his interview) has been nigh-unbelievable.

As Aaron Sorkin is so fond of saying, history is made by those who show up.
posted by tzikeh at 6:22 PM on May 19, 2012 [26 favorites]


This is a logical next step to the President's announcement. I would love to see thousands of cities passing proclamations and organizations making press releases recognizing Marriage Equality for gay and lesbian Americans now. All building to a crescendo that drowns out the opposition and makes not supporting it political suicide.

Oh what a wonderful world that would be.
posted by mikehipp at 6:25 PM on May 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am actually buzzing. The times, perhaps, they actually are a-changing.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:31 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Solidarity.
posted by HuronBob at 6:33 PM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Fantastic!
posted by bjgeiger at 6:37 PM on May 19, 2012


A wonderful development. I was speaking to my neighbor recently, who is a union president and happens to be African-American as well. He said that one of the biggest battles he is fighting right now, both within the union and with the people the union deals with, is gay rights and gay marriage.

He told me that when confronted by people who questioned whether or not gay rights should be a labor issue, he used the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

It is good to see the NAACP publicly affirming this, If we could get the African-American community on board with the fight for GLBTQ rights, we would see a lot of changes I think.
posted by Scientist at 6:39 PM on May 19, 2012 [20 favorites]


If you are very lucky you may see a fire rainbow once or twice in your life.

posted by phaedon at 6:41 PM on May 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


If we could get the African-American community on board with the fight for GLBTQ rights, we would see a lot of changes I think.

I was wondering something the other day, and maybe someone in the thread knows the answer. To what extent can the fact that African Americans are more opposed to same sex marriage than other groups be accounted for by the fact that they're more likely to live in the south? Like, if you took a poll of white people and weighted it geographically to match, how much close would their numbers be? It seems like there'd be a much smaller discrepancy.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:44 PM on May 19, 2012


MLK also said something about wanting to see people "judged only by the content of their character" --- I've always imagined he'd have been fine with same-sex marriage long ago.
posted by easily confused at 6:52 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blue Jello Elf, Slate.com just had an article on how a good deal of the groundwork trying to repeal MD's gay marriage is being done by African Americans. Similarly (and linked to in the article), a good deal of support for the California anti-gay amendment was from African Americans.

MD gay marriage foes
posted by Candleman at 6:53 PM on May 19, 2012


"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind then that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

-Eugene V. Debs

Good on 'em.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:55 PM on May 19, 2012 [34 favorites]


Solidarity.

Indeed. This is what people need to realize and concentrate on.
posted by bongo_x at 6:55 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


To what extent can the fact that African Americans are more opposed to same sex marriage than other groups be accounted for by the fact that they're more likely to live in the south?

It's more that they're overwhelmingly likely to belong to the National Baptist Convention, one of the sects of American Christianity that preaches most virulently against homosexuality.
posted by tzikeh at 6:57 PM on May 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is way better than the recent Obama news, IMO.

Also? Take that Alveda!
posted by symbioid at 7:06 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is so great! Fantastic.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:08 PM on May 19, 2012


I honestly hadn't expected things to change this fast and am very glad that they are.

I can't get over how fast the ground seems to be shifting on this. I think it's wonderful and amazing, and I wish I had been smart enough or perceptive enough to have seen this coming.
posted by Forktine at 7:13 PM on May 19, 2012


Bryan Safi of the Throwing Shade podcast responded to Obama's announcement this week, and was very moved by it. He discussed how, growing up in Texas, and being the only gay kid he knew in high school, how very meaningful it would have been for his to hear somebody say to him that being gay is part of the normal human experience, and gays should have the same rights as everybody else. And to have no less than the president saying it? He was moved to tears to hear it, because he knew what sort of impact it would have on the people who needed to hear it. "And I'll tell you what," he said. "I don't need straight people to be cynical about this for me."

Now the most significant voice on the subject of civil rights has, functionally, declared equality for the LGBT community to be an essential human right. I can't believe it is an accident that this has followed the president's announcement. The world has shifted, and I don't care why. As a straight man, I don't have have room for cynicism when it comes to things that benefit my non-straight brothers and sisters. Their time has been past due for far too long. I had hoped this would be the case -- the fact that the right so firmly stood against gay rights suggested to me that it might happen, because how often are they on the wrong side of history? Almost always, right?

Here's history, and they are at last fully on the wrong side of it. The world has changed and left them behind. Now let's take care of whatever business is left. Let's make this all legal, and make it just the way just and decent people see the world. Let's put the haters in the minority, where they belong.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:25 PM on May 19, 2012 [22 favorites]


Actually, PPP did polling on the effect of Obama's announcement on black support for Gay Marriage in North Carolina, which is where they had the recent constitutional amendment banning both Gay Marriage and Civil Unions.

Since they had been polling on the amendment before Obama's announcement, they had data to compare with.

In terms of Gay Marriage, blacks in NC are opposed, but the numbers went from 20% in favor to 27% in favor.

On the other hand, in terms of support for Civil Unions actually became the majority opinion after Obama's announcement. From 55% opposed to 51% in favor.

I saw this mentioned TYT the other day.

They highlighted another stat in their headline: that 13% of republicans (regardless of race) in NC thought being gay should be a felony (it's in the crosstabs of the PDF)
posted by delmoi at 7:26 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Across America, black Baptist ministers are having complete fits.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:27 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Blue Jello Elf: To what extent can the fact that African Americans are more opposed to same sex marriage than other groups be accounted for by the fact that they're more likely to live in the south?

I would think that their opinion on the issue would go back to the notion that homosexuality is something you do, not something you are. If you stop participating in the homosexual lifestyle, you'll be fine. Black people, on the other hand, can't simply stop being black. That's why some don't think that there is any equivalence between the gay and civil rights movements.
posted by dr_dank at 7:28 PM on May 19, 2012


Across America, black Baptist ministers are having complete fits.

They might come around, though, and see the light.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:29 PM on May 19, 2012


All building to a crescendo that drowns out the opposition and makes not supporting it political suicide.

