In this blog I used the 2008 presidential election as a case study to examine the themes of race, religion, and politics from a Biblical perspective.
I expressed during the 2008 presidential election season that I feel still need to be shared at this point and time. I have also compiled some of the information in this section with the help of my co-laborers, who labored diligently to help me express my viewpoints efficiently. During the election, I shared many of my views concerning religion, politics, and race. This has always been a very precarious set of issues to balance and I attempted to write about these topics with careful consideration and tactfulness from a Christian world view.
I am very open and honest in telling all those who want to listen that I did not vote for President Obama in 2008. Not because I did not like him or thought that he was less qualified than some of our past presidents. Barack Obama is a very intelligent, articulate leader who—from a natural standpoint—is actually more gifted than many of our past presidents. So his ability or lack thereof, had absolutely no bearing on my decision not to vote for him. I did not vote for him because my faith takes precedence over my personal feelings and desires. As much as I would like to celebrate the concept of America having its first black president, I understand that my citizenship is first and foremost to the kingdom of God. I have been bought with a price and once I accepted that payment, I now have a higher calling that I am obligated to fulfill. As a child of God, I must realize that I no longer look at the world through the telescope of my human understanding but through the unfailing truth of the inspired Word of God, the Holy Bible.
My natural self, admired the man that would become president. He is articulate, intelligent, driven and focused. He is a family man that came from humble beginnings to rise through the system to win the most powerful office in the world. It is not hard to figure out why so many people—especially people of color—would admire these accomplishments. As a black man myself, I can also understand why so many people of color could feel that it is a refreshing thing to finally have a man in the Whitehouse that looks like them—after over 200 years of United States presidential history! There are a lot of Black people who feel that none of the other presidents could truly relate to them or their struggles as minorities in a country that unfortunately has a history of racism that we are not proud of. I love Black people and I fully relate to the unique struggles that Black people face in our nation. As I always like to remind people, I have been black all my life and I am proud of that fact. These are my personal feelings, but these feelings have to take a backseat to my faith.
Once Barack Obama became president, I made a decision to respect the office he holds although I did not vote for him. I pray for the president almost every day and I obviously would like to see his administration do what is in the best interest of our country. I also acknowledge the fact that his election has given some people in the world a whole new perception of the Black man in America—now that he as a Black man is the leader of the most powerful country on earth. That being said, I also know without a shadow of a doubt that there are far more important things to me than to feel good about my blackness. I am more concerned with eternal matters and with promoting the Biblical values that will honor Christ and cause our nation to flourish rather than self-destruct.
As a Christian, my first responsibility is to Jesus Christ and not to a particular political party, race or candidate. And as an African-American businessman, I could not, in good conscience, support Barack Obama’s bid for the White House. Since I realize that elections have serious consequences, I am committed to using my platform as a broadcaster to tell people what is really going on. And I think it is very unfortunate that many Christians vote for candidates mainly because they belong to a certain racial group or political party. Have these Christians put their loyalty to skin color and political party above their loyalty to God’s laws?
Why Do So Many Black People Love Barack Obama
I have come under attack because of my writings concerning people’s ideologies and philosophies. I had people ask me how I could say that a person is not a Christian just because they do not follow Jesus. I also have people question my political motivations for questioning Barack Obama’s “Christian” faith. I assure you I am not running for public office and I am not on the payroll of the Republican Party.
The sad thing is that as an African American man I am expected to blindly support Barack Obama’s ideologies and policies. But I do not operate like that. As I have previously stated, my main agenda is speaking out for things that I feel are priorities to God. And some of these important issues happen to be related to pro-life and the protection of the institution of marriage. I will not vote for a candidate that does not share my same views on these primary issues. That is a personal thing with me; you have the right under our constitution to not only differ with my opinion but to vote for whomever you like.
I do understand why so many people of color have such a passion for Barack Obama. I just want to shed a little light to White America on what is going on in the hearts and minds of the African American community.
The first thing is identification; because Black people in America were stripped of their identity and much of their heritage through slavery and institutionalized racism, we have been seeking to regain that for hundreds of years. We therefore sometimes hold fast to anything that can help us to regain our culture and identity as a race. Our music, our style, and all the things that make us as a people unique to the rest of the world are things that we cherish.
