- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The minister of a prominent D.C. Baptist church is under fire from homosexuals because of remarks he made about lesbianisn and feminism in a sermon. The Rev. Willie Wilson, senior pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church, says his remarks were taken out of context. In this instance, there’s nothing wrong with a preacher sermonizing on culture.

During a July 3 morning service, the reverend said: “We live in a time when our brothers have been so put down, can’t get a job, lot of the sisters making more money than brothers. And it’s creating problems in families. That’s one of the reasons our families [are] breaking up. And that’s one of the reasons many of our women are becoming lesbians. You got to be careful when you say you don’t need no man. ‘I can make it by myself.’ Well, if you don’t need a man, what’s left?” Mr. Wilson also used the pulpit to describe homosexual encounters, saying they “ain’t natural.”

Mr. Wilson, a Democrat and one-time D.C. mayoral nominee, and his church are strangers to the neither the social pathologies that plague much of black America nor the responsible roles that the faith-based community has in addressing them. Union Temple ministries support welfare-to-work programs, counsel troubled youth and aid HIV/AIDS patients. Mr. Wilson himself received recognition from the Points of Light Foundation.

Mr. Wilson’s remarks are unfairly being criticized as “anti-gay” and “disappointing.” Well-known D.C. homosexual-rights activist Phil Pannell said the reverend’s remarks made him “distressed.”

Pastors have long exercised their First Amendment right to discuss everything from war, slavery and votings rights for women to Jim Crow and civil rights for homosexuals. We understand their remarks may indeed be discomfiting to some, but their right to utter them is unambiguous.

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