The Black Church and the Democratic Party: Unholy Alliance or Doublethink?
Something interesting happened to me the other day. The doorbell rang, and I thought it was a delivery I was expecting, but who was there but two elegant black ladies standing at my front door? I knew right away why they were there, as I could see they were both holding Bibles. And I occasionally see black Americans walking up and down my street going door to door. I live in a Cleveland neighborhood that's about evenly split between whites and blacks (I being part of the 50% who are white).
At first, it sounded a little like a self-help pitch about how to deal with living in an overworked and over-stressed world. But then one of the two women read a short passage from one of the letters to the Corinthians, although I don't recall which one, putting into biblical terms what they had just explained to me. They didn't take much of my time and handed me a pamphlet to read, thanked me, and said they would like to return another time.
It got me to thinking about how religious blacks are in this country – maybe more so on a percentage basis than whites – and how they square their religiosity with their overwhelming loyalty to the Democratic Party. For example, at Obama's second nominating convention in Charlotte in September of 2012, they removed all references to God in their party platform and actually booed God at one point.
Then there was the California referendum in 2008, Proposition 8, that called for keeping the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. It passed with 52% voting in favor, which never would have happened without the black vote. Seventy percent of California blacks voted for it, a super-majority if there ever was one. Unfortunately, the referendum was overturned by the liberal U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and that court's decision was later upheld by the Supreme Court.
Black Americans are an ethnic group that has looked down on homosexuality probably more than any other group. My guess is that that hasn't changed much, despite all of the political gains the gay movement has made with the unquestioned support from the elitist Democratic Party.
So as the Democrats continue to chip away at marginalizing, if not criminalizing Christianity, why do blacks continue to support the party? Could it be a mass instance of holding two opposing views at the same time, being misguided and misled by a party that takes them for granted every election cycle, or an unholy alliance, where the party continues to promulgate the "divine" status of the welfare state over the status of black churches? Most likely, it's a combination of the two. It also helps that there is a huge loyalty factor, or possibly a massive case of Stockholm syndrome, that's been there for the 53 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed.
What confuses me is that after so much time one, would think that blacks, especially since the vast majority now reside in the middle and upper classes, not to mention the super-rich who exist in pro sports, entertainment, and business, would abandon the Democratic Party, seeing through the race-hustling and race-baiting that's kept it in power for so long. (What is the controversy of Confederate monuments but just another attempt to keep up their ongoing divide-and-conquer strategy of keeping pseudo-racism alive for political purposes?)
An analogy might be the Islamic world, where you have a tiny number of radicals working to establish a world caliphate through violent means. Where are the leaders in the Islamic world speaking out against it? For blacks, why aren't they speaking out against the clear attempt by the Democrats to marginalize if not replace the church with the state? Obamacare's attempt to force religious enterprises to accept its abortion mandates is just one example among many.
I was pleased to have greeted the two evangelical black women and extremely impressed by their motivation "to get out into the world" in order to spread the gospel. It's what the country needs more of in order to push back against the secular religion of liberalism that has taken over not just the state, but the culture as well.
But perhaps it's not so much an unholy alliance, cognitive dissonance, or just plain old misguidance, as I originally thought. Perhaps, rather, it's because, in the words of David F. Wells, author of God in the Wasteland, "God has become weightless in the modern world." In other words, when faith becomes only a personal matter, it will remain hidden and invisible while the spiritual vacuum in the public arena is filled by the "faith" of political power-seekers and doers.
Two bold black women are literally taking it to the streets, but they face serious headwinds in their evangelical quest to bring "weightiness" back to God.