There's an election in six months, where the voters are more likely to be older and thus less inclined toward supporting marriage equality. While all movement toward equal rights is good, recent developments have pushed the issue up the agenda at a time when it could do more harm than good. If it remains salient during election campaigning, it may help bring out the opposition in greater numbers. Maybe Obama knows he can win this argument, or at least persuade independent voters, hence his clear statement in support. But I wouldn't like to bet.
posted by Jehan at 7:30 PM on May 19, 2012


Similarly (and linked to in the article), a good deal of support for the California anti-gay amendment was from African Americans.

I've said this here on MeFi several times now: this is not true. A bad exit poll (which are notoriously unreliable) with a small sample of an unknown (and therefore possibly not representative) electoral district has been used to scapegoat the black community. Here's a link to the press release of the study that debunks the 70 percent "black support" number, and demonstrates that for Prop 8, age and frequency of religious service were what influence the vote.

That study was released three years ago, and people are still referencing that useless poll that overstated black support for Prop 8 in California by twenty percent. However the crappy poll is way more useful for stirring up drama and dissent, I guess.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:41 PM on May 19, 2012 [27 favorites]


recent developments have pushed the issue up the agenda at a time when it could do more harm than good. If it remains salient during election campaigning, it may help bring out the opposition in greater numbers.

Or maybe not!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:41 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]



Across America, black Baptist ministers are having fits.

Uhh. Please, please refrain from homogenizing any one group.

I'm proud of the NAACP. 'Bout time, my people. Now can we do something about the "colored people" thing?
posted by nubianinthedesert at 7:43 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Uhh. Please, please refrain from homogenizing any one group.

Oh, have Baptists suddenly become pro gay marriage.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:55 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now can we do something about the "colored people" thing?

I'm not black, so my input here is basically worthless, but I sort of like that they include the word "colored" in their name -- it's a little bit of history preserved, every time I hear it it makes me think about how recently that term (among others) was totally commonplace. Pretty amazing.
posted by hermitosis at 7:58 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Progress in our lifetime. This good news.
posted by arcticseal at 8:03 PM on May 19, 2012


Oh, have Baptists suddenly become pro gay marriage.

Hey! Some have!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:03 PM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, have Baptists suddenly become pro gay marriage.

Al Sharpton, a Baptist minister, has been speaking in favor of marriage equality since 2006.

Also this wikipedia page says this about Baptists and gay issues:
Progressive position

The Network of Baptists affirming Lesbian & Gay Christians is a small UK network of Baptists who seek to support lesbians and gay men and people concerned about their sexuality in the church.

The Alliance of Baptists is a small theologically progressive, American Baptist denomination which supports same-sex marriage and is open to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender believers.[13]

The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists is made up of Baptist churches, organizations, and individuals who welcome and affirm people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion within Baptist faith communities.[2] This group is made up of around 50 churches and organizations among the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
So, yeah... they're not nearly as monolithic a block as one might think.
posted by hippybear at 8:05 PM on May 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


JINX. Bam, hippybear. Owe me a goddamn Coke.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:06 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's an election in six months, where the voters are more likely to be older and thus less inclined toward supporting marriage equality. While all movement toward equal rights is good, recent developments have pushed the issue up the agenda at a time when it could do more harm than good. If it remains salient during election campaigning, it may help bring out the opposition in greater numbers. Maybe Obama knows he can win this argument, or at least persuade independent voters, hence his clear statement in support. But I wouldn't like to bet.

On the contrary, anti-homosexuals are statistically old and conservative, and don't need to be convinced to vote. If anything, I imagine that Obama's rapid evolution is not brave (in the sense that it risks his political future) but instead rather calculated to raise morale in his base, whose people have serious trouble convincing themselves to vote.
posted by TypographicalError at 8:08 PM on May 19, 2012


If we ever meet in meatspace, I'll be happy to pay that debt.
posted by hippybear at 8:08 PM on May 19, 2012


The UK Baptists don't count in this discussion, as they have nothing to do with gay rights in America. Second, the National Baptist Convention, which is the largest predominantly African-American Christian denomination in the United States (>10 million members), and is the world's second largest Baptist denomination is nowhere to be seen on these lists of progressive Baptist churches and organizations. So the point still stands.
posted by tzikeh at 8:12 PM on May 19, 2012


recent developments have pushed the issue up the agenda at a time when it could do more harm than good.

In my ancient metafilter history, you can probably find me voicing a similar opinion (probably in '04 or '06)... But at this point, fuck it, this is an issue where the more people standing up for it, the sooner the better.
posted by drezdn at 8:16 PM on May 19, 2012


So the point still stands.

No it doesn't. It doesn't stand any more than any other sweeping generalization of a non-homogenous group of people stands when it's made. Stereotyping and bigotry is all that drives that kind of statement. I know it's fun here on MetaFilter to make broad statements about the belief systems of religious people, but they generally are never true, and it's important that the record stand to show that NOT ALL BAPTISTS ARE ANTI-GAY.
posted by hippybear at 8:20 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


NOT ALL BAPTISTS ARE ANTI-GAY.

I'm perfectly aware that not all Baptists are anti-gay, but that's not what I'm saying. I'm speaking specifically about The African-American Baptist churches of the National Baptist Convention. Not "Baptists."
posted by tzikeh at 8:26 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yep. The original sentence was "Across America, black Baptist ministers are having complete fits." Not in these churches they ain't (ctr-f for Baptist). Bad generalizations are bad.
posted by feckless at 8:27 PM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


When I first moved out to Hollywood, I attended a southern Baptist church, despite the fact that I am an atheist and Jewish. And it was a rather typical storefront affair, with folding chairs and fans imprinted with MLK to use when it got too hot, and a terrific gospel group, and a charismatic preacher. Except the preacher, a black man, was flamboyantly, openly gay, and his sermons always dealt with gay rights.

This was 1991. Alas, many southern Baptists are not on the right path, as you say. But others are, and have been for ages, and this means that the Baptist church can change.

Gosh, I wish I could remember that pastor and congregation. I have often wondered what became of them. It was awesome.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:29 PM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity."
- MLK Jr, "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

So, so happy to see this news now.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:34 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


NOT ALL BAPTISTS ARE ANTI-GAY.

Indeed, but from the official Southern Baptist Church website: We affirm God's plan for marriage and sexual intimacy – one man, and one woman, for life. Homosexuality is not a "valid alternative lifestyle." The Bible condemns it as sin.

