Saturday, November 3, 2012

In Virginia Black Pastors " Educating " Their Flock On Mitt Romney's Faith

I thought this tidbit interesting in Churches wrestle with Obama’s stances on faith from a Hampton Road's newspaper.

Late in August, a group of local African American pastors met in Chesapeake to develop a strategy after the president announced his support for same-sex marriage.

Members of their flocks were concerned that Obama, in a television interview in May, had taken a stand many of them believed was contrary to Scripture.

Some of the pastors who attended the hastily called meeting at Bethany Baptist Church were worried the issue would soften support for the president among one of his strongest constituencies.

While few believed their congregants would vote for Republican challenger Mitt Romney, some said Obama’s stance might dampen enthusiasm for the president, prompting some voters to sit out the election.

That troubled the ministers, who saw a potential problem developing for the president just as the race in Virginia was tightening.

“We felt we needed to make our parishioners aware that not voting was the same as voting for the other guy,” said the Rev. Joseph E. Lamb, pastor of St. Thomas AME Zion in Norfolk, who attended the meeting.

Being careful not to openly endorse any candidate from the pulpit, the pastors agreed to instruct their congregations on the broader issues of the campaign – health care, education, the economy – and discourage a single-issue focus.

They also would educate their flocks on Romney’s Mormon faith and how it differs from their own.

The strategy apparently has paid off. In the closing days of the campaign, some pastors say support for the president within their congregations is as strong as ever.

“They’re still very much looking to back the president regardless of his view on that issue,” Lamb said.

The Rev. Lin Hill, who called the pastoral meeting at Bethany Baptist Church, said what appeared in the summer to be a potential problem for the Obama campaign has been averted.

African American church members, he said, “have never been single-issue voters. While they see same-sex marriage as something they can’t support as Christians, they see it as just one of many matters of concern.”

1 comment:

Rick67 said...

I find it a tad troubling when pastors feel something like this is somehow their responsibility. As a "moderate" Baptist, we used to criticize SBC leaders for their self-proclaimed "marriage" to the Republican party (which, when I look back and think about it, was not entirely the case). And yet never think of criticizing the opposite tendency, which is to assume that good Christians vote Democratic right?

I have started going to the annual (Southern Baptist) association meetings again. They seem less political than moderate (Cooperative Baptist) gatherings. How things have changed.