D Kevin McNeirEditor's ColumnOpinion

EDITOR’S COLUMN: Kim Burrell’s Anti-Gay Tirade an Act of Love or More Words of Hate?

Popular gospel singer Kim Burrell, who has earned millions during her award-winning career, recently showed a different face and perhaps her true colors during her sermon at the Houston-based Love & Liberty Fellowship Church. The Houston native apparently decided to focus her address to members of the LGBT community who we can assume are also practicing Christians.

Perhaps given the propensity for Blacks to be more conservative than liberal in their views, her decision to describe gays and lesbians and their (assumed) homosexual acts as “perverted” should come as no surprise and should not cause us any consternation.

But I have to say I was “troubled” (Other words describing my initial feelings would be inappropriate for public sharing). At the same time I wondered what led Burrell to focus her remarks on the LGBT community, particularly given the number of other serious issues Blacks face: poverty, racism, gentrification, police assaults, disproportionate numbers in the country’s incarceration rates, wide differences in health care access, subpar schools … the list goes on.

But Burrell chose to deal with homosexuality in the Black community, pointing to “the spirit of delusion and confusion” that has “deceived many men and women.” If she wanted to elicit responses, she achieved her goal as social media exploded with comments on both sides of the spectrum.

Soon, after public outcry could no longer be ignored, the self-proclaimed Christian singer and evangelist responded in a video saying she would offer “no excuses or apologies” for her comments.

At the same time her words seem to have prompted KTSU-FM, a Texas Southern University radio station on which she hosted a weekly broadcast, to separate themselves from her and to cancel her talk show. Meanwhile, TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who just last week was preparing for Burrell and Pharrell Williams to appear on her show to sing a duet from the recently-released film “Hidden Figures,” decided to eliminate Burrell from the lineup, opting to only have songwriter and singer Pharrell appear.

Pharrell commented briefly saying “There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on.” DeGeneres, a well-known advocate of gay rights and a lesbian in a committed relationship, said she had would not give Burrell a platform on her show after “saying not very nice things about homosexuals … after she was saying things about me.”

I just wonder why Blacks find it so easy to beat their brothers and sisters, especially those who have long been marginalized, rather than helping to build bridges among us and to promote unity that just might help us overcome the generations-long impact of prejudice and racism. In truth, if those who either publicly or privately participate in the alternative, LGBT lifestyle, were eliminated from our churches, pews, choir stands, musician seats and even pulpits, many churches would find their numbers seriously depleted.

I’m not sure about Burrell’s motivation, but I do know that casting stones and finger pointing were not what I was taught to be the best examples of Christian behavior during my youth in Sunday school classes or later, during my matriculation in seminary. It’s a good thing God has the final say.

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Award-winning journalist and 21-year Black Press veteran, book editor, voice-over specialist and college instructor (Philosophy, Religion, Journalism). Before joining us, he led the Miami Times to recognition as NNPA Publication of the Year.

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One Comment

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