So, if that doesn't mean that the SBC is opposed to same-sex marriage, I don't really know what it means. If you can call yourself Southern Baptist and not adhere to the tenets of that church, why are you doing that? What does it even mean to call oneself "southern baptist" then, anyway?
posted by King Bee at 8:41 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't get over how fast the ground seems to be shifting on this. I think it's wonderful and amazing, and I wish I had been smart enough or perceptive enough to have seen this coming.

The thing about tipping points is they're obvious with hindsight but impossible to see in advance.
posted by thecaddy at 8:50 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Southern Baptists != all Baptists.
posted by hippybear at 8:50 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


There are a bunch of different types of Baptists; when I was in seminary (where Baptists were the second-largest group, after Methodists), it was popular for non-Southern-Baptist-Conference Baptists to call themselves the "Other Baptists." Because people would be like, "Oh, you're Baptist, you must be against women's rights," and they'd be like, "No, we're the Other Baptists."

Anyway, while many Baptist groups, including the largest groups, are anti-gay-rights, it's certainly not true of all Baptists, all Baptist pastors, all Baptist churches, or all Baptist organizations.

Also, King Bee, SBC stands for Southern Baptist CONVENTION, not Church. (It's literally right at the top of the page you linked.) Baptists are organized at the local church level -- it's part of what makes them Baptists -- and come together in conferences or conventions that have a general agreement on particular principals, but churches are autonomous and the SBC doesn't dictate policy to member churches; churches affiliate by region or state, send delegates, who vote and elect as necessary. The SBC executive committee runs the seminaries, more or less because someone has to, but individual churches are autonomous. The convention's "confession of faith" is technically not binding on local churches because they are autonomous (I don't really know how it's worked out when a church wants to espouse something the convention completely objects to, but remain a member; that's a little too inside-baseball for my level of knowledge). Many Baptist churches are independent of affiliation altogether.

Point is, there are plenty of Baptists and Baptist groups out there who favor marriage equality. Some of them may even belong to the SBC or the NBC. More of them are "Other Baptists."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:51 PM on May 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


I feel like going back to church, just to see what is being said. I'm making assumptions based on past experiences in black churches, but its possible things have changed (clearly) and those assumptions are incorrect. This is probably where I should suck it up and ask family members what it was like in their churches. And then cringe while I wait for a reply.

KlangKlangston posted a few different helpful links with tips on how to address these issues with your family members, words and phrases to use and stay away from, etc.
posted by cashman at 8:55 PM on May 19, 2012


As far as I know, the only real thing uniting Baptists across all lines is the "I don't get saved in spots, so I don't get wet in spots either" attitude toward baptism.
posted by hippybear at 8:56 PM on May 19, 2012


If you can call yourself Southern Baptist and not adhere to the tenets of that church

You may not be familiar with how Protestantism works, of which Southern Baptism is an offshoot. A primary Protestant doctrine is that the Bible is the only authority for Christians. So while there will be conventions, individual churches can have considerably different interpretations of scripture. If there has ever been a religion of endless rifts based on different readings (sometimes of single passages of scripture), it is Protestantism. You'd be astonished how often a Protestant church breaks in half into two churches, or how often a disagreeing minority breaks off and starts their own church in somebody's living room.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:58 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Garrison Keiller has a whole schtick about Methodism and which synod one might be a member of, due to exactly what Bunny Ultramod describes. It's pretty hilarious, but I can't find it quickly online.
posted by hippybear at 9:02 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Southern Baptists != all Baptists.

Yes. This is why I quoted you, said "indeed", then qualified all my statements afterward by saying southern baptist and not just baptist.

The SBC executive committee runs the seminaries, more or less because someone has to, but individual churches are autonomous. The convention's "confession of faith" is technically not binding on local churches because they are autonomous (I don't really know how it's worked out when a church wants to espouse something the convention completely objects to, but remain a member; that's a little too inside-baseball for my level of knowledge).

OK, but FAQ of the SBConvention (Jesus, I'm sorry) website tells me: According to our constitution, if a church no longer makes a bona fide contribution to the Convention's work, or if it acts to "affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior," it no longer complies with the Constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention and is not permitted to send messengers to the annual meeting.

So, I'm assuming this means that you probably don't count yourself among the Southern Baptist Churches if you're not sending members to the Southern Baptist Convention, but as (on preview) I see from Bunny Ultramod, religious people have this "get out of jail free" card where they can use words to mean whatever the hell they want whenever the hell they want.

Carry on, I suppose.
posted by King Bee at 9:02 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


(In fact, the Presbyterian church I was raised in split into two congregations shortly after I was born, with the split-off group forming a church which met at the extreme other end of town. It's still a bit of a subject of scandal with my parents, who even today (40-odd years later) refuse to give me the full details about exactly what happened. But the whole "THEY are over THERE, and WE remain HERE" thing was a pretty big part of my upbringing.
posted by hippybear at 9:04 PM on May 19, 2012


All because Joe Biden got mouthy on Meet The Press.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:08 PM on May 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


religious people have this "get out of jail free" card where they can use words to mean whatever the hell they want whenever the hell they want.

And thank goodness for this, because if anything is going to bring about the end of institutionalized homophobia in churches, its that churches are extremely skilled at coming up with radical new interpretations of scripture and then deciding that's what God meant all along.

It's not the most logical thing in the world, I know. But people come to justice through many paths, and some of them are, frankly, bizarre. Whatever works.

By the way, this is true in Judaism as well, leading to one of my favorite jokes. A Jewish man is lost at sea and washes up on a desert island. He is found fifteen years later, and his eagerly takes his rescuers around the island to show them the world he has built for himself.

There is his house, built out of bamboo and palm leaves. There are wells. There is a farm, filled with wild goats and chickens he has caught. There is a beautiful spot he has built so he can relax, surrounded by shade trees and with a babbling brook running through it. And there is another building he is excited to show them: His synagogue.

As they are leaving, they pass another building, miles away from the Jew's little oasis. The Jewish man passes without mentioning it, so the ask him.

"That?" he says. "Also a synagogue."

Does he ever use it, they ask?

