African-American Christians uncertain of who to vote for this year

Do black Christians have a candidate in this year's race for the White House?

African-American Christians uncertain of who to vote for this year
16 September 2012

Ever since President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, there have been a multitude of articles if this will cost him black support. According to a July Pew Research poll, African-American voters are, ‘on balance, opposed to gay marriage.’

The Washington Post did a variation of this story. The article focuses on the dilemma black Christians face in the upcoming election. Some pastors are telling their parishioners to stay home because neither Obama or Republican Mitt Romney have earned their votes.

‘When President Obama made the public statement on gay marriage, I think it put a question in our minds as to what direction he’s taking the nation,’  Rev. A.R. Bernard, founder of the predominantly African-American Christian Cultural Center in New York, said to the paper.

As for Romney, black ministers seem concerned about the history of the candidate’s Mormon faith. The LDS did not allow blacks to be priests until 1978. In a 2007 speech, the Republican nominee admitted to joyfully weeping when he heard the ban was being abolished. This has not convinced Bernard.

‘To say you have a value for human life and exclude African-American human life, that’s problematic,’ the reverend said to the newspaper about the priesthood ban. ‘How can I judge the degree to which candidate Romney is going to allow his Mormonism to influence his policies? I don’t know. I can’t.’

While these articles will be written until election day, polls are showing a less muddled story. A recent NBC/WSJ survey showed Obama having nearly the same black support he had in 2008. Four years ago, 95 percent of African-American votes went to Obama. In last month’s poll, he had 94 percent while Romney was at zero.

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