Bishop Accidently Acknowledges Church and State Separation at Anti-Gay Marriage Rally

Lone Bigot Marian Barry

“There is a difference between civil rights and sacred rights.” – Bishop Harry Jackson

Washington D.C. City Council voted to recognize the same-sex marriages performed in other states. Twelve council members voted to ensure equality for all of their citizens and one voted in favor of letting his religious beliefs trump his duty to all of his constituents.

The lone dogmatist on the city council was Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington D.C. Barry told reporters that he had to pray and consult the “religious community” for guidance. Barry called his decision to perpetuate the systemic prejudice against his city’s gay citizens an "agonizing and difficult decision." It is unfortunate for Barry that the religious groups he is consulting with, in a moment of utter stupidity, have made an articulate argument against using scripture as a basis for law.

On April 28th, in opposition to the gay marriage measure, the religious community Barry consulted had a rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C. During one of the rally speeches, Bishop Harry Jackson unintentionally clobbered the religious argument against same sex marriage. With all the rationale religious passion produces, he launched into a vacuous, gospel tempoed, bible thumping diatribe about how gays will taint the precious institution of marriage. During this improvisational pontification he made a tremendous error, he unwound his own argument when constitutional wisdom spilled out. “There is a difference between civil rights and sacred rights.”

Harry Jackson, the Bishop of the Beltsville, MD’s Hope Christian Church, was trying raise Christian doctrine above common civil laws. Unwittingly he affirmed what gay rights advocates have been asserting all along; there is a separation between the laws of god and the laws of government.
Harry hit the nail right on the head: there is a difference between civil rights and sacred rights. America’s very first law was written on just this topic. “"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" is in the first amendment of our constitution and establishes the freedom that gave the plaza where this anti-first amendment rally was held. The distinction between the canon and civil law, acknowledged by Bishop Harry, is all the gay community has been asking of Washington D.C. and the states in the union.

"We don't have any interest in making their religious institution recognize our marriage or our relationship," said Ed Grandis, married in California to his husband and who now lives in Washington D.C.

For the two openly gay members of the city council, David A Catania and Jim Graham, this was a personal measure. David Catania said, “This issue is whether or not our colleagues, on a personal level, view me and Jim Graham as your equals. If we are permitted the same rights and responsibilities and obligations as our colleagues. So this is personal. This is acknowledging our families as much as we acknowledge you."

This didn’t sit well with Barry. "I resent Mr. Catania saying either you are a bigot or against bigotry, as though this particular legislation represents all of that,” said Marion Barry. At the April 28th rally, Barry addressed the group of primarily African American church goers. After a discussion about diversity being the foundation of democracy and then proceeded to lead the group in a chant “Say No Gay Marriage in DC!” Barry then incited the crowd to walk across the street and confront all twelve members of the city council who voted for the gay marriage measure.

Marriam-Webster defines a bigot as “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices ; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance” In essence, Marriam defines Marion as a bigot.
The special nature of the Washington D.C. limits the ability of the city council to actually enact laws. The measure must first get approval from Congress. The religious opponents in Congress need to go consult with Barry’s religious community. It may not have been what Bishop Harry Jackson meant to say, but they understand the foundation of American society and have made a powerful argument for gay rights.

“There is a difference between civil rights and sacred rights.” – Bishop Harry Jackson

I agree with Harry and with David Catenia when he says,

"The march towards equality is coming to this country, and you can either be a part of it or stand in the way."

Make sure your voice is heard by your congressperson about gay marriage and preserving the first amendment. Contact them by a visit, phone, email, fax or handwritten letter. You can find out who your congress people are and how to reach them at these websites.

Bishop Accidently Acknowledges Separation of Church and State
"There is a difference between civil rights and sacred rights." - Bishop Harry Jackson

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Comment by Kitty on May 6, 2009 at 6:58pm
Marion Barry, can you believe that? I remember when his own community overlooked and forgave the fact he was caught on camera in a hotel room smoking crack with a hooker and re-elected him Mayor of DC. Seems they felt he was a good mayor, and the fact he had a couple of "bad habits" were simply an aside. Now Barry is not willing to acknowledge that a simple sexual preference he disagrees with is no reason to discriminate? I pity the fool.



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