D.C. Mayor Pressured Ex-Gay Gospel Singer Out of MLK Concert, WashPost Downplays Censorship

The Washington Post reporter today that Mayor Vince Gray (D-Washington, D.C.) confirmed it was he who pressured gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to back out of Saturday's city-sponsored concert honoring the late Martin Luther King, Jr. McClurkin was the target of local gay activists because of comments he made in 2002 in which he testified about how he used to practice homosexuality but repented of that lifestyle because of his faith in Jesus Christ.

Although a group of local African-American pastors are furious about Gray's "insidious bullying tactics" and "outright infringement of Pastor McClurkin's civil rights," the Washington Post downplayed that angle in today's page B3 story, burying their outrage in the final third of the 9-paragraph article, "Gray made call to cut gospel singer from show." "Gay activists objected to scheduled headliner at King memorial," noted the subheader, giving the casual reader scanning the page no indication that McClurkin's treatment by the mayor has sparked outrage.


What's more, staff writers Mike DeBonis and Hamil Harris noted in the very last paragraph that although the city owes McClurkin [pictured at right, image via McClurkin's Twitter profile] $10,000 for his scheduled performance, the gospel artist told the Post he had not been "paid anything for the performance or the inconvenience" of being canceled at the last minute.

Yesterday, Harris wrote a 13-paragraph story, "McClurkin doesn't sing at MLK event: His 2002 comment led gay rights activists to object to his appearance," which gave McClurkin's side of the story but had no indication that others were upset about the city nixing his singing gig because of an 11-year-old controversy.

So what, pray tell, was so offensive? Apparently McClurkin claiming to have been delivered from a lifestyle of homosexuality:

In 2002, McClurkin wrote on a Christian Web site that he struggled with homosexuality after he was molested by male relatives when he was 8 and 13. “I’ve been through this and have experienced God’s power to change my lifestyle,” he wrote. “I am delivered and I know God can deliver others, too.”

Of course, McClurkin's statement accords with biblical teaching. As the Apostle Paul wrote the church in Corinth (emphasis mine):

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, ESV)

The Bible clearly teaches that God sanctifies and justifies and transforms wayward sinners, bringing them out of their errant lifestyles into a life of true peace and joy found in Jesus Christ. McClurkin believes this, lives in light of it, and openly testifies to it, and for that he is censored without any outrage from the paladins of tolerance in the secular liberal media.
 

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters