Ben Kinchlow is a minister, broadcaster, author and businessman. His latest book is "Black Yellowdogs." He was the long-time co-host of CBN's "The 700 Club" television program and host of the international edition of the show, seen in more than 80 countries. He is the founder of Americans for Israel and the African American Political Awareness Coalition, and the author of several books.More ↓Less ↑
President Barack Hussein Obama’s assertions that 1) “We are no longer just a Christian nation” and 2) “[W]e’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world” do not hold true for black America.
In a 2007 survey, 87 percent of African-Americans described themselves as belonging to a religious group (overwhelmingly Christian). Eighty-four percent of African-American women say religion is very important to them. Nearly 80 percent of all African-Americans say religion is very important in their lives. About one percent are Muslim, fewer than one-half percent are Jewish, and about the same for Buddhist, Hindu and other world religions. Of those African-Americans who are unaffiliated with any particular faith, 45 percent still say religion is very important in their lives. While roughly 39 percent of all Americans attend religious services at least once a week and 58 percent pray daily, 53 percent of African-Americans go to church once a week, and 76 percent say they pray every day (U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, Pew Research Center, Forum on Religion & Public Life).
In other words, of the total U.S. population, African-Americans surpass all other racial and ethnic groups when it comes to religious observance.
Considering that 94 to 96 percent of blacks voted Democrat in the 2008 presidential election (which generated the highest turnout ever for black females and young eligible black voters), we find ourselves facing two serious questions.
Fifty-one percent of blacks who attend church regularly say abortions should be illegal; even among those not attending weekly, 35 percent agree. Fifty-eight percent of the black evangelical church members say homosexuality should be discouraged and among non-church members, 32 percent concur. Roughly 64 percent of African-Americans say they oppose legalizing homosexual marriage, compared to 51 percent of the general population.
In light of all the above statistics and more, we are forced to address these two questions: 1) Why the dichotomy of supporting, almost blindly, a party that stands in direct contradiction to what they hold as moral truth? And 2) since blacks are demonstrably the most religious of all voters, are they hypocrites or are they stupid?
Since blacks are obviously sincere in their outward devotion (88 percent believe in God with “absolute certainty” compared to 71 percent generally), and as they seek to hear the Bible (55 percent believe it is the literal Word of God), we must give them the benefit of the doubt as to hypocrisy, which is defined as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.” Most blacks are not pretending, so there must be another reason.
Stupidity? While indeed their political behavior shows “a lack of good sense of judgment,” I do not believe it is deliberate, and it does not necessarily overflow into all other areas of their lives. Blacks, as a whole, obviously are not stupid, and in many cases they have taken full advantage of the opportunities offered to all Americans. The gross national product of black America, viewed objectively, would make the African-American community the tenth most prosperous “nation” in the world. According to an excellent article by David Horovitz, this, “translated into individual realities, would show that American blacks, on average, enjoy per capita incomes in the range of twenty to fifty times those of blacks living in any of the African nations from which they were kidnapped.”
Could they be simply uninformed? Perhaps the answer to that question lies in a biblical truth given to warn another group being led down the primrose path: “… If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into a ditch.” That does seem to sum up the present situation, as black pastors are treated with great esteem by their flock and in many cases today, the bishop is among the most prosperous in the black community. Actually, very few in the African-American church abide by the biblical injunction, “… they were very willing to receive the message, and every day they carefully examined the Scriptures to see if those things were so” (Acts 17:11).
Today the mindset is: “Never mind looking it up. If Bishop says it, that’s the way it is!”
I think this is more to the point: Blacks vote for a party that practices what they preach against, because they are, like I was prior to doing research for my book, “Black YellowDogs,” simply uninformed. I just didn’t know.
As one blogger put it, “Here is black America’s view on politics: Republicans and conservatives are rich, white and racist SOBs; black conservatives are Uncle Tom traitors to their race; if you are black, you are an Uncle Tom for not supporting Obama; if you are white, you are racist for not supporting Obama.”
Like most black, and many white, Americans, I was just not aware of some historical facts vis-à-vis Republicans and Democrats. For example, the Republican Party was formed specifically to prevent the spread of slavery; Lincoln, the first Republican president, freed the slaves; the Democratic Party seceded rather than give up slavery; the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were all introduced and passed by Republicans.
How serious were the Democrats about keeping blacks “in their place”? “In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes cast. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes cast” (Canada Free Press).
All civil-rights bills were passed by Republican votes over the objections and filibusters of the Democrats up to and including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. (Just FYI, it was President Eisenhower, a Republican, who sent federal troops to remove a Democrat governor who was literally blocking the door to keep eight black children out of Little Rock High School.)
Speaking of percentages, in 2008, 96 percent of blacks voted Democrat; in 1876, 99 percent voted Republican. Why? Because in 1876, only Republicans allowed blacks to vote.
“But the Democrats passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, didn’t they?”
Yes, and here is why. President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act (a watered-down version, by the way, of the Republican 1957 Civil Rights Act, which Johnson and the Democrats opposed). The 1960s saw blacks take to the streets, and demonstrations that included Jews, white and black church congregants had America glued to the news sources. Something had to be done.
Keep in mind, the Democrats, via state governments, a sympathetic Supreme Court and a powerful bloc at the national level, had blocked or killed all civil rights legislation passed by Republicans, including Civil Rights Acts in 1866, 1870, 1871 and 1875, and then everything from 1874 (when they regained control of both houses of Congress) to 1954.
As for the “liberal LBJ,” keep in mind that Johnson, when he was first elected senator, observed, “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness.”
So why would Johnson make a big deal out of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act for these “uppity Negroes” (beside the fact that the Republican majority in Congress passed it into law)? Johnson, ever the consummate politician, saw this as a political plum. It would change black voting patterns for the foreseeable future and he knew it. Proof? Flying on Air Force One, President Johnson said to two governors, “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years” (Ronald Kessler: “Inside The White House,” 1995, Simon & Schuster).
Are blacks hypocrites? No. Stupid? No. They’re just misinformed and uninformed.
That brings to mind another phrase I have read several times: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”