An Insult to Civil Rights

Saddened by the news that Martin Luther King’s daughter Bernice King led a march to her father’s grave which, among other things, promoted a constitutional amendment stating that marriage be defined as man/woman. Bernice King is leveraging her father’s legacy not to promote civil rights, but to work against them.

King’s widow Corretta Scott King has stated that “King would be a champion of gay rights if he were alive.” In fact, she has specifically called gay marriage a civil rights issue, and has denounced proposed amendments to ban it. SF Chronicle:

The Rev. Bernice King and march organizers deliberately chose King’s resting place in Atlanta to imply that he would have stood with them. But Martin Luther King’s uncompromising battle against discrimination during his life — and his persistent refusal to distance himself from a well-known gay civil rights leader — show that King never would have endorsed an anti-gay campaign.

To me, this looks like a triple slap in the face: A black woman fighting against civil rights, indirectly speaking for her father when he can’t speak for himself, and waging her war of hatred at her father’s grave site.

A friend recently made the point that the fight for black/civil rights is not a good analogy to the fight for gay rights because race is truly a fact of birth, while the question of whether homosexuality is a fact of birth or choice is open for debate. I’d counter by saying that only non-gays believe this question is up for debate — I’ve certainly never met a gay person who felt they chose the path without feeling an inner/natural draw. If there are gays who don’t think they were more or less “born gay,” they’re very rare.

But whether protestors of Bernice King’s march are right or wrong in drawing the comparison between civil and gay rights does not change the fact that she is almost certainly misrepresenting her father, and has acted disingenuously by hanging a personal agenda on her father’s grave.

Music: Bert Jansch :: Promised Land

28 Replies to “An Insult to Civil Rights”

  1. “A BLESSING TO CIVIL RIGHTS”: Elder Bernice A. King.A woman of God,is a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As her father fulfilled the call on his life she is fulfilling the calling on her life. Doing what she has been divinely called to do in Jesus name. No matter what men say or feel, Bishop Eddie Long and Elder bernice king are right to line up with the word of God over men’s personal feelings. God opposes gay and lesbian relationships. The word of God in Lev. 18:22; and in Rom. 1:24-29 make that “very clear.”

  2. Elder McClendon –

    Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say anything against homosexuality. And knowing what we know about him, an anti-gay stance would have been totally contrary to his personality of love, acceptance, and non-harm. Jesus did not preach hatred. That kind of homophobic thinking came into the Bible from other sources, certainly not from Jesus. Jesus was a good man, with a good heart. Good people with good hearts don’t fight against gay marriage.

  3. Both Bishop Eddie L. Long and Elder Bernice A. King are right because they are standing on God’s word,and not on their personal opinon. Those who reject this are not opposing Bishop Eddie L. Long,Elder Bernice A. King,myself or any other peacher of the gospel,but they are rejecting God Himself(Luke 10:16).

  4. Elder McClendon – there are many gods in this universe of human souls. If you choose to adopt a God that actively encourages hateful behavior (such as homophobia) that is your choice, but in social and political circles, which are not and must not be directed by any religion, we must steer clear of arbitrary mysticism and use reason (plus love for all beings) to guide our actions and laws.

  5. scot
    there are many gods, but there is only one God. not agreeing with homosexual marriage does not equate with hatred. it is love. loving someone enough to speak the truth in love, regardless of whether they want to hear the truth. try seeking the one true LIVING God, the one that created you, without a personal agenda or preconceived notions of who he is. when you do this, in earnest, he will reward you by showing you who he truly is. false gods created by our imagination and preconceived ideas satisfy our IDEA of who we want him to be, but that does not make them real or eternal. been down that road. prefer the narrow path. may God bless you and open your eyes.

  6. > there are many gods, but there is only one God.

    Gee, I’m sure yours is the only religion that believes that! Kind of tough to agree that there is only one God when most religions believe that with equal fervor… And what does such absolutist thinking do to sects? I presume you’re referring to some form of Christianty (correct me if I’m wrong). But which form? There are so many? Is there a simimlar problem within forms of Christianity, where only is right and the others are all wrong? Are some more right than others? How can you be sure you’re hooked up with the right sect?

    > not agreeing with homosexual marriage does not equate with hatred.

    I cannot imagine how one could equate it with anything BUT hatred!

    > try seeking the one true LIVING God, the one that created you, without a personal agenda or preconceived notions of who he is.

    I have done this, and I am living the life of one who has found one’s own personal living god. That god is called nature and reason and spiritual awareness.

    > false gods created by our imagination

    Umm… all gods are created by the imagination. Surely you wouldn’t disagree with that??!!

