An influential African-American evangelical pastor says that many black Christians are in an “adulterous” relationship with President Obama over the issue of same-sex marriage. In an interview with The Christian Post, Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., pastor of Hope Christian Church in Baltimore, Md., and one of the nation’s most outspoken black pastors, maintains that Obama has drawn a hard line on major theological issues such as same-sex marriage and expects black Christians to compromise their beliefs. The issue of exactly where black Christians stand on the subject of same-sex marriage is what Democratic pundits and Obama campaign advisers want to know. In other words, will Obama’s stance on same-sex marriage impact voter turnout in the African-American community and, ultimately, the November elections? “The black community is in an adulterous relationship with President Obama,” Jackson said. “He is asking us to stray from the most basic tenets of Scripture—that marriage is an institution made by God for man and woman to become one and procreate. He’s telling us it’s fine to hold onto our beliefs but that it’s also okay to accept his stance on a position that goes against that core belief. This is no different than a married person having a relationship with someone other than their spouse.” A recent Public Policy Polling poll shows that approximately 60 percent of black voters in North Carolina are opposed to same-sex marriage. The NAACP, however, has endorsed homosexual marriage even though one expert says that doesn’t reflect the attitude of most African-Americans on the issue. On Saturday, all but two of the 64 members of the NAACP’s board voted to endorse same-gender marriage, aligning the organization with President Barack Obama on the hot-button issue, reports onenewsnow.com.
- The Obama administration “strongly objects” to provisions in a House defense authorization bill that would prohibit the use of military property for same-sex “marriage or marriage-like” ceremonies, and protect military chaplains from negative repercussions for refusing to act against their conscience, as in being ordered to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony. In a policy statement, reports CNS News, the White House Office of Management and Budget outlined numerous objections to aspects of the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 4310). The bill was reported out of the House Armed Services Committee last week and is set to be debated in the House, beginning Wednesday. Meanwhile, The Christian Post reports that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blasted a Republican proposal that would protect military chaplains from performing same-sex marriages, saying the provision in unnecessary. In Minnesota, Obama’s May 9 announcement that he supports legalizing same-sex marriage, which followed a day after North Carolina approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions, has charged up both opponents and supporters of a similar measure, reports The Christian Post. John Helmberger, chairman of Minnesota for Marriage, said Obama’s support of same-sex marriage will help the group gain support. “That will energize them to make phone calls, knock on doors, and to make sure they turn out in November,” he was quoted as saying. Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, said dioceses were giving money to support the marriage amendment. “We’re going to raise and spend the money we need to get the message out about what marriage is, why it’s important and what the consequences will be if it’s redefined,” he was quoted as saying. But the Saint Paul Area Synod of the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America passed a resolution Saturday opposing the measure at its annual meeting in Burnsville.
- After initially being told it violated school policy, an Idaho first-grader is now being allowed to perform sign language to a Christian song in her school’s talent show, reports onenewsnow.com. Matt Sharp of the Alliance Defense Fund wrote a letter to the school on the girl’s behalf, saying her free-speech rights were being violated. “No school official should have the authority or the right to determine this is too religious, this is offensive, or anything like that,” he contends. “And that’s exactly what this principal was taking upon herself with the authority to declare this talent ‘too religious’ simply because it was being done to a religious song.” Had the decision not been reversed, Sharp was prepared to file a federal lawsuit accusing the Moscow School District of violating the child’s constitutional rights. He says such unconstitutional school policies send the wrong message to students. Sharp says the school did the right thing in reversing its decision. But now he is asking the district to discard or change its unconstitutional policy.
- Chinese human rights advocate Chen Guangcheng arrived in the United States Saturday with his wife and two children, beginning a new chapter of freedom despite ongoing concern for his family in China, reports Baptist Press. With little notice, Chen boarded a plane in Beijing en route to Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, where CNN reported he arrived to little fanfare after the U.S. State Department prohibited public and media access. Chen spoke hours later to numerous reporters and onlookers at New York University, where he has been granted a fellowship to study law. There, Chen indicated through a translator that he had received partial U.S. citizenship rights, CNN said, and he asked people to help him “promote justice and fairness in China.” He expressed mixed feelings about seeking refuge in the United States, CNN said, because of unfinished business in his home country. The 40-year-old self-trained lawyer, blind since childhood, was imprisoned and placed under house arrest for exposing the barbaric nature of China’s one-child policy. In one of the most tragic examples Chen had helped uncover, the government forced a woman who was seven months pregnant to have an abortion and forcibly sterilized her, LifeNews.com reported. Rep. Chris Smith, R.-N.J., a longtime champion of Chen’s cause, met with him upon Chen’s arrival in New Jersey. “After years of enduring physical and psychological torture, imprisonment and hate, the man, Chen Guangcheng, who defended Chinese women from the crime of forced abortion, is finally free,” Smith said in a statement. “America welcomes this extraordinary family with open arms.”
- The number of lawsuits against the ObamaCare mandate to provide free contraceptive, “morning-after” pill, and sterilization coverage has doubled, reports onenewsnow.com. Twelve new lawsuits have been filed involving 43 Catholic organizations, bringing to 23 the total number of suits against the Health and Human Services mandate. The lawsuits universally claim that the government is violating the constitutional right of freedom of religion and conscience. Greg Baylor, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, says the outcry against the mandate is justifiable and understandable. “The administration has tried mightily to make all this go away,” he says, “but I think lawsuits—along with the ones filed by the Alliance Defense Fund earlier and other organizations—make it clear that this is an incredibly important issue that’s not going to go away that easily.”
- Pro-lifers in Maine are pleased that their state is done giving money to Planned Parenthood, reports onenewsnow.com. With Gov. Paul LePage (R) signing into law a 2013 budget that does not include the abortion provider, Teresa McAnn-Tumidajski of the Maine Right to Life Committee says, “It is a great day for the women and unborn babies in Maine.” “[A total of] $400,000 was removed from the 2013 budget here in Maine, thanks to Gov. Paul LePage and the lawmakers who voted to support the defunding of [Family Planning Council of Maine] and Planned Parenthood,” she credits. The budget makes $80 million total in cuts to help reverse the state budget shortfall. The Senate passed the budget 19–14, and the House approved it 75–61. But the pro-lifer points that no one will have to do without the services those tax dollars had been funding. “It just means they will not be available through that particular group. There are services available elsewhere throughout the state and throughout the country,” McAnn-Tumidajski asserts. “Just because people do not get funding through Planned Parenthood or providers that are associated with the abortion industry, they can go elsewhere.” The Maine Right to Life Committee executive director stresses that the actions of the governor and the legislature reflect the view of the majority of Maine residents, who do not want their tax dollars going to an organization that provides abortions.