The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Why, Oh Why, Obama?

How schizophrenic does a Democratic candidate have to be, or think he has to be, in order to win? How schizophrenic does a Democratic candidate have to be, or thinks he has to be, on gay issues if he wants to win? I don’t know but I’d have to ask Barrack Obama. He’d have to know. Why else is Obama touring with anti-gay “ex-gay” Donnie McClurkin?

As religious conservatives gather in Washington this weekend for the “Values Voters Summit,” Senator Barack Obama’s campaign announced its latest effort to attract people of faith to the campaign: a gospel concert tour.

All three of the dates of the “Embrace the Change” tour are in South Carolina, where Mr. Obama is locked in battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for black voters.

Gospel acts including Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker, Byron Cage and the Mighty Clouds of Joy are scheduled to appear.

Who’s Donnie McClurkin, you ask?

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Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, who has detailed his struggle with gay tendencies and vowed to battle “the curse of homosexuality,” said yesterday he’ll perform as scheduled at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, despite controversy over his view that sexuality can be changed by religious intervention.

“I can’t let off. I didn’t call myself — God called me to do what I do,” McClurkin told The Post’s Hamil R. Harris. The Grammy winner declared, “If this is a war, we are willing to fight. Not a war of violence, but a war of purpose.”

McClurkin wrote on a Christian Web site in 2002 that he struggled with homosexuality after he was molested by male relatives when he was 8 and 13. “I’ve been through this and have experienced God’s power to change my lifestyle,” he wrote. “I am delivered and I know God can deliver others, too.”

McClurkin, who said he’s sung for Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, blamed “the hatred of a few activists, not the gay community,” for the flap. “They act as if my singing on the ticket is the same as singing at a Nazi rally endorsing Nazism. The bottom line is that I sang at the Democratic convention” in 1992.

Well, the fact that he sang at the Democratic Convention in 1992 doesn’t reassure me. And as for the comparison to Nazism — from a man who flacks for a “movement” whose basic premise is that gay people should not exist or that gay people do not really exist? Well, he said it. I didn’t.

But that’s beside the point? Why is Obama touring with him? Why is a candidate who wants so much to be a friend to the gay community touring with an anti-gay “ex-gay” who’s said some decidedly unfriendly things about gay people?

McClurkin is the gospel singer the Republicans chose to warm up the crowd for President Bush on Thursday night. His name had been on the schedule for a week. But this had only seen print in The Charlotte Observer, which mocked him and the NYPD’s singing cop as among the GOP’s “most notable musical acts,” and The Baltimore Sun, which cast a seconding vote: like most of the bill, “not a star outside their narrow world.”

This world the Sun calls narrow surely encompasses within its borders viewers of the 700 Club. That means one million viewers each day. Among them McClurkin is notable, and cherished, as the man with the guts to say homosexuals are “trying to kill our children.

…The media didn’t call the Republicans on Donnie McClurkin. He came. He sang. He conquered. He was surrounded on the stage by a cloud of singing little children, sitting cross-legged, wearing white, pure and innocent—a semiotic coding unmistakable to that narrow world where millions of people know that Pastor McClurkin has devoted his life to saving children from the cult-like snares of the homosexual recruiters. “The gloves are off,” he told the 700 Club. “And if there’s going to be a war, there’s going to be a war.”

The media missed that message.

Is the media missing the message again? What is the message, when a candidate goes from dodging a question on whether gays are immoral to appearing on gay network’s Democratic candidate forum touring with guy who says gays make easy targets?

In an interview with www.FamilyChristian.com McClurkin said, “Homosexuality has really ravished our children. It started in my generation. I was touched by it and I struggled with it and all that for years and there was nobody to deal with it. I started dealing with it in my sermons and even when we do our concerts.”

McClurkin, currently a senor pastor at Perfecting Faith in Freeport, N.Y., was particularly outspoken against New York’s funding of Harvey Milk, a gay high school in New York, suggesting that the school will lead to molestation of children.

“The gloves are off,” he said on the Sept. 23, 2003 episode of Rev. Pat Robertson’s 700 Club. “And if there’s going to be a war, there’s going to be a war. But it will be a war with a purpose. This is not a privately funded school. It is a public school funded by taxpayers’ money. Why isn’t anyone else speaking out? Everyone knows that everyone at the high school is homosexual. That makes for an easy target.”

What is the message to gay voters? Is there room in the Democratic party for me and the Donnie McClurkins of the world?

Or is the message for me in the first place? Is the message for African American voters whose homophobia must be placated, lest enough of them bolt to the GOP to change the margin of victory? Is the message for evangelical voters whose homophobia must be placated? Is it a message for the evangelicals whom Obama says has hijacked his faith?

Why, oh why would Obama — or any other Democratic candidate — tour with the likes of Donnie McClukin? And why should gays and/or progressives not take him to task for it, as they did with the Republicans in 2004?

For that matter, are any Democratic candidates speaking up about this and urging Obama to break ties with this guy? And if not, why not?

