Racism And Heterosexism Within African American Churches

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The struggle that Black churches have on homosexuality has been an ongoing battle. The issue of homophobia and heterosexism within African-American churches is a difficult one. Regardless of the complexity of the matter, it is one that the black community must address. It is, to ensure, time for the black religious leaders to truly live into its justice asserting social, political, historical, and theological beliefs which would lead to eliminating any manifestation of the sin of homophobia from its very mindset. The denouncement of black LGBT individuals presents factors about why 49 percent feel suicidal or have attempted suicide. What some people fail to understand is that there is a certain privilege in being able to wake up every …show more content…

Harris explains that theses exertions became a matter of life and death during the early 1980s when predominately male African-American male congregants, pastors and other church members became sick from an unknown illness which later became recognized as the autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has a superfluous effect on the black community. African-Americans accumulate nearly half of most HIV and AIDS diagnoses. The delayed response of black leaders to the epidemic was another factor that incited the highly prevalent rates of HIV and AIDS cases within the African-American community. Along with affected gay men, prostitutes and intravenous drug users became infected as well; Harris further reports that those people were considered “degenerates” and “immoral” by black church leaders. Trailing back to the days of slavery, black religious leaders assisted as freedom fighters of social justice for oppressed African-Americans. Those affected with the disease looked to religious leadership for spiritual support and to bring the disease to light. However instead of the desired support, they were faced with disdain and denunciation at the lifestyle as black leaders believed caused the individuals to be affected with the disease. Furthermore, Harris addresses that many gay men who died from the disease were restricted from being buried beside their home churches. This

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