Sometime in the year 1950, a preacher by the name of J. Harold Smith delivered a sermon entitled, "God's Plan for the Races." This pro-segregation sermon, delivered over the airwaves of Del Rio, Texas during the Radio Bible Hour, sought to give a very definitive, biblical argument for the separation of races throughout the world. Using Acts 17:26 as the main verse, which reads in the New International Version, "From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundary of their lands." Smith went on to make the case that God, before the beginning of time (a phrase many fundamentalists love to use; I could and should write a book on that), had laid out exactly where every race and color of people were supposed to live and thrive, and that people of different races should simply learn to stay within your God-ordained, God-willed place. With all the bombast expected of a southern preacher, J. Harold Smith exclaimed,
"When you take any race out of the place God has designated for them, you only cause trouble socially, politically and religiously. The problem of SEGREGATION in the United States has been brought about by a RACE being out of its place. We would have never had the Mau Maus in Africa if the white man had not gotten out of his PLACE."
There's much more, such as saying that bi-racial children are products of a lost racial identity, and that interracial dating is "of the Devil." The point established here is that the Bible was used at one time, and still is in many areas of this nation, to promote segregation and separation amongst the "Children of God" here on earth; that is, until the Second coming when everybody's just going to all of a sudden "get it" and come together.
And now, history is seeking to once again repeat itself, except this time, it's now us Blacks against the LGBT community, in the great struggle for marriage equality, and just what exactly this means for those of us who go to church and hear the pastor proclaim the "Word of God" which many times ends up being that pastor's personal feelings on how he/she (but mostly he) feels life should be.
Imagine, if you will, if somehow, those of the Black community that actually do stick to their idea of God's word, listening to the pastor intone about how President Barack Obama, a man who the vast majority of parishioners stood in lines that wrapped around blocks several times around to vote for, had violated the "laws of God" and the "laws of nature" by endorsing the abominable idea that gay people should be allowed the opportunity to get married, and that the only way to keep God happy and follow his "commandments" are to stay home in November.
The Far Right, becoming more and more desperate, hubristic, and self-destructive by the day, now believe that this is the new way to unseat the President and regain control of the White House. By dividing Black people along the time-tested lines of religion and morality, the Right truly believes that it can do the impossible in causing a great number of us to simply stay home by choice. And in some churches, this has already become a reality. The Rev. Emmett Burns, pastor of Rising Sun Baptist Church in Woodlawn, Maryland, has insisted that people in his church are planning to sit this election out because "They are disappointed with the President on this issue, and they plan to stay home."
Hear me very well. For ANYONE of the Black community to stay home during ANY election cycle is not only a shame to you and your community, but it is a sin against our ancestors and forefathers that bled, fought, and died for our right to even be able to have the discussion about voting. With all the aggressive rollbacks and blatant, state-sponsored disenfranchisement of our rights as American citizens spreading like wildfire in this nation, it is horrendously selfish, irresponsible, and grossly shortsighted to simply throw away your right to vote because of a disagreement on ONE topic. Never before in our nation's history has there been such a time to learn how to lay aside our disagreements and come together for a much greater good. Make no mistake; if you thought things were bad now, they will simply get worse under a President Romney. Thankfully, there is little evidence to support the idea that a split is coming, but the question was asked, and now an answer must be given.
But, then again, I know people who won't vote because they do not want to be picked for jury duty...