Thursday, March 17, 2011

Anti-Gay Black Des Moines Baptist calls religious denominations accepting of gay adherents "Burger King brand religions"; Presumes to speak for MLK from beyond the grave

Tyler Kinkade of the Iowa Independent reports that Rev. Keith Ratliff, of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, claimed that the gay community has won gains in civil rights on the back of the Black civil rights movement, which he claimed was an "insult."
“For those that spiritually see the big picture, this issue is a battle ground as we said and not a playground,” Ratliff said.
     But Ratliff also spoke in favor of marriage between one man and one woman and allowing a vote on the issue.
     The rally was organized by The Family Leader, an organization led by former three-time gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats. The activists are urging Iowa lawmakers, particularly Senate Democrats, to pass a measure that would set the stage for Iowans to vote on forbidding same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution.
     Ratliff also declared Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was raised in a biblically structured home and would not have approved of the “deviant behavior” by the gay community.
     “Rev. Dr. King, Jr. wasn’t taught to subscribe to private interpretations of Burger King brand religions, any ‘you can have it your way’ religions,” Ratliff said.
The arrogant Rev. Ratliff did not explain why MLK's widow, Coretta Scott King, who did more for Black civil rights than Ratliff will in several lifetimes, gave her support to gay marriage in 2005 during a speech at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey:
POMONA, N.J. (AP) — The widow of Martin Luther King Jr. called gay marriage a civil rights issue, denouncing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban it.
     Constitutional amendments should be used to expand freedom, not restrict it, Coretta Scott King said Tuesday.
     "Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union," she said. "A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."
Nor did Rev. Ratliff explain why MLK's daughter, Yolanda, did not consider the struggle for gay civil rights to be an "insult" to the Black civil rights movement when she said the following in 2006 at Chicago’s Out & Equal Workplace Summit:
“If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you do not have the same rights as other Americans. You cannot marry … you still face discrimination in the workplace, and in our armed forces. For a nation that prides itself on liberty, justice and equality for all, this is totally unacceptable.”

Nor has Rev. Ratliff ever publicly acknowledged the role that Gay Black people in MLK's own organization had in advancing civil rights, such as that of Bayard Rustin, the gay man who was chief organizer and strategist for the 1963 March on Washington that provided the setting for the "I have a dream" speech which will forever define Martin Luther King's legacy.

Aksarbent thinks that the opportunistic Rev. Ratliff should probably stop bitching about how gay rights supposedly besmirches Black civil rights, in light of the obvious contrary opinions of those who knew MLK better than Ratliff ever will. Otherwise cynical people might conclude that Rev. Ratliff is just a low-rent, pandering jerk. Aksarbent doesn't think this, of course, but cynical people, they might.

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