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EDITORIAL: The heckler’s veto
Mayor Gray honors the bullies of intolerance
Question of the Day
Donnie McClurkin, the three-time Grammy-winning black gospel singer, was disinvited by D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray from a city-sponsored concert Saturday night. Mr. McClurkin was earlier invited to headline the event, held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Mr. McClurkin is regarded by gay advocates as a villain because he has expressed his gratitude to God for overcoming his own homosexuality.
The mayor’s decision dishonors the memory of the great preacher who said in his famous “I have a dream” speech: “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” Yet Mr. Gray caved to pressure from those who have not overcome an affliction and are bitter that Mr. McClurkin has, and testified on a Christian website how he had struggled with homosexuality after he was molested by male relatives in his youth. “I’ve been through this and have experienced God’s power to change my lifestyle,” Mr. McClurkin wrote in 2002. “I am delivered, and I know God can deliver others, too.”
The left, for all its self-congratulatory preaching for tolerance and diversity, is neither tolerant nor respectful when confronted with the opinions of others with whom they disagree. Nobody thought that Mr. McClurkin intended to use the stage Saturday night to deliver a political message. He was there to sing of the power of God.
The lavender lobby wants to put Mr. McClurkin beyond the pale, as it wants to put others like him, because he is a living refutation of their dogma that homosexuality is solely a genetic trait. They are certainly entitled to believe that, just as others are entitled not to believe that. The same intolerance drives legislative efforts in California and New Jersey to make “homosexuality reparative therapy” against the law. The same hatred discourages ministries that offer counseling and support to those struggling with the same-sex attractions they do not want.
Headlining an October 2007 “Embrace the Change” gospel concert in Columbia, S.C., sponsored by the campaign of presidential candidate Barack Obama, Mr. McClurkin made clear that he has no hatred of homosexuals. “We don’t believe in discrimination,” he told the crowd. “We don’t believe in hatred, and if you do, you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. … Don’t call me a bigot or anti-gay, when I have been touched by the same feelings, when I have suffered with the same feelings. I don’t speak against the homosexual. I tell you that God delivered me from homosexuality.”
Mr. McClurkin joins the company of religious and secular speakers alike who have been silenced by the heckler’s veto of anyone who challenges their views. We must call them what they are, bullies. Mr. Gray should be ashamed of himself. He owes Donnie McClurkin an apology.
The Washington Times
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