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Homobigot black pastor bleats to students at graduation event

“Homosexuality, bisexuality, they are sins according to the word of God…I understand that the climate (in Berkeley) is a climate that values political correctness, but that’s not my concern. I’m concerned with biblical correctness.”
— Rev. Manuel Scott Jr. explaining the message he delivered during a keynote address to Berkeley High School Af-Am department students

Who wants to hear this crap during a time when you are focusing on students’ academic achievements?

The Berkeley (CA) Daily Planet covered an unhinged pastor’s rant to students during a graduation event called the Celebration of Excellence. It’s regarded in Berkeley as “the black graduation” (it’s open to all students), and it is a cultural, not official, event supported by members of the community.

This, naturally, gave Rev. Manuel Scott Jr. the license to teach those in the audience some life lessons, and gave some people there an eye-opening look at the homophobia in the black religious community.

Evangelical preacher the Rev. Manuel Scott Jr. made derogatory remarks about gays as part of his keynote address at the annual Berkeley High School African-American Studies Department Celebration of Excellence June 10.

…Scott, a Los Angeles-based Baptist Evangelist, gave a five- to 10-minute speech themed “After you graduate, be careful what you put in your system.” He identified an assortment of temptations to which students must not succumb such as drugs, alcohol and promiscuity. Rounding out the list was homosexuality, lesbianism and bisexuality.

School board Director Nancy Riddle, who attended the ceremony as she has each year for four years, was appalled.

I know some people have those religious beliefs, but it was still shocking to hear,” she said. Some people in the audience were visibly bothered, a ceremony participant said. Riddle received a phone call from a parent upset by the sermon, as did City Councilmember Darryl Moore, the first openly gay, black public official in the East Bay.

“I do think these graduations are great, but I think there is no place for homophobic comments,” Moore said. “We in Berkeley appreciate the diversity of our community. I think the speaker could have been just as forceful without making these extremely negative comments.”

The decision to select Scott as the keynote speaker was made by his friend BHS African-American Studies Department Chair Rev. Robert McKnight, who paid Scott an honorarium for the pleasure of slurring the gay and lesbian students at the event. He said of the matter: “We do not censor anyone. We defend free speech for everyone. If it’s right wing, if it’s left wing or in the middle, it’s free speech.”

Sure, Scott can get up there and say anything he wants, tasteless or not. I think more of these pastors need to expose themselves as the homobigots that they are in full public view. People need to hear what’s going on out there in segments of the religious black community, and see why too many pastors are lying down with the anti-gay dogs of white evangelical movement and coming up with their fleas.

Hat tip, Andy R.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding