It was nice of the Obama campaign to respond to my email to them about Donnie McClurkin headlining Obama's southern gospel tour. No, not a substantive response but a form-response put together with talking points they want to sell to people who are either stupid or have no idea what they are talking about. Here is the response, in segments, with my reaction:
Thank you for sharing your strong objections to statements of one of the performers on the recent South Carolina gospel tour. I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns directly because I strongly disagree with Pastor McClurkin’s deeply hurtful and offensive statements about sexual orientation.Now McClurkin is "one of the performers"? He was THE headliner, Senator, and you are not fooling anyone. On top of it, you are missing the point. This isn't about whether you disagree with McClurkin's comments on sexual orientation. This is about you putting a bigot on your campaign stage to promote your campaign. Would you give a racist the center stage on your campaign platform and try to get around it by issuing a meaningless statement like "Oh, but I strongly disagree with that guy's racist remarks!" You are exploiting the homophobia present in the black evangelical community for votes. You are showing contempt for both that community and the LGBT one.
I have always clearly stated my belief that members of the LGBT community are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens. I have consistently supported gay rights throughout my career, and I will continue to work for an open, tolerant society where people of all sexual orientations are protected and their contributions are valued. To honor my commitment to promoting tolerance on the gospel tour, I asked Rev. Andy Sidden, an openly gay South Carolina pastor, to open the tour and offer a prayer. I’m glad he joined us, because we have to speak to people we disagree with in order to confront issues that are important to gay and black communities, like the HIV/AIDS epidemic.Lame excuse about how he asked both a bigot and an subject of the bigotry to join the same concert. I'm not impressed. This is like saying he asked both a racist and the President of NAACP to come on his campaign stage so all is now peaches. The rest of the email was about how someone at the Human Rights campaign thanked him for including this gay pastor, and yada yada. No one has a problem because you included a gay pastor (even if he was a white gay pastor preaching to a mostly black, evangelical religious community who were also being preached to by a popular black pastor saying God delivered him from homosexuality, gee, I wonder who the crowd would take to), Senator. The problem is not that you included him - even though as an afterthought. The problem is your pandering to the extreme religious components and having a person with outspoken bigoted views appear on your campaign stage - the particular issue he is bigoted about is less important than the bigotry itself.