The Black and White Elephant in the Evangelical Room

Last week, Mitt Romney made the necessary pilgrimage to the NAACP convention and as expected, it was a classic lose-lose situation for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

If he had passed on the invitation to speak, he was sure to be roundly criticized for not caring about minorities. But if he accepted, Romney was even more certain to be booed by a room full of people who had already made up their minds how they were going to vote this November… and every November.

Romney courageously chose to enter the lion’s den, knowing that he wouldn’t be given a fair hearing. And he was right, as his hosts serenaded him with catcalls throughout his remarks.

Why the African-American community continues to support a party and a president whose policies have been an anathema to black families is beyond me. Unemployment among black adults stands at 14% and is approaching 40% for black youth. Even more tragically, 70-75% of all African-American babies are born out of wedlock, which is a major cause and predictor of lifetime poverty.

African-Americans comprise 12% of the population, but account for 37% of all abortions. And America’s prisons continue to overflow with minority inmates, many of them incarcerated for drug-related offenses and black-on-black crime. I know; I have spent the past 25 years in prison ministry.

But my beef today isn’t with the NAACP. Rather, as a born-again Christian, I want to call my fellow evangelicals on the carpet.

One of the basic tenets of Christianity is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

Simply put, when a person places his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, his heart is eternally changed. He is adopted into God’s family and spiritually joined with fellow believers from every corner of the globe.

In other words, race no longer matters for a Christian. Or at least it shouldn’t.

And that is why I am appalled when I hear of a fellow Christian who bases his or her vote on their skin color or the color of their preferred candidate. That goes for white Christians as well as black ones.

Dr. King longed for a day when his children would be judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the barometer the NAACP used to judge – make that prejudge – Mitt Romney and to coronate Barack Obama.

To be frank, I expect no less from the NAACP.

However, I expect much, much more from my brothers and sisters in Christ who just happen to have a skin color different than mine.