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Just when you thought Jim Crow in the Deep South was crucified, dead and buried, another outrage happens.  This time, it comes from an all-too-familiar place--Mississippi.  Charles Wilson and Te'Andrea Henderson wanted to hold their wedding at First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, south of Jackson.  But on the day before the wedding, the pastor of that church came with some shocking news--they had to move the wedding because they were black.

"The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church, and that if he went on to marry her, then they would vote him out the church," said Charles Wilson.
[snip]
"He had people in the sanctuary that were pitching a fit about us being a black couple," said Te'Andrea Wilson. "I didn't like it at all, because I wasn't brought up to be racist. I was brought up to love and care for everybody."

The church's pastor, Dr. Stan Weatherford, says he was taken by surprise by what he calls a small minority against the black marriage at the church.

"This had never been done before here, so it was setting a new precedent, and there are those who reacted to that because of that," said Weatherford.

To his credit, Weatherford performed the ceremony at a nearby church.  But the Wilsons have retained a lawyer and are considering their legal options.  

If this small minority is worried about black folk marrying in their church, they may have to get used to more requests in the future.  According to Wikipedia, Crystal Springs is almost 56 percent black.

City leaders are also outraged by this.  The city's mayor says that the community is standing with the Wilsons.

Emotional at times, Mayor Sally Garland says the community will fight against the reported prejudice the Wilson's have faced.

"We're together loving each other and praying with each other and (this situation) can't define us. It's just not true. It's not who we are as a whole."

Garland has also scheduled a unity rally at Railroad Park in Crystal Springs at 6 pm Monday night.

You expect to still find subtle prejudice in this part of the country.  But something this blatant?  Staggering--especially since the Southern Baptist Convention just elected its first black president.

7:17 AM PT: Since this is on the rec list, I have to say that I agree--as sad as it is, a legal challenge might not go anywhere.  It may accomplish one thing, though--heaping more well-deserved shame on the racist morans in that church.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Every single time these stupid RW fucks (17+ / 0-)

    get all high-and-mighty, racially, I'm reminded just how seriously they are damaging their brand.

    A few years ago, I was doing active outreach to local churches, trying to get them to host our educational speakers for SB 840, which is what California's single-payer legislation was called back then. I went to lots of local services. One church I went to, in a different part of the city, was very conservative. Theologically, it could only be described as evangelical. It was thriving, with a large congregation and many young families and kids. And it was just as racially mixed as it could be. There were couples of every single race, and every bi-racial combination. There were kids of every single shade and hue. And, from the pulpit, it was all, "Are you saved today?"

    This church, I thought, could see the writing on the wall. It could see what was happening to worship in this country, and it went there. It'll survive. A lot of these racist and bigoted places, they won't.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 06:49:39 AM PDT

  •  I hope they don't pursue legal action. (28+ / 0-)

    Loathsome as it is, I think churches should be free to adopt policies like this.  In fact, it's one of the talking points I've always used to counter claims that recognizing same sex marriage will result in churches being forced to conduct ceremonies for same sex couples.  
    So, I'm all in favor of shaming this church, but not in favor of suing them.

    •  I agree (14+ / 0-)

      I think this is disgusting, to be clear, but I'm not surprised by it.

      However, churches are free to discriminate. I don't think it's in their best interest to do so, but they are certainly free to do so and they do it all the time.

      Every adult in this nation should have the right to marry any other adult- but no one has the right to be married in any church they choose, nor should they.

      So I'm with you- shame the hell out of them and leave it at that.  

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 07:06:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If A Christian Believes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lineatus, Oke, SuWho

      That marriage is divinely inspired by God, and that's we're taught, then I think that God's arm (aka the law) should do whatever it has in its power to shut churches like this down as a dishonor to God's teachings.  For a group of congregants to deny the sacrament of marriage in God's house to a couple that regularly worships there (not to mention what the cynic in me also knows, which is that these racists were quite happy to regularly get money from in the collection box each week from this same couple that it seemed to have no problem with) is not religious.  That's not religion.  Except the religion called white supremacy.