8 Comments

  1. Mary, Mary aren’t so enlightened either.

    http://www.vibe.com/news/news_headlines/2007/03/mary_mary_interview/

    from a vibe.com interview:

    I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but you have a large gay following. How do you feel about homosexuality and having a gay following?
    Erica: We are aware. Um… how do I feel about homosexuality? I feel how God feels about it, um… but I still love them. You know what I mean? I don’t agree with the lifestyle, but I love them. They can come to the concert; I’m going to hug them just like I hug everybody else. They have issues and need somebody to encourage them like everybody else – just like the murderer, just like the one full of pride, just like the prostitute, everybody needs God. What your struggle is may not be what my struggle is, but we all need Him. So, that’s what our music is about: giving and God. Not to condone the lifestyle or to say, Oh it’s okay, but not to bash – but just to give them God. I mean, I’m appreciative of all of our supporters and fans. Hopefully what their hearing and saying in our music is my love for God.
    Tina: You know, I think the fact that our music is very, very upbeat and works well in clubs – you know, I think that’s something that makes more people gravitate to it. Like Erica said, we don’t necessarily agree with the lifestyle, but we don’t pride ourselves on bashing. Everyone has things in their life that they need to correct, everybody has struggles. Even though that’s the way we feel, we don’t bash, and we embrace everybody who enjoys our music. Hopefully our music is impacting them in a way that, if they see there’s some things in their life that’s not quite right and doesn’t align themselves with what the Bible says – hopefully our music impacts them in a way that makes them want to change it.

  2. Two corrections.

    1. Donnie McClurkin is one of four performers at one of three gospel concerts.
    2. Obama isn’t scheduled to appear at the concerts.

    Here is the official information on the Gospel Concerts: http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/scembrace

  3. Hey,
    Guess who’s intolerant now?
    Pastor McClurin is a beloved gospel singer that was delivered from homosexuality. Why should he become a pariah for sharing his testimonies?
    Like the Senator, I have and respect my gay friends but cannot fathom they are so intolerant of anybody that doesn’t agree with their views.
    For your information, Pastor McClurin’s position is fully supported by the Holy Bible.

    Let the gospel fest continue and thanks to the Senator’s campaign for being brave enough to stand his ground based on principle.
    We, the bible believers are also Americans to who the Senator will be a worthy President. Oh, I forgot, the gays make big political donations – who cares, with God and the believers on the side of the Senator, he’ll win not only the nomination but also the presidency – in Jesus name, amen.

  4. This is disturbing. And to kjasf I say “Barack Obama’s campaign is hosting” the concerts and that is bad enough. To F.Igwealor I say, this is not a matter of just not “agreeing with thier views” and we both know it.

  5. And if a Republican candidate hosted a series of concerts at which Prussian Blue? Or a Democrat for that matter? Should people protest? See, the thing is, alot of things can be “supported by the Bible.” The bible used to justify racism and slavery, after all, and still is. Genocide too.

    Would it be right to protest? Would it be right to ask the candidates to denounce those who advocate discrimination against others?

    As for intolerance? Your logic, that the tolerance of intolerance is tolerance, would mystify George Orwell himself. In other words, unless I tolerate those who are intolerant of me — up to and including advocating discrimination against me — I am myself intolerant.

    It might play in Oceania, but it won’t hold water here.

  6. F.Igwealor said:

    Pastor McClurin is a beloved gospel singer that was delivered from homosexuality. Why should he become a pariah for sharing his testimonies?
    Like the Senator, I have and respect my gay friends but cannot fathom they are so intolerant of anybody that doesn’t agree with their views.

    Well, I think you’ve provided the material to answer your own question. You say you have gay friends, but you also say that McClurin was “delivered” from homosexuality. Do you not get the impact of putting those two statements together? Essentially, you’re saying that homosexuality is a condition from which people need to be rescued. Even if you didn’t mean that, the words you’ve chosen strongly imply that.

  7. And another thing. Have you told your gay friends they need to be “delivered” from who they are? Have you told them that they need to be “delivered” the way a drug addict, or an alcoholic, or a murderer or adulterer need to be “delivered”? Are they still your friends?

    If they are, I wonder if they even like themselves, or if they’ve bough into the same rhetoric you have. If so, then I can think of one thing they need to be delivered from. Make that two, one of them being a “friend” like you.

  8. For your information, Pastor McClurin’s position is fully supported by the Holy Bible.

    Arguably what Adolf Hitler was advocating regarding Jews and homosexuals was also “fully supported by the Holy Bible”. Yet, suppose Hitler is American and still alive today, would anyone in their right mind would ever decide to be associated with him? Well, actually, I’m of the opinion that the Christian right would.

    Not to compare Donnie McClurin to Adolf Hitler, which I was using only to demonstrate the potential dangers and the faulty rationale of using the Bible as justification to associate oneself with a public figure for political gain. I further applaud the pastor’s on his apparent victory over his own demons that is his childhood sexual abuse.

    However, it is one thing to be a sexual predator, and quite another to be gay; it is one thing to struggle against one’s own demons, and quite another to say someone else is of the demon. Pastor McClurin’s struggles is really about overcoming sexual abuse — which really has nothing to do with being gay. To confuse the two only shows Pastor McClurin’s own ignorance. Odd that no female children abused by a male predator never preach against heterosexuality.

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