    > prefer the narrow path.

    Wow – self-aware cognitive dissonance. How wonderful!

  7. actually i’m not into religion. religion is man made as are gods. i’m into knowing the truth. i sought Him and He showed Himself unto me in ways that no one can take away. i had to be convinced in my head (investigating the historical evidence and the archaelogical evidence was convincing – but then He convinced me in ways that scholastic data pales in comparison to. creating your own god is not seeking God. it is impossible to ask Him with a truth seeking heart, to show himself and He not reveal Himself to you. you are correct about one thing. there are way too many denominations, cults and sects withing christianity. but that does not negate His existence. i’ve said more than once that, had i not had definitive, life-altering experiences with Him, i would think that all “religious” people are full of it. and i used to feel that way too. until i tired of living in darkness and actually cried out for truth. you cannot look at creation and doubt the existence of a creator. even scientists are acknowledging that in this age of ever increasing information, science is revealing that the complexity of creation, the intelligence of the design of creation, demands a creator. the question is obviously not, does he exist but, where is he? does he care about us? does he intervene? when i earnestly sought these answers – truthfully not knowing where i would find him or if he would answer, he did, just as he promises in his word. and i say this not in pride at MY discovery, but in awe that he is so REAL and so GOOD. once someone has encountered Him, no one, no one can take that away. so i say to you scot, not at all in a condescending manner, you cannot remember where you were before you were born – you currently do not know where you will be when you die, you may think you know but you haven’t died yet so you only THINK –
    you don’t KNOW. with that in mind, do you not think that eternity is too permanent to risk spending it in the wrong place? if i were wrong, and all of my experiences with God were a figment of my imagination (but they aren’t)and you were right, what would i have lost when i died? nothing. i would be worm food and you would be right. but if i am right and you are wrong, and be honest with yourself, you are not infallible, you would spend eternity without God – still existing and knowing (although in much worse place than here)that you had the opportunity to seek him but choose to rely on your own intelligence and draw your own conclusions instead of searching for the truth. do you really want to risk that? do you really want to use the failings of man (resulting in denominations, cults, sects, religions, etc.) as an excuse not to seek Him who made you. He’s not going to accept that as an excuse. and i won’t even address the homosexuality issue again as you will never understand speaking the truth in love unless you accept His truth rather than the world’s truth – we in the world can have opinions all day long but they are just opinions – He gets the last say. lastly, if you could only know how AMAZING He is scot. He is more wonderful than i can tell you in words. i simply pray that you will seek God – not religion. don’t let religion keep you from seeking Him. he is SO Good. evidenced by the fact that He sent His Son to serve as a bridge for us back to Him. His love is so amazing. I just wish that everyone would receive it. and i truly pray in the name of Jesus the Christ that you will seek Him. I declare in agreement with Jesus, that you WILL seek Him. and i affirm to you right now, that when life demands that you seek Him, and it will, it will SOON, you will find Him. He will show Himself to you in ways that will leave you speechless, utterly persuaded and thirsty for more of Him. Amen

  8. Mr. Scott Hacker: You are activity choosing not to acknowldege, God. Whose word clearly opposes the gay and lesbian lifesytle. You’re not fight against Bishop Eddie L. Long,Elder Bernice King,myself,or any other man or woman of God. You reject God Himself. That is where your war really is. Lev. 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Romans 1:25-27 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their woman did change natural use into that whoch is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. Yes Mr. Hacker, the word of God does oppose your lifestyle.

  9. Elder Mitchell –

    I don’t know what you mean by “your lifestyle” — do you think I’M gay? I’m a married man with a wonderful child. Where in the world did you get that idea? Do you think that just because people stand up for gay rights they must somehow be gay? I am for HUMAN rights, and that includes gay rights.

    As for the word of God, it’s YOUR choice if you want to base on your life on the Bible. But religious discourse has no place in American public policy. We cannot remain proud Americans and also allow religions to dictate laws. Since religions disagree with one another, it would be impossible to make public laws on religious bases.

    People are free to choose their religion, or no religion at all. If you don’t believe in homosexuality, then don’t be a homosexual. It’s pretty simple. But don’t think for a second that the Bible has any role whatsoever to play in public legal discourse. If it did, we may as well all move to Iraq, since we’d be no better off.