      Since I believe firmly that God wants us to strike down white supremacy wherever it is found as a direct violation of his requirement of us in John 3:16, I also believe that anyone who tries to protect such a church is simply making excuses.  Were it me, I'd have fired off a lovely letter to the IRS and the state franchise boards over this, because under no rational construction of religious purpose can a clearly illegal act be sustained.  These folks admitted point blank they didn't want us Neegrows to be married in "their church."

      But this church, and every church, to keep its tax exemption must refrain from racial discrimination.  That's crystal clear.  Thus the lawyer in me says that this particular incident is more than ample reason to prompt a serious investigation into whatever tax exemption this church may be benefitting from, with revocation of status following shortly thereafter.

      Since racists of this type, willing to be this foul in what they would contend is the house of the Lord, don't seem to listen to morality or reason, let's see if a few years of having to pony up financially will make a dent.

      •  "God's arm"? (4+ / 0-)
        That marriage is divinely inspired by God, and that's we're taught, then I think that God's arm (aka the law) should do whatever it has in its power to shut churches like this down as a dishonor to God's teachings.
        The law is most certainly not "God's arm".  Not in this country, anyway.  

        Would you want your church to be forced to perform a marriage ceremony for a couple of Christian Identity white supremacists?

        •  No Need to Lecture Me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CherryTheTart

          I think life is God's arm.  Every part of it.  I didn't ask you to agree or expect you to agree.

          As a lawyer, I am well aware of the difference between divine law and the law that governs civil marriage.  It's all good if you don't dig my rhetoric,  but no need to pretend that your take on things is the only take on them.

          The answer to your strawman question is that it is a strawman.  If it is indeed a marriage between congregants that I've been more than happy to worship with previously, then I don't get the right to say I don't like their private personal views.  Since, fortunately, we don't have any white supremacists in our church, however, and unless they are in the closet we don't even have any who visit, it's a non-issue.  We are not talking about absolute strangers to this congregation, after all.

      •  Their money (0+ / 0-)

        ...isn't black... So it's ok...

        Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

        by awesumtenor on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 08:00:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not true, churches aren't covered (0+ / 0-)

        Churches can discriminate based on race just as they can based on gender. (Were this not true, the Catholic Church could be compelled to accept women priests and married priests, and the Mormons could have been compelled to allow black priests.) Read the fine print of the "public accommodations" and other civil rights laws -- I'm certain they do not apply to churches.
        And I do not believe the IRS rules for tax exemptions for schools and colleges (which do outlaw race discrimination) apply to churches either.
        To some extent these exemptions are designed to avoid "entanglement" issues if the courts try to adjudicate what are religiously based rationales and what aren't -- the penumbra of the Establishment Clause.

        •  They Cannot Maintain a Tax Exemption (0+ / 0-)

          It's one thing under the Constitution to deny a tax exemption when someone limits public accomodations because of a specific religious belief, another to deny it where no religious belief underlies racial discrimination.

          Jusk ask Bob Jones University (and the IRS, after 1975.)

          BTW, the law of discrimination law is an entirely different animal than the law of public accomodations (which does not seek to evaluate religious doctrine, but instead assures that when a service is offered to the public without express limitations based upon religious doctrine, it is offered to everyone.)  So the Catholic Church's stance on allowing women to serve as priests, and the Mormon Church's stance on allowing Black people to become full members of their church, says absolutely nothing about whether those churches could also refuse to marry a couple of a different  race when they can't point to any doctrinal basis for it.)

      •  If the church won't sanctify marriage (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miniaussiefan

        people of good faith and true Christian belief can leave that church for others nearby.

        Starve the bigots down to drown in their own teacups.

        Texas is no Bush league! LBJ & Lady Bird, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Drew Brees. -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 12:46:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I wonder if the same underlying principle would (3+ / 0-)

      support both forms of exclusion, especially in this case. After all, they can cite Leviticus for their homophobia, along with their national church's support for the ban.

      But the bible doesn't say anything about keeping the colored folk out, does it?  And the couple attended the church - its not like they could keep their blackness in a closet during services. The church had scheduled the wedding and the minister had agreed to officiate, knowing they were black. It wasn't cancelled until the day before the ceremony because of the complaints from a few racist fuckwits in the congregation. And the church gave in to the racists.

