Less than two months ahead of the election, Obama is losing support from a surprising group: black pastors. As the Washington Post reports, a number of black pastors see the election as a choice between Obama’s support of same-sex marriage and Romney’s Mormonism, and are advising their congregants to skip the vote entirely.
“When President Obama made the public statement on gay marriage, I think it put a question in our minds as to what direction he’s taking the nation,” said the Rev. A.R. Bernard, founder of the predominantly African-American Christian Cultural Center in New York. Bernard, whose endorsement is much sought-after in New York and beyond, voted for Obama in 2008. He said he’s unsure how he’ll vote this year. . .African-Americans generally still view the church as racist. When LDS leaders lifted the ban on blacks in the priesthood in 1978, church authorities never said why. The Mormon community has grown more diverse, and the church has repeatedly condemned racism. However, while most Christian denominations have publicly repented for past discrimination, Latter-day Saints never formally apologized.
For years, churches have been one of the the strongest and most important institutions in the lives of black Americans. But now that the nation has its first black president, many of these same churches are asking whether Obama has left them behind. Given that Obama hasn’t done much for blacks in his four years in office, it’s a fair question.