The President and Gay Marriage

A few words on President Obama and same sex marriage:

First I don’t think it should be necessary for any president to have to speak on something so polarizing unless he/she plans on pursuing policy to either push for or fight against said topic. George W. pursued legislation against gay marriage.  So his personal opinion mattered.  Unless President Obama plans to push legislation, (and so far he hasn’t indicated that he would) I don’t find it necessary that he had to speak on it. 

That said the most important thing is how voters will respond.

I’ve heard much about how his stance one way or the other will affect the election.  Here is my opinion:

If a person were to make a decision to vote for a president or not for the sake of one or two social issues alone, that person is stupid.  First of all, it’s not a president’s primary job to lead social change, but to lead the country in terms of protection, preservation and advancement of the nation he/she leads.  If there are social issues that directly or indirectly affect the economy, our security, or prevent us from our best chance as Americans then the President should lead on those.  This is not to say that the gay rights issue doesn’t fit those criteria.  But again, it will only make a difference if The President pursues policy, not simply his opinion.  President Obama said he would turn back DADT in his campaign.  It wouldn’t have mattered if LBJ thought Black Americans should have a civil rights bill in his heart but refused to press the power of his bully-pulpit.

I’ve heard comments from Black Christian folk who say that they are either going to vote Republican this November or not vote at all simply because of this issue.   Again, that is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.

Number one, regardless of how you feel about gay marriage, there are just too many variables that will affect everyone’s lives whoever becomes president.   Whether gays are allowed to get married or not, it’s only going to change the life of the gay community.  It won’t prevent a straight person’s ability to marry whom they want.  Meanwhile we still have the economy to deal with,  Supreme Court justices, foreign policy etc.  All of which will have a bigger impact on the country.  Gays getting married will not help nor prevent you from getting a job.

Number two,   I saw Roland Martin say on CNN last night that it will be interesting to see whether black conservative preachers will lean towards their “political or prophetic voices” when speaking to their congregations.  (Martin is an ordained Baptist minister)  I thought to myself, “WTF was that supposed to mean?  You mean to tell me that if the president is for gay marriage alone that is a deal breaker?

For all the biblical talk about Adam and Steve, Mitt Romney is a Mormon.  According to the Institute for religious research, Christianity and Mormonism differ on several central core doctrinal beliefs concerning the person of Jesus Christ. 

http://www.irr.org/mit/is-mormonism-christian.html

By their standards, this should trump anything above one moral issue. 

Also Romney was for gay marriage not long ago. He’s only changed his public opinion since courting the Republican nomination.

Does that mean that Christians should stay home and not vote for anybody?  Again that would be stupid.

Regardless of who you choose to vote for, you need to vote for someone as opposed to not participating in the process.  And it would be wise to not isolate anything in particular, but to look at the totality of the policies the candidate would pursue and based on those policies if the nation as a whole is going to be better off.

I challenge you not to be fooled by this idiocy no matter what a preacher says.  I mean what the hell is Eddie Long going to say about it?

Televangelism At It’s Worst ~ Is that Al B. Sure?

I have a question for you.  What is worse than day time television with it’s numerous judge shows, them cackling female gossipers known as, “The View” and the assorted, “You are NOT the father” nonsense garbage programs?  Perhaps you’d say late night television with its infomercials about getting rich from sending in all your loose gold – or how that guy with the wacky jacket and glasses can get the government to fund all of your ideas.  What about the latest Chuck Norris workout – or perfect ball that will make your abs look like Michael Phelps for two installments of $19.99?   

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If you get too bored day or night you can always turn on one of the Law And Order/ SVU/ Missing Persons, CSI, DNA, CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN and FOX detective shows.  I mean are they ever NOT on?  Don’t even get me started on Lifetime.  They won’t even use the script unless the righteous woman is trying to avoid some obsessive jerk who wants to steal her money and kill her family. If I can’t have you Barbara, nobody can!”

All of these pale in comparison however, to my favorite ridiculous TV program of all time; The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) fundraising programs.  Now this is entertainment at its finest.  First let me give you a little history.  TBN, what I now call the “Takin Bank Network” was founded by Paul and Jan Crouch, as well as Jim and Tammy Bakker back in 73.   

According to Wikipedia: TBN generates nearly $200 million in revenue annually.[3] The network does not make its finances available and Crouch family members control the boards of all TBN entities, which makes Trinity “ineligible to join” the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, an evangelical self-regulating group.[4] It does not air commercials (excluding TBN Italy); rather, two-thirds of its revenue comes from viewer contributions and one-third from other televangelists’ payments for running their programming. Its $120 million donation revenue is larger than any other television ministry. It has posted average annual surpluses since 1997 of about $60 million. It holds two week-long fundraising telethons (known as ‘Praise-a-Thons’) per year, as well as numerous other solicitation drives. It maintains a direct mail database of 1.2 million names.

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As of 2002, TBN boasted $583 million in assets, including $238 million in government-backed securities and $31 million in cash. Also among its assets are a $7.2 million Canadair Turbojet and thirty houses in California, Texas and Ohio with values ranging up to $8 million.[5] The elder Crouches and their son Paul Jr. earn an estimated combined annual income of $900,000.[6] In September 2004, the Los Angeles Times characterized their personal lifestyle as a “life of luxury.”[7] According to Charity Navigator, TBN earned $188,152,079 in 2007 and has a 2 out of 4 star rating (47%).[8]

In June 2007, TBN purchased the bible-themed adventure park Holy Land Experience for $37 million.[9] The Orlando, FL based theme-park was in a slump with falling ticket sales and a reported $8 million debt when TBN purchased it.  In October nearly 100 employees were cut from the payroll.[10]

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With that as a backdrop – I was flipping the channels when I saw one of the Marketing Preacher Reps (MPRs) Bishop Clarence E. McClendon (aka. Al B. Sure) making his pitch for people to call their toll free number to pledge them dollars.  He talked about how the economy was going down but that God’s economy was still strong and that The Almighty would give the TV audience money if they gave these multi-millionaires their hard earned loot.  Bishop B. Sure was “night and day” quoting scripture after scripture, using his most traditional Southern Baptist theatric tone as he jerked and soared as if the spirit was taking over his body riling up the audience.  Then came the highlight of the rant!  He said, “You just don’t know what happens in hell when you call the number and pledge your financial support.  God magnifies the ring!”  Huh?  You mean to tell me that God is broadcasting the sounds of the phones ringing at the TBN offices in hell so as to gloat to Satan and his little demons?  Yep!  That’s what he said. 

 

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Bishop B.Sure isn’t the only one – when he’s not on there shuffling and jiving, there are others like Juanita Bynum, Rod Parsley, Benny Hinn, Eddie Long, and other heavy hitter big name MPRs.  They go on the program and appear before the television audience to get all deep, mystical, and spiritual as they give you reason after reason why you need to invest your dollars into their coffers – even if you are broke!  It’s not as if they are not already a billion dollar industry.  Still in all, while hundreds of thousands of jobs are being lost every month, they want to make sure they get their grubby hands on what little you have left. 

I am a firm believer in supporting local ministries especially when they are available to giving back.  Try asking “Takin Bank Network” for help the next time your gas is about to get shut off or if there is no food on the plate.  The most you’ll get is a prayer and some more junk mail asking for donations. 

I couldn’t stomach Bishop B. Sure any longer.  I had to finish with some serious informative and educational programming. I watched the last few minutes of the Arizona Cardinals beating the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.  I hear the Devil was watching the football game too.  Though there was no word on whether he could hear the sound with all that ringing noise going on.