- - Thursday, October 20, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Unnoticed by the mainstream media, which prefers showier displays of political protest, there is a quiet revolution going on in the African-American community. Confronted by a problematic candidate and a platform that has abandoned them, more and more black voters are questioning whether they should support the Democratic Party.

For me, there is no question at all. Black voters have been taken for granted by Democrats for decades. Half a century of failed policies have nearly destroyed our communities. Now, a candidate who embraces all the more hostile elements of an anti-faith, anti-family agenda could ascend to the highest office in the land.

This is why, as an African-American political and religious leader, I am urging black voters to abandon Democrats and vote for their values.

I didn’t always feel this way, of course. My own experience reflects that of many black men and women. As a child, I grew up in a tiny, two-room home in Memphis. With 11 children to care for — including the additional family we took in — my father and mother had a difficult path, but they taught me to embrace both my faith and hard work.

As a child, I picked cotton for three cents a pound. As a young man, I stood up against racial discrimination, marching with leaders like the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the great Civil Rights Movement. As an adult, I worked to pass on the value of education to a new generation through the Give Me a Chance Ministry and later founded the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP).

For much of that time, like many other African-American men, I considered myself a Democrat. Then came the moment when I realized that the Democratic Party had abandoned me and my values. Now, I am astounded to see the harm they have caused to the black voters that have supported them for so long.

State-sponsored dependency, launched through Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and perpetuated in endless government programs, has robbed us of our dignity and enslaved our people. Failed housing policies have destroyed the inner cities and helped turn black-on-black crime into the scourge of our communities. Abortion-on-demand has had a near-genocidal effect on our population, and all of these policies have helped encourage illegitimacy, the destruction of the family, and a terrible cycle of poverty.

When African-Americans have demanded change — like education reform that would allow children to escape a failed and dangerous school system — we learn that we are less valuable to the Democrats than other interest groups, such as the teachers’ unions.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the fight over same-sex marriage, transgender “rights,” and religious freedom. Betrayed by a president who lied to us over his support of same-sex marriage, we are now seeing our churches targeted by Hillary Clinton and a new breed of Democrats who are positioning religion as their enemy. The Civil Rights Movement has been defined down to embrace the right of men to use women’s restrooms and is now being used as an excuse to bully people of faith.

Hillary Clinton has said that if religion is a bar to embracing her far-left agenda, then blacks (and others) must discard religion. This is breathtaking in its arrogance and insensitivity. Our religion carried us through slavery and gave hope of redemption and freedom. When someone thinks they have the authority to change people’s religion, that’s dangerous.

Needless to say, I have no intention of abandoning my faith. However, I have abandoned Mrs. Clinton and the Democratic Party, and I encourage all African-Americans to do the same.

This is not the party we grew up with. It no longer reflects our values, and it has long since stopped representing our interests. Democrats and liberals have tossed God aside. He’s too inconvenient for them, with His ironclad notions of right and wrong, good and evil. Instead, they seek to make the state into a god — a far more convenient proposition for them, and one which will give them carte blanche to attack and marginalize people of faith.

To be clear — I am not saying that all those who read this should become Republicans. I am saying that they should think hard about what this election means for the future. Remember that the next president will appoint at least one Supreme Court justice, leaving a lasting legacy in American law. A Clinton presidency means that, a decade from now, you will no longer recognize America.

Isn’t half a century of lies, failure, and destruction of the black family enough? African-Americans must abandon the Democrats and vote for people who will improve their communities, not dismantle them.

Rev. Bill Owens is the president and founder of the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP), an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting Christ-centered values.

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