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Minister: Gays “have more rights than I do”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

* From an AP story about black church opposition to gay marriage

Bishop Lance Davis, who leads the roughly 500-member New Zion Christian Fellowship Church of Dolton, said blacks have fought for equality for the right to live as human beings, something he’s not convinced has been fully actualized.

“You can’t compare the two,” he said, citing the well-organized gay marriage advocacy in Illinois.

“I feel that those gays and lesbians have more power than I do. Have more rights than I do. More freedoms than I do.”

Bishop Davis is the chairman of the African-American Clergy Coalition’s political action committee, which is funding the anti side of the fight.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chevy owner/Ford County - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 8:39 am:

    Never trust a man who endows himself with titles pulled out of thin air. “Bishop”? Really?

  2. - The Muse - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 8:40 am:

    What do you mean THOSE gays and lesbians??

  3. - Elo Kiddies - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 8:41 am:

    Well, funding for the anti side is all from the National Organization for Marriage. This clergy is the local face of that.

  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 8:42 am:

    ===What do you mean THOSE ===

    Yeah. You’d think he’d know better than say that. Unless it was deliberate.

  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 8:45 am:

    Here’s the AACC mission statement:

    –Providing an ecumenical setting, within which an atmosphere of Christian Fellowship, sharing, and nurturing are recognized and affirmed as an integral part of AACC’s ministry.

    Providing a community forum where issues affecting the lives of African-American and other oppressed people are shared, resources are identified, and resolutions are sought to address specific needs. The primary needs AACC seeks to address are homelessness, hunger, housing, economic development (through Mission Uplift) and Health.

    Educate our constituencies relative to the political process on a non-partisan basis.

    Speaking as a prophetic voice to the issues and concerns of the Black Community.–

    A big part of the mission seems to be missing from the statement.

    With the history of discrimination against Catholics and blacks in this country, it gives one pause to see church leaders taking time away from saving souls, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked to engage in the political process to maintain discrimination against others.


  6. - unspun - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 8:51 am:

    So do “those” black gays and lesbians also have more power and freedom than he does? Zero credibility in his statement.

  7. - Wensicia - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 8:53 am:

    I’m disappointed when certain black leaders dismiss gay issues as part of the civil rights struggle, as if they hold the monopoly on the term. It’s telling when they mention this struggle isn’t equal to what they went through in the past.

  8. - kimocat - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 8:54 am:

    Seems like the good bishop should have that piece of lumber in his eye checked out.

  9. - the Patriot - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:01 am:

    I do not agree with his approach. I would phrase it differently, but doesn’t it really go to the heart of the gay rights issue. The fact is, I can discriminate against African Americans because I identify by looking at them. You can’t tell someone is gay unless they tell you. I understand they want the right to contract into a legally binding relationship and want to call it marriage. But when it comes to any push for recognized status as a minority group they are grasping at straws. I don’t discuss my sexuality with my boss or co-workers. The only way homosexuals can be discriminated against in the workplace is if they feel compelled to broadcast their sexuality to the world. Even if you believe they are born gay, making it an issue in public or in the workplace is generally a choice.

  10. - phocion - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:02 am:


    How many government contract set-asides are there for gays? Answer: None. But there sure are plenty for African Americans.

    Which constitutional amendments specifically protect gay rights? Answer: None. For African Americans the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments provide protection.

    Lending, employment, voting, health care, education, housing…all have laws not only to protect against discrimination against African Americans, but to enhance their opportunities and access. Gays don’t even get protections against discrimination.

    If the “Bishop” doesn’t watch it he will see a pretty serious blow-back on the cause of not just “rights” but also for special privileges afforded to African Americans.

  11. - In 630 - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:04 am:

    If I understand the Bishop correctly he’s basically saying…

    Because racism exists, equal rights need to be denied to others.

  12. - Conservative Republican - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:05 am:

    Hate to crash this liberal party here, but Bishop Davis is right on the money. The civil rights movement commenced in the 1950s as a movement to correct injustices against African-Americans and bring to them equal status with the dominant culture. The movement has morphed into a liberal wing of the Democratic Party which exploits the cause de jour, be it women, the diaabled, gays, Hispanics, etc. Its only objective is the augment the ranks of left-leaning voters. The cause of achieving equality for African-Americans has been left in its wake. And they are blackmailed into staying on board with the altered agenda on the ground that to take a different stand is a betrayal of African-American rights and progress. So kudos to Bishop Davis for stating the obvious.

  13. - Son of a Preacher Man - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:05 am:

    Equality is not a zero sum game, Bishop.

    Quite the contrary.

    Until all men are free, all of us are in chains. For if I shackle my brother or sister, I am shackled to them.