The second thing is reparation; because many African Americans feel as though we have never truly dealt with the horrible institution of slavery that was legal for hundreds of years; we as a people sometime look for anything that we can deem as a payback, or as a form of closure for the pain and hurt that stripped us of our manhood and our humanness not only during the time of legalized slavery but even during the time of the “Jim Crow” era that denied us of our basic human rights. The most ironic part of this is that we as Blacks now allow our unborn children to be murdered through abortion based on the same faulty logic that counted the black man as not fully human. But that is another story altogether. The thing that makes it more complicated is that the US government has given reparations to other groups that have been wronged such as the Japanese people during WWII. Blacks up to this point have not received anything of the sort.
Consequently, many Blacks see having the first Black president as a way to get some kind of a payback in the name of social justice. But as much as I am impressed with Barack Obama’s charismatic personality and would love to support him, I can’t. He is very articulate and intelligent. He has a lot of qualifications that could make him a good leader. But in good conscious I cannot vote for a person that is so far to the left on abortion and the radical gay rights agenda that is out to diminish the institution of marriage between a man and a woman. I did my homework. When he was President Elect Obama, I went to his official website at: www.change.gov and reviewed his radical, far-left “civil rights” agenda. The agenda focuses on a few legitimate issues mixed in with a lot on pseudo-civil rights issues such as bogus hate crime statutes, radical gay rights agenda, opposition to a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the repeal of "Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell", expansion of adoption rights for homosexuals, etc. With all of the problems in our country and even in our Black communities, you would think that the first Black President would have a more sensible focus regarding a “civil rights” agenda. Instead, he seems obsessed with trying to legislate morality. Because I realize that my relationship to God and His expectations for me are paramount, I have to stand with my faith. The issues of morality, basic human rights for the unborn children, and marriage are the very foundation of a civilized society. And if we do not get these correct then the economy, healthcare, etc. will be irrelevant.
I am not out to just pick on President Barack Obama, but I am praying for him as the Bible directs me to “pray especially for those in authority.” But in addition to praying, there are plenty of scriptural references that let us know there is also a need to speak out and shine the light in a culture of corruption and immorality.
As a Black Man I reserve the right to make a choice. I am not telling you who to vote for in the future and I am not telling you to vote Republican. What I am saying is that I put a high priority on my belief in the sanctity of life, the institution of marriage, and my personal and religious liberties as the very foundation in which civilization rests upon. My vote will reflect what the most important issues of the day are. I will not allow color, gender, or political party to overshadow the issues that must be done in accordance to the will of my Creator. According to my Bible and according to history, whenever a nation loses its moral compass and begins to “legitimize” immoral acts, that nations also begins to decline economically because of the consequences of irreverent behavior and a lack of respect for God. Political leaders should avoid raising taxes too high and should also avoid the accumulation of foolish debts on a national scale. Fiscal responsibility and plans for economic recovery are crucial. But no amount of economic stimulus can save a nation that does not fear God!
Voting Based On Emotions
No matter how you slice it or dice it, many people voted for Barack Obama for emotional reasons. And I mention people like my father and his generation that has gone through a lot of persecution and racism because of the color of their skin. And because of that, this, to many of them—and I'm not saying all of them—but to many of them, this is almost like a thing that is a fulfillment for them because this is a hope and dream they’ve had to be considered equal with everyone else.
But as a minister who believes in following the Scriptures, I could not support Obama because he has made it clear where he stands on issues such as special rights for homosexuals and abortion. Not only is Obama for abortion rights for any circumstance, but while a state lawmaker, he even voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which was a law that was going to protect an unborn child who survived an abortion attempt.
We must realize than Satan is a deceiver and a shrewd operator. In the last election, instead of really investigating what Obama believes, a lot of Christians, Black and White, blindly voted for him because they wanted to be a part of a historical event.
A blogger who responded to one of my Internet articles put it well by stating:
“It’s a crying shame more blacks are not mature enough to be able to say: This person is not the RIGHT Black to vote for. But he’s established a precedent, and one of these days, the RIGHT Black person will come along, and we can vote with a clear conscience before God. We’ll wait till then.
The abovementioned blogger and the one below both remind me that in spite of the fact that there are a lot of people who blindly support candidates because of race or political party, there are still many brave soldiers of all races who are willing to stand for what is right.
“Mr. Green, I appreciate your view of politics. I am White and I would not hesitate to vote for a Black if he or she stood for what I believe to be the best for our country and my Christian belief.”
