Yesterday the Associated Press published a story discussing how some prominent African American preachers are encouraging faith believers not to vote for President Obama in the 2012 election due to his support of gay marriage, which defies traditional Biblical teaching.
In 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency with 95 percent of the Black vote. However, the AP reports that religious leaders are not using their clout in Black communities to get churchgoers charged up about the president's re-election. Instead, Black congregants are being influenced by apathetic clergy members to vote for neither presidential candidate and stay home on Election Day .
Webbed among those clerics is Pastor Jamal-Harrison Bryant of the Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, who says that the AP article is misrepresenting his views. The AP reported that Bryant has actively pushed a national voter registration drive,
Yet, Bryant last month told The Washington Informer, an African-American newsweekly, "This is the first time in black church history that I'm aware of that black pastors have encouraged their parishioners not to vote." Bryant, who opposes gay marriage, said the president's position on marriage is "at the heart" of the problem.
Bryant was traveling and could not be reached for additional comment, his spokeswoman said.
However, in the original article published in The Washington Informer in August, the quote article reads:
This is the first time in Black church history that I am aware of, that Black pastors have encouraged their parishioners not to vote. At the heart of controversy are pastors who preach subjects of same-sex marriage, of which I am also an opponent. I am against the President's policy on the issue, but I am not against the President.
Upset that the AP article might mislead readers into believing Obama has lost his vote, Bryant struck back the AP on his Twitter account today:
The Pastor also retweeted a number of his followers who took to their Twitter pages to clarify the confusion:
To reassure everyone that he is not calling for Black believers to forfeit their vote in November, the Maryland pastor tweeted information about his voter education and registration campaign tour:
According to the blog Your Black World, in May, Bryant expressed dismay for Obama's declaration on behalf of gay marriage, but that has not affected his vote on the Tom Joyner Morning Show:
“I absolutely, vehemently disagree with the president,” Bryant said. “I agree with his presidency, but with this policy, I do not agree. Marriage is the original institution of the church.”
Despite the AP's discrepancy, it seems like the Maryland pastor might be even more fired up about Obama's relection and getting people to the polls. Go head, pastor and preach on!