African-American Christians should place greater importance on a candidate's character than his skin color, maintains a conservative black magazine.
"Are We More Black than Christian?" was the controversial question posed in the latest edition of Freedom's Journal Magazine.
Polls indicate, the magazine pointed out, that up to 96 percent of African Americans plan to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in November. But a growing number of conservative black leaders, the journal highlighted, are challenging that high figure by asking fellow believers to re-examine their priorities.
"Dr. Martin Luther King's dream that future generations be judged by the content of their character would be set back decades if Obama wins based on racial loyalty alone," contends Dr. Eric Wallace, founder of Wallace Multimedia Group, LLC and Freedom's Journal Magazine, in a statement Wednesday.
Wallace criticized Obama for what he views as a "skewed approach" to "traditional Judea-Christian values" and for his lack of experience.
"Christians who are tempted to support Barack because of a feeling that we aren't doing enough to fight poverty, racism or sexism, etc. need to realize that the government cannot (and should not) do the work of the Church," Wallace writes in his editorial "Unto the Least of These." "As a matter of fact, government will, in almost every case, limit what can be done."
Similarly, evangelical leader Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr., who leads a socially conservative black pastors group called High Impact Leadership Coalition, has urged his black congregation in Maryland as well as other black Christians to vote on their values rather than their race.
Jackson is a registered Democrat but has joined several Focus on the Family Action broadcasts to criticize Obama for his support of abortion and same-sex "marriage."
Also, last year a born-again black author released a book that reprimanded her fellow African-American believers for holding a worldview that is shaped by their race more than their faith.
In the book, Finding Soul Brothers: Dismantling Black Christian Racialism, Pamela G. Wilson argues that black Christians are still "stuck" in the civil rights mindset and are willing to "turn their back" on biblical issues of abortion in exchange for a civil rights agenda.
Polls have shown that more than half of the African-American population say they oppose both same-sex "marriage" and legal recognition of same-sex civil unions. But less than 10 percent say that abortion, moral and family values issues are their top concerns for the upcoming presidential election.
Instead, the highly religious African-American population listed the war in Iraq, health care and the economy and jobs as their top concerns.
Freedom's Journal Magazine premiered in January 2008 as a political voice for conservative black leaders. The September/October edition features an op-ed by nationally syndicated columnist Star Parker on the topic of racial and gender politics.