Another blogger said:
“Nice article Pastor Green. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone as a Black Man who chooses to unashamedly declare his profession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior . . . on his…ballot‟. I am a 44 yr. old born-again believer in Jesus Christ. I happen to be Black. Frankly I am extremely disgusted with the African-American Christian community for their continued blind support of the Democratic Party. A party that is (generally) diabolically opposed to the will of God. I admire your grace and eloquence with which you explained your opposition to the candidacy of Barack Obama. I need to work on sharing the truth in love”. I can sometime allow my passion to come across as hateful. Pray for me. Anyway, it just blows me away to see Christians dance, shout, and declare that God is there Jehovah-Gireh on Sunday . . . and go to the polls and vote for everything they claim they do not support. It just blows me away! When will we cast a vote for righteousness? The Proverbs declare..Righteousness exalts a nation”. Do we not realize that the blood of 52 million babies are crying out from the ground. Is our God deaf that he shall not hear? Does he turn a blind eye to the spilling of innocent blood?”
“Keep up the good work my brother in Christ. You are certainly a minority among minorities. But you are not alone. There are still 7,000 that have not bowed the knee to Baal.
“God bless you and Heaven smile upon you.”
Also thank God for brave Black leaders like D.L. Foster and Bishop Harry Jackson Jr. who have not sold out to political correctness. In a pre-election September 2008 article from Charisma Magazine (published by Strange Communications) entitled “A Tragic Compromise”, D.L. Foster expressed his concern for the way many Christian leaders are compromising Biblical principles and backing down like “wet kittens” when it comes to speaking out on issues such as homosexuality:
“Equally alarming is the way Black Churches have opened their pulpits to Obama despite his embrace of homosexuality. Although Obama’s ascent has been due in part to African American support, not once have I heard a prominent Black Pastor challenge his views on this issue…” Granted, Obama is at the center of an unprecedented moment in U.S. history. But do we as Black Christians put our beliefs on the back burner just to get an African American in the Oval Office? In the last several years we’ve seen the advance of gay rights lead to the suppression of religious liberty. Increasingly, believing that homosexuality is a sin is being equated with bigotry. Do we reject God to get the king that we want, as the ancient Israelites rejected God’s leadership for Saul? Or maybe what we’re seeing is a foreshadowing of how the world will respond to Jesus during the reign of the Antichrist. I’m not endorsing any candidate, and I have no desire to tell Christians how to vote. But pastors, especially African American ministers who have helped Obama reach this historic place, must ask the hard questions and take a decisive stand now—not just after Election Day. If the church can’t depend on its leaders to uphold God’s Word, we are headed for a shipwreck.”
In a September 2008 article from Charisma Magazine entitled “The Changing Black Vote”, Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., senior minister of Hope Christian Center in the Washington, D.C. area, has also taken a bold stand on these issues by declaring: “I am not anti-Democrat, and I am not pro-Republican. I have been a registered Democrat since I first registered to vote…I am deeply troubled by the pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, tax-and-spend policies of the Democrats. And a lot of people in our community feel as I do…On almost all the issues that matter most to me, I identify more strongly with the platform issues of the Republicans…And I am not alone. More and more blacks are beginning to question their relationship with the Democrats…Voting for a party because “we’ve always done it that way” is no longer acceptable.”
Why Real Christians Should Be Concerned About Our Last Presidential Election
As an African American, I would love to be overjoyed by the recent election of a Black Man to become the President of the United States of America. It has been a long time coming. Many blacks that have passed on would love to have seen the day that this country would vote for a person of color to hold the highest office in the land. I will be praying for our newly-elected President, but unfortunately as a Minister of the Gospel I am very much concerned about what President Obama stands for.
I have read Barack Obama’s books and his other writings. I have watched videos of many of his speeches. The implications of Barack Obama’s beliefs should seriously concern any Bible believing Christian. I sincerely believe that we are about to face some very trying times in the near future. As a Christian living by the standards of the Word of God, we will be facing a serious, uphill battle, and if we do not stand up for Christian values, we will be silenced forever.
President-elect Obama ran on a campaign of change. On the surface we are led to believe that this change is simply referring to a political and an economic change. I believe that the change that he is looking to implement is much deeper than politics and economics.
I have looked at his record in the Illinois State Senate. Obama voted against giving human rights to infants that have survived abortion attempts. Obama also makes it a point to mention homosexuals not only in his speech accepting the Democratic nomination, but also again when he won the presidential election. It is quite clear that he is looking to change the moral direction of this country in a way that I don’t believe most Christians want to go.