"Use it?" he responds with disgust. "I wouldn't go into that shul if you paid me."
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:10 PM on May 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Garrison Keiller has a whole schtick about Methodism and which synod one might be a member of, due to exactly what Bunny Ultramod describes.

I suspect you mean Lutheranism. Methodists don't have synods, but Lutherans do. Keillor often tells stories about Minnesota Lutherans.
posted by jedicus at 9:14 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's Emo Phillips joke, where he meets a man about to commit suicide and tries to talk him out of it, since God will be angry of he offs himself:

I said, "God loves you, you silly ninny."
He said, "How do you know there's a God?"
I said, "Of course there's a God. Do you think that billions of years ago a bunch of molecules floating around at random could someday have had the sense of humor to make you look like that?"
He said, "I do believe in God."
I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?"
He said, "A Christian."
I said, "Me too. Protestant or Catholic?"
He said, "Protestant."
I said, "Me too! What franchise?"
He says, "Baptist."
I said, "Me too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?"
He says, "Northern Baptist."
I said, "Me too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Baptist."
I say, "Me too! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist or Northern Conservative Reform Baptist?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist."
I say, "Me too! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Eastern Region?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region."
I say, "Me too! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879 or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912."
I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:17 PM on May 19, 2012 [26 favorites]


I am in favor of the NAACP's continued opposition to all forms of inequality. And completely thrilled by this announcement.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 9:19 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suspect you mean Lutheranism.

Ah, you may be correct. Keiller himself is a Methodist, but he does talk a lot about Lutherans. My bad.

I may also be putting Emo Phillips' joke into Keiller's mouth. So... yeah.
posted by hippybear at 9:20 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Republicans are falling all over themselves to fabricate the meme that blacks will stay home in November because Obama came out for gay marriage.

Yeah, fuck those troglodytes.
posted by bardic at 9:27 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


King Bee, I honestly don't understand what you're upset about and would like to clarify if I could. I emphasized the "convention" portion of the SBC because Southern Baptists are a network of individual churches rather than an overarching church body like, say, Catholics. There are theological, legal, and social implications to those differences.

Yes, the SBC is unfriendly to gay people. Yes, the SBC is the largest Baptist organization in the U.S. No, it is not the only Baptist governing organization, and some of those available do support say rights. Tzikeh above mentioned the National Baptist Convention, which is the largest African-American Baptist organization. (Which is also, I understand, not particularly gay-friendly.) But these are distinct groups from one another; and Baptists have a distinct and someone unusual church structure. I don't think they're "using words however they hell they want," but using particular words in ways that have technical meanings within that community.

Individuals and churches are, all the time, out of line with their conference's statements of faith. Sometimes everyone ignores it, sometimes it's a Big Damn Deal with lots of Writing of Irate Letters. Sometimes there's a split or someone backs down. Rarely, you have a situation like Jimmy Carter, who officially de-affiliated with the SBC over their treatment of women; and clearly, for at least two decades before that happened, Jimmy Carter was publicly not in line with the SBC's teachings, but it took him formally de-affiliating himself. (And let us not forget, churches, no matter how they're governed, are made of men, and one might remain in the SBC because one deeply believes in its mission to the poor and its preaching of the gospel, and feel it's gone badly awry on gender issues and gay rights, and that by staying a member and, heck, going to the conferences, you can be one of the voices aruging for it to be better.)

I teach on Christian denominationalism in one of my world religions classes, and I've consulted with some law firms handling lawsuits involving various religious groups (and how they organize themselves has a lot to do with who owns the land/building/insurance policy that's being sued over), so if I can help you with this, I'd be happy to.

----

Now that I've said something substantive I get to tell a true story and a joke.
True story: I went to law school with a girl who'd grown up in rural western North Carolina in a set of three off-shoot baptist evangelical churches (whose name I forget) that arose under some charismatic leader during one of the Great Awakenings. In the 1950s, they had an ENORMOUS falling-out, over whether people in hell burn FOREVER, or whether they burn UP (and cease to suffer). CLEARLY a loving God would let people burn UP, but a faithful God would have to let them burn FOREVER. The Burn-UP-ers bought the vacant lot catty-corner from the existing church, started its own church, and they stand there, catty-corner, to this day, sharing everything in common but whether you burn up or not when you go to hell.

Joke: There are three eternal truths about religion. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of Christianity. Baptists do not recognize one another in the liquor store.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:34 PM on May 19, 2012 [16 favorites]


On a note more related to the original post: I have noticed (anecdotally) that my local NAACP is mostly older men and women, in their 60s, and that the organization hasn't recruited a lot of younger blacks into its ranks. I know some of this is just generational (the League of Women Voters local group runs many of the same types of events, and has the same age range represented). Is the NAACP suffering from lack of interest among the young? And will this step forward on marriage equality revitalize interest among younger black adults in the organization?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:38 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


King Bee, I honestly don't understand what you're upset about and would like to clarify if I could.

I was originally upset because you seemed to discount the information in the link I provided because it was for the SBConvention, not SBChurch, and somehow, supposedly, that means that I am not correct to draw the conclusion that "Southern Baptist Churches condemn homosexuality".

I will continue to be upset and baffled by people who say things like "I am Catholic, but I don't agree with their stance on abortion or birth control", or "I am Southern Baptist, but I don't agree with their position on homosexuality". That means that you are not Catholic and that you are not Southern Baptist. At least, that's what it should mean to say "I'm Catholic" or "I'm Southern Baptist".

And let us not forget, churches, no matter how they're governed, are made of men, and one might remain in the SBC because one deeply believes in its mission to the poor and its preaching of the gospel, and feel it's gone badly awry on gender issues and gay rights, and that by staying a member and, heck, going to the conferences, you can be one of the voices aruging for it to be better.

Yes, but as I linked in the FAQ, you are not allowed to attend the convention if you disagree with their stated position on homosexuality, so that's kind of a non-starter.

Whatever though. Bunny Ultramod's later comment about how it's good that religious people just use words without them really meaning anything at all made me feel a little bit better. I'm just going to never be not annoyed at apparently absolutely content-free propositions like "I'm Catholic" or "I'm Baptist".
posted by King Bee at 9:50 PM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ben Jealous was a friend of mine in middle school. We did a group project at his house once and he walked through a sliding glass door and had to get a shit ton of stitches. True story.