    In other words, please keep your Bible off my human rights (and those of others). What the Bible says may be relevant to your life, but it is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

  10. I’m sorry,Mr Hacker that I thought it was you, yourself that gay. God bless you, and your family. But by supporting their sin,that makes you just as guilty,”Calling Evil Good,and Calling Good Evil”. God does love them, but He hates sin. Rev. 20:11,15. “Without God”, there is no American public policy. Neither political party would exist without God. The fool has said there is no God. None of us can take our next breath without God. We need Him at every second of our lives. Without Jesus, this country does have as chance. After “Hurricane Katrina”,and September 11,2001 Terrorist attacks. God is the reason you and your family are still here. Who know where the next terrorist attack will occur, or where the next hurricane will make landfall. It was His grace and mercy and covered you.

  11. God bless you, and your family.

    And while we’re at it, God bless all of the happy, healthy, unjustly vilified gay families out there being discriminated against by religious bigots who think it’s OK to adopt a religion that commands them to hate. I would think that the words you’ve quoted from the Bible would be reason enough for any caring, rational person to reject Christianity. But clearly, and unfortunately, this country is full of Christians who think their religion should somehow have a bearing on public policy. It makes me so, so sad.

    Without Jesus, this country does have as chance.

    Well, at least we agree on that point. Interesting to me that Jesus never said a single word in the Bible about homosexuality. And from everything else we know of his teachings, it’s very, very clear he would would have been pro-gay-marriage.

    God is the reason you and your family are still here.

    Then by that logic, God is also the reason all the victims of 9/11 and Katrina are not here today. If God spared me, then God also killed them. Boy, that’s comforting to know.

    It was His grace and mercy and covered you.

    This is the kind of reasoning that makes it so very difficult to tell the difference between a religion and a cult. Sorry, Elder Mitchell, I’m busy protecting my family from dangeous, hateful cults like Christianity and Islam.

  12. Q – It’s not clear whether you finished typing before submitting your response – it just seems to trail off there…

    Why do you think I’m a fool?

    Where did marriage originate from? Boy, that’s one for the sociologists. Some combination of cultural habit and relgion, I suppose. Why do you ask? How is that relevant to how marriage should be defined?

  13. I read your article and i had to give you my perspective on things. First I am a faithful and supportive member of newbirth and bishop long is my pastor. secondly i stand directly behind what the word of god says about homosexuality. thirdly i am a young man who is still in the gay lifestyle. i do not believe in gay bashing or hating on gays by any means for it has happened to me in the pass. i have been picked on talked about and a coulple of times i was beat up by my peers for being gay. you may wonder why i would sit up under a man that so many in the world believes to be a gay basher. for one thing he is not a gay basher he is a person who loves people whole hardetly. he has never come at me in a manner that could even be perceived as gay bashing. i do believe that homosexuality is a destuctive sin. in my life all i have felt is pain because of it. trying to find love from diferent men but not loving myself. i cant speak for others but i do speak for myself i

  14. Treymaine –

    in my life all i have felt is pain because of it.

    Here’s a suggestion: Instead of feeling pain, why don’t you get the heck out of Dodge and join up with a church that will include you, rather than exclude you (yes, there are such things). Or better yet, how about NO church? How about living your life in pursuit of truth and beauty rather than trying to shoehorn some mystical text into the reality of nature (and of YOUR nature?)

    I’m just baffled by your commitment to a religion that wants to change such a harmless aspect of the way you are. Baffled.

  15. Ok Treymaine, I think you are a little too quick to jump the gun in blaming homosexuality for what is wrong in your life. Seeking love and relying on it from others instead of yourself is always a bad idea, and let me let you in on a little secret …. there are straight people too who have done the same thing and found misery just the same. You have to first find love and acceptance for yourself before you can expect and receive it from others.

    And just so I am not misunderstood, this is from one gay man to another. Someday I think you will figure it out, hopefully before you foolishy decide to marry a woman (thinking this will fix the problem). Being gay is just a part of who you are and not everything about you. I can guarantee you 100% when this life comes to an end you will still be gay because it is not something you just said “oooh that looks like something I would like to try.”

    And to all of the other misinformed people on this website that somehow think they know more about homosexuality than gay people themselves, what sense would it make to choose to be somebody that is hated by the likes of Ku Klux Klan, hated by a large part of the American culture, and in most cases ostracized by friends and family. It defies all logic to say all of us just wanted to color outside of the lines and be bold. Bold for what? Gay people people come from in most cases, straight parents. And like other kids growing up we seek to have their approval and be loved by them, why would we choose something that would separate ourselves from them.

    And on another note (as a Black person myself) I am equally disgusted by Black people (whatever cultural background) as a whole because of all the people who should know better than to rely on the Bible for concrete facts it should be us. The evils of slavery were both upheld and encouraged based on the twisted interpretations of the Bible. Look up this passage if you don’t believe me. Leviticus 25: 44-46: However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.

