And so it begins. Yesterday, my friend Deacon Greg Kendra asked his readers whether they had heard anything in their Catholic parishes about Barack Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage; I didn’t in mine, but it was Mother’s Day, on which our pastor focused. In Baltimore, at least, it was a little different — and much angrier:
Just days after President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, pastors and priests around Maryland took to their own pulpits with their reaction– and in some cases– condemnation of the president. …
When Obama announced that his position on same-sex marriage had evolved, it outraged some African-American pastors like Pastor and Del. Emmett Burns.
“He has said to his base, African-Americans, ‘I am going against your beliefs and your thoughts,’” Burns said.
He’s so opposed to same-sex marriage, he told church members he will no longer support the president and now predicts Obama will lose the election because of it.
This will be a disaster in places like Maryland. No one expects the congregants of Pastor Burns’ church to run out and vote for Romney, but they’re going to be a lot less enthused about Obama — and a lack of enthusiasm in his base will put an end to hopes of a second term. Maryland is a safe state for Democrats under normal conditions; it last went Republican in 1988, and Obama won it by 25 points in 2008. However, the same reason for that large margin of victory shows the risk for Obama, which is that 30% of the vote in the state comes from the African-American community that Pastor Burns and others serve.
The White House stirred up a hornet’s nest, and the damage to their standing among people of faith will be difficult to overestimate. With evangelicals suddenly motivated to support Mitt Romney, these pulpit blasts aimed at Obama’s base come at the worst possible time.