A black Democrat Christian strategist says that the party’s donor class’ push for secular progressivism is “out of tune” with the views of many black Christians in the Democratic Party, and recounted the pushback he personally received when he urged the party to be more welcoming to biblical values.
Justin Giboney, an Atlanta-based lawyer and a former Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention, spoke out Monday against the direction that his party has taken as it relates to the views of black Christians who call for social justice while adhering to the moral truths of their Protestant biblical beliefs.
Speaking during a panel discussion hosted by Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, Giboney joined former Obama faith adviser Michael Wear and others in addressing questions related to the Democratic Party’s “religion problem.”
“I have been in politics and running campaigns and things of that nature for almost a decade. In doing that in urban politics, you are in a very progressive space. There were certain issues that I had trouble really reconciling with my faith, being asked to handle people’s campaigns and their platforms and just knowing that certain things were off limits,” Giboney said. “I really didn’t think that was fair or understand it because the people that I go to church with and the people I’m around are not necessarily secular progressives.”
Giboney helped launch the AND Campaign in an attempt to bring both social justice and moral convictions of the Gospel to politics and the Democratic Party. The AND Campaign also brings a voice to urban Christians who operate under a worldview that is committed to redemptive justice and “values-based policy.” The organization believes that urban Christians have “allowed the urban political class to abandon” values-based policy.
“It is hard to understand why everyone had to fit into that [secular progressive] box, it seemed like we were being forced into that box,” Giboney said of his experiences. “The AND Campaign basically came about when I got with some other people that I knew and said, ‘This needs to change.’ Why is it that we see social justice and biblical values are mutually exclusive?”
Giboney shared his experience running to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Georgia’s fifth congressional district in both 2012 and 2016.
“When I ran in 2016, it was a little bit of a different story. At the time, I had a group called Crucifix & Politics,” Giboney, a former Vanderbilt University football player, said. “We are in John Lewis’ district and decided I was going to run on a biblical platform. When I gave my speech, I really didn’t say anything about the party. I just talked about how the party can’t be one that excludes people of faith.”
“I talked about issues such as sanctity of life and all those things and how they don’t change for biblical Christians but we still deserve to be here,” he added. “It was an interesting conversation. We won. We won by huge numbers and we almost doubled or tripled anybody else’s votes in one of the most progressive places in Atlanta.”
But after the election ended, Giboney said that there were some that tried to get him removed from the Georgia delegation because of what he said about biblical values.
“Thankfully, I anticipated that and I taped the whole thing so they couldn’t move my words around,” Giboney said. “But, it was a difficult conversation and unfortunately, there was an attack just based on bringing a biblical perspective. We ended up winning, which says a lot. But there was also an attack there. So, you see the dynamic in that small example.”
Giboney, who served as the Obama for America’s Gen44-Atlanta initiative, said that he isn’t the only black Christian politician in Georgia who has faced that type of opposition.
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Source: Christian Post