    And this is supposed to be God’s words you say, I’m so sorry if I am alone when I say this but as a man who still believes in Jesus Christ I cannot cosign on this being the word of God. Please lets all try to educate ourselves before throwing Biblical verses out left and right.

    I’m a gay man, an uncle, a loving son, and a human being and I approve this message!

  16. It has been a while since i have posted anything on here. But i was goofing around on the computer and decided to type my name and see what the computer would generate. I was surprised to see my name and clicked on my name to see what my name was under. I now remember what i had responded to your article about the march but had never checked back in to see what your response was. I am saddend that you think that i should join a church that would allow me to be active. The truth of the matter is that i am very active and i am involved in various ministries there. Also i would have you to know that this so called “harmfless lifestyle” is not as harmless as you think. I was just diagnosed H.I.V. positive just last week and i do not see anything harmless aboout that. I will continue to pray for you so that you come to know the Lord as your saviour. And lastly, this mystical force in which you speak may mystical indeed but HE is the force in which you even live so govern youself accordingly.

  17. I’m sorry to hear you’re HIV positive, but “Harmless” means “Harmless to others.” It’s none of the Church’s or government’s business who people sleep with. And you of all people should know that HIV is not a “gay” disease – it affects all of us. And heterosexuals have all kinds of STDs, including AIDS, to contend with.

    It really saddens me to see homosexuals remaining with a religion that persecutes them.

  18. Bernice King is a lesbian and lives with her companion. How ironic that she is against gay unions/marriage. I have had the opportunity to work with both her and her companion.

  19. Anonymous – That’s the weirdest news I’ve heard in a month. You’re sure it’s the same Bernice King? Why in the world would she be opposed to gay marriage? I don’t get it…

  20. NYTN – Certainly there are! But they would be a proportionally small exception. And the fact that some exist tells us nothing whatsoever about whether gay marriage should be available to everyone.

  21. While it is true that we all have the right to choose how to live, (according to the bible we have free will). Why should someone else choice determine how I live my life. If man’s law says that homosexuality is acceptable, does that void the Almighty’s law of judement of such sin. (Sodom and Gomorrah). If by man’s law gay men come into my church displaying “affectionate emotions” that is by the words of Messiah offensive and abhorable, do I have a right to object? Now, if I don’t object, am I not too guilty of such sins? (Romans 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done…. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.) If they have the right to live the way they want, what about my rights to religious freedom? What happend to the seperate of chuch and state?

  22. Denva – How in the world does someone else’s sexual preferences affect how you live your life?

    does that void the Almighty’s law of judement of such sin.

    Which “Almighty” do you mean? There are many faiths, religions, and gods in this world, and they don’t agree. Are you referring to Wotan, Thor, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, Jehova, the Christian God? (if the latter, which version?). Since religions cannot and will not agree on morality, religions have no place in determining morality – it is up to men, and to the world of facts.

    And remember that Jesus never said a single thing about homosexuality. Not a word.

    Your right to religious freedom is in no way affected by other people’s freedoms.

  23. Well since you “religion” as you call it of no use, and don’t believe in a higher power, then the world be dammed. If we must rely upon man’s own judgements to continue to live and have life, how should we survive. So check this If a person feels it is morally right to rape a child, fly a plane into a building, broken into a house at take what’s not theirs, do they have a moral right. I agree everyone has a right to choose. And YES my right to religious freedom is should not be affected by other people’s freedoms. However, it is called a religious fanatic, homophobic etc. which not so. if you don’t want to be criticized for your opinions and choices why should I endure criticism for mine.

  24. Denva –

    Huhh??? What is all this about me suggesting that amoral behavior is acceptable? I said that god or gods have no legitimate role in determining morality. I didn’t say we can live without morality, for goodness sake. I’m saying that morality and ethics need to be derived by rational means, not by trying to lean on a set of gods that no one can agree on to begin with, and whose existence cannot be proven. The world needs ethics and morality. It does not need storybooks to give them to us.

    Sounds like you might benefit from taking a philosophy of morality class or similar…

  25. In fact, you brought up the case of the terrorist 9/11 bombers — that’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Those people believe with every fiber of their body that they were being morally righteous, and were acting to please god. Same with the Christians that ran the crusades, or the entire history of missionaries who go around the world stamping out religions and replacing them with their own. In all cases, these people are deriving their morality from religion, with all the conviction of righteousness that you have. Point being that gods and religions are not a reliable way to derive an ethics (not a reliable way to answer the question “How should we act in the world?”). Only ethics and reason can give us an unbiased, fair, and just morality.

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