Members of a national black pastors coalition and other Christian ministers stood together Tuesday to announce they are prepared for massive civil disobedience among pastors and clergy should the U.S. Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage in its highly anticipated decision.
At a press conference in Memphis, Tennessee, held in the Church of God in Christ’s historic Mason Temple, Rev. Bill Owens, president and founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP), said, “If they rule for same-sex marriage, then we’re going to do the same thing we did for the civil rights movement. We will not obey an unjust law.”
“The politicians and the courts have tried to take God out of this country,” he continued. “This country was founded on Godly principles. We will not stand back and be silenced.”
Owens urged Christians of all churches to prepare for civil disobedience if the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage and requires them to obey its decision.
“We stand today to put America on notice that we will not obey an unjust law,” he asserted.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Owens said that, should the Supreme Court decide in favor of same-sex marriage, he envisions another civil rights movement of Christians of various churches and massive civil disobedience.
“I see the way forward, it’s the civil rights movement all over again,” he said. “Most gospel preachers will not obey such a decision.”
Owens has said many times that militant LGBT activists have hijacked the real civil rights movement – led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. – and claimed it as their own.
“We wanted equal rights in the original civil rights movement I was part of. They want special rights,” he continued. “Before this is over, it will take civil disobedience. We will not set aside our religious beliefs over this. We will urge Christians to massively disobey any law that invades our religious freedom.”
Owens said that leadership in the United States has taken the nation into a “downward spiral.”
“President Obama overrode the will of the people,” he said. “The people voted for marriage between a man and a woman. Our votes were stolen from us.”
“We celebrated the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, but now they are allowing politicians and courts to take that vote away,” Owens added. “We will not be silenced.”
Owens warned LGBT activists will be very surprised by the repercussions of a Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the U.S.
“Millions of people in this country will not stand by and see our civil rights violated, our right to religion, our right to worship,” he continued. “We will go to jail – I see it coming.”
Rev. David Welch, executive director of the Pastor’s Council in Houston, Texas stood with Owens at the press conference in Memphis. In an interview with Breitbart News, Welch agreed many pastors are prepared to call for civil disobedience if the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage throughout the nation.
“To me the essence of the issue is that marriage was not created by the state, and it cannot be redefined by the state,” he said, and continued:
It is an institution that has existed through all of human history and in Western civilization and Judeo-Christian principles. Historically, it has always been understood to be between one man and one woman. And given the references in our founding documents that there is a higher law above the Constitution even, in the laws of nature and of nature’s God, then that’s what we stand on. So, our position is that the Court ruling has no jurisdiction to define marriage should it choose to attempt to do so and force that upon the rest of the nation.
Welch said many Christian pastors throughout the country will be prepared for imprisonment when they defy a ruling that requires them to ignore their religious convictions.
“The bottom line is that if the Court should attempt to unilaterally force same-sex marriage on the states,” he explained, “then what they essentially are doing is running the risk of filling the jails with pastors around the country who will be forced to comply with this against their convictions, and stand – as Martin Luther and Martin Luther King did – to stand to do whatever is necessary to follow our faith.”
“If it comes down to declining to perform same-sex weddings, that we will be charged with a civil or criminal penalty, then we will accept the penalty,” he added. “But this isn’t just about the wedding ceremony itself. This is a core, fundamental issue of our First Amendment freedom that the Court is toying with right now. Either we have the right of freedom of conscience and religion and the freedom to practice it, or we don’t.”
Owens and his coalition have aggressively defended traditional marriage against the Obama administration’s continued advocacy for same-sex marriage and LGBT “rights.” In March, Owens blasted Obama when the president compared the civil rights movement to that for same-sex marriage at the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march, when black American citizens were beaten while demanding voting rights they had been denied.
“I marched with many people back in those days and I have reached out to some of my friends who marched with me, and all of them are shocked,” Owens told Breitbart News. “They never thought they would see this day that gay rights would be equated with civil rights. Not one agreed with this comparison.”
In February of 2014, CAAP also issued a press release in which it announced a campaign to call for the impeachment of then-Attorney General Eric Holder on the basis that he had violated his oath of office by “attempting to impose same-sex ‘marriage’ throughout the nation.”
“President Obama is a disgrace to the black community,” Owens said. “He is rewriting history. We didn’t suffer and die for gay marriage. We marched for opportunity, equality, justice, freedom from oppression. We are the true heirs of the civil rights movement. We now have a new movement to reclaim the ‘real’ civil rights movement.”
CAAP has launched a new Christian grassroots movement called RISE that seeks to unite “people of every race, creed, culture, and background.”
“Our nation is asking us to rise up and defend our most cherished values,” the coalition states.