Obama and Donny McClurkin
I'll be honest. I never heard of Donny McClurkin before reading this:
From the NYT:As religious conservatives gather in Washington this weekend for the “Values Voters Summit,” Senator Barack Obama’s campaign announced its latest effort to attract people of faith to the campaign: a gospel concert tour.Yes, sucking up to anti-gay bigots and joining them on stage - no, giving them a stage - is certainly defying conventional wisdom as to how a Democrat becomes president. Oh, and McClurkin also believes that gays can, and need to, be "cured."
All three of the dates of the “Embrace the Change” tour are in South Carolina, where Mr. Obama is locked in battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for black voters.
Gospel acts including Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker, Byron Cage and the Mighty Clouds of Joy are scheduled to appear.“This is another example of how Barack Obama is defying conventional wisdom about how politics is done and giving new meaning to meeting people at the grassroots level,” Joshua DuBois, the campaign’s religious affairs director, said in a release.
It seems unlikely to me that the Obama campaign was aware of this:
Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, who has detailed his struggle with gay tendencies and vowed to battle "the curse of homosexuality," said yesterday he'll perform as scheduled at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, despite controversy over his view that sexuality can be changed by religious intervention. "I can't let off. I didn't call myself -- God called me to do what I do," McClurkin told The Post's Hamil R. Harris. The Grammy winner declared, "If this is a war, we are willing to fight. Not a war of violence, but a war of purpose."
I think it is necessary to make one thing clear - this is not Obama reaching out to those who disagree with him -- this is "Senator Barack Obama’s campaign . . . latest effort to attract people of faith to the campaign: a gospel concert tour." This tour represents Obama and his campaign. The singers his campaign choose for this tour represent him.
Frankly, I think Obama has little choice in what he needs to do here. Mr. McClurkin must be asked to not appear on this tour. Accepting support from Mr. McClurkin, while making clear his views on gays and lesbians are abhorrent, is certainly a potentially acceptable action for Obama.
Allowing him to represent the campaign through this tour is not. To the best of my knowledge, the Obama campaign has not responded to the criticism of including McClurkin in this tour. It needs to. Quickly.
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