I don't care what you think. Al Sharpton rules.

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    Jan 13, 2009 11:10 PM GMT
    Sharpton: Church uses money and power to persecute gays but ignores poverty

    by Nick Cargo




    On Sunday, Rev. Al Sharpton slammed major faiths for using their resources and power to pass California's Proposition 8 while showing indifference to issues affecting Americans such as poverty, social inequality and economic sabotage. The Church, he said, was silent until California affirmed marriage rights for its same-sex couples.

    Sharpton was the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Ecumenical Service held at Atlanta's Tabernacle Baptist Church to welcome the Atlanta-based Alliance of Affirming Faith-Based Organizations, whose mission is to unite gay-friendly churches.

    "The only way we are going to combat all of these other conservative organizations is with another religious voice," said co-founder Pastor Dennis Meredith.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in particular, raised about half of a total $35.8 million in support of the voter-driven California initiative Proposition 8, currently being legally challenged after its passage last November. Church members were also encouraged to donate their time and labor. Proposition 8, should it survive, would write the language of the state's statutory gay marriage ban, ruled unconstitutional in May 2008 by the California Supreme Court, directly into the state's constitution.

    "There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people's bedrooms and claim that God sent you," Sharpton told a full house on Sunday.

    "It amazes me," he said, "when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being [relegated] into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners."

    "I am tired," he went on, "of seeing ministers who will preach homophobia by day, and then after they're preaching, when the lights are off they go cruising for trade...We know you're not preaching the Bible, because if you were preaching the Bible we would have heard from you. We would have heard from you when people were starving in California--when they deregulated the economy and crashed Wall Street you had nothing to say. When [accused Ponzi scammer] Madoff made off with the money, you had nothing to say. When Bush took us to war chasing weapons of mass destruction that weren't there you had nothing to say.

    "But all of a sudden, when Proposition 8 came out, you had so much to say, but since you stepped in the rain, we're going to step in the rain with you."

    As a presidential candidate in the 2004 election, Sharpton made his stance on marriage equality clear while opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment and defending the LGBT community against what he saw as "gay-baiting" for votes by the Bush campaign. "This is an issue of human rights," he said. "And I think it is dangerous to give states the right to deal with human rights questions. That's how we ended up with slavery and segregation going forward a long time...Whatever my personal feelings may be about gay and lesbian marriages, unless you are prepared to say gays and lesbians are not human beings, they should have the same constitutional right of any other human being."

    Another memorable Atlanta visit for Sharpton was as keynote speaker for the National Black Justice Coalition's first annual Black Church Summit in January 2006. There, he criticized black denominations that preached against their gay and lesbian members rather than embracing them.

    "It's not a question of bringing the issue of the gay and lesbian community to the church. It's about having an open discussion because they're already there," he said. "All of us know that this is nothing new. The only thing new is to have an open discussion on how we deal with it."

    "Adultery broke up more marriages than gays did," he added, revealing that a member of his family was gay and dismissing the notion that gays were a "threat" to marriage.

    The Reverend also warned against playing politics with civil rights. "[Social conservatives] will start with the gays but they will end with everybody else," he said. "If you give the Pat Robertsons of the world the theological right to condemn some, then you give them the right to condemn others."

    http://pageoneq.com/news/2009/sharpton0113.html

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    Jan 13, 2009 11:12 PM GMT
    at least he's doing something semi-productive now.
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    Jan 13, 2009 11:23 PM GMT
    Funkapottomous saidat least he's doing something semi-productive now.


    He's actually always spoken out for gay rights. Possibly before you were even born. Same for Jackson.

    Just saying.
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    Jan 14, 2009 12:30 AM GMT
    CitizenSol said
    Funkapottomous saidat least he's doing something semi-productive now.


    He's actually always spoken out for gay rights. Possibly before you were even born. Same for Jackson.

    Just saying.
    yeah; but he's kind of a fucktard sometimes (at least in my eyes).
  • Freddo

    Posts: 246

    Jan 14, 2009 12:30 AM GMT
    CitizenSol said
    Funkapottomous saidat least he's doing something semi-productive now.


    He's actually always spoken out for gay rights. Possibly before you were even born. Same for Jackson.

    Just saying.


    Really?!

    Hmm... maybe I should reevaluate my views on him.
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    Jan 14, 2009 12:37 AM GMT
    Yeah, I like him a lot too. He's said some crazy shit over the years, but his heart is in the right place. Plus he is entertaining to watch and a great speaker. Have you seen him spar with Sean Hannity? It's television gold
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    Jan 14, 2009 12:40 AM GMT
    I have to admit, Sharpton was not one of the folks I would have expected to voice this opinion. He's always come off as a bit of an ass to me, but this was a pleasant surprise.
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    Jan 14, 2009 1:23 AM GMT
    Two people that shouldn't EVER criticize where other churches are spending their money are Al Sharpon and Jesse Jackson. They're two of the biggest criminal money whores in the religious game.

    This just goes to show that the old saying still rings true: even a broken clock is right twice a day.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jan 14, 2009 1:30 AM GMT
    Each year that passes, I start liking Al Sharpton more and more.

    He's smart, funny, and he packs one hell of a punch.

    He's also capable of showing that he's not a partisan prick like Jackson:

    Huffington Post: Sharpton Defends Warren Choice as 'Gracious'
  • mv03

    Posts: 201

    Jan 14, 2009 1:30 AM GMT
    Glad he's on our side. The two men get no respect from me because they only come out of the woodwork when something that will benefit them comes out of the headlines. They also only seem to talk about lack of justice for blacks. How about times when things are opposite. I don't hear them calling out for the 'common good', but instead for the good for those that are most like them. Maybe they're changing, but I don't know. Simply my opinions and yes my opinions are usually not that of many, and not always right. Save your hate posts and message.icon_eek.gif
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jan 14, 2009 1:36 AM GMT
    I wish other, more credible religious leaders were as vocal. And though I disagree with Sharpton on a lot of things, it is good to see a leader of the African-American community vocally making a stand on this.
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Jan 14, 2009 2:47 AM GMT
    Amen, Rev. Al!!

    I've often thought it quite curious what such well-funded and well-organized religious groups chose to lavish their flocks' cash on. Feed the hungry? Cure disease? Not a fuukin' chance in the world of that! NOPE! It's political contributions and anti-gay crap. It's never about doing good in the world, it's about making themselves feel morally superior. And it always has been.

    As for Sharpton, I had a 'wait and see' attitude about his transformation into a respectable (non-fringe?) voice on social and religious matters. Maybe he's arrived.
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    Jan 14, 2009 3:00 AM GMT
    I would take Al Sharpton over Jesse Jackson any day. It's only now that he's is speaking out regarding Prop 8 that he is being taken seriously by the mainstream Gay community! He has always been Gay friendly it's just now thatu all think that you all think that he's worth listening to!icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jan 14, 2009 3:47 AM GMT
    1) Tawana Brawley

    2) Crown Heights Riots

    Yeah -- he's swell.

    I'm sure the family of Yankel Rosenbaum, a visiting student from Australia, who was stabbed and killed by a member of the Crown Heights mob would be delighted to know Al is for us gay folks.

    You can have the him.
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    Jan 14, 2009 4:00 AM GMT
    i loves mr sharpton lol...

    always have and always will. he speaks up when others wont and he speaks the truth for which many people, of all races and creeds cant stand.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jan 14, 2009 4:14 AM GMT
    FALCONER said1) Tawana Brawley

    2) Crown Heights Riots

    Yeah -- he's swell.


    Funny. If we were to judge every public figure by what they were doing in the 1980's, how well would your buddy Bush fare?