I am making a couple of predictions. You do not have to agree with me, but I believe that within the first year of the Obama’s presidency you will see the following things take place:
First, President Obama will look to remove any limitations on abortions. Just as he did in the Illinois State Senate, he will look to allow a baby’s life to be terminated even in the latter stages of a pregnancy. He will push to allow second and third trimester abortions as well as allowing for the death of infants who are born alive, after surviving an abortion attempt.
Second, President Obama will look to give same sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, under law. He will also be a proponent of giving transgender and transsexual people special rights and protections under the law of the land.
President Obama will look to limit the free speech of Christians who speak out against homosexuality (possibly through bogus hate crime laws), and any other lifestyles that Christians believe are wrong according to God’s Word, the Holy Bible. In other words, it might be considered “hate speech” for me to tell my own child why I believe that homosexuality is an immoral and unhealthy lifestyle that I would not want him to get involved in. This is ludicrous.
We will begin to see more and more hatred towards people that stand up for Biblical ethics. Barack Obama is the most liberal president that this country has had in recent times, and he will be very persistent in pushing the liberal, far left agenda onto this country. When we stand up for Biblical ethics, the pushback will become fiercer as time goes on.
California is a prime example of the type of attacks that will be perpetrated against Bible believing Christians. Just a couple of weeks ago, a kindergarten teacher took a group of four and five-year-olds to witness a same sex marriage, which was legal at the time in California. The teacher even had the students sign a pledge not to speak against homosexuality. I personally would not want my kindergartner being taught to accept something I morally disagree with. After Proposition 8 was passed in California, gay and lesbian activists vowed to punish the Mormon Church and anyone that supported this law. They even called for a boycott of the state of Utah, because that state is the main headquarters of the Mormon Church.
I thank God that the citizens of California voted to protect marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It is important that we stand up for our morals and values. It is clear that we, as Christians, are in for a strong push from the liberal left and unfortunately the new Obama administration will be their biggest proponent.
We as Christian have to stand strong in this fight for our values and morals. The ironic thing is that these laws are supported by, and pushed through by, the same people that tell us that we do not have the right to “legislate morality”. Isn’t that what they are trying to do?
Clean Up The Closet
In our morally loose, politically correct culture more and more people are coming out of the closet and parading their immoral lifestyles. But God’s word teaches that we should not be coming out of the closet and boasting about our sins. We should, however, be cleaning out our closets and repenting of our sins. One reason you will sometimes hear me talk more about sins like homosexuality and abortion is not because I am a religious zealot who likes to harp on certain sins more than others. The reason is because the media, the educational institutions, and other institutions in the world systems are trying to constantly desensitize people about these particular sins. In other words, the world system is constantly cramming our minds (and our children’s minds) with the notion that abortion and homosexuality are normal and acceptable. And this is totally contrary to the Word of God. The bottom line is that if you hear a lie long enough, you will begin to believe it if you are not rooted in the Word of God. This is why I, and other Christians who are concerned about our nation’s moral fabric, have to regularly point out that these immoral acts are not right in the sight of God. We have to combat a consistent barrage of lies with a consistent barrage of truth about these specific issues in order to keep an entire nation from being brainwashed. In other words, we must put a lot more focus where the cancer is growing the most.
You cannot live in open rebellion to God’s Word and have a relationship with the God of the Bible. Many people do not want to accept that truth, but the Bible is very clear. As ministers of the Gospel, we don’t preach against sin to be mean or hateful. Ministers are required by God’s Word to preach repentance from sin out of love for people. That is what God calls preachers to do. The Bible states that the result of living in sin is eternal death (Romans 6:23). Because God loves us, He tells us to stop openly sinning. The Bible also states that God corrects those that He loves. We may make mistakes and we often sin, but there is no forgiveness for intentional, unrepentant sin….period!
Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality, nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God. (1Corinthians 6:9-10—The Amplified Bible)
These are not my words; they are directly from the Word of God. The King James Version says the same thing with an old English flair. It seems very clear that if we live our lives openly sinning, then we do not have a relationship with God. Without that connection we are not true Christians. Again, this is not my opinion. It is what the Bible says. Don’t get mad at me, I am just the messenger.
God loves all people, but God hates all sin because sin hurts people. God despises it more when we ignore wrongdoing and accept, or make excuses for “sin”. If you are a Christian, you are mocking God when you glorify lifestyles that God says are unacceptable. We even hold parades for people that are living in a lifestyle that God himself called “detestable” (Leviticus 18:22).