Oh, and hear, hear, NAACP. Nicely done.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:53 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good.
posted by kgasmart at 9:54 PM on May 19, 2012


I will continue to be upset and baffled by people who say things like "I am Catholic, but I don't agree with their stance on abortion or birth control", or "I am Southern Baptist, but I don't agree with their position on homosexuality". That means that you are not Catholic and that you are not Southern Baptist. At least, that's what it should mean to say "I'm Catholic" or "I'm Southern Baptist".

No, it means that you don't agree with your church but you still support your church and its position on everything you disagree on. To say otherwise is to turn your Church into a Weekly Social Club. So don't be alarmed if your Church is instrumental in restricting your access to birth control. Because you were behind them, 100%.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:57 PM on May 19, 2012


Or.... it means that you're part of a social group which holds beliefs with which you sincerely disagree, but the level of your involvement with such group makes it difficult to leave without a real instigating incident that leads you to break your involvement.

I'd probably be Presbyterian to this day if, at the age of 22, I had gone in to talk to the pastor at the church and told him that I think I'm gay and asked if there is any place in the congregation for me, and he had said "yes" instead of "no".

As it stands, I haven't been back since that day. If he'd said yes, I'd probably be a queer Presbyterian minister by now (as that is the track I was on at the time).
posted by hippybear at 10:04 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I will continue to be upset and baffled by people who say things like "I am Catholic, but I don't agree with their stance on abortion or birth control", or "I am Southern Baptist, but I don't agree with their position on homosexuality". That means that you are not Catholic and that you are not Southern Baptist. At least, that's what it should mean to say "I'm Catholic" or "I'm Southern Baptist". "

This gets into really interesting questions of who gets to define what "Catholic" or "Southern Baptist" means, and into what theologians call "core and adiaphora" (or, central matters and things on the edges that don't matter a lot.) Generally things in the Apostle's Creed, the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, maybe the 10 Commandments are core; other things are adiaphora. Jesus does not actually care a lot if cardinals wear red hats. Jesus does care that you love your neighbor as yourself, and care for the poor and sick, and whatnot. Jesus doesn't mention abortion or birth control. So, who gets to define what "Catholic" means, the Pope? The bishops? The people in the pews? Do they get to insist on EVERYTHING, or only on the core? Who is allowed to dissent and how far and for what reasons? These are big questions that people study and dispute and debate.

There's also a big lived difference in what it means to self-identify as Catholic in the U.S. vs. what it means to self-identify as Protestant; it's easier to be a cultural Catholic. Protestant groups are more likely to be very specific about professions of faith.

And, this isn't the topic of the thread, so forgive me, but when *I* say, "I am Catholic, but I disagree with (oh, hell, here you go) their stance on the ordination of women; their management of the pedophilia crisis; their stance on gay rights, gay sex, and gay marriage; their tepid support for the poor in the U.S. -- well, I could go on, but, you get the idea." What I mean is I'm clinging desperately, shouting, "IT'S MY CHURCH TOO AND I'M NOT LETTING YOU MAKE IT SUCK." I mean, I was born into a family of moderate-to-conservative Republicans. I didn't just wake up on morning democrat; I went to 18 years of Mass and 8 years of CCD and learned and learned and learned that we must care for the poor, we must heal the sick, we must comfort the afflicted, we must be radical advocates for peace, we must not build up our treasure on earth, we must give of our bounty and our blessings, we must be voices for the voiceless, we must never stop fighting and fighting and fighting for love. And my mom drove with me to the polling place to place my first vote when I was 18, and she sighed and said, "I can't believe I raised a democrat," and I said, "You probably shouldn't have sent me to 18 years of Catholic church, then, it's full to the rafters with communists. I WANTED to sleep in on Sundays, you know!"

So, it's really uniquely difficult when the Catholic Church is busy bringing the suck hardcore, as it is currently doing in so many ways, because that is where I learned at Christian society is a just and fair one that supports the poor; that you have to change systems, not just blame individuals; that doing what is good and right and fair and just means looking outside oneself and one's direct interests, and that it isn't easy work; that I have a responsibility (from JESUS. The SERIOUS kind of responsibility) to make the world a better place where other people suffer less and are loved more.

It's not like an on-off switch of "I'm Catholic -- Oh, now they said something dumb, I'm not Catholic." It's "I'm Catholic and I AM GOING TO KEEP TRYING TO FIX YOUR SHITTNESS at least until the Methodists come up with 7 sacraments, then we might be having words."

Given the general conservative bent of the community I grew up in, I doubt I would have learned that it's okay to be gay if bazillion-year-old Sister Mary Grace hadn't had the courage of her convictions in her vast Christlike love to say, "They're people just like everyone else, and Jesus never wants us to hurt others because they're different from us. I know some leaders say it's wrong to be gay, but God doesn't make mistakes in how He makes people, and it's always, always wrong to hurt or reject or shun others, for any reason, no matter who they are or what they've done." And Sister Mary Grace was very old and very gentle and in a wheelchair and had visited murderers on death row to offer them love and grace and everybody felt SO ASHAMED that we went back to public school on Monday (we had CCD on weekends) and nobody had it in them any longer to tease the one gay kid for being gay, and the fact that the Catholic kids had stopped meant there wasn't such an audience for mocking, and there was usually someone willing to stand with him so he wasn't such an easy target, and the shame spread, and the bullying ... stopped. It petered out and stopped. (And I'm still in touch with the guy, and we've talked about it, and he knew Sister too.)

So that's why I'm Catholic, because Sister Mary Grace taught me about love and equality and God and single-handedly kicked the asses of an entire 6th grade into quitting bullying the gay kid by very gently telling us to be better people.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:27 PM on May 19, 2012 [59 favorites]


I will continue to be upset and baffled by people who say things like "I am Catholic, but I don't agree with their stance on abortion or birth control", or "I am Southern Baptist, but I don't agree with their position on homosexuality".

