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Saturday, August 26, 2006

'Values Voters' on Race

The saddest part of all of this is that it's not surprising at all. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports:

SALTILLO - A pastor who says his congregation voted not to accept black membership has resigned. The church says it never made such a decision.

The Rev. John Stevens says Fellowship Baptist Church in Saltillo voted not to approve blacks as members during a scheduled Sunday night business meeting Aug. 6. Because of the decision, Stevens stepped down from the Baptist Missionary Alliance congregation that has an average Sunday morning attendance of 30 people.

According to Stevens, the church made race an issue after a biracial 12-year-old boy, Joe, began attending Fellowship Baptist with his temporary guardians.

The church was "afraid Joe might come with his people and have blacks in the church," Stevens said. "I could not go along with that. There would always be a wall between us, so I resigned that night."

According to the article, the boy moved in with his uncle and aunt, who had attended the church for about five months. The couple were acting as his guardians while his stepmother moved down from Ohio. "During the week of July 23-26, Fellowship Baptist held revival services," the Journal reports, "And on July 26, Joe became a Christian."

On the evening of August 6th, the article say, "The Kirks received a phone call from their pastor, Stevens, who said the church had voted not to accept black membership. The minister, 72, who has now retired, said he had resigned from the church over the decision."

How's that for good old fashioned values? The church members deny taking the vote, but if it never happened, why did Rev. Stevens resign -- just to screw with people's heads?

In another victory for traditional values, a school bus driver in Coushatta, Louisiana decided this whole 'tolerance' thing had gone too far, the Shreveport Times reports.

Nine black children attending Red River Elementary School were directed last week to the back of the school bus by a white driver who designated the front seats for white children.

The situation has outraged relatives of the black children who have filed a complaint with school officials.

Superintendent Kay Easley will meet with the family members in her office this morning.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also is considering filing a formal charge with the U.S. Department of Justice. NAACP District Vice President James Panell, of Shreveport, said he would apprise Justice attorneys of the situation this week. He's considering asking for an investigation into the bus incident and other aspects of the school system's operations, including pupil-teacher ratio as it relates to the numbers of white and black children, along with a breakdown of the numbers of black and white teachers employed.

"If the smoke is there, then there's probably fire somewhere else," Panell said in a phone interview from New Orleans. "At this point, it is extremely alarming. We fought that battle 50 years ago, and we won. Why is this happening again?"

I'll tell you why. These people have been told it's OK to hate again. That they should hate immigrants and gays and liberals and feminists and muslims and on and on. They're just taking the initiative and throwing in blacks. Both of these incidents are deep in the heart of RedStatistan, where hate is a political tool.


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Anonymous said...

Sure. Keep cherry-picking stories to support your own intolerance.

For every one of these kinds of stories there are hundreds of stories that show the openness and acceptance of Christians around the world.

Of course...if you commented on those you wouldn't have time to blog on it, wouldja?

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that he's not cherry picking. So called "Christians," like our president, increasingly exhibit behavior that seems farther and farther from anything that their purported "Lord" would ever sanction, at least in my reading of the Bible.

No, for "Christian" love and tolerance you're much better off with Hindus or Buddhists these days than Christians. I know, because I am familiar with adherents of all three faiths.

Anonymous said...

STFU Anonymous. That was the biggest waste of a comment I have ever seen. By your argument, this case should just be ignored because of all the other "good" being done by other christians. Notice also that the christian issue is only a part of the story. The story is not really all encompassing christian bashing either. It is pointing out two cases of intolerance and discrimination based on racial difference, one of which happened in a church.
I think it is a fair arguement that people have been told indirectly that it is ok to hate. Too many people in this counrty are scared and act stupidly because of that fear. Hate is a cowards way out of dealing with differences.

Peter Wright said...

@anonymous - the thing is, there's not really a lot of point in reporting (or commenting on) stories where Christians behave in a morally acceptable way (which, just like most non-Christians, they do - most of the time). Nor is it much of a story even when they do something fairly minor wrong.

Or should your local newspaper now be running major headlines each day "Anonymous Broke No Laws Today!"? Well, I'd hope not. :)

The main idea of emphasising stories like these is to point out that Christians (and all other politically powerful religious groups... which in the US would be very few) shouldn't be too brazen in claiming the moral high ground - as they run the risk of just falling into a deeper hole, one dug by their own team.

Hence the (appropriately) sarcastic "Values Voters" in the title. :)

Anonymous said...

Huh, if the couple were only the bi-racial kid's temporary guardians, what were they doing having him baptized? Seems more than a little inappropriate.

Kate said...

@ above:
The thing is, and I say this as a former born-again Christian myself (now an atheist), that most of the time Christians have a double standard for their own behavior. If they do something, it must be ethical because Jesus is on their side. But you can bet if someone had temp custody of one of their kids and initiated them into say Islam or Scientology, they'd consider it completely unacceptable and probably try to involve law enforcement.