    As Christ liberated Peter, I pray he will release the good bishop from his chains of sin, of covetousness.

  14. - Conservative Republican - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:06 am:

    “only objective is to augment…”

  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:08 am:

    Who’s funding the AACC’s PAC?

  16. - dave - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:23 am:

    Here is the list of the rights that “those gays and lesbians” have that Bishop does not have:

  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:24 am:

    ===The movement has morphed into a liberal wing of the Democratic Party which exploits the cause de jour, be it women, the diaabled, gays, Hispanics, etc. Its only objective is to augment the ranks of left-leaning voters.===

    Yeah. Women’s rights was all about building the Democratic Party and nothing more.

    C’mon, man.

  18. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:27 am:

    …something about “separation of church and state”…
    I am not black, gay, or religious, but, as long as they leave me alone, I am not against any of these groups. I just don’t understand the hatred that seems to exist towards them from other people…

  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:30 am:

    CR, that’s an interesting alternative history. Is that like “What if the South won the Civil War” stories?

    The Civil Rights movement started in the 1950s? They were arguing slavery at Philly in 1776. It’s been part of the fabric of the country since the get-go.

    For women’s rights, the Seneca Falls convention was in 1848.

  20. - Levois - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:36 am:

    I would imagine making such a statement is designed to really get people going more than making any sense.

  21. - Esquire - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:37 am:

    The Minnesota state legislature (both chambers having Democratic majorities) passed a SSM law yesterday that will be signed into law shortly by the state’s Democratic governor. What struck me about the news report out of the Land of Lakes State was how numerous gay couples interviewed treated the whole thing as a joke. For a civil rights issue, those quoted acted as if the legislature was conducting a popularity contest to determine the King and Queen and the court members for the high school homecoming parade.

    One lesbian described the legislative achievement as “weird” and another gay man said “Any excuse for a party!”

    Somehow, I do not think emancipated blacks were so flippant about the abolition of slavery. Ending involuntary servitude and endorsing SSM are not equivalents.

  22. - ChicagoR - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:40 am:

    “I don’t discuss my sexuality with my boss or co-workers.” Really? You’ve never mentioned a spouse or someone you’re dating to your co-workers? They don’t know if you have kids or not? I find that remarkable, as every single person I’ve ever worked with has mentioned their spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or date at one point or another. As a gay person, I don’t mention my “sexuality” any more than any of them do. And if I behave just as they do, I shouldn’t lose my job for it.

  23. - Just Me - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:44 am:

    This post makes me sick. Not only the bishop’s comments but those defending them.

    Yeah, the gays have all sorts of power. They are so powerful they can get the same rights as straight people so easily.

  24. - Bluefish - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:44 am:

    So is the good Bishop saying he’d rather be gay than black in order to gain access to all those additional powers, rights and freedoms he’s currently missing out on?

  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:49 am:

    ===those quoted ===

    Yes, because that’s probably a universal reaction.


    Grasping at straws much?

  26. - Chris - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    “Yeah. Women’s rights was all about building the Democratic Party and nothing more.

    C’mon, man.”

    Yeah, Rich, it was *actually* only about ’stealing’ votes from Republicans. Open your eyes, man!

  27. - anon - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    why does the church so often land on the wrong side of history? The church should be preaching love and tolerance, yet, so often the church promotes intolerance and bigotry. So sad.

  28. - Chris - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 10:05 am:

    “Ending involuntary servitude and endorsing SSM are not equivalents. ”

    Uh, seriously? You seriously going with an argument that *anyone* could poke a hole in?

    The *proper* comparison is (since you apparently need it spelled out) the US Supreme Court ruling in Loving v Virginia, regarding interracial marriage/anti-miscegenation laws.

    Unless/until the US Supreme Court rules in a gay marriage case (Holllingsworth or any other) that the US Constitution prohibits states from recognizing hetero marriage and NOT recognizing gay marriage, then the good ‘Bishop’ is *demonstrably* incorrect as to the state of the Law. And thus is just a sniveling whiner, complaining about how others are getting something he doens’t want him to have.

  29. - Snucka - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    Did he say this in his tax-exempt church building, where he is allowed to marry whoever he wants to marry?

  30. - olddog - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    @ Chevvy owner-Ford County - Never trust a man who endows himself with titles pulled out of thin air. “Bishop”? Really? -

    Yes. Really.

    The title isn’t uncommon in the African American church, and it isn’t limited to denominations with an episcopal church organization anymore. According to Lewis Brogdon, Director of the Black Church Studies program at Louisville Seminary (Presbyterian), it is associated with the growth of Pentecostal congregations.