I'm not sure why you would be upset by this any more than you would be with democrats who don't agree with President Obama about everything. I'm not religious and I don't pay a huge amount of attention to what's going on in churches around me, but within walking distance of my house in Oakland are two Catholic churches and one Baptist church that are explicitly gay-friendly. All nine of the Catholic Diocese's high schools in Oakland are also gay-friendly. A local Catholic Bishop has written a book about welcoming GLBT folks into parishes (angering more conservative Catholics, certainly). I don't think any of these people attending these churches feel that they're less Catholic or Baptist because they don't hate gay people/are gay themselves, or because they don't find the leadership of the church completely above criticism. They're probably in a much better position to change the church from the bottom up, than anyone outside it. There have been centuries of dissent among church-goers so why would today be any different?
posted by oneirodynia at 10:28 PM on May 19, 2012


"I am Catholic, but I disagree with (oh, hell, here you go) their stance on the ordination of women; their management of the pedophilia crisis; their stance on gay rights, gay sex, and gay marriage; their tepid support for the poor in the U.S. -- well, I could go on, but, you get the idea."

See, but that's just it. I don't get the idea. I really, really don't get it. Why would you want to be associated with a group when you disagree with them on so many things, fundamentally? Why don't you just say what you actually believe (which perhaps is not very much)? There has to be some fundamental set of principles that must be agreed on for one to be called a "Catholic," yes? Can I call myself a Catholic, because "who gets to define this" anyway?

Maybe people use "Catholic" because they don't want to have to say, out loud, "I believe that roughly 2,000 years ago, there was a man, who was also god, and he walked around Palestine for a while talking about stuff until he was tortured to death but he came back to life and for this reason I will live forever in paradise". You know, because it sounds a bit detached from reality when you have to say that out loud all the time.

Can I consider myself a Catholic if I don't think that Jesus was actually the son of God and that he died for my sins? Can I consider myself a Catholic if I think that Jesus was a wicked person? Can I consider myself a Catholic if I don't think that Jesus ever existed at all? I would say no, but now I'm thinking that the answer is probably yes. That's why saying "I'm Catholic" is just essentially a content-free proposition.

Apparently no one but me gets to define what "being Catholic" means for me. Maybe I just like the pretty stained glass windows, and that's all it takes for me to call myself Catholic.

I'm not sure why you would be upset by this any more than you would be with democrats who don't agree with President Obama about everything.

It might have something to do with the fact that democrats don't have a book that was literally written by an omniscient being that supposedly contains all of the wisdom that humans need to live well on this planet. Neither is it in the tenets of democratism that Obama is the voice of this being here on earth and that whatever he says from his pulpit is infallible. Neither do democrats say a few words over some crackers and then they actually become the body of Obama, which we then ingest.

But I'm getting way off topic now, and I'm sure now (thanks to Eyebrows McGee and others) that the majority of people who call themselves Catholics don't believe in the divinely inspired holy texts or in the infallibility of the pope or transsubstantiation. I'll show myself out.
posted by King Bee at 10:52 PM on May 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


It might have something to do with the fact that democrats don't have a book that was literally written by an omniscient being that supposedly contains all of the wisdom that humans need to live well on this planet.

You've obviously never been in discussion with Constitutional absolutists.

That being said, I sympathize with your concerns. But it's worth recognizing that religion has proven to be tremendously flexible, and that it can adapt itself to a new understanding of the world. While there have been religious people at the forefront of oppression, at the very same moment there have been religious people at the forefront of justice, often basing their differences on different understandings of the very same text, and many of whom do not read that text literally, but instead metaphorically.

In a way, it is not so different from liberal and conservative Americans. After all, we read the same founding texts. And yet we come to wildly different conclusions about them. And, while we do not see the constitution as being inerrant, any decision must be consistent with the Constitution, or the Constitution must be amended, which is a slow and difficult process. Indeed, I would make the case that it is easier to change a religion, which can be unexpectedly nimble in coming up with new interpretations, and is not a monolith, than to change federal U.S. law, which finds its absolute justification and interpretation in one document.

This all sucks if you want to just sit down and logic something out, without the specter of either supernatural beings or long-dead white men. But, then, people don't really do that well with logic. If we can make our illogical systems bend toward justice, that may not be ideal, but it may be the best we can do.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:05 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll pretty much always be confused when the nonreligious insist upon what the religious believe using a few cherry picked lines from the internet. Maybe for the followers it's a touch more complicated than what the religious version of a politician said. Faith is personal, so is church membership. Complain about the organizations, critique the people who say and do shitty things, fine, but to attack people because you think 15 minutes of googling gives you more insight than a lifetime of membership is absurd.

And i say this as a former mormon atheist.
posted by nadawi at 11:35 PM on May 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


but to attack people because you think 15 minutes of googling gives you more insight than a lifetime of membership is absurd.

If you're talking about me, I went to a fundamentalist Christian school from the ages of 5 until 17.

And yes, fundamentalist Christian means what you think it means. The world is about 6,000 years old. Evolution is junk science. Women should not have roles in the church. Dancing is sinful. Birth control is bad. Homosexuality is sinful. The Bible is the inerrant word of the omniscient being we call God. Jesus was a real person who was also this God who walked around Palestine for a while until he was tortured and then came back to life and for this reason I'll live forever in paradise. Except I won't, because I don't believe in this collection of bullshit statements anymore, so instead I'll spend eternity in a pit of fire.

This isn't "15 minutes of googling", these are precepts that I was taught were true, and actually believed until I had a chance to talk to people who were outside of this realm of psychopaths. Maybe it's not a "lifetime membership", because when I realized that this shit is wrong, I didn't decide to stick around inside the club because I wanted to keep calling myself a Christian out of some weird devotion to a pack of insane individuals who I thought might have loved me.

I'm not even sure I was attacking anyone upthread, I was just confused out of my gourd because I don't know why people say things like "I'm this, but I'm also not". Eyebrows and Bunny have tried to help me out with that. I'd just rather people tell me what they believe instead of "I'm this, but I'm not". However, since faith is so "personal", they probably never will.

Bunny Ultramod, thank you for your level-headed comments throughout. You have kept me relatively sane while thinking about this topic.
posted by King Bee at 11:49 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee:
So that's why I'm Catholic, because Sister Mary Grace taught me about love and equality and God and single-handedly kicked the asses of an entire 6th grade into quitting bullying the gay kid by very gently telling us to be better people.

