Letter To Pastor Dr. Patrick L. Wooden In Response To Campaign Ad Telling Black Folks Not To Support President Barack Obama


Faith, Hope, and Justice Ministries
Curtis E. Gatewood, Minister
129 W. Front St. Oxford, NC 27565 ~ gatewoodlovesjustice@gmail.com

September 7, 2012

Rev. Dr. Patrick L. Wooden
Senior Pastor
Upper Room Church of God in Christ
3300 Idlewood Village Drive
Raleigh, NC 27610

RE: Anti-Obama Radio Ads

Dear Dr. Wooden:

After much prayer, I am writing to express my concern regarding your political campaign ad which is heard on radio stations throughout the Raleigh/Durham Triangle. I am bothered by how the ad attacks President Obama, especially considering Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and other Tea-Party-driven candidates are spreading repetitious lies while simultaneously violating the best interests of the poor, the elderly, the oppressed, “the little ones”, and others Jesus the Christ considers amongst “the least of these”. Consequently your politically motivated attempt to stigmatize the President as a violator of God’s word regarding his position on “marriage equality”, while saying nothing regarding Romney’s numerous scriptural violations is hypocritical and sinfully uses the Bible as a political football in a game our community cannot afford to play or lose.

For the record, I am not one who condones homosexuality. Nonetheless, I will not sit idly by and allow Ministers such as you to cause our Christian community to be sidetracked with the blindfold of homophobia and as a result, lead the poor, the elderly, the sick, the captives, the children, and the oppressed off a cliff and deeper into the ditches of divide and conquer. Evidently, you have allowed your obsession to ridicule homosexuals and others who consider gays as victims of human rights violations, to take your eyes off the need to honor Jesus’ overall message of love; the need to be slow to judge; as you have become distracted from Jesus’ requirement that we honor and prioritize our commitment toward serving the needs of the poor, the vulnerable, and the oppressed. After all, in the final analysis, the measuring stick of our fitness for “the Kingdom” will NOT be based upon how well we can preach or our willingness to cast stones at others (see John 8:7), but will be based upon our treatment of “the least of these (Matthew 25:31-46).”

While I know you, like some others, would be willing to engage in a cherry-picked scripture battle with those who question your narrow and distorted view of the scriptures in this particular instance, the bottom line is – When I was hungry did you feed me? When I was thirsty did you give me drink? When I was naked did you cloth me? If Romney agrees with bashing gays, but has no policies that will address the need to feed the hungry or cloth the naked or provide care/healthcare for the poor who are sick, are you suggesting Romney is more Biblically acceptable? If not, when you ask your listeners not to support President Obama, what is their alternative? Since Jesus Christ’s name is not on the ballot, Mitt Romney a man whose policies serve as a War on the Poor, will clearly become the beneficiary of your ridiculous radio ad. I reiterate, it will be Romney, not God who will benefit from your ads.

Let me also reiterate, Jesus said, “It would be easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven.” With this being the case, if those of you who use the Bible to bash gays and call on voters to punish President Obama, when are you going to use the same Bible (Matthew 19:26) to hold Mr. Romney and others like him accountable to what Jesus asked of the Rich Man? Are you going to ask Mr. Romney to expose and return the riches he has hidden in Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Islands, other off shore financial shelters, undisclosed income tax filings and bring it all back within the shores of America and add it toward the sale of all of his other possession which contribute to his wealth and then ask Mr. Romney to “distribute your wealth amongst the poor?”

I find it appalling that Pastors such as yourself are more interested in defeating President Obama than defeating poverty which threatens the lives of more than 1.6 million North Carolinians including more than 600,000 poverty-stricken children in North Carolina who are often left trapped in a cycle of poverty, crime, violence, and early-death; or Pastors who appear more interested in bashing select individuals/groups rather than bashing lies such as those coming from Tea-Party poli-tricks; lies which Jesus said are the source of the devil. “…For there is no truth in him [the devil]. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).”