I think it is vitally important to know the truth of what God says about things. Many of the people that claim to love God do not take the time to really study the Bible. After stating what God’s Word says in my articles, I am accused of being a “hatemonger”, “ignorant” and many other unmentionable things. That’s ok. They called Jesus bad names as well, and He came to die for us. I am in good company.
It is clear to me that many “Christians”, and I use the term loosely, are lazy and complacent. They don’t take the time to understand what God requires of those who claim to be His followers. They long to make God convenient, to make God say and be what they want Him to be. It doesn’t work like that.
Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commands” (John 14:15). Jesus did not die on the cross so that we can live in sin yet claim to be His followers. Judgment begins in the house of God. With the condition that many of our American churches are in, we need to make some drastic changes so that we do not continue to slide down the slippery slope of compromise. But the “good news” is that God promised to forgive us and deliver us if we are willing to fully turn to Him:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Liberation for the Black Community
Based on the scripture I just cited in 2 Chronicles, we are reminded that true liberation for any race or ethnic group can only come from taking personal responsibility, turning away from our corrupt ways, and turning to God. This leads me to my next point related to the business of race card politics. There are a lot of political and church leaders who specialize in getting people of color all riled up into thinking that they are going to be saved by a liberal political party or by a messianic Black Man who happens to be charismatic. Consequently, many Black People run to the polls and cast their vote solely based on a person’s race or political party rather than on their true character and values.
No matter what anyone tells you, it is foolish to not try to find out what a person believes before you vote for them. If we ignore the very core beliefs of the candidates that are running for office then we might as well just put names in a hat and choose the presidency that way. As a Christian, I should look to vote for the person who more closely reflects my morals and values. I cannot nor should I separate my vote from my values.
A while back there was this issue between Barack Obama and his former Pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his Pastor for some 20 years at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Although Barack Obama called Rev. Wright a mentor and a very important person in his life, he attempted to distance himself from the negative remarks that Rev. Wright made concerning race and America.
Barack Obama claims that he was not aware of Rev. Wright’s view on certain controversial issues related to race in America. He then distanced himself from Wright’s stance. Being a person of faith, I found it very hard to believe that a person could attend a church for 20 years yet not know what the head Pastor believes. The main philosophy that Rev. Wright speaks about is called Black Liberation Theology (BLT) and James Cone and Dwight Hopkins are considered the leading theologians of this system of belief.
I did some research on BLT; the first thing that stuck out is the many references made in the Trinity UCC’s website to their African roots and to their commitment to a type of liberation that is not based on scriptural principles. And it would be very unrealistic to think that these basic tenants of BLT did not influence Barack Obama’s thinking based on the fact that he attended Trinity UCC for 20 years.
One of the most prevalent beliefs of BLT is the oppressor/oppressed paradigm. BLT is very much concerned with giving power to the oppressed. But BLT has in some cases distorted the category of oppressed people to include individuals who are not actually oppressed. It is not exclusive to just oppressed Blacks in America; we see this philosophy coming through on many different levels. When I look at Barack Obama’s views on issues such as abortion rights, special rights for homosexuals, and his views of the poor and the working class, these views reflect very closely with Black Liberation Theology. They are views that try to make people out of victims who are not really victims. In essence, it is a pseudo-civil rights agenda. I am all for treating homosexuals like human beings, because they deserve love and respect just like anyone else. But I am opposed to having politicians create special laws for homosexuals that are intended to punish or alienate those who believe that their lifestyles are immoral and unhealthy. I have a right to love you as a person and still disagree with your lifestyle at the same time. On the other hand, I am all for helping poor and helpless people because this is what the Bible instructs us to do. But I am opposed to radical politicians trying to overtax hardworking people in order to support able-bodied people who refuse to work because it is easier for them to get a government handout. I am all for a woman’s right to choose on many issues. But a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion should not take priority over a baby’s right to live.
The biggest problem I have with BLT is that not every situation boils down to oppressor against the oppressed. Barack Obama has demonstrated during his time in public office that he does not support limiting abortions at all. I checked his voting record and he even voted against protecting babies that survived abortion attempts three times. What he has repeatedly done is to frame this as society’s oppression of a “woman’s right to choose” what she does with her body.
I heard Barack Obama during the public forum in Pennsylvania say that if his daughter got pregnant before she was ready, then he would not “punish” her by making her have the baby. In this case the woman would be considered the oppressed. This inherently ignores the rights of the child to life.