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President Obama’s affirmation of gay marriage threatens to undermine the near-monolithic black support Obama enjoyed in 2008. Several members of the black clergy now say they intend to sit out the presidential election. One poll from last November found black opposition to gay marriage at 58 percent, higher than the rest of the country, which is about evenly split.
The real question is this: What took black church leaders so long to reconsider their near blind support for the Democratic Party?
The historical strength of black churches has been that of a moral and spiritual refuge in a once-hostile country of legalized slavery and Jim Crow. This explains why so many civil rights leaders came out of the church. The moral cause was just and clear: Equal rights mean equal rights — for everyone.
But equal rights and equal results are two very different things. The modern civil rights movement lost its way by failing to appreciate the difference. To achieve “equal results,” the Democratic Party, among other things, demands redistribution of wealth, a government response to the “gap” between the rich and poor, higher minimum wages and higher taxes on the so-called rich.
The Democratic Party opposes education vouchers, despite polls showing that black and Hispanic inner-city parents want them. The Democratic Party is the party of race-based preferences and also opposes privatization of Social Security.
The Democratic Party is the party of the welfare state — a neutron bomb dropped on the intact nuclear family. Author/editor/professor Marvin Olasky, in his book “The Tragedy of American Compassion,” traces the growth of welfare. During a mere three-year period in the 1960s, welfare rolls increased nearly 110 percent. President Johnson established “neighborhood centers” whose workers went door-to-door, apprising people of their welfare “rights and benefits.”
Until the so-called “War on Poverty,” the poverty rate declined steadily. At the turn of the century, nearly 70 percent of Americans were poor. But by the time of the “War on Poverty,” the rate stood at approximately 13 or 14 percent. What happened? Welfare created dependency and decreased the incentive of the welfare recipient.
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