How Should the Black Church Respond to Hillary Clinton?

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A recent Washington Post article reported the results of a new poll conducted by Suffolk University and USA Today, showing Democrat presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton generating only 31 percent support among black voters.

I say “only” primarily because subsequent to the signing of both the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act by Democrat president Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid-1960s, Democrat presidential candidates have traditionally enjoyed the seemingly effortless luxury of garnering upwards of three times the level of support at which Hillary Clinton is currently polling.

Perhaps the need to boost her popularity among blacks is why Hillary met recently with DeRay McKesson and other leaders within the “Black Lives Matter” movement but, hey, I digress…

Notwithstanding the aforementioned poll numbers, as if to add insult to injury for Clinton, it is also being reported that the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), a predominantly African-American Christian denomination consisting of more than 12,000 churches nationwide, has spurned multiple requests from her campaign to meet with representatives of that organization.

In light of what some might view as an almost unthinkable development, that a component of what is commonly referred to as the “Black Church” would dare say “no” – for any reason – to a Democrat presidential candidate, Boston pastor Eugene F. Rivers III, a high-ranking adviser within the COGIC denomination stated,

“There is the perception among the political actors from both parties that the black church are useful idiots who will be called upon at the last minute to function as ground troops, but there is no respect apparently on either side of the aisle for the moral perspectives of the black church.”

Now, let me say that, on the surface at least, I consider it a very good and politically healthy thing that, as an entity, COGIC has taken this stance, not so much because it is “anti-Hillary”, per se, but because it contributes toward deconstructing the stereotypical view that the Black Church, when it comes to politics anyway, is merely an extension of the Democrat Party.

But, then again, the primary reason stereotypes are stereotypes to begin with is because the impressions upon which they are based are not totally without merit (the operative word being “totally”.)

If we are honest, we would have to admit that the reason the “perception” with which Bishop Rivers is so concerned exists in the first place, is because for more than 50 years now the Black Church has been guilty of exactly that – serving as a politically convenient vehicle through which Democrat candidates could directly solicit the support of their congregants – all with the tacit, if not overt, approval and cooperation of the pastor.

Not much has changed since the 1960s, as it is generally the case today that in the vast majority of black churches, as the pastor goes so goes the congregation.

In other words, if the pastor signals from the pulpit, either by direct implication or indirect inference, his endorsement of a particular candidate, it is highly probable that those within his congregation who are likely to vote will throw their support behind that candidate – and the candidate is always a Democrat.

Always.

It is this continuing tradition of black churches being used, either wittingly or unwittingly, as pipelines for propagating the agenda of Democrat candidates that has contributed in large part to black Christians being so staunchly loyal to the Democrat Party, regardless of the fact that the platform espoused by these candidates on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion are clearly unbiblical.

Now, as much as I appreciate COGIC’s unambiguous rejection of Hillary’s requests to speak with its leadership, its rationale for doing so, as stated by Pastor Rivers is, with all due respect, hypocritical in my humble opinion.

The unarguable fact is that the “moral perspective of the church”, as Pastor Rivers puts it, was of absolutely no concern when Barack Obama – a man who supports such immoral and ungodly practices as abortion on-demand and same-sex marriage – was twice elected president, each time receiving well in excess of 90 percent of the so-called “black vote.”

To deny that the Black Church was instrumental in bringing about such high levels of support for Barack Obama, to the degree that almost 10 out of every 10 blacks who voted in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections voted for him, is naive. In fact, if Hillary Clinton were black she wouldn’t have had to approach COGIC for permission to speak, she probably would have received an invitation from them.

The seemingly bold stance by COGIC against its membership being used as “useful idiots” and “ground troops”, to quote Pastor Rivers, is utterly laughable. It is not merely a “perception” or some made-up, imaginary notion that black voters often exemplify these labels, it’s a fact.

Trust me, if there were a black Democrat candidate running for president – any black Democrat – Pastor Rivers would be more than willing to enlist as platoon leader to the “ground troops” he portends to not want to be perceived as.

A case in point is Dr. Ben Carson.

A primary reason the Black Church is not mobilizing to support Dr. Carson, a black candidate for president, is because he is a conservative Republican not a liberal Democrat; and there is no room in the Black Church for black Republicans.

Zero.

I can personally attest to that.

It is a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee for president in 2016. She has been anointed as such by the Democrat elite. It’s simply her turn.

Make no mistake. Hillary Clinton is a brilliant politician. She knows full well that since the days of eugenicist Margaret Sanger, a woman whom Clinton herself has said she greatly admires, that the pathway to black votes is through the Black Church and, more specifically, the black pastor (as Sanger infamously understood):

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
– Margaret Sanger

The only question now is whether the Black Church will heed the words of Pastor Eugene Rivers, or, will it allow itself to once again be the “useful idiots” the Democrat Party needs to make the coronation of Hillary Clinton official?

Only time will tell.

With the elections of November 2016 fast approaching, I commend to your consideration this thought-provoking message from self-avowed Obama supporter, Reverend Dr. Herb Lusk II, senior pastor at Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA. It is a message I personally wish every black pastor could hear, as it reminds us that, as Christians, it is our theology that should shape our politics, not the other way around.

Humbly in Christ,

Darrell

Citations:

Image credit: commondreams.org

Sanger Quote: Margaret Sanger’s December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, 255 Adams Street, Milton, Massachusetts. Original source: Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, North Hampton, Massachusetts. Also described in Linda Gordon’s Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1976.

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