Obviously when we see you and certain other ministers who use the Bible in such an inconsistent and politically motivated manner in an attempt to defeat President Obama, you are NOT carrying out the will of our God of justice, you are instead engaging in Selective Scriptural Amnesia and committing Ministerial Malpractice like “Blind Leaders of the Blind.” As you know, Jesus said, “When the blind leads the blind, they both fall into the ditch.” Too many of our people are blind and in the ditches of ignorance and injustice. If we within God’s church do not ensure they find truth and justice – who will?

I am not asking you or anyone to campaign for President Obama, neither am I asking you to remain silent in the event our President does something which conflicts with God’s word. I am only respectfully asking that you not use the Bible as a political football; not exploit President Obama’s Christian shortcomings while ignoring the weightier shortcomings of his political rivals Romney and Paul Ryan.

For example, the Ryan/Romney budget would cut every dispensable social program or conceivable low-income form of assistance to pay for 1 trillion dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy. It would cut education by 45 percent, cut infrastructure by 24 percent, cut Medicaid by 34 percent, would repeal the Health Care Reform Act (ObamaCare), force 45 million citizens off health insurance, and cut over 700 billion from Medicare just to name a few of the budget’s cruelties. No church or true person of God on the face of the earth should support such a devastating plan. To add insult to injury, Ryan claims his Catholic faith played a role in determining such a budget, but several Catholic Nuns are going on bus tours across the country protesting and educating other citizens and people of faith the extent to which Ryan’s plan would harm the poor.

I am only asking that in such a time as this; with so much at stake; in this time of political darkness, confusion, challenge and controversy, we as Ministers of God must speak boldly and truthfully while shining the light of truth on ALL facets of Jesus’ Ministry and all aspects of His truth involving those who are chosen to make decisions which impact the multitudes/masses of “the least of these.”

While I have worked as an advocate for the poor, the children, and the oppressed for year as a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) representative, I am NOT writing you on behalf of the NAACP, neither am I writing you as a political advocate for any particular political party or association. I am writing you as a spiritually and procedurally ordained Minister of the Lord Jesus Christ in defense of the poor, oppressed, and those who are treated unfairly.

Unfortunately, the first African American U.S. President , Barak H. Obama clearly falls in the category with those who are unfairly targeted, violated, scorned, discriminated against, and hated in our state and nation. Without regard to politics, I am subsequently defending President Obama as I would any others who are blatantly mistreated and held to a double standard (i.e. The goal posts have been moved as Obama’s re-election campaign will face new challenges this year in campaign finance reforms, voter suppression laws, congressional obstruction, media bias, etc.) all designed to defeat him. My love for justice is not based upon politics, but largely upon Jesus the Christ’s indisputable call for social justice as an essential component of his Ministry (Luke 4:18).

In the aforementioned Luke passage, Jesus also refers to “the book of Isaiah” during his sermon in the Synagogue. In Isaiah 10:1-2, God confirms he is a God of Justice as he warns:

Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
2 to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.

With this in mind, I respectfully ask that you pull your radio ads because it claims to be supported by scripture and Christianity while at the same time it serves as a wicked political tool for the forces of hate and is in direct conflict with our God who loves the poor and oppressed, and demands justice; our God whose only Son stated, “God is a Spirit and those who worship him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.” As a Christian, “truth” should not conflict with the words of Jesus the Christ who has acknowledged “…The truth shall make you free.”

I realize there are those who will pat you on your back, pay you and/or contribute large sums to your church while using you, taking advantage of your status as a “religious leader”, and hide behind your respected and charismatic voice only to pull your strings in hopes you will serve as their puppet of division, confusion, injustice, ignorance, and unrighteousness. Nonetheless, I will be prayerful that you will not allow your great talents/gifts, your appeal, and your fine church to be used in such a deceitful manner because in closing, Jesus also said in Matthew 6:24, as you are fully aware, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money (Matthew 6:24).”