    •  could be interesting (2+ / 0-)

      If they refuse to marry a couple because of race it could have an effect on their tax exempt status. I think as horrible as it sounds a private church can refuse to marry anyone they want t unless it falls under the civil rights act somehow.

    •  I am not sure I agree with your reasoning. I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      with your logic that churches are free to pursue any policies they like or stop any they dislike, and I agree that this is a key point in the fight against bigotry when it comes to marriage equality, which I have always strongly supported, but I do believe that 501c3 organizations should be able to keep their charitable status if they discriminate.  Unfortunately, this battle has not been fought with churches - only with schools - so you may be right for now, bit I would rather see a tax exempt organization that violates the laws of our Country WRT discrimination lose its tax exempt status as that would hurt more than anything else.  Where this is different WRT the marriage equality issue is that marriage equality is (not yet, but hopefully soon) defined as a civil right that cannot be violated.

      It is discouraging to see that churches have so far been pretty much exempt from complying with US non-discriminatory laws (unless they have schools associated with them like Bob Jones University), but I hope that this changes soon.

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 09:57:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They could have legal action (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      misslegalbeagle, Miniaussiefan

      if they paid money to have the wedding (and possibly reception) in that church, thus forced to incur additional expense by moving the ceremony (not to mention the expense of notifying all the guests of the change of venue). But that would pretty much be it -- breach of contract.

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 10:16:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They are not free to engage in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      Breech of contract. They had a contract, written or not. They agreed to conduct the wedding, the invitations were printed, arrangements were made.

      The legal issue isn't about whether or not they have a right to a no black wedding policy. They should be liable for the damages caused by failing to live up to their contractual obligation.

      The hassle and expense of a last minute change of venue, the time spent making alternative arrangements, contacting all the guests, and the humiliation endured should all be compensated.

      I say sue the bastards!

      Working people of America unite.

      by Sarge in Seattle on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 10:36:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure they have any legal recourse. (13+ / 0-)

    A church is not, strictly speaking, a "public accommodation" so much as it is a private club. It can pick and choose its members, mores and traditions, save for extreme practices like, say, human sacrifice (though snake chunkers certainly endanger themselves).

    I don't know if this couple has a legal path to redress this obvious wrong, sad to say.

  •  Let me tell you something about churches, (20+ / 0-)

    and I speak from years of experience as a staff member and leader at many churches of many denominations: small minorities in churches often have the biggest voice. It's easy to be bullied in church leadership by vocal malcontents.

    That being said, I, personally, would have taken my risk of being ousted to perform that wedding. It's a damned shame that the Rev. Weatherford allowed himself to be bullied by these racists. It tells me his leadership is already weak.

    Had Romney gone to Dublin: "The babies are just the right size. To eat." equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 07:09:58 AM PDT

  •  Way to demonstrate (5+ / 0-)

    the love of Christ, there.

    Churches wonder why attendance and membership is dropping. People go to church to get away from the hate; why go there if it's just more of the same, except sanctioned by God?

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. - Mark Twain

    by Late Again on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 07:18:28 AM PDT

    •  very few churches are about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany

      the love of Christ.

      They are political institutions, mostly.

      You'd have to work at a church for many years, like i have, to see how corrupt and ridiculous they really are.


      "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 08:31:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry that you've had a bad experience... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but could you, at least, say "how corrupt and ridiculous some can be"?  There are thousands of churches, filled with good and decent people AND good and decent leadership, that quietly go about their work in their communities with nary a whisper of scandal.

        The problem is that people look at the megachurches and think them representative of all, or they look at this Baptist church in Mississippi and think it representative of all Baptists.  Please don't strengthen that misinterpretation.

        •  You've counted these thousands of (0+ / 0-)

          churches and observed their wunnerufl behavior?

          Every time some church makes the news for wrongdoing, somebody trucks out this "only a few bad apples, while gazillions are saintly & wunnerful" line, but nobody has ever presented any evidence for it.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 02:02:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's actually rather simple. (0+ / 0-)

            Take a look at the math.  There are more than 45,000 Southern Baptist churches in the US, more than 41,000 United Methodist churches, and 7,000 Episcopal churches.  So, those three denominations alone account for more than 90,000 churches.  The level of "connectivity" between individual churches and their denomination varies greatly;  each Southern Bsptist church hires its own clergy, for instance, while the Methodist Church assigns clergy to specific churches.