    “Beginning in the late 70s, Pentecostalism made significant inroads into mainline black denominations such as the AME church and National Baptist Convention. These traditions were historically antagonistic to some extent of Pentecostalism but over time became more accepting of certain aspects. Pastors and congregations that responded to and adapted aspects of Pentecostalism without leaving their respective denominations were known as Neo-Pentecostals or Charismatics. This is a very important development because the seeds of Pentecostalism will continue to grow and transform the traditional polity, theology and liturgy of black denominational churches. The seeds of the episcopacy were planted when these churches blended aspects of Pentecostalism into their churches,” Brougham says.

    I’m not African American, and I’m not a pastor. So I can’t do justice to the issues of theology and church polity involved. But I can link you to Brogdon’s four-part series on the Black Church Studies Blog at Louisville Seminary.

    I think Bishop Davis of the New Zion Christian Fellowship Church of Dolton is dead flat wrong on the issue of gay marriage. But I think maybe the rest of us ought to agree he can call himself whatever he believes is theologically appropriate.

  31. - soccermom - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 10:37 am:

    “The only way homosexuals can be discriminated against in the workplace is if they feel compelled to broadcast their sexuality to the world.”

    This made me realize that I have been broadcasting my sexuality to the world in the workplace in a very blatant and unprofessional way. You walk into my office, you see photos of me with my husband and my children. I even bring my husband with me to work-related social events - I mean, how much more in-your-face can you get? For years, I drove a minivan - the choice of heterosexual families across the nation. And then there are all the dog whistles, like my wedding ring and my house in the suburbs…

    What is wrong with me that I insist on bringing my sexual choices with me wherever I go?

  32. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    ==The only way homosexuals can be discriminated against in the workplace is if they feel compelled to broadcast their sexuality to the world.==

    That is completely irrelevant to the discussion on SSM.

  33. - Chris - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    “I think maybe the rest of us ought to agree he can call himself whatever he believes is theologically appropriate”


    And I can also found a ‘church’ and call myself Pope Chris, Archbishop of Chicago, because I believe that I am the rock of my church and speak with divine knowledge.

    And you all can mock me for my self-importance, too. But that won’t affect the fact that I can continue to call myself Pope.

  34. - Shore - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    The chicago media has devoted more energy to the number of videoboards at wrigley than this debate within the african american community which I think is unfortunate and one of the better and most important stories in the city, state and country right now. You’ve covered this debate within the african american community a lot better than they have to your credit, in part because I think they’re afraid to. They’ll show up to cover every alderman unveiling a new honorary street sign for some dead baseball player who played 3 games, or bob dold staffing up for a congressional race a year away in a district 30 miles outside the city, but when it comes to covering something in the black community other than crime and school closings they won’t cover it. I’m not black or a minority but this debate is one of the reasons they need more minority columnists/writers/producers/anchors from different backgrounds and different parts of the city/area. Fewer ponce brothers and stefan holts and next generation jiggets’s and more people that could cover this the way you have, please.

  35. - TooManyJens - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    Count me in as another sexuality-broadcaster. My husband and child have even visited me in the office! And my boss — why, he’s invited all of us employees to dinner at his home, where we met *his* wife and kids! How shockingly inappropriate all this flaunting of sexuality is.

  36. - 10th Indy - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 10:54 am:

    olddog and soccermom,

    With all due respect to Mr. Miller, comments like yours are the reason I read this blog.


  37. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    I see many other people got to this before I did, but if you wear a wedding ring, dude, you’re flaunting it.

  38. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    ===The only way homosexuals can be discriminated against in the workplace is if they feel compelled to broadcast their sexuality to the world.===

    So, you’re OK with breaking state discrimination laws?

    The employment and public accommodation debate was years ago. This debate is about marriage. Get with the times.

    And let’s stop feeding that troll, please.

  39. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    I have a feeling we could scientifically poke holes in much of what the Bishop says. We wouldn’t be right to do so, just as he is not right in making such ridiculous statements.

  40. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    What is disappointing in this discussion is the tenor and tone that seems to be needed to make points… and the points show a blatent lack of respect, to the point of looking at your fellow human as less.

    ===…those …===

    You use that word, in that context, you are not giving repect to those making an arguement against you, you are making it quite clear the distain you have for “those”, and making it more about the people, then the arguement, and that in itself is quite lazy.

    The biggest mistake that Bishop Davis is going to make is that the Bishop is going to be seen as intolerant to the human element, let alone the cause he is trying to defeat.

    If you feel you can win on the merits of the arguement, do so, and make your case.

    You can NOT seem intolerant AND look disrespectful to your fellow man, and try to win an arguement based on “merits”, especially if the discussion is one about respect and equality.

