The Coalition of African-American Pastors has thrust itself into the middle of a major social battle being waged in the United States, and president and founder William Owens has vowed that his group will not back down from its stance.
In a press conference held Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Owens and a group of officials from the CAAP made clear their intentions to not only show their support for traditional marriage, but to educate pastors and citizens around the country to join in the fight.
“The time has come for a broad-based assault against the powers that be that want to change our culture to one of men marrying men and women marrying women,” Owens said. “…We must employ new methods to protect the family. We will stand up and they will learn that they can’t destroy the family. It won’t happen on our watch.”
The CAAP has challenged President Barack Obama several times on his position for same-sex marriage in May, when Obama came out in favor of it.
The organization already has begun phase one its by asking people to visit 100000signatures4marriage.com, and sign the “Commitment to Traditional Marriage Pledge.” The CAAP is also attempting to raise funds to make a national touring campaign entitled Marriage Mandate, in which the organization will hold rallies to teach citizens the “value of marriage between a man and a woman.”
Marriage Mandate is headed up by Owens’ son, William Owens Jr.
“Part of the purpose of the Marriage Mandate is not just to expose the wrong, but to celebrate the right,” Owens Jr. said. “We want to equip marriages and to bring out the beauty of marriage between a man a woman.
“This year, I have celebrated 27 years of marriage to one woman, and we have four children. My father has led by example, and I’m proud of that.”
By paraphrasing from a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Dean Nelson, chairman of the Frederick Douglas Foundation, challenged Christians throughout the country to stand with the CAAP. The Frederick Douglas Foundation is a Christian political organization that believes in the “sanctity of human life and the protection of traditional marriage.”
“Dr. King once stated that if the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it becomes an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority,” Nelson said. “I stand today with this great coalition to affirm our position on traditional marriage, that it is between one man and one woman. The right to marriage should only be afforded to those for whom it was originally intended.”
Nelson said The Frederick Douglas Foundation was instrumental in “helping a large number of African-Americans go to the polls and affirm traditional marriage in North Carolina” in May. The FDF has chapters in 19 other states, and Dean said the organization will “push and challenge African-American clergy to stand for traditional marriage.”
Chick-fil-A president and chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, recently came under fire from advocates of same-sex marriage after announcing he was “guilty as charged” for financially supporting traditional marriage organizations. The issue of traditional marriage vs. same-sex marriage is one of the most talked-about issues in the country.
National talk show host Mike Huckabee urged Christians to show their support for the fast-food restaurant chain Wednesday, calling it Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.
Owens, a Civil Rights activist in the 1950s and 1960s, insists that the CAAP’s agenda is not political.
“We want to make this very clear. We are not Democrat or Republican,” Owens said. “This is not the platform of any political party. It is our conscience. We will vote for what is right and what is scriptural. We’re asking black America to step up to the plate and do the same.”