Is This Your Pastor? (Read The Current Review)  
  Pastor Talbert W. Swan, II
Solid Rock Church of God in Christ
176 Pinevale Street
Indian Orchard, MA 01151

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Article Title: No Comparison between Gay Agenda and Civil Rights Movement
Read the article for yourself on the church's Web site.


In his article, "No Comparison Between Gay Agenda and Civil Rights Movement", Pastor Talbert W. Swan, II of Solid Rock Church of God in Christ addresses the "travesty that denies morality" when talking about the brewing controversy surrounding the issue of gay marriage being compared to the civil rights movement. He also addresses the recent ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Court that the state's constitution guarantees gay couples the right to marry.

He says the comparison and the Supreme Court's ruling was "offensive and insidious". And sited that "the ruling threatens the sanctity of the God-given institution of marriage ". He is very passionate and eloquent in use of words, yet in my opinion is unlearned and prejudiced. How is it that a black man (who can identify discrimination) could support discrimination against an entire group of people? People who just like African-Americans have their own common history, vocabulary, culture, institutions, churches, social organizations, heroes, political leaders, scholars, values, and the ability to recognize each other though submerged a dominant culture not their own? The answer…. STUPIDITY! We can't plead "ignorance" here, because ignorance simply means, "I don't know." But "stupidity" says, "I don't know, and I don't care to find out even though the information to negate my ignorance is available to me."

Pastor Swan makes a very convincing argument when he tries to point out differences in the Civil Rights Movement and what he calls "The Gay Agenda". But, in his trying to paint them as two different pictures altogether, he's missing the thing that makes them the same…. DISCRIMINATION! When it is legal to deny tax paying citizens of this country the same rights that everyone else enjoys its discrimination. The issue at hand is NOT a "Gay Agenda" but EQUAL RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW! Let's check out some of his statements, shall we?

"The homosexual movement is quick to compare their plight to the holocaust and the civil rights struggle in an attempt to exploit moral capital earned by others."

How is saying, "discrimination against gays is like discrimination against blacks, or against women, or against ANYBODY" exploitation of moral capital? Before the Civil Rights Movement, Women started fighting for the right to vote (amongst other things) and weren't granted that right until 1920. Society at large said it was wrong for women to be denied the right to vote based on their gender after women lifted their voices. When one detail of a person's humanity like gender, race, handicap, religion, or sexual orientation is used to deny what our constitution says are "basic unalienable rights", then we must recognize that the denial of said rights is WRONG! That's what the Civil Rights Movement said. That's what the Same Gender Loving community is saying today. And by the way, isn't discrimination IMMORAL? What moral capital does ANYBODY have to discriminate against another?

He goes on to say, "Blacks have endured the horrible crucible of slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, lynching, and continued oppression. What rights have gays been denied? How long were they in bondage? How many of them died attempting to vote? How many of them are profiled on a daily basis for being gay? Are they disproportionately locked in prison? Do they endure harsher sentencing than heterosexuals? Are they disproportionately poor? Are they the last hired and first fired? Are they shot down like dogs for 'fitting the description'?" He says, "gay voices weren't heard, nor resources used when other injustices were done to blacks recently. If the answer to any of these questions is 'yes' it's not because of sexuality, but because of race".

Let me first say, that the "gay lobby" hasn't traditionally addressed the concerns of African-Americans because sexuality transcends race. Everyone has SOME kind of sexuality. But neither has the black church stepped to the plate when SGL people (black or white) have faced injustice or were killed. On a couple of these issues, he might have a point. But this argument doesn't hold water on most of them. What rights have gays been denied? The right to adopt until recently. The right to have consensual sex in the privacy of our own homes until recently. The right to have our life partners listed as beneficiaries on our insurance policies. The right to get the same tax breaks that "straight couples" with children do. Shall I go on?

How many of them died attempting to vote? Check the Women's Suffrage Movement. I'm sure some of those ladies were lesbian and died for the right to vote and to be seen as more than domestic property.

How many of them are profiled on a daily basis for being gay? If we're talking about being needlessly harassed and picked on by authority figures…try ALL OF US…EVERY DAY! Being harassed and persecuted on the job, at church, in society at large, and by law enforcement, if we don't visually present what is considered "normal".

Are they the last hired and first fired? Uh…YEAH! I was fired from a job where my boss was a black woman, and the bulk of the staff was black. I was fired because I "created a hostile work environment" because I didn't deny I am a same gender loving man when I was asked. Not to mention the THOUSANDS of SGL people are denied jobs because they don't fit the "company image".

He asks, "Where were the gay voices and resources when Abner Louima was sodomized or when Diallo was shot down like a dog in the streets of New York? Where were the voices and resources when other injustices against African-Americans were being done?"

Got a couple for you Pastor…Where was the church when James Byrd and Matthew Sheppard (white boys) were killed?

Where was the church when Keith Fenrich, a teenager was killed by his white stepfather who dismembered him, burned the skin off his head with acid and scrawled racist and antigay epithets on the bleached skull?

Where was the church when Nathaniel "Troy" Hayden was stabbed and killed in his Harlem, New York apartment?

Where was the church when Tyra (Tyrone) Hunter, transgender hairstylist was left to die following an automobile accident in 1995? Upon discovering that Hunter was anatomically male, the EMS squad member stopped treating her and laughed out loud. Hunter was pronounced dead at DC General Hospital.

Where was the church when Amanda (Damon Lee Dyer) Milan, transgender designer was attacked and stabbed in the neck in front of the Port Authority bus terminal in New York where police later found her?

Where was the church when Arthur "J.R." Warren died after being beaten and run over by a car so that it appeared he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident? Three white teen-agers confessed to the hate crime in West Virginia.

Where was the church when Ernest Watts was stabbed and killed in his New York apartment? …The list goes on and on. And NOWHERE did the black church stand up and express outrage when these hate crimes were committed against these same gender loving people who just so happened to be black.

Pastor Swan goes on and on and on with this kind of diatribe. And to refute him point by point is not only tedious, but also pointless. He whines about the "gay lobby continuing to contradict itself by encouraging others preach tolerance while being intolerant of anyone who dares to oppose it." This is all because he received some hot emails and threats after being quoted in an Associated Press article on Though I don't believe in or endorse threatening ANYONE for expressing himself or herself I will say, "you reap what you sow." When you spout discrimination and hate, you can't have your little feelings hurt and whine about it when it comes back to you. Pastor Talbert W. Swan, II is no doubt a smart man. He's a college graduate. He's authored several books. He is active in his community, and he founded the Springfield Christian Leadership Council. I have no doubt that he knows how to study the scripture. But I question, why won't he do an in-depth study of the scriptures that supposedly condemn homosexuals just like he did when he studied the scriptures to write his book to rid the church of racism? Ignorance? No, I don't think so. Stupidity? Maybe so. The information needed to rid himself of the ignorance he quotes and is proud to print is most definitely available. But will he take hold of it? Only time will tell.

To voice your concerns, comments, or questions to Pastor Swan, he can be contacted by using the information listed above. You can view his article on the church's website.




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