July 05, 2012
The African Methodist Episcopal Church today seeks to set the record straight on a statement that is misinformation at best and a lie at worst. A July 1, 2012 story posted on the “Charisma News” website and Facebook page reported that the AME Church was threatening to withdraw support from President Barack Obama because of his stance on same sex marriage and that the AME Church was partnering with an organization called The Coalition of African American Pastors.
According to Bishop Samuel L. Green, Sr., President of the AME Church Council of Bishops, “As a denomination, we do not endorse candidates for any political office. As such, we cannot ‘withdraw’ support from President Obama because we cannot endorse any candidate for political office and did not endorse the President. No organization has been authorized to speak for the AME Church.” Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry, Chairperson of the AME Church’s Commission on Social Action said, “Contrary to the report, neither the AME Church nor its leadership is involved with or partnering with the Coalition of African-American Pastors.”
We also condemn those who attached the good name of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to an effort to sow discord and misinformation. The story in Charisma News bore a sad and striking resemblance to other stories that either stretch or totally abandon the truth in an effort to divide and conquer the African American community.
As a denomination born in the struggle for equality, we condemn any effort to discourage voters or to lead voters astray through misinformation. The AME Church Social Action Commission will instead continue to encourage all citizens, and especially those touched by our churches, to register and exercise their right to vote.
“We call upon Charisma News and those who furnished this erroneous story to their website to immediately rescind the story. Should that not be done, we will immediately seek possible remedies to correct the situation,” said Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr., President of the General Board of the AME Church.
In the Episcopal Address to the worldwide church, the Bishops of the Church said, “We call upon each of our congregants to become registered and vote on election day...and urge all of our churches to conduct voter registration drives”. Bishop John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop of the AME Church, said, “We shall continue to advocate for the well being of all humankind, so that they can freely hear the liberating Gospel of Jesus the Christ.”