    These are the types of quotes/situations/moments that supporters of SSM can point to and make THEIR case that SSM IS about tolerance, and the case about respect.

  41. - Shoeless - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 12:17 pm:

    This guy is not even wrong.

  42. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 12:36 pm:

    === The only way homosexuals can be discriminated against in the workplace is if they feel compelled to broadcast their sexuality to the world. Even if you believe they are born gay, making it an issue in public or in the workplace is generally a choice.

    That’s the same as with religion then which is also protected under law to not be discriminated against.

    Illinois Humnan Rights Act

    ====(A) Freedom from Unlawful Discrimination. To secure for all individuals within Illinois the freedom from discrimination against any individual because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, or unfavorable discharge from military service in connection with employment, real estate transactions, access to financial credit, and the availability of public accommodations.

  43. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    Folks like Bishop Davis are only hurting their cause. By being so over-the-top, they set themselves up for easy refutation and, ultimately, defeat. If anything, they are speeding up the process of getting SSM approved this Spring by pushing legislators who are on the fence too hard.

  44. - Chevy owner/Ford County - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 1:07 pm:

    olddog, I don’t care what denomination or non-denomination this self-proclaimed Bishop does his ministering. If someone deemed themselves a “Doctor”, slapped up a sign in front of an office and started practicing they’d be considered a “quack” and anyone seeking medical treatment would rightly be called an idiot. The fact that the Good Bishop Davis has called himself a Bishop, slapped up a cross on a building and opened up shop makes him the spiritual equivalent of a “quack”…and anyone seeking spiritual guidance from him is rightly labeled the same as the poor fools who seek medical treatment from a Quack Doctor…

  45. - Ghost - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    == Bishop Lance Davis, who leads the roughly 500-member New Zion Christian Fellowship Church of Dolton, said blacks have fought for equality for the right to live as human beings, something he’s not convinced has been fully actualized.===

    Martin Luther King Jr exerpts: “…But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred….

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal….

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character….”

    So the Bishop wants to give in to hatred of gays; seeks to treat gay men and women differently as if they have been created differently; and seeks to judge gays not by their charcater, but based upon who they choose to marry. Pretty much he stands in complete opposition of Martin Luther Kings Civil Rights platform, but demands civil rights just for those he selects. Which by definition is discrimination.

    I also assume that sense the Biblical law supports slavery the Bishop is ok with civil laws which also support slavery, sinve as a religious icon he wants us to follow the teachings of the bible, all of them, not just a few he selects to support a biggoted agenda.

  46. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 1:35 pm:

    There is no bigger of group special deal, tax breaks, loopholes, shortlines, exemptions ,etc,etc than the “religious” community…

  47. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 1:44 pm:

    It would be nice if the “bishop” elaborated a little bit, maybe gave an example or two? I know facts are hard to come by with his argument, but he could have at least tried.

  48. - Amalia - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    @Conservative Republican, I am a woman, not a cause de jour.

  49. - Waldi - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 2:56 pm:

    =====I can discriminate against African Americans because I identify by looking at them. You can’t tell someone is gay unless they tell you.=====

    A married African American heterosexual couple can collect Social Security survivor benefits. If their spouse worked for the Federal Government they are also eligible for Federal survivor and pension benefits. They can be enrolled in their spouse’s health insurance. No such benefits are possible under current Federal law. Discrimination against same-sex married (or civil-unioned) couples goes a lot deeper than most non-effected people realize.

  50. - Emily Booth - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    The African American community were segregated. Members of the African American community were lynched. Members of the African American community were denied employment, denied the right to vote, denied medical and other services and treated subserviently and at times inhumanely for centuries. I can understand how someone who is African American would not want to be compared in terms of civil rights to someone who is Caucasian. The struggles are very different.

  51. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 8:01 pm:

    Even though he most certainly should espouse that his highly-numbered Christian Denomination is opposed to ssm, goodness, those comments are a prime example of how when giving a public statement on such a highly-charged issue, sometimes it’s obviously wiser and better for religious leaders (or anyone for that matter) to just say nothing, (and quit yappin’ while you’re ahead, as they say), ‘cuz, as seen here, too much love for the sound of one’s own voice can really lead to folks saying some really downright bizarre things sometimes…!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Letter: Sen. Durbin is right on refugee is......

* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* No Positive Loitering Tonight
* Fairness.
* It brings out the rats.
* If we are to get Goldman Sachs out of ESEA, we will have to be the ones to do it.
* Black Friday on North Michigan Avenue.
* Does America need a "council of elders"?
* Snow Money
* There's Snow Business
* Random Thoughts.
* ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,’ several weeks ago!!!

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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