I’m no fan of “intelligent design” theory–personally, I think Darwinian evolution is exactly the kind of marvellously independent process that would have started up right about the time of that “let there be light” thing. But this article has cheered me mightily. Whatever their take on evoultion, if the Black Church is with us, who can be against us?
The Rev. James A. Forbes spoke with a joyous righteousness as he preached to a hall of black faces Sunday at a cathedral at the edge of Harlem, and the words he chose might have come straight from the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.
Discrimination, he said, has no place in this world, and he urged his audience to liberate themselves from the notion put forward by some that they are less favored by God.
“Your job is to get up every day and be grateful to God for your DNA,” Forbes said. “It took an artist divine to make this design!”
What made his words stand out was that they were spoken to a roomful of gay and lesbian faithful, and the would-be oppressors he referred to during the spirited religious service weren’t white segregationists, but the pastors of some black churches.
Forbes, the senior minister at the Riverside Church, was among a number of religious leaders and politicians who attended a Sunday revival meeting aimed at countering what organizers said was a surge in anti-gay rhetoric coming from pulpits in conservative parishes.
I have always felt that being gay, whether it happened randomly or by design, is a calling–a gift that I now realize has always allowed me to empathize with outsiders even though I was born into what looks to almost all the world like ridiculous privilege. That’s why nothing the religious Right has to say means much to me–I remember being young and reading that Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors [notice the lack of “former” there], and realizing that there must not be much in human experience that can separate us from divinity.
Anyway, a great article. Thanks for a little light amidst the dark, Americablog!