Respectfully submitted in the spirit of God’s love, peace, and justice,

Curtis E. Gatewood

“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he has sent me to heal the broken hearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are oppressed and preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19

Read more:

Dr. Wooden Black Preacher Telling Black Folks Not To Vote For President Barack Obama Was Seen On A TV Station Admitting He Had Gotten Ahead Of Himself With “The Ad” Sources Say

Response: The following was posted on Facebook, how interesting.

However, it’s amazing how God works. I was up in the wee hours in the morning, flipping the channels. To my surprise I seen Pastor Wooten on TV speaking about "his actions/beliefs." Prior to starting his Sunday sermon. He admitted that he had gotten ahead of himself and did "THE AD" without informing his congregation prior to doing so. Members of his church, including his brother was slapped with …caught off guard by people in the community about this ad. THEY HAD NO IDEA! You mean to tell me YOU(WOOTEN) was sooooo caught up and angry that you just forgot to inform your flock?? YEAH RIGHT! He didn’t care. Did you inform your wife?? Hmmm…

See more:

Dr. Patrick Wooden

Ignant Column: Sheria Reid Responds To The Black Pastor Dr. Patrick Wooden’s Ad “Don’t Vote For Obama”

Response: As always I agree with Attorney Sheria Reid comments because she be right on! Thank you my friend. Yes I said it, Dr. Patrick Wooden made my Ignant Column.

I agree with you that I think that urging people how to vote crosses the line of separation between church and state. I think that the IRS needs to take another look at his church’s tax exempt status.
In addition, the President did

not address the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality, President Obama addressed a civil rights issue. To deny gay people the right to marry is discrimination. Marriage is a legal contract. You don’t have to say your vows in a church or a temple or synagogue or any religious structure for it to be legal as long as you have a license and are married by a person with the legal authority to marry people under state law.

It wasn’t that long ago that white people used the Bible to justify their opposition to interracial marriage. Anti-miscegenation laws were in place in southern states until 1964 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Loving vs. the State of Virginia that such laws violated the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.

I grew up under segregation and it disgusts and appalls me that a black minister would advocate for discrimination against any group of people.

As for the Bible, if we take it literally, Leviticus, where most point to declare homosexuality to be an abomination, also includes in Leviticus 20:10 that a man and a woman who commit adultery are to be put to death. Given the amount of infidelity that goes on, some of it arising among church members, we need to start gathering a lot of stones. Leviticus also prohibits eating shellfish. Based on the number of black folks that I see at Red Lobster, I don’t think that this prohibition is being followed.

Sheria Reid

Read more:

Dr. Partrick Wooden

Ignant Column: A Black Pastor Dr. Patrick Wooden Telling Black Folks Not To Vote For President Barack Obama! Well!

"Ignorance will never end. Even those with money can’t buy SENSE!!" Author: Curmilus Dancy II The Political Agitator

Before I get started you needs to know: “I have no permanent friends no permanent enemies only permanent interest!”

This is in response to someone who responded about the black Preacher who is running an ad telling black folks not to vote for President Barack Obama. The person said, "If Rev. Al Sharpton can tell you to vote for Obama because of his view on taxes, healthcare, rich people, etc…,in all fairness, any pastor should be able to tell you not to vote for Obama because of his views! You know what tickles the hell out of me is that black folks who say that other black folks think that "our" President is the best thing that has ever happened."

I don’t tell people who to vote for unless I am working on their campaign so if that is not the case I just tell people who I am going to vote for and why and let others decide for themselves who they want to vote for.

I disagree because everything you named above that are Rev. Al Sharpton’s views can not be compared to one damn issue same sex marriage. Rev. Al’s views are something that all folks black, brown, white and other can relate to and is a good thing.

The ignant Pastor we are discussing is telling folks not to vote for "our" President because of one damn issue. One that does not affect me in any kind of way. So therefore this is no comparison to all of the above.

