Are Black Chruistians Sinful for Backing Gore : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Was Voting For Gore Sinful?

Today, when I checked the A.M.E. Today Guest Book, I discovered a note from a person that claimed to be a white Pentecostal Christian from Texas.

I do not doubt any of those claims but do note that since there is a degree anonimity on the Web, neither can I confirm them.

He called into question whether Black Christians could be Christians and support Gore. I realize that Blacks as a block did not support Gore. We have Bush supporters using this discussion area but I was somewhat taken back to receive what I consider a Bible bashing because of politics.

Rather than paraphrase the note I will include it in its entirety as the next note.

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000


Brothers and Sisters in Christ: I'm a white, Pentecostal Christian who's greatest desire is to see revival in our nation.

I was interested and saddened to see that while the evangelical Christian movement voted as a virtual solid block for George Bush, it appeared that the black church, liberal AND Bible-believing, voted for Gore.

Your poll on this home page seems to confirm this.

It has moved me to focus many prayers for revival specifically on the black church.

I can tell you that the evangelical vote is driven primarily by a desire to conform to the Bible. When we look into the Word we look for indicator issues that point to who God's candidate may be, and of course we confirm this with prayer.

Historically our indicator issues have been abortion and homosexuality. While the Word has no clear mandate on issues such as foreign policy, tax policy, or education policy, it's crystal clear on abortion and homosexuality.

That's why most evangelicals consider a vote for a pro- abortion/homosexuality candidate, when an alternative exists, to be sin.

We believe that to do otherwise is to either be ignorant of the Word, or to ignore (same as defy) the Word.

I'd like to hear from Bible-believing black Christians. What would cause you to vote apart from the rest of the Christian community? Or is there something I'm missing? Only those who hold the Old and New Testaments to be inerrant in their entirety, and the ultimate rule for faith and practice need reply. Yours in Jesus, Rob

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000


As I read your entry in the guestbook, it prompted me to move it to the discussion area since it was discussion that you solicited, I am sure you will find it here in abundence!!!

But as webmaster, creator and keeper of this board I wanted first crack at it.

I am a registered non-partisan voter, so I did not come into this election with any preconception as to who I would vote for. Aside from being an ordained black clergy, I am also a working journalist of 30 years, and this year was priveleged to cover the political conventions for a major newspaper chain.

That is all to say, I had a chance to see both candidates up close and personal. To speak to both personally and then to determine, both Biblically and personally who I wanted to see in office.

My end response was neither for from a Bible guage neither met the standards that I would really want. So my question would be how righteous are all of those white conservative Christian block voters if they could not see the Biblical flaws in Bush.

He is not only advocates, but seems to enjoy the death penalty. Although Jesus codified the 10 Coammandments with his two commandments of Love, killing you fellow man suddenly is not acceptable Bible-backed behavior.

So on one hand, you have a man willing to kill his fellow man, and on the other a man willing to let babies be killed. I think it is pretty much a wash on that count.

As to why the black vote went to Gore, if you note those execute in Texas, although they come in a rainbow of colors due to Bush's enthusiasm to send them to heaven I guess, there still is a disproportionate number of them that are black. Some of the most controversial cases, where mental capacity has been questioned, have been black and Bush has neither shown compassion nor love, just a steady hand on the plunger to kill another fellow man or woman.

So I do not think you can use Biblical teachings as a platform from which to chide your fellow sun-kissed Christian brothers and sisters. Indeed, I think you should recall the precaution here, "He that is without sin cast the first stone."

It was an election without a clearcut moral candidate. So as you prayed and fell into the corner of Bush, who without question respresents more the values of people without color than he does the people of color, those Christians with more pigment than yourself, gave their support and it is not unqualified for in the Christian black community few will back the killing of babies and homosexuality is an issue we have discussed here if you want to hear the general tenor.

This election was making the best of what you have. If it was a sin to vote for Gore, it was not less a sin to vote for Bush. Both have advocated questionable moral positions. But the basic truth is it would have been more sinful not to vote for anyone for then you totally are turning over the reigns of the country to the prevailing political wins.

This election was not one that called for, or deserves, Bible thumping from either side. It is one where people had to make the best choice they could under the circumstances. And some like vanilla and some like chocolate. Gore just showed more promise to people of color than Bush and there is no sin in voting for the person who likes you best.

