The Swamp (Chicago Tribune's political blog):
Gospel music superstar Donnie McClurkin says he was surprised to wake up Tuesday morning to a media firestorm.
The 47-year-old Grammy-award winning and best-selling musician is scheduled to perform this weekend at Senator Barack Obama’s three-day concert series in South Carolina. Bloggers, for the most part, are calling for the senator to cancel the singer’s Sunday night appearance, saying that his views are anti-gay and incite hate. His ideals and most importantly his ministry, he says, were severely misconstrued.
“Most of the things that were said were totally out of context and then other things weren’t true,” says McClurkin in an exclusive interview with the Tribune. “My only concern is to be in place with Senator Obama in unity and bring all the factors together for the sake of change. That’s my only thing. Of course some agents have twisted it as though he [Obama] were embracing a racist or a Nazi, and that is anything but true.”
McClurkin and Obama first connected last month in California at an Oprah Winfrey fundraiser for the presidential candidate.
“I believe in his stance. I believe in his platform and his agenda. So when they asked me if I would be apart of it, there was no problem,” says McClurkin, who has performed at both the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention and identifies himself as a democrat. “We don’t have to agree on everything, but we do have to agree on the main thing: that there needs to be change and I believe he is the candidate to bring it.”
For years, McClurkin has talked from the pulpit about how he was raped by a male family member as a child. It was that act, he has said, that sent him into living as a gay man for the better part of 20 years. He now says that he is straight and that his ministry is open to those who say they no longer want to live life as a gay person. What he doesn’t do, he says, is crusade against homosexuality.
“I don’t believe that even from a religious point of view that Jesus ever discriminated toward anyone nor do I,” he says. “There’s never been a statement made by me about curing homosexuality. People are using that in order to incite anger and to twist my whole platform on it. There’s no crusade for curing it or to convert everyone. This is just for those who come to me and ask for change.”
Labels: barack obama, donnie mcclurkin