"If children start to believe that it's okay to be gay then they will think it will okay to be a pedophile or have sex with animals." This is quoted word for word from pastor Dr. Ronald Ferguson of Antiloch Church of God based in Harlem. He was referring to the second annual celebration of gay pride in Harlem called Harlem Pride. When I read this in the NY Daily News last week I went through many emotions, shocked, disappointment, anger and disbelief that someone who not only calls himself a pastor but also calling himself a doctor would say something so asinine. But really I should not have been surprised as the church position; especially black churches that are stuck in the past along with the irrelevant NAACP. That'll be another entry. For me it seems to be older voices, or if we have to call them leaders, who are stuck in the past and not aware of the world changing around them. When will churches get it? I know the pastor doesn't speak for all churches but in all honesty he's voicing what other churches are preaching to their congregation. And like a bad cold, that information contaminates the thinking of individuals who spreads their hate into the community. What's shocking is that to this day black churches refuses to acknowledge that there are people living in the community who are not only gay but also living with HIV. And that around those same churches people of color are the ones who are the highest rate of getting HIV. They are invisible because of the message that comes from the pulpit. When it comes to rates of infection, Harlem is one of the hardest hit areas. And to have someone make such a comment and have it in print only keeps stigma of being gay alive and blocks those who look to the churches as a tapestry of their well being. It also forces gay members to enter the church in silence. Personally I would never be part of a church that fuels hatred and ignorance, Yet not everyone has my or even your temperament.In the black community, although they perform the actions, they are many who still don't accept the term gay, so what the preacher is preaching they may feel doesn't apply to them. In other words not everyone is ready to wear the rainbow colors. The last time I looked the role of a preacher was to lead and not to divide. It also strikes a hypocritical cord with me as there are some church leaders who hate gay people during the day yet seem to find an attraction to us during the darkness of the night. Isn't that right Bishop Eddie Long and those in the church who cover up the many abuse of children. That one was for you Pope. But we don't talk about the elephant in the room. Yet in all fairness not all leaders of churches shares the same sentiment and we can't lump them all together. There are some black churches that have made an affirming environment regardless of who you are. And I've also met some individual pastors of color who has a "come as you are" philosophy. Aside from them though I think for many in the church the only time they find comfort with us is when we put a wig on and call ourselves Madea or if we're entertaining you in the choir causing you to clap and stomp your feet to the singing. People quote from the bible but also those same people conveniently tell you passages which are taken out of context. If we really were to follow the many things the bible called a sin, we would all be sinners. Yet it's better to take passages out of context to suit their agenda. Speaking to kids, the one thing I stress to them is that no matter what you believe that everyone deserves respect and if your God tells you to hate any of his children, I would start to question what God I'm worshiping. Scriptures are meant to elevate not denigrate. This hate is getting old and I know for me my gospel is one of inclusion so I ask preachers and those who blindly follow, what's yours? For the pastors who speak out against the Harlem Pride, I say don't pray for me, I'll pray for you. It seems you need it more than me.