Is your husband on the down-low? Then screw him!

Seriously. This is the best answer the Religious Reich has for black women in Brokeback marriages. You’re not having sex with him regularly enough, so he’s turning to other men in frustration (as if other women willing to do the deed didn’t abound). The only way to turn him back is to boink him, and boink him OFTEN!

Married black women who do not have regular sex with their husbands are to blame for the “down low” and the rise of HIV infection among African Americans.

That was just one message delivered during a two-day summit on “Protecting the Biblical Institution of Marriage and Family Values,” held March 25-26 at Kingdom Builders Christian Center, a large predominately black church in Norcross.


“Apostle” Jamie Pleasant presides over the congregations, which cites more than a thousand members, according to its web site. He has a doctorate degree from Georgia Tech in Business Management and started the church in 1995.

Addressing the “down-low,” a term that describes married black men having sex with other men in secret, Pleasant told hundreds of worshipers March 25 that God intended man and woman to procreate.

“The marital duty is not being fulfilled,” Pleasant said. “Why are we with you women? Just think about it…we have a strong sex drive. You need to do your part and keep the marriage bed pure. Whenever your husband wants sex it is your duty to say yes.”

I don’t know what’s most offensive about this preaching, coming from a straight white man–the sexism, the racism or the homophobia. What in frignation gives him the right?

I think what pisses me off most is the bad science underpinning it all–the idea that straight sex can cure gay urges. Um, how? This straight chick says there’s no way in hell. I once fell in love with a gay man. Trust me, I tried everything I knew (admittedly not much, since I wasn’t brought up by the most socially aware of parents), but there was just no damn way I could lure that sweet, lovely guy into my bed. I honestly thought there was something wrong with me, until he told me–or rather, I guessed it, in one of those wild shot-in-the-dark moments that hit the heart. And even then, I still thought there was something wrong with me. How could I have been so blind?

Well, of course, I was 19 and hadn’t yet grown a gaydar at the time, so that’s how. Had I been able to tell, I might have been able to tailor my expectations accordingly, rather than wind up poring forlornly over a copy of Goodbye, I Love You.

But hey–I survived. And a couple of years later, I danced at my friend’s gay wedding, the first “Holy Union” ceremony of its kind performed by our university chaplain. And this was in 1990, long before same-sex marriage was legal up here. I danced with my friend’s dad, who confessed to me a little shamefacedly that he wished it were me my friend was marrying, instead of this tall, charming, intelligent other guy. Yeah, well…once upon a time, so did I. But I got over it. So did my friend’s dad.

And isn’t that the better way to deal with this whole closeted-gay (or down-low, if you’re black) thing? Come on out and get on over it? No, too logical. Fosters too much self-esteem. Doesn’t put more money in the pockets of the Fake-Based Initiatives. After all, this is one of those, and they rely on your continuing to live a lie and fret under a neurosis.

Oh, you hadn’t heard of this?

Rev. Lou Sheldon, chair of the Traditional Values Coalition, a conservative group opposed to gay civil rights, was the guest speaker for the weekend. His organization is actively recruiting large black churches in its effort to battle the “homosexual agenda.”

In January, Sheldon, who is white, and 70 black pastors who supported President George W. Bush met in Los Angeles. The summit yielded the “Black Contract with America on Moral Values,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

In exchange for black churches focusing on defeating marriage for same-sex couples, the churches will receive money through the government’s faith-based initiative programs, the paper reported.

Sheldon, who told the Norcross congregation that he has been fighting “gay rights” since 1972, began his sermon by declaring, “Preachers never lie.”

“We have a battle on our hands,” Sheldon said. “The homosexuals lose every time an issue is on a ballot but more and more activist judges and legislators are supporting them. It is important that people of color speak up because the press will listen to you.”

Sheldon then played a video to illustrate his point. Images of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights marches were mixed with photos of leather-clad men, drag queens and topless women marching in Pride parades.

“The homosexual excuse is ‘we want civil rights,'” Sheldon said after the video. “Have they ever been denied the right to vote? Have they ever had to sit in the back of a bus? They have hijacked the freedom train to Selma.”

Funny, but I don’t think the late Coretta Scott King would have said anything like that. I do, however, feel absolutely certain she would have called this unreverend out in no uncertain terms for hijacking the imagery of her husband’s fight for civil rights in service of civil wrongs!

Of course, there’s racism inherent in this whole “freedom train” statement, too–the idea that blacks should feel content to have voting rights, and not strive further for social justice. Okay, we gave you pickaninnies the right to vote…now get back to your cotton-pickin’ and smile nicely for Ol’ Massa! And make lots of good slave babies, y’hear?

Unfortunately for the rightards, but very fortunately for the rest of the world, progress doesn’t stop short just when one goal is achieved. Black civil rights leaders knew full well that voting was just the beginning; that the greater fight was against racism, and the greatest fight of all was against prejudice itself. And to that end, people are coming out of the shadows to speak out:

The National Black Justice Coalition, a black gay group focused on fighting both racism and homophobia, works to refute claims by anti-gay groups that the majority of African-Americans oppose same-sex marriage.

Sylvia Rhue, NBJC director of religious affairs, attended the meeting in Los Angeles this year where Sheldon addressed black church leaders.

Despite his anti-gay rhetoric, Rhue said Sheldon, 72, is not as effective as many people believe.

“His words and shenanigans are impotent, incompetent and ignorant,” Rhue said. “His pronouncements shrivel and die in the light of truth and show how desperate he is. They cannot win by telling the truth and we cannot lose by telling the truth.”

Ahhh, truth. That’s what it keeps on coming down to, isn’t it? The fake-based agenda melts like a snowball in the light of truth. No wonder the fakeful have to keep fudging up the lies. It’s a desperate race of lies against truth, and guess which one will ultimately win? (Hint: Recall the fable of the hare and the tortoise, and also Mark Twain’s saying about how a lie will get halfway around the world before the truth has its boots on. The race is not to the swift.)

No, this initiative will not prevail. It can hang around for an appallingly long time, getting sicker and sillier with every repetition of the big lie, but the truth will invariably come out of the closet, one failed Brokeback marriage at a time. And when it does, no prejudice or bigotry will be able to stand up to it anymore.

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