Is This Your Pastor? (Read The Current Review)  
  Pastor Ken Hutcherson
Antioch Bible Church
Redmond, Washington
Article: Gays are Not the Nation's New African-Americans





I find it so encouraging that so many African American pastors…well, African Americans period are seeing how important it is for us to write. Our ancestors were legally denied the God-given right to document their experience so that they only thing their offspring would have to learn from is oral tradition and what someone else said of their experience. Not to say oral tradition is a bad thing. The things Big Mama taught me still ring true for me today. But when someone writes and publishes their experience, their study, or their personal commentary, it has a more long-term affect on society. In fact, it marks history.

It's sad to think that with the awesome opportunity we have to write our thoughts and opinions, there are some who will use it so irresponsibly and dishonor our ancestors by writing some of the most uninformed, untrue and divisive things. I mean, if we're going to honor our forefathers by taking advantage of an opportunity that they were denied, let's AT LEAST be responsible and write something that's CORRECT. A totally irresponsible use of "The Right to Write" is the article by Pastor Ken Hutcherson called "Gays are Not the Nation's New African-Americans". After reading it, I could do nothing but shake my head in disbelief.

First he says, "it has been said loudly and proudly that gay marriage is a civil rights issue. If that's the case, then gays would be the new African-Americans. I'm here to tell you now, and hopefully for the last time, that the gay community is not the new 'African-American' community".

WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? Everyone knows that the gay (or better yet SGL) community transcends ethnicity or race. Well, maybe the good pastor didn't know that. Now let me say now, and hopefully for the last time….gay rights IS a civil rights issue. If you don't believe me, let's look at the definition of the words…

Civil: Adjective: of, or relating to, or befitting a CITIZEN or CITIZENS.
Rights: Adjective: conforming with or conformable to justice, law, or morality.

…or better yet, put them together

Civil Rights: Plural Noun: The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.

Now NOWHERE in these aforementioned definitions is it noted that African-Americans are the ONLY people in this country who are guaranteed "civil rights". In fact, Black, Negro, Afro-centric, African-American, don't even appear in the definition. Don't get me wrong, as an African-American, Same Gender Loving man, I understand full well what the civil rights movement means and how important it is for me to honor the legacy of those who fought for the freedoms that I now enjoy. I also understand that as an African-American man, my people are not the only people in this country who have been marginalized, criticized, persecuted, abused, and yes even DENIED THEIR RIGHTS. I also understand that the Civil Rights Movement was bigger than just "a Black Thang". It was about respecting humanity. About ALL HUMANS being treated equally under the law. It surprises me that a man like the good pastor can honestly think that the ONLY people in this country who have ever been denied rights are "black folk".

And let's not forget that in the Civil Rights Movement, there were black gays and lesbians there taking the heat right along side Dr. King, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and the rest of our heroes. In fact, Dr. King was advised and taught the mechanics of non-violent protest by one of his best friends, a black gay man named Bayard Rustin. The late Mr. Rustin is responsible for organizing the largest civil rights protest in this country's history, the March on Washington at which Dr. King spoke his "I Have a Dream" speech. Ain't it funny that the civil rights black preachers like the good Pastor Hutcherson are trying to protect, are rights afforded them largely due to the same people they are trying to deny today? I guess Meshell N'Degeochello was right when she said "Just 'cause civil rights is law, doesn't mean we all abide."

He goes on to say "Gay marriage has reached the point it has because a few rebellious, headstrong judges in Massachusetts and a mayor in San Francisco openly defied state law."

AS THEY SHOULD HAVE! I thank God for the rebellious and headstrong judges in Massachusetts. And quite honestly, I think the good pastor should do the same. See, this is just history repeating itself. Guess what State Supreme Court was the first to say slavery was unconstitutional and should be abolished? MASSACHUSETTS! If it wasn't for rebellious and headstrong judges and the public awareness they caused, African-Americans (then called Negroes) would still be slaves and there wouldn't be a damn thing we could do about it except deal with it. Civil disobedience sparks awareness and results in social change. When the law is unjust it should be challenged and changed. Unfortunately, those who aren't affected by the injustice don't see it that way until those who are affected start disobeying it or standing up against it. If ANYONE in this country should be praising God for those courageous enough to civilly disobey, it should be "black folk".

Pastor Hutcherson goes on to say "For the church, this is not a civil-rights issue, it is a sexual-behavior issue."

WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT SEX? The Church (well, in this article the good pastor did). Here people are marching, protesting, lobbying, fighting for their constitutional rights that are SUPPOSED to be for ALL CITIZENS in this country, and all the good pastor can think about is who's screwin' who? And the SGL community is perverted? It's about time that the church (especially the Black Church) accept the fact that sexuality is something that is HUMAN! It's an issue of humanity. Just like race, creed, color, and gender….it's human. How you are born. Stop trying to make it a definition of a person's humanity, but a accept it as a small part of it.

Before he goes on his little "Literal Translation of the Bible" kick, he does the "Black Preacher Thang" and spouts a catch phrase that is supposed to make a point, but in this case it doesn't. He says, "I think the church should stop being 'evangelly-fish' with no 'spiritual vertebrae'. Our battle cry, from here to eternity, should be 'we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ'."

Get it? "Evangelly-fish" (evangelists)! That concept was really cute. But again, not thought out very well. If the battle cry for the church should be "we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ", then should the church have a good understanding of that "the Gospel" is? I thought the Gospel was the 'good news' about Jesus' sacrifice. The 'good news' of the liberation and healing He provides to EVERYONE. The 'good news' of the unconditional love and acceptance He shows to ALL PEOPLE. In fact, the only people I recall Jesus standing against was the leadership of the religious institution (the church). And he didn't necessarily stand against the people, but what they were teaching and how. They (the Pharisees and Saducees), much like so-called Christian leadership of today were educated in the text, but had no understanding of the real truth. The used the text to condemn and control people. And when Jesus' deeds and teachings began to have influence in people's lives that they couldn't control…they had Him killed.

Pastor Hutcherson ends his article with the question we at Operation: REBIRTH have endeavored to answer with our Taking A Closer Look Bible Study. He asks, "do we believe the Bible is the word of God or not?".

To that we answer, the Word of God cannot be contained in biblical text that was written 2000+ years ago. So it in and of itself is not the Word of God. The TRUTH the texts leads us to (once it's really studied) IS the Word of God indeed. It is so encouraging to see that just like in biblical times, men and women are hearing from God and are inspired to write down what they hear. Could it be that what we now have the Right to Write today is a prophetic Word from God for the future, some 2000+ years from now? If so, let's be careful to exercise the rights denied to our ancestors a little bit more wisely and tell the truth about God's creating ALL humanity equal, deserving of equal protections and liberties under the law and in the church.


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