            So, unless someone has--as you seem to demand--evidence that more than 95% of these churches are corrupt, then yes - there are thousands of churches going about their business untainted by scandal or controversy.  Put another way, you could provide examples of corruption and/or scandals involving 1000 Southern Bsptist churches, and that would be AT BEST an indictment of 2.2% of the denomination's churches.

            Thus, given the complete lack of any evidence of corruption covering 85,000 individual churches, I'm quite comfortable asserting that there are thousands of churches that simply go about their business without controversy.

            •  "Without controversy" as in not airing (0+ / 0-)

              dirty laundry is a far cry from being oh so wunnerful. There is a lack of evidence for the position  (not being taken) that all are evil, corrupt or whatever, but also a lack of evidence for the position (often taken) that thay are bastions of love, charity, goodwill, etc. The math is that most are completely unknown. Until this one got into the news, it was part of your thousands of presumptively wonderful churches by virtue of the fact that it hadn't made the news yet.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 08:16:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  This Church Probably Wouldn't Allow A Same (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, BlackSheep1, enhydra lutris

    sex couple to marry there either.

    Discrimination is discrimination.

    Churches have a long long history of discrimination.

    I don't see why the surprise.

    Especially when so many citizens continue supporting and attending these churches.

    There are too many churches which are simply houses of hate.

    The Republican Party is Simply a Coalition of Greed and Hate

    by kerplunk on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 07:25:09 AM PDT

    •  Yes (4+ / 0-)

      But as incorrect and hateful in terms of scriptual interpretation as I believe Christian homophobia to be, at least these racists could have pointed to a religious reason grounded in scripture for it.  Not here.  There is nothing in the Bible that even hints at a religious proscription against this marriage.  It wasn't interracial in nature (which also used to be opposed on religious grounds.)  There is nothing connecting the religion to this act by the church.  It was just flat out white supremacy.

      •  Do You Really Need Someone To Point To A Religious (0+ / 0-)

        reason for discrimination?

        I don't go for defining degrees of discrimination, it's all discriminatory and the sooner we all realize that the better.

        White supremacy has been cited by religions as a reason to discriminate.  So I don't understand your statement  that there is nothing connecting the religion to this act by the church.

        The Republican Party is Simply a Coalition of Greed and Hate

        by kerplunk on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 01:13:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Don't Need Any of It (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kerplunk

          And just got done saying I don't agree with the scriptural interpretation that justifies homophobia.  White supremacy rests upon the thinnest of self-reinforcing reinforcing reeds (i.e. there are Black slaves, and the Bible said that Cain was dark and cursed, ergo, discrimination is OK).  There is no direct Biblical statement justifying white supremacy. aka "Those people are cursed, dirty, therefore thou shalt not" unlike the language in Leviticus Romans which is at least a direct prohibition against some forms of sexual relations between men (although, just since it seems you might be incorrectly assuming something you shouldn't, I personally believe that pretending that a word that doesn't exist in the original Greek means what bigots want it to mean today is extremely weak scriptual analysis.)

      •  Which can be a religious tenet, and even (0+ / 0-)

        a "christian" tenet.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 02:03:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Legal action is not the way to deal with this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury

    What they should do is insist on the pastor making public the names of the racists.

    And then demand a vote on them being expelled from the church.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 07:56:16 AM PDT

    •  nosleep4u: if they're the "old guard" they'll win (0+ / 0-)

      & the pastor & any supporters of the black couple will be forced out.

      It's just that bad. The money rules in the church, be it Catholic, Protestant or other.

      Texas is no Bush league! LBJ & Lady Bird, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Drew Brees. -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 12:50:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Re: Legal Action (5+ / 0-)

    (insert standard IANAL disclosure here)

    It would seem unlikely (and frankly, undesirable) that there is any legal recourse against a church denying black, interacial, gay or any other kind of couples from using their facilities for a wedding.

    On the other hand, up until the day before the wedding, this couple thought they were getting married in their church.  It had been scheduled, plans for the rest of the festivities had been built around it, there may have been a deposit paid, contracts may have been signed.  For those things, there could definitely be legal recourse.

