Calls and emails to numerous New York clergy went unanswered over the weekend as Urban Faith sought reaction to the passage of a bill that makes same-sex marriage legal in the state. Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law after it was passed by the Republican-led state senate Friday.
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) told the Wall Street Journal the move was a “disaster for the Republican party,” and said NOM will spend $2 million to defeat legislators who voted for it.
Former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree was widely criticized last week for speaking out in opposition to the bill in a video for NOM. Tyree said it is “doing God an injustice by not making his heart known” on the issue, and was especially taken to task for suggesting that if a gay marriage bill passes in New York, it will be “the beginning of our country sliding toward … anarchy.
In some truly disheartening relationship news, a new Pew Research Center study indicates that while only 9 percent of Americans said more interracial relationships are bad for society, 16 percent of white evangelicals did and 13 percent of white mainline Protestants, Christianity Today reported.
“The views of white Christians stand in stark contrast to two other groups: black Protestants and those with no religion. Only 3 percent of either group said interracial marriage was bad for society. Eight-in-ten respondents said the trend ‘doesn’t make much difference.’ Those who are not religious were more optimistic, with 38 percent saying it was good for society,” the article said.
Meanwhile, Terry Shropshire began a Rollingout.com review of Ralph Richard Banks’ new book Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone with this stinging rebuke:
“Malcolm X once warned African Americans that no one can exploit and hate on black people with the dexterity, efficiency and ruthlessness as other blacks. Case in point: a black Stanford law professor is gainfully profiteering off the collective marriage misery of middle-class African American women with a blog-level, contemptible book.”
The book advises black women to find love by marrying white men.
“While some intelligent points were sprinkled into the book at irregular intervals, overall, it answers none of the questions and relies on haphazard, shabby research and unsubstantiated theories wrapped in hollow, sophisticated rhetoric to make you give it a good look,” Shropshire concluded.
In other news, black leaders met last week in Washington to call for an end to the 40 year war on drugs, the.
“This is a crime against humanity. [The] War on drugs is a war on Black and Brown and must be challenged by the highest levels of our government in the war for justice,” keynote speaker Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. told more than 200 people gathered at the Institute of the Black World event, the statistic and solution filled article said.
Among the statistics cited were these: “African-Americans are 62 percent of drug offenders sent to state prisons, yet they represent only 12 percent of the U. S. population” and “black men are sent to state prisons on drug charges at 13 times the rate of white men.”
Among the solutions offered are these: “Ask Congress to create new and fully-funded drug treatment facilities rather than more prisons,” and “Encourage and support religious leaders to assist incarcerated persons and providing community and moral leadership.”
In related news, dark-skinned black women receive considerably harsher sentences than light-skinned black women in the North Carolina prison system, a new study conducted by researchers at Villanova University found.
“Black women who were perceived to have a light skin tone were sentenced to considerably more lenient sentences, roughly 12 percent less time in prison than those with a dark skin tone,” The Grio reported.
“The current study adds to a growing body of colorism research that underscores the complexity of racism in our society,” one of its authors told the outlet.
One can only hope that shifting demographic realities will erase this prejudice.
A preview of the final 2010 census report indicates that minorities make up a majority of babies in the U.S. for the first time, but it also reveals that more African-American households are now headed by women — mostly single mothers — than by married couples, the.
“Demographers say the numbers provide the clearest confirmation yet of a changing social order, one in which racial and ethnic minorities will become the U.S. majority by midcentury,” the article said.
Perhaps when that happens undocumented immigrants like Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas will have an easier path to citizenship. In a first-person essay in the New York Times, Vargas told his story of being sent from the Philippines to live with his grandparents in the United States when he was 12 years old. He described how his grandfather, educators, and employers at The Washington Post and The Huffington Post helped him keep his secret. Media critic Jack Shafer questioned the ethics of Vargas’ actions first on Twitter, then in his column at Slate.
All these stories involve complex spiritual and moral challenges that the church must continue to wrestle with. What is the appropriate Christian response to the legalization of gay marriage, to the 40-year “war on drugs,” to colorism, to African American marriage prospects and disheartening statistics, and to the plight of undocumented immigrants?