In an Open Letter to North Carolinians, Dr. William Barber, President of the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP, made statements and accusations concerning the Marriage Amendment that are inaccurate and I would like to clear up a few things. On September 12th there was a pro-marriage amendment rally themed, “Let the People Vote” and in attendance were Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Republicans and Democrats. There was nothing right-wing or political about it. It was an appeal to our elected officials to allow the 6 million registered voters decide to amend the state constitution or not. Opponents tried everything under the sun to stop this vote from taking place, to no avail. They even contacted Dr. Barber to issue a response after a press conference held by several Pastors and myself. A press conference that he was not aware of until a representative from Equality NC gave him a call.
Opponents to the Marriage Amendment call it restrictive. Supporters call it protective. We support the protection of the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman as God intended. We want to protect traditional marriage from an activist judge that can and will overturn the current law similar to what happened in California and Iowa.
Opponents to this piece of legislation say the government should not get involved with moral issues. This is laughable because they already are. In 1996, Democrats and Republicans, including Governor Beverly Purdue and former Speaker of the House Joe Hackney, voted to make marriage between a man and a woman the only lawful marriage to be recognized in North Carolina. In other words, they outlawed gay marriage. For a couple to marry, they have to pay the local government to obtain a marriage license. If a married couple decides to divorce, guidelines established by the government have to be followed in regards to alimony and divorce, a bill which Speaker Hackney sponsored. During the 2003-2004 legislative session, 10 Democrats were either primary sponsors or co-sponsors of this amendment. Oddly enough, Dr. Barber continues to point the finger at Republicans.
In his letter, Dr. Barber stated, “his civil rights and Christian lives are one and the same,” but it is clear they are not. The title “Reverend” goes before the “Dr.” in his name which means he has a mandate from God to promote and to defend the Gospel above personal opinion and without partiality. Publicly he has not supported anti-abortion or traditional marriage efforts because of politics. What about the Civil Rights of a baby in the womb? Without life, one cannot have liberty nor pursue happiness, as guaranteed by the Constitution. Black women have been targets of Planned Parenthood since its inception, but still no word from the NAACP. This causes me to believe that his public silence is due to political expediency. The NAACP will not take a public position on the issue because it will jeopardize financial support from the extreme left. The NAACP does not want a repeat of 2004 when the organization stated on the national website they were “Pro-Choice” and faced a backlash from the Black Community. Also, a Catholic College was going to remove a NAACP chapter from their campus because the pro-choice position was contrary to their belief. The students of the college chapter voted and decided they would not support the pro-choice position.
I do agree with Dr. Barber that funding for education is of the utmost importance. According to the North Carolina Public Schools Fast Facts Sheet, from the 1969-1970 school year through the 2010-2011 school year, money allocated to public schools from the General Fund decreased every year, with the exception of two. During this time span, the General Assembly was controlled by Democrats 38 out of the 42 years. With this data at hand, he continues to blame the Republican led legislature for the funding issues of public education.
Dr. Barber, it is clear that your current agenda is not Biblical or about Civil Rights, it is about Democrat verse Republican or Liberal verse Conservative. You attack Conservatives and Republicans at every turn but fail acknowledge that the NAACP was created in response to Democrat policies. The Civil Rights Movement would have been unnecessary if the Democrats had not fought so hard to keep slavery, championed segregation, instituted Jim Crow Laws, founded the KKK or sparked the Wilmington Riots of 1898. It took the formation of the Republican Party, as the anti-slavery party, to pass the 13th, 14th, 15th and 19th amendments that you speak of. Republicans also passed 5 civil rights acts prior to 1964, with significant Democrat opposition, and wrote the Brown V. Board of Education decision, but you seem to only acknowledge what you perceive to be wrongdoings by Republicans.
Civil rights and Christianity transcend political parties and ideologies. Playing both sides of the fence causes deep divisions when scripture tells us
that a house divided cannot stand. Politics has divided our state and our communities, causing our Country to fall socially, morally and economically. This passage of scripture is proven right time after time because our “Christian leaders” choose to follow their own conscience, instead of Christ’s.
North Carolina Frederick Douglass Foundation