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

Both candidates have their moral views that may differ from individuals. In regard to what may have been done by a particular voting block, let us look at history, it was many of the same groups that backed candidates that professed to have high moral standards but advocated slavery or turned a deaf ear to it. It was many of these groups that assisted colonialism, participated in segregation. When we look at Pat Buchannan many of his views were shared by one of the candidates but Buchannan was labeled too extreme. I would rather know where someone stands than to have to wonder all of the time. We have put the election to the same supreme court entity that made the voting rights act of the 1800 unconstitutional and said that "the negro had no rights the whiteman must honor." We vote based upon choice which God has given us and we stand behind our selection. That is why it is good in NY to have the curtain drawn that our innerslef can be our guide.

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

My, My. You all pulled my chain. First, to brother Rob: If you are a Christian, you are neither black nor white, Jew or Greek, slave nor free, etc. In other words, as John the Baptist said to the Jews, "Don't trust in your father Abraham"; don't let your color or denomination become your God. Second, to brother John, ditto regarding race and ethnicity and work. The death penalty as administered in Texas: Governor Bush does not have the power to commute a death sentence. In Texas, the govervor can only give a one-time 30-day repreive UNLESS an 18-member Board of Pardons and Paroles makes a recommendation to commute. So my brother, as a journalist, you know about "spin" and what you said about my governor and our president-elect reflects the democrat spin. By the way, in all 37 executions carried out so far in the year of 2000 in Texas, the person executed was a convicted murderer who was also convicted of another felony. In Texas, one must be convicted of capital murder AND another felony. The person to be executed tonight (Dec 5, 2000) confessed to raping and killing a 7 year old girl. The person to be executed tomorrow killed a police officer in Garland Texas, while on parole after serving 11 years in another state for killing both of his parents. Please don't compare these two at least to the innocent babies that have been killed for nothing more than being implanted in a womb that did not want them. Most of the black vote did go to Gore. All black folk are not Christian. Did most black Christians vote for Gore? I don't know what they did inside the booth. I suspect they did. Was that a sin? NO. It is a sin not to exercise your right to vote. Some clergy, professing to be "black" leaders speaking for black folk urged black folk to vote for Gore. Some that I kmnow personally did that out of greed, but I can't speak for all. I agree, we had a choice between the lesser of two evils, but that is the way it is in this world. So I considered Gov. Bush to be the best choice of the two. No one should vote "as a block". We vote as individuals. The Bible clearly teaches that our leaders are appointed by Him. As long as we exercise our right to vote (as individuals guided by one's own conscience) God will appoint the leader so that His will is done. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000


It appears from your commentary that you attack “Blacks” (Afrikan-- this term is used to represent indigenous Afrikans, Afrikan Americans, people of Afrikan descent in the Carribeans, South America, etc.) as anti-Christian for selecting Gore as their president candidate. I can not comprehend how you can make such a blanket statement, using any presidential candidate as glowing examples of Jesus the Christ.

I thank God everyday for my basic freedom…the ability to think! I am not blinded by the obvious tricks of politicians, with self- serving agendas. This applies to both Gore and Bush. Both are white men. The choices were clear to me…Bush is the wolf and Gore is the fox. The wolf comes snarling showing its teeth, while the fox comes grinning. They are both carnivores, both eat meat.

Pastor Parish, I don’t understand your comparison comments. A life is a life. When we accept responsibility to “end” a life, it does not matter if that life is in a womb or an electric chair. They are both creations of Divine Spirit. When we (as individuals) make life choices, then we take on a divine responsibility for our actions. It is clear to me the disproportionate number of minorities on death row…this includes Texas. This is utterly confusing, when the white male is CLEARLY the most violent creature on the face of this PLANET.

One of my deciding factors for my casting vote for Gore was the selection of Supreme Court justices. His father G. W. Bush Sr. nominated Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas (in my opinion) is an embarrassment to the memory of Thurgood Marshall, who symbolized freedom for Afrikan Americans. I pray for divine intervention.

In a way, I am glad that Bush will probably be elected as our next president. I think that Afrikan Americans need some pain to massage their ancestral memory. How soon we forget and become complacent. I believe that after the next four years, there will be no need for “get out to vote campaigns.” Afrikan Americans will run to polls like white on rice. Extreme circumstances are sometimes necessary catalysts for change.

Be Blessed.

In Love and Light, Brenda

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

Pastor Paris,

With the exception of your stance on Bush and the death penalty it seems we pretty much stand on the same ground. I am hoping, praying, that what you are saying up above is neither an excuse for nor an acceptence of the legetimacy of the death penalty. I pray that you were just trying to equivocate Bush's backing of it. It still comes down to choices, which is why there is more than one candidate. Just seems this time around I choose to pick one that you did not. But I did make a pick!

