(Photo: REUTERS/Larry Downing)
A group of black faith leaders are saying "absolutely no" to the redefinition of marriage. And their conviction has compelled them to launch a campaign aimed at mobilizing 25 percent of African-American voters who backed Obama to vote their biblical values.
For this election, the choice is clear as President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have endorsed same-sex marriage, Dr. Day Gardner, co-founder of the "God Said" campaign indicated to The Christian Post.
"This is not really a matter of whether you're Republican or Democrat. If you're a believer in Jesus Christ then you have to say all that matters no matter what you think or feel about anything, the most important thing is what God says and God said that marriage is between one man and one woman."
When asked how the God Said nonprofit was formed, Gardner replied, "I think that it was actually started for us by the current administration which wanted to change the definition of marriage from one man, one woman to other.
"We really had to stand up and speak loudly for God's Word."
President Obama announced in May in that he believes same-sex couples "should be able to get married," a reversal from his position during the 2008 campaign, when he said he supported civil unions for gay couples but believed marriage is only for a man and a woman.
Also, in September, the Democratic National Convention adopted language supporting same-sex marriage in its party platform, the first time a major party did so.
"The black community is among the most religious in America and we are offended that President Obama has announced his support of same-sex marriage, that the NAACP has blindly supported the secular views of the Democratic Party, and that their national platform plainly supports same-sex marriage," said Apostle Claver Kamau-Imani of RagingElephants.org, and co-founder of GodSaid.org, in a statement.
The God Said organization is now working to target voters in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Florida through advertising and to meet with thousands of pastors in order to remind voters about the biblical stance on marriage.
Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and black outreach director of the pro-life Priests for Life, also co-founded God Said. She commented, "We fully intend to shift 25 percent of the black vote from the 2008 election by charging every voter to examine each candidate and vote for the one that supports their core belief in natural marriage."
In 2008, Obama won 95 percent of the black vote.
Gardner told CP that this year there are many African Americans across the country who are saying "wait a minute, absolutely not, redefining marriage is wrong."
"We (African Americans) are culturally a religious body of people. I think that for the most part, we understand what it says as far as where God stands on these very important issues. We felt it was necessary to speak out what God said," she remarked.
Gardner, who also serves as president of the National Black Pro-Life Union, believes marriage is one of the biggest issues in this year's election.
"This is a defining time for us," she stressed. "To say either we stand on the principles of God or we don't. That's the bottom line. If you're a believer then you believe everything. You can't just choose to believe what you want to believe."
God Said has enlisted the support of some two dozen black faith leaders. Along with King, God Said is being backed by Pastor Stephen Broden of Dallas, Texas; the Rev. Walter Hoye, II; Dr. Johnny Hunter; the Rev. Ceasar I. LeFlore III; and the Rev. Dr. La Verne Tolbert, among others.
Other black Christian leaders have also been speaking out against Obama's marriage stance. The Coalition of African-American Pastors has been placing pressure on Obama ever since his announcement supporting same-sex marriage.
While the Rev. William Owens, president of CAAP, is listed on the advisory board of God Said, he clarified to CP that his organization is not affiliated with the campaign.
"CAAP is a group of pastors and faith leaders dismayed at the President's support for same-sex marriage. It is an offense to the African-American community especially when he equates gay rights to civil rights. Our organization is not affiliated with the God Said campaign. Our effort has been to educate and encourage black voters to abide by their conscience and their faith. We have never advocated for or against any candidate, nor for black Christians to stay home on election day. African Americans have sacrificed and fought too hard for the right to vote."