I get so sick and tired of folks who ought to know better, somewhat politically engaged but preach ignant mess be they are a Pastor or just a regular person.

Damn what options are the Pastor that we are discussing giving the people by telling them not to vote for Obama? Hell if he wants a REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT then he ought to be telling folks just how damn good the ignant a… REPUBLICAN candidates for President and Vice President are.

Well damn we have always heard that a black man can be President so now he is however anybody, I repeat anybody who thought that when the time came that a black President would have it easy is just as ignant as this Pastor.

He has had to fight the good ole boys within both parties because some folks are not ever going to accept a black man being in charge and the highest office in the land. Damn!

Hell most black folks in their right minds know that a black man/woman being in charge is not well accepted by other folks and not even jealous ignant black folks.

Okay hell yeah I support "our" President. I have not heard anyone say how "our" President has affected their lives since he has been in office especially black folks. They say he has not done anything for black folks. Well damn what do you want him to do?

Read more:

Ignant Column: I Received A Phone Call And A Text About A Black Pastor Dr. Patrick Wooden Telling Black Folks Not To Vote For President Barack Obama

Ignant Column: I Received A Phone Call And A Text About A Black Pastor Dr. Patrick Wooden Telling Black Folks Not To Vote For President Barack Obama

Damn I couldn’t believe it when I got the phone call and a text with the radio ad about Dr. Patrick Wooden telling black folks not to vote for President Barack Obama because of the same sex marriage thingy. I can’t believe a black man would tell black folks not to support “our” current President because of this one single issue. And to say that “our” President has turned his back on black folks is just too damn ignant.

I don’t know Dr. Wooden but I do know some folks that knows him. I do know he is the pastor of the Upper Room Church in Raleigh NC. I find this mess to be misleading and a sad day for North Carolina and nationwide that a black pastor would come out and point blank tell black folks in North Carolina not to vote for President Barack Obama.

I could understand it better if he had said this is the reason why he was not going to vote for President Obama and then let others make their own decision but to use his bully pullpit to attempt to make black folks not vote for Obama because of this one issue bothers the hell out of me. Yes because to tell black folks to not vote for “our” current President is telling them to vote for the Republican candidate. So Dr. want black folks to support the Republican Party.

Well sir this becomes personal to me when I strongly feel that the Republican Party’s agenda is about taking us back. When they say back I go back as far as I know either from what I know or from what I have been told. I am a 49 year old informed black man so I know what back then consisted of. Now although they have not come out and specified what they mean by taking us back, hell I assume the worst.

It never seems to amaze me that some folks want to make one sin bigger than others.

As it relates to homosexuals they can be found in just about every church some are musicians, sing in the choir and etc. However whatever the role they play, the church take their money just like they does the straight folks.
But I wonder what is really motivating the Dr. to do this?

What I have found since being actively engaged in politics since the early 90’s is that when a person comes out and tell someone who actually tell others who to vote for they are either on someones’ payroll or have a personal agenda.

So Dr. what about healthcare and other issues that can be linked to “our” current President? So are you saying that all that he has done and tried to do having to fight the good ole boys for 4 years do not outweigh this one damn issue?

As always I research information to see can I get more information about things when I receive information from others. The following is what I found so again resources to The DCN were right on!

The following is what I found when I did a Google search. The article do not name the church he pastors but it is the Upper Room Church of Christ in Raleigh NC. I understand it has a huge congregation.

Dr. Patrick Wooden, a black pastor who helped lead the successful effort to pass the North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment, recorded a radio ad in which he denounces President Obama for "turning his back" on the African American community.

Wooden asks black North Carolinians to oppose Obama this fall. "With the strong support of the African American community, the amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman passed overwhelmingly," Wooden says in the radio ad.  "The very next day, President Obama came out for homosexual marriage. Now his campaign leaders are working to deny North Carolina’s ability to define marriage, and they want to overturn our state marriage amendment altogether. Join me in saying ‘no more’ to President Obama." (More)