    "If you want me to treat your ideas with respect, get better ideas." John Scalzi

    by SoCalJayhawk on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 08:11:08 AM PDT

  •  Legal action might not work... (6+ / 0-)

    but the social media might.  I looked for the church on Facebook last night, and posted my own (negative) review of their actions.   This morning, I had 12 'likes" and my comment was buried by over 100 newer comments, all equally harsh.   My favorite of the others was the one suggesting that they use white sheets for their vestments.

    The Scout Law (trustworthy, loyal, helpful...) is a GREAT liberal manifesto.

    by DaytonMike on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 08:12:26 AM PDT

  •  An important thing to see (3+ / 0-)

    is how the mayor, the preacher, and other people in the town are standing against the bigotry. That is SO different from the south I grew up in, in the 60s. Yes, racism is still a big problem, but when people make blatant moves like this, it's considered indefensible by important people in the community.

    The town I grew up in was 52% black. The town was completely segregated, until  . . . the black held an economic boycott. They simply refused to buy anything in that town, and went to neighboring towns for food, clothing, hardware, anything they needed.

    If 52% percent of a town isn't buying, even if it's the poorest 52%, that's a big problem. And you can't arrest someone for not going into a store and buying. That's what finally got my hometown integrated in public places, in jobs, in schools. Still prejudice people abounded, but they could not longer be such a huge block to progress.

  •  Pastor looks like a liar. (0+ / 0-)
    The church's pastor, Dr. Stan Weatherford, says he was taken by surprise by what he calls a small minority against the black marriage at the church.
    If it's a small minority, how could they possibly vote you out of the church?

    Liar.


    "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 08:28:41 AM PDT

  •  In my local UU church (3+ / 0-)

    which at the time had been largely humanist/atheist/agnostic for decades, there was in the early 1990's a flood of Yuppie theists who, after joining, began to express their discontent with the then-minister, who was also a humanist/atheist/agnostic. After a few years, they had gained enough voices to oust him in favor of a new, theist minister (thereby triggering the self-deportation of a number of the older members, including me and my family).

    I mention this simply to underscore the fact that a lot of churches, even extremely liberal ones, are in many ways run by the congregation, not by the church hierarchy (if there is one). In those churches, ministers must submit to the congregation or leave. Some submit, some leave, and that's just way it is.

    Some of the consequences of this can be quite frustrating, but, on the whole, if you're going to have churches then there are considerable advantages to having the congregations control most things, including personnel, instead of a central authority who may be far removed from the priorities of the local groups.

  •  Know about racism in Southern churches (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice Venturi, BlackSheep1

    I left my parents' church in the '70s because they fired their minister who allowed a Black minister speak from the pulpit.

  •  Striking that the pastor was more enlightened… (0+ / 0-)

    … than the congregants.  Contrary to sentimental belief, leaders are usually a better lot than their rank-and-file followers.

    The US Senate: where change goes to die. Let's strengthen democracy by changing the cloture rule from 60 to 51.

    by burning rain on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 08:57:03 AM PDT

    •  The pastor (0+ / 0-)

      Actually, all it shows is that the pastor was better than the troglodytes of the church, who seem to have been powerful but not the majority of the church. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of the congregants do not support the subgroup but also would rather avoid the problem by having the black couple marry in another church.

    •  ROF,L. (0+ / 0-)

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 02:06:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Alas... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gfre, enhydra lutris
    Just when you thought Jim Crow in the Deep South was crucified, dead and buried
    I never thought this. Someday, but not yet.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 08:57:37 AM PDT

    •  Indeed, Jim Crow lives: (0+ / 0-)

      Have you read Doonesbury recently? It's about voter suppression, but the  Jim Crow  aspect is there as well.

      Being the single intellectual in a village of 1,100 souls ain't much fun, especially when 1,099 of those don't think you're all that smart.--Lucy Marsden

      by Miniaussiefan on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 03:33:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pity the pastor didn't take a stand. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, SoCaliana, TFinSF

    If he believed in God, he wouldn't be afraid of a few racists.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 09:04:37 AM PDT

  •  It may not be who they "are as a whole." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCaliana

    But it is damn clear that racism is alive and well in this country.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 09:15:33 AM PDT

  •  So the "Church" has Black parishioners, takes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka

    money from them and then excoriates them for trying to participate?  It doesn't sound like a very loving place, now does it?  Not to blame the victim, but why did these people associate themselves with this church?  I'm sure that there were always signs of this racial hatred, but perhaps the couple wanted to see the best (as we all try to do in our churches).

