Another View – DC Mayor Says Pastor Should Apologize for Words on Gays

Mayor Says Pastor Should Apologize for Words on Gays – Washington Post

Bishop Owens Responds – Washington Post

Whether a sincere apology is offered or not by the Washington D.C. pastor, who referred, in a recent sermon, to homosexuals as ‘faggots and sissies’, this outburst reflects the carte blanche that clergy have wielded, down through the ages, to encourage the exercise of bad deeds in the name of God.

To equate the mayor’s request for an apology to religious censorship and, by inference, telling God what to say, is but an attempt to shield bigotry with the bible. By example, the bible instructs slaves to mind their masters, but we can be sure that clergy all over the world, especially in the District, would have no problem instructing their followers to revise their interpretation.

Let us not confuse the labeling of homosexuality as sin, with bigoted name-calling from the pulpit. The labeling of what behavior does or does not constitute a sin is an exercise of religious freedom and constitutionally guaranteed speech. Vulgar name-calling woven into scripture, alternatively, is the kind of miss-guided exhortation that encourages congregation members to go out and discriminate in vital services, and even feel justified in ‘bashing’ the alleged ‘sinners’.

Furthermore, this type of leadership is responsible for the prevalence of ‘down-low’, or clandestine, homosexual behavior in the Black community that helps to maintain the threat of HIV-AIDS, and its devastating toll. Too many Black men live in fear of just this type of response, keeping double lives that put innocent wives and partners at risk.

As victims of bigotry and discrimination, we would hope that Black people would have a heightened rejection of all its forms, but this is too often not the case. Clergy leadership needs to be held to the standards of no less than their ‘cloth’. We should not accept such un-Christian invocations, in God’s name, to contort the requirement of treating each other with care and dignity.

James C. Collier

Visit James C. Collier’s website at


Publisher of African American says:

Upon reflection I agree with the Mr. Collier when he wrote, “To equate the mayor’s request for an apology to religious censorship and, by inference, telling God what to say, is but an attempt to shield bigotry with the bible.”


One Response to Another View – DC Mayor Says Pastor Should Apologize for Words on Gays

  1. Jefferey Lawson says:

    Mr. Collier, please don’t equate Bishop Alfred Owens as a psudeo-moral majority leader attempting to bend people to his will through his use of the pulpit. He is not running for office, looking to secure votes or money by staying politically correct to what people want to hear. Bishop Alfred Owens is preaching Holiness to any who will hear him. Holiness means that his preaching divinely inspired, time tested. His goal is to assist in the saving of souls for anyone who wants to choose the path of salvation that has been laid down for us to follow in the Bible.

    And although God has asked us to be subject to authority and rules within the world he has also warned us to be among them and not be part of them. That refers to anything that goes against what he hates no matter what words you choose to use identify the sin. Funny how God was never concerned about freedom of speech and what was palatable when it came to pointing out sin in the Bible. He loved us inspite of ourselves and our wordly beliefs.

    Then you incorrectly point out that Bishop’s leadership is actually responsible for helping create behavior that is offensive to God. On judgement day God will ask each of us why we made the choices we did whether they were for him and against him. And he won’t accept the preface that I sinned because someone else made me do it. The very essence of our creation was to give us freedom of choice. The freedom to live holy or not live holy. The freedom to choose the things of God over the social concepts and behaviors that the world defines as correct. The freedom to choose eternal life or indulging our flesh and making choices for today. Everyone from Adam and Eve, to today’s gay community have choices about who they choose to serve. Bishop Owens decided when he was a teenager who he would serve and he still serving that same God today.

    The fear that you say many gay men have is not the fear created by living Holy it is the fear of trying to preserve a lifestyle that goes against God wishes. But the even if they step out of the church they are still living in fear and it wasn’t caused by what Bishop Owens said on Palm Sunday, it is caused by deciding to live a life of secrecy. The cost of secrecy is always having the fear of someone discovering that secret. No one inflicts that type of fear in one day. It is carried as long as one chooses to live life under that banner. He is not the creator of fear or lies as you suggest, the devil took that job way back in the Book of Genesis in the Bible.

    It is pretty obvious that you are unaware of Bishop Alfred Owens history of pastoring for 40 years. How do you get a church to grow and get the testimonies of his character and integrity unless you have lived your life to a higher standard. If you are around enough true Christians then you would know their is no one tougher on Bishop Alfred Owens and his behavior than his own congregation at Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church. He is loved and respected among his congregation. He preaches holiness and is not afraid to chasten us to save us. If it will save my soul, if it will get me to heaven then I can deal with him not being politically correct.

    Mr. Collier, please take the time to judge Bishop Alfred Owens by his record of 40 years of pastoring. We can all pick one incident in anyone’s life where others have percieved our actions as incorrect. It is what we do day in and day out that defines our character. I’d challenge you Mr. Collier to look at Bishop Owens and his record of pastoring for 40 years, his accomplishments in the community, the ministries he has started, the many foster sons he has raised and then see if you can honestly make all the same claims that you do above. I THINK NOT!!

    You see

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