BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – Texas Baptist pastor Frederick Haynes decided it was time to give his Dallas congregation and colleagues-in-religion a good ole-fashioned dressing down about their homophobia in a rousing sermon, responding to the criticism Barack Obama has faced for his support of same-sex marriage.
In the now-viral six-minute video, the pastor reminded his flock that Obama signed up to be president of the United States, not its pastor. In 2009, Obama swore to uphold, protect and defend the US constitution, "which was born out of a Declaration of Independence," Haynes intoned.
"Do you know the words of the Declaration of Independence?" Haynes asked. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men, all people, are created equal — I gotta hang out there. Notice it does not say that all straight men are created equal. It does not say that all men, unless you are gay and lesbian, are created equal. He swore upon oath to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution — not the Bible."
Haynes continued, "For the first time in the history of this nation, we have a president who has dared to use his position to make the democratic promise available, not just for a select few who are up and in, but for everybody, regardless of their race, their creed, their colour or their sexual orientation."
He added, "I salute the president for that now."
"You should have seen preachers just scurrying and hurrying to call a conference call, to call out the president for what he had declared . . . as a personal opinion," Haynes observed. "Whenever you like to ostracize other people, it's because there's a fear that you have yourself. And the fear that you have finds itself rooted in an ignorance of other people, or in a projection of your issues."
To those who have vehemently criticized Obama's stance, he wondered, "Why are you so upset? Why did it bother you so? Why were you so emotional that you had to clothe your anger with the Bible and justify your bigotry with Scripture?"
Haynes' progressive oratory is in stark contrast to the uptick in homophobic rantings from other US pastors.
Watch the video here:
People often "major in what Jesus minored in," Haynes went on. "Have you ever read the Gospel and heard Jesus say anything about homosexuality?"
"Black folk can't even deal with homosexuality, because we got issues with sexuality. And because we got issues with sexuality, we can't have a healthy discussion about homosexuality," he told his congregation.
Interestingly, americablog.com is reporting a significant shift in African-Americans' support for gay marriage ahead of a fall vote in Maryland, based on the results of a poll done by Public Policy Polling.