No offense - that's a nice story - but the core definition of being Catholic is that you believe that the Pope and the church is divinely guided by God and are absolutely correct. Just because you (hypothetically) knew a nice foot soldier in the Russian Army circa 1950 who tended to the village cripple doesn't make you a Stalinist. It means that foot soldier or nun was a good and admirable person.

So, who gets to define what "Catholic" means, the Pope?

Yes. By definition.
posted by Candleman at 11:49 PM on May 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


I made my first big donation to the Obama campaign last week, actually my first donation to a major party candidate outside of very local politics. Then today a little more good news, and a Joe Biden beer koozie in the mail.

It feels nice to have things go the right way for a bit, even if American made beer koozies are still sort of crap.
posted by St. Sorryass at 11:54 PM on May 19, 2012


the core definition of being Catholic is that you believe that the Pope and the church is divinely guided by God and are absolutely correct.

Since this thread is about the NAACP, and it's been pretty thoroughly established that the idea that blacks are overwhelmingly opposed to gay marriage is based on junk data, and because the beliefs of Catholics is somewhat removed from the subject of Southern Baptists, which, in turn, is a step away from the NAACP, I wonder if that discussion couldn't be tabled until the appropriate thread?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:55 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, who gets to define what "Catholic" means, the Pope?
Yes. By definition.


That was my understanding as well, and the centralization and specific rules are probably some of the reasons why roman catholicisim is so popular.

There may be a don't ask, don't tell kind of thing going on, but my dad is technically not welcome in the catholic church anymore because he's divorced, for example, plain and simple.
posted by palbo at 11:56 PM on May 19, 2012


[Can folks please forgo further hashing out what Catholicism means to any given Catholic/non-Catholic, and the usual "All Religion Is A Lie" thing, and try to focus a bit more on the actual post topic? Thanks.]
posted by taz at 12:12 AM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


No offense - that's a nice story - but the core definition of being Catholic is that you believe that the Pope and the church is divinely guided by God and are absolutely correct.

When my mom and dad divorced, they both remarried Catholics. Although my step-dad and step-mother came from different parts of the country and were of different generations, they were both liberal American Catholics. Both of them had much more in common with John Paul II in terms of the way they were taught what it meant to be Catholic than with Benedict XVI. The Catholic Church is designed around the leader of the church, who is considered to be divinely inspired as far as church doctrine. However, the leadership of the Catholic Church has always been political as much as theological, and if you don't think people within the church have differences, then you haven't met many Catholics. American Catholics have been more liberal than their brethren at the Vatican for many generations, but they haven't had a true schism over it like when the Protestants broke off (not exactly a liberal splinter group). They have lost some members, but people who grow up understanding their faith means something don't typically just get up and walk away from it if the church comes under new leadership.

However, my step-father, who went to mass every Sunday his whole life (increasing to four or five times a week when he retired) up until the day he died, did indeed get up and walk out of local churches which he found to be incompatible in the way the priest lead the congregation, particularly when it came to political matters. Not all priests interpret what the Vatican says the same way, either. You may not agree that it makes much sense, but it's always been this way. People remain members of their church and religion for reasons far more complex than what political issues happen to be the hot topic for the current bishop of the Holy See, who, most likely, disagreed with the previous one on particular matters of religious doctrine and interpretation (including political matters in the US and elsewhere) in significant ways.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:29 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


There may be a don't ask, don't tell kind of thing going on, but my dad is technically not welcome in the catholic church anymore because he's divorced, for example, plain and simple.

It may be technically the case, but local churches are run by their priests. This has not been a particularly strict rule for many generations, otherwise the church would have lost too many members. My step-mom and step-dad were lifelong Catholics and were both divorced and remarried. They were never excommunicated, and my step-dad had a Catholic Mass wedding both times.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:38 AM on May 20, 2012


I will continue to be upset and baffled by people who say things like "I am Catholic, but I don't agree with their stance on abortion or birth control", or "I am Southern Baptist, but I don't agree with their position on homosexuality". That means that you are not Catholic and that you are not Southern Baptist. At least, that's what it should mean to say "I'm Catholic" or "I'm Southern Baptist".

Why is this any harder to understand than "I'm American, but I don't agree with the policy on Afghanistan"?

The historical norm amongst all religions has always been that the bigwigs proclaim and the common folk believe what they believe. The entire history of the Catholic Church is one of trying to get people to pay attention to what the pope is proclaiming.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:43 AM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


It might have something to do with the fact that democrats don't have a book that was literally written by an omniscient being that supposedly contains all of the wisdom that humans need to live well on this planet. Neither is it in the tenets of democratism that Obama is the voice of this being here on earth and that whatever he says from his pulpit is infallible. Neither do democrats say a few words over some crackers and then they actually become the body of Obama, which we then ingest.

Yeah, well, you'll search in vain for anything Jesus ever said about gay people, or abortion, or the sanctity of marriage, or whether or not Catholics can support a Democratic president, or...

Don't be more naive than you have to be: church politics like all politics are driven mostly by worldly concerns, not theological debates, though the latter is often abused to justify the former.

Real theological debates are about whether the son and the father are one in essence, or whether the son was just a perfect creation of the father.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:54 AM on May 20, 2012


Meanwhile to get back to the original post, seeing the NAACP endorsing gay rights in this public a way is great not just on its own, but also because it makes it that much harder for the hard right to try and put a wedge between what they imagine are the two great Democratic voting blocks, Black and gay people. It will be ...interesting... to see what the loonier wingnut blogs will have to say about it.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:01 AM on May 20, 2012


Eyebrows McGee: "They're people just like everyone else, and Jesus never wants us to hurt others because they're different from us. I know some leaders say it's wrong to be gay, but God doesn't make mistakes in how He makes people, and it's always, always wrong to hurt or reject or shun others, for any reason, no matter who they are or what they've done."

I like Sister Mary Grace - she gets It. It is so, so hard to get across the idea that "Be kind to others" is not followed by the word "unless".
posted by Mooski at 3:59 AM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


A story I related awhile back, concerning black ministers and gay rights...
posted by Thorzdad at 4:39 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm really glad Obama decided to do the morally and politically wise thing and take the issue to the bully pulpit. It's already helping to change things.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:30 PM on May 20, 2012


It is fantastic news that one of the largest and oldest civil rights orgs is on the side of justice and equality.

dejah420, you say "fantastic news"; I say "disappointing that it's news". Potayto, potahto.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:27 PM on May 20, 2012


If anything, I imagine that Obama's rapid evolution is not brave (in the sense that it risks his political future) but instead rather calculated to raise morale in his base, whose people have serious trouble convincing themselves to vote.