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 09:17:31 AM PDT

  •  Blatantly Open racism (0+ / 0-)

    Lets one know were they - the targets stand in a community. Given a choice, I personally would prefer this kind of blatant offensive racist expression, compared to the nebulous insidious more damaging expression of racism. The latter is what the GOP/T party is busy practicing as they chop off folks from the voter rolls. Its much more difficult to fight against this form of racism.

    The couple above in the story is not alone. There was a similar case in Kentucky a yr or so ago.

    I would not bother with a law suit. T.he racists have been exposed for what the are and that in and of itself is the ultimate punishment. They are now pariahs

  •  Why (0+ / 0-)

    Now you know why God should hate America.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 09:27:32 AM PDT

  •  How can this be legal? (0+ / 0-)

    Doesn't their tax-free status depend on their following the laws of the land?

    •  Establishment Clause (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      misslegalbeagle

      One of the ways the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment has been interpreted over the years is that the government should not get itself tangled up in things that are religious policies of religious organizations. "The laws of the land" don't require churches to behave a certain way -- they have exemptions or exclusions for churches and other religious bodies. That's why churches don't have to file the same tax forms as other non-profit organizations.

      It's also why the Catholic Church can insist that priests be male, unmarried and celibate, while we would not allow General Motors to demand that of its managerial personnel.
       

    •  No. (0+ / 0-)

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 02:07:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The President and Michelle (0+ / 0-)

    should go and renew their vows in this church.

    Chief Dan George in The Outlaw Josey Wales playing Lone Watie, "We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union."

    by voodoochild62 on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 09:33:09 AM PDT

  •  Outrageous. But legal recourse is none. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 09:41:42 AM PDT

  •  So will all the Republicans that are calling for (0+ / 0-)

    an end to all affirmative action (and support this vile action) agree that affirmative action is still needed because discrimination is still practiced today.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 10:01:43 AM PDT

  •  Okay, this wasn't an interracial marriage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka

    but TWO BLACK PEOPLE getting married? What, do these folks think that black people still are non-people and thus not entitled to marriage, the way it was in the slave era?

    I hope the sane members of that congregation, starting with the minister, leave that church and go start a new one that welcomes all of God's people.

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 10:12:53 AM PDT

  •  I can't believe nobody has posted this yet (0+ / 0-)

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 10:55:23 AM PDT

  •  How could a "small minority" vote the (0+ / 0-)

    pastor out of the church?

  •  Weatherford, the gutless pastor, had a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bud Fields

    beautiful opportunity for a teachable moment. He could have stood up for the teachings of Jesus Christ and against the screaming racism of the "small minority" in the congregation, and thundered, "I will marry this couple in this sanctuary. You are free to attend or not to attend. And if you wish to remove me from my position as pastor, I stand ready to surrender it. I will leave with my head held high, knowing that I have tried to do the right thing as I understand the teachings of Our Lord." Instead he weaseled. Gutless.

    It's entirely possible this will split the congregation. Baptist churches split over anything. I know of one in Mississippi that split over an argument concerning an oak tree.

    •  3/4 of me thinks him gutless (0+ / 0-)

      The other 1/4 of me is hoping that the pastor avoided a huge explosion in his congregation so that he could take more time to better heal the festering wound caused by this small minority. I hoping he believes that in the long run, this will be the better path, that he can do more good as the pastor of the church, rather than the ex-pastor.  But that's my idealism coming out, probably.

  •  This church is about to implode (0+ / 0-)

    Based on experience with our own church in-fighting, this church is about to go through some mighty rough waters. And rightfully so. Hopefully the rough times will weed out the supposedly small numbers in the church opposing the marriage.  I can imagine those opposers are probably older, rich, and wield power in the church.  (Who else would be able to vote out the minister?)  Yeah, this is going to get messy.

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