The Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, Calvin Butts, was on This Week With George Stephanopolous on Easter Sunday. But his message wasn’t what you might expect. No, Pastor Butts (what a name to have to go through school with) had a message that surprised Stephanopolous and the other members of a religion roundtable, and might surprise you, too.
Participating in a religion roundtable on the ABC program, Pastor Butts called on the Supreme Court to legalize same sex marriage. Even though he believes that the Bible inveighs against it, he stated:
“You should have every right as a citizen of this nation and every right as a human being to enjoy the freedom that God has given you. The choice is yours. And I should not stand in the way of you making that choice. And I think that the Supreme Court should not stand in the way of that,” the pastor explained. “I have to support that in a civil society because, otherwise, I would not be a good citizen of our great nation and a participant of this great experiment in democracy.” (source)
Yes, he did. And we have it on tape. While he says his religion teaches that same sex marriage is not “… God’s divine imperative,” he declared that it would be wrong for him to oppose marriage equality. Hallelujah, they can learn!
This is some good publicity for a man who was dubbed “Harlem’s Judas” back in 1998 when he endorsed Republican George Pataki’s re-election for governor. At that time, his support was seen as political opportunism stemming from the Abyssinian Church’s Development Corp. and its partnership with another development company. State loans and Harlem developments such as shopping centers were at the center of the scandal. His own church members demonstrated against him. One of them compared Butts to Willie Lynch, an 18th century slave master who would teach other owners how to control their slave workforce.
But he is a proponent of liberation theology and favors liberal interpretations of the Bible. In an interview with Peter Jennings in 2004, he went on record supporting same sex unions, saying that, “The Apostle Paul was not Jesus,” suggesting that Christians were not bound to teachings of the apostles.
Back to This Week… After Butts finished his statement, author Susan Jacoby, who was also at the table, responded:
“What Dr. Butts said is music to my ears. If all religious people trying to influence politics could separate what they teach and preach in church, and which of course every religious institution and person has the right to state their convictions, just as I do.”
Amen. And thank you, Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts.
Here is the video:
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…