Eric C. Redmond is senior pastor of Reformation Alive Baptist Church in Temple Hills, Md., and is a former second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He writes in TownHall:
Dear Mr. President,
Your recent expression of your understanding of 'marriage' is troubling to us. There are no tenets that can be identified as Christian that allow for anyone to view homosexuality as acceptable. The Christian faith holds to the Bible as the truth, for it has given ample evidence of being the very words of God to man. It is the Bible that reveals marriage to be a union between a man and a woman; it is the Bible that reveals all homosexual activity to be sinful. Therefore we would reject your so-called Christian understanding of same-sex marriage as uninformed and false.
... Do not be deceived: Our votes will not come cheaply. Our mutual identity as African Americans is something we celebrate every time you laugh off the ignorance of those who question your American citizenship and when you make those long strides that have come to characterize your trek from Marine One to your home. Yet our confidence in your ability to govern the nation justly and equitably is not based solely on the contrasting ethnicities of your opponent and you. Yes, our ancestors made many sacrifices for us to have the right to vote. However, they also died while trying to stand for righteousness. So we can use the nil option in November, opting not to vote for you or the presumptive Republican nominee.
Therefore, we will not be giving you our vote this fall unless you reverse your professed position on same-sex unions. This would demonstrate to us that you are a man of wisdom who has the good interests of the American people in mind, and who has the heart of the people of faith in mind. For we are not limited to an either/or option when it comes to suffrage, but you are: Either you change your position on same-sex unions or you will not have our votes. We would rather throw our vote away than have to explain to the parents of our grandchildren how we voted for a president who sees marriage so differently.