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

I would like to simply refer our brother to a sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright entitled Who Would Jesu Vote For. This message was preached the Sunday prior to election day 2000 and sheds light on a number of concerns expressed by many of us. I am certain that should anyone care to obtain a copy of this message they can do so by contacting Trinity United Church of Christ (Chicago, IL).

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

I would like to simply refer our brother to a sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright entitled Who Would Jesus Vote For. This message was preached the Sunday prior to election day 2000 and sheds light on a number of concerns expressed by many of us. I am certain that should anyone care to obtain a copy of this message they can do so by contacting Trinity United Church of Christ (Chicago, IL).

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

As a disclaimer, I must admit that I am from Massachusetts and our answering machines once carried the message "Don't blame me, I voted for McGovern". To much of the country, we up here are not wrapped too tightly because of out "liberalism". Gore received 72% of the vote. I am responding to MY reasons. Many of the top issues have been raised by others already, Bush's love and pride of the Death penalty and the biggest issue for African Americans, the possible four appointments to the Supreme Court. As we can already see, Bush is surrounded by the same folks that served his father. This is the group that gave us Clarence Thomas.Do we want more of the same? Most of the gains that we have made over the years of bloodshed and sacrifice will be rolled back further. I voted against the Republican Party because I have seen no interest on their part in Black America. I was not alone, 90%+ voted the same way even though as the NAACP hearings revealed, we were prevented from voting, interfered with, refused at the polls because of "clerical errors", the numbers would have been higher and perhaps Gore would have had an easier time. I agree that both Gore and Bush come up short on moral litmus tests. Bush may not have had the authority to stop the death penalty murders but if he can not use his skills there to do what is right, how is he going to do it in Washington? Gore, for his part, is also weak in his stances on abortion, having switched positions, perhaps for political gain. No matter who is finally placed into the presidency, I will do as my Word says, Pray for all that are in authority. Finally, this election has divided Americans down the middle, the Senate is now 50-50, the House of Representative is only slightly Republican (10-11 votes I believe),The popular vote was a statistical tie and it would not suprise me to see a 5-4 vote in the Supreme Court. It is important that the Christian Community not be divided but some support Affirmative Action and some don't and so on.

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

One of the things I love about this discussion board is the fact that a person's ethnicity has never been an issue. As I read this board, for many, I have no clue whether they are black or white, republican or democrat. Everyone has their individual opinions, and this forum (at least to me) represents diversity.

Today as I read, reality came into my virtual Christian forum. African Americans are forever having to deal with some stereotype, and now there is something new added to the list. This is for the person who has made the assumption regarding the Black Christian vote. Not all African Americans eat chicken, and watermellon, and news flash, voted for Mr. Gore. Peace, Carmen

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

Hey gang! Rob here. First, I'd like to thank everyone for the inputs, and second thanks for following the Golden Rule in cyber-civility. My goal was to get try to get your reasoning, and I think I got a good sample. Your points are in most cases well taken, and I hope mine were too. One thing that surprised me was the impact the death penalty has on some of your thinking. My guess is many evangelicals don't give it much thought. We see it in the Mosaic Law, and we see God punishing people through death in Acts (ch 5), and Revelation. Seeing this the existence of a death penalty is pretty well settled for us. The only questions are the best way to be absolutely sure of guilt and then consistent application in modern society. That I agree needs work, and your guess is as good as mine on how to get there.

Having received a good sample of your thoughts I'll probably not be returning to this site. Webmaster, good call on posting this in the chat room. It worked well. If any of you are genuinely interested in friendly correspondence you have my e-mail. Please keep in mind my wife usually sees the e-mail before me, and that's good in case any ladies want to write. The proprieties at all times. I'll leave you with a few thoughts we'll all agree on. 1. Our nation is in tremendous need of revival. Pray and work for it in concert with your fellow believers all over your city. No church or denomination can do it alone. 2. The Bible trumps all human wisdom. Base every decision on it to the maximum extent possible. 3. Look at human thought as a pyramid. At the broad base is satan, and at the top is God Very God. As we grow closer to Him, we'll think more like each other. Strive to live the life hid with Christ. I look forward to meeting you at the foot of His throne. Rob

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

Rob, You sound more like one of the Pharisee trying to trip up Jesus based on the law. Voting has nothing to do with being sinful or not sinful. I hear your tone at work from my Republican buddies. I want to know who gave the Republican Party the keys to The High Morale Grounds. Jesus came to free everyone from this kind of morale bashing. I'm insulted for the accusation that you are making. Election day like all other days I knew that Jesus was with me and knew the desires of my heart. Those desires had nothing to do with even thinking that one of my brothers is committing sin by voting his convictions. Republicans need to grow up and remember who is charge of this government. Regardless of who a person votes for the sun goes and the sun goes down. The Word will not fail. Let he without sin cast the first vote!