TypographicalError, your conspiracy theory is predicated on a "rapid evolution" in opinion that, in 2007, was friendly to LGBT rights, but stopping short of endorsing gay marriage, and five years later, finally includes that step.

How slowly does one's opinion have to change to be "slowly evolving"?
posted by IAmBroom at 7:32 PM on May 20, 2012


No it doesn't. It doesn't stand any more than any other sweeping generalization of a non-homogenous group of people stands when it's made.
He didn't say that all black Baptist preachers were having fits, in fact he didn't even say anything about proportion at all. But, while you can reasonably assume he meant a large majority, there isn't any evidence that anything other then a small minority of southern Baptist preachers are pro gay-marriage (black or otherwise)
Southern Baptists != all Baptists.
Again, the original comment was specifically about black Baptists ministers. Not necessarily in the south, but still.

Also, confusing the Southern Baptist convention - which split off in 1844 so they could continue to support slavery, supported segregation in the 1960s and recently caused controversy when a member of the leadership criticized black leaders for their comments on the Trayvon Martin case.

On the other hand, most southern black Baptist churches belong, I think, to the National Baptist Convention, which supported civil rights and is largely African American.

The original comment was about black Baptist churches, which are probably not going to be members of the SBC. Confusing these two groups is just ridiculous.
I will continue to be upset and baffled by people who say things like "I am Catholic, but I don't agree with their stance on abortion or birth control", or "I am Southern Baptist, but I don't agree with their position on homosexuality". That means that you are not Catholic and that you are not Southern Baptist. At least, that's what it should mean to say "I'm Catholic" or "I'm Southern Baptist".
"Southern Baptist" is not a religion. There are different conventions including the Progressive National Baptist Convention, which split off from the national Baptist convention in order to be directly supportive of the civil rights movement (On gay rights today? Amazingly, their website doesn't even contain the words 'gay' or "homosexual" at all. At least they're not against it. Also, they're pretty small, about 700 churches compared to 31k for the NBC and 45k for the SBC)

Catholicism, or Mormonism definitely have hierarchical systems, but the whole point of the protestant reformation was to get rid of that. Protestants (including Baptist) believe that it's up to the individual to find their relationship with god, and figure out what god wants for them on their own (Keep in mind, this happened around the same time as the creation of the printing press, prior to that, it would have been difficult for an individual to even get their hands on a bible)
So that's why I'm Catholic, because Sister Mary Grace taught me about love and equality and God and single-handedly kicked the asses of an entire 6th grade into quitting bullying the gay kid by very gently telling us to be better people.
You're aware of the recent crackdown on nuns, right? Sister Mary Grace might have been great in your eyes, but using her as a reason to support the catholic church is a bit confused at this point. Sufficed to say, the catholic church doesn't exactly support people like her.

What you think is great about the catholic church is exactly the kind of thing they are trying to stamp out. Would you still consider yourself a catholic if you found out that nuns are being punished for being too supportive of gays? Because if they're not already, they probably will be soon.

Plus, if you actually pay your dues, that money does go to support the Vatican.

There are plenty of Christian denominations that are officially pro-gay.
Why is this any harder to understand than "I'm American, but I don't agree with the policy on Afghanistan"?
Because you can't vote for the pope? But really, even in non-democracies loyalty to a country really just means loyalty to your fellow citizens, not nessisarally loyalty to the government, especially not in the U.S.. And yeah yeah Saint Augestine's city of god stuff, but really the church is not a nation, you have to actively chose to continue to be a part of it and support it.
TypographicalError, your conspiracy theory is predicated on a "rapid evolution" in opinion that, in 2007, was friendly to LGBT rights, but stopping short of endorsing gay marriage, and five years later, finally includes that step.
Yeah, if you skip the part where he was for gay marriage in 1996 it seems like it might actually be sincere. But how many people go from being supportive of gay marriage in the 90s, then against it, and then for it again? My guess is he personally supported it the entire time, but pretended not too for political reasons.

Of course, it wasn't doing him much good, as according to some polls most people opposed to gay marriage actually thought he was for it anyway (IIRC)
posted by delmoi at 1:45 AM on May 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


And yeah yeah Saint Augestine's city of god stuff, but really the church is not a nation, you have to actively chose to continue to be a part of it and support it.

Yeah, but where protestants always get it wrong is thinking the pope = the Catholic Church, which is what you're doing here. For believers, it's their local church, local pastor, local bishop and local congregation who are far more important to their day to day religious lives than the pope in Rome.

The Catholic Church is not a monolithic organisation, protestant propaganda notwithstanding, and there has always been struggles over its direction and about where the power lies, locally with the bishops or centrally, with the pope.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:06 AM on May 22, 2012


Michelangelo Signorile: The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that in the wake of President Obama's support for marriage equality, opposition to it is at an all-time low, at 39 percent. For the first time, strong support exceeds strong opposition. Moreover, there is now greater support for marriage equality among African Americans -- a whopping 59 percent -- than in the general population, breaking long-held stereotypes.

Look at that: Leadership happens.

And there's a lesson here for all progressives -- and for the Obama campaign. We were told by the Democratic strategists and the campaign pollsters, the Democratic establishment, that coming out for marriage equality would be harmful to the president. The establishment pundits, gay and straight, were defending the White House, giving the president a pass, as were the establishment gay groups. The DNC's openly gay treasurer, Andy Tobias, continually defended the president's record and continually predicted disaster if he were to go further on LGBT rights.

But the opposite has happened.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:54 AM on May 23, 2012


PPP: A new Public Policy Polling survey in Maryland finds a significant increase in support for same-sex marriage among African American voters following President Obama’s historic announcement two weeks ago. The referendum to keep the state’s new law legalizing same-sex marriage now appears likely to pass by a healthy margin.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:15 PM on May 24, 2012


A PPP poll in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania last weekend found a shift of 19 points in favor of same-sex marriage among black voters.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:17 PM on May 24, 2012


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