I have a confession to make: I’ve never understood the vehement opposition that the black church has to gay marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I understand what the bible has to say on the matter, but since when did every Christian live according to the bible? I mean, seriously, would you take a lie detector test and answer the question, “Do most Christians try their best to live according to the bible?” The answer to that question might get you struck down by lightning.
The other day, while analyzing the strong reaction of many black churches to President Obama’s decision to endorse gay marriage, something hit me: It’s OK to be gay and even to be gay within the walls of the black church. The key is that you simply can’t be gay in public.
OK, before you go nuts, just hear me out on this one. Everybody knows at least one gay choir director. A lot of us know about gay pastors like Bishop Eddie Long, many of whom run in packs with other gay preachers who condemn homosexuality on Sundays and are snapping and switchin in the club on Friday nights. There are also the brothers on the down low, who speak of their hatred of homosexuality primarily because their attraction to other men is the part of themselves that they hate the most.
Most of us know what happens in many black churches across America, and we are aware of the blatant hypocrisy. But this doesn’t mean that every Christian is a fraud or that church is meaningless; rather, it means that we are imperfect human beings seeking to live by standards that we sometimes fail to meet. Most of us accept these imperfections, which is why parishioners continue to love Deacon Smith, even if we can’t ever imagine him making love to a woman.