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

Pastor Paris,

I beg to disagree with you on Bush not having any say in the death penalty being enforced in his state. As governor, he could take the facts that show a majority of those exected are minorities and grant a moratorium on the death penalty until a study could be conducted on the death penalty and its enforcement in the state of Texas. I can understand your support for Governor Bush, being a Texan and all, but as an American I could not sit by and watch the entire United States of America become as messed up as Texas is. To quote a popular Texas bumper sticker "Don't mess with Texas". As the popular vote has shown, many of my fellow Americans agree. We would like to leave Texas just as it is, with George W. Bush as governor and Dick Cheney as one of its statesmen.

I see the Presidency of the United States as being an office with due respect. The person who holds this office is the leader of the free world. Sure the two candidates have their flaws, but doesn't everyone. As members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, I think that we would be the last to cast stones on the moral character of leaders. A person living in a glass house should not throw stones.

I am grateful to George W. Bush for one thing, he put the fear of God in African Americans and put us out there to vote. Now whether it was for Gore as the writer would like to have us to believe or whether it was for Bush, I'm just grateful that it was a vote cast by an African-American.

Rev. John, I would like to thank you for this medium. I have enjoyed it tremendously.


-- Anonymous, December 06, 2000

Michelle: The facts are that the majority executed are not minorites. We, blacks ask for Hate Crime legislation and at the same time fight the death penalty. That is inconsistent. Bush has been criticed for not supporting hate crime laws, yet two of the three white men convicted of the dragging death of a black man in Jasper Texas are on death row and the third is doing life without parole. In Fort Worth this week, a stepson, a 40+ years old black man confessed to killing his 64 year old mother because she would not give him money. He also confessed to stealing her car and hiding her body. She was a retired community leader and businesswoman whose joy was picking up her grandchildren to/from school and caring for her family. What would you suggest doing to/for him? What about the cases I cited? What is your response to them. I hate the death penalty and would never impose it for any crime; life without parole is fine. But until the law is changed, it will be imposed. As long as crimes such as that above occurs, Texans will support the death penalty. Someone very close to me was executed by the State of Texas. Yet, when I see the number of mutiple murders and the innocent victims, it makes me cry out in anger and frustration that we are forced to do something so horrible as taking a life in the name of justice.

-- Anonymous, December 10, 2000

Pastor Paris,

Again, I say that as Governor of the state of Texas Governor George W. Bush can declare a moratorium on the death penalty. It has been done in other states as I'm sure you're aware of. I believe that we should have hate crime legislation, but that has nothing to do with the request for the removal of the death penalty. I am a supporter of life imprisonment without parole. I don't believe that we can punish a crime with the same crime, if he kills then kill him. We as Christians must believe that with the free will that God has given us a man can change if he makes the choice to do so. In my opinion the state of Texas executes soooo many because it is cheaper on the taxpayers to kill them than to reform them. How can George W. Bush present himself as a God fearing person and support a system that allows us to kill our fellow man?

-- Anonymous, December 10, 2000

Unfortunately politics can be like a demon. It can be very deceiving with an ultimate purpose to destroy. We as the people of God must not look at politics in the same limited parameters as the world. As if it was our savior. A deception would chose an issue, just that it could deceive many and but ultimately bring death! Concerning issues like abortion, the church must have the mindsets that we can cause a change in our world. This change must transcend our government! Sure, we would rather have a leader that opposes this. Yet, we have to see the bigger picture. What difference is going to make if one says they are pro-life, but then they destroy people by oppressing them? The devil is liar! The enemy would say he loves you, but really he wants to destroy you. I think we must have discerning eyes when making our decisions in order to see what the ultimate end will be. Peace and Blessings

Aaron Johnson

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000

With all respect, Rev. Paris, the point you make in your Dec 10th post, makes the point of many who oppose the Death Penalty. Texas seems to be going for the Guiness Record for executions but there are still these horrific cases that you cite. Where, then, is the deterrant factor that the pro death penalty folks use in supporting it? I am not as familiar as you are with Texas but from afar I see no deterring of crime there or any place else because of the death penaty. I am reminded of the old story about when they were hanging pickpockets in old England, in an effort to deter pickpocketing and many pockets were picked in the crowd there to witness the hanging. I just don't see that it is effective.

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000

I agree with you 100%. Now what should we do? Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