"Why, thar's a couple of blacks wanting to marry th'selves in our church! I's telling you Pastor, them's blacks ain't coming near our church!!"
Now you could probably understand such sentiments being expressed in Mississippi of 1860. Maybe even 1960. But in 2012??
It is being reported in the media that Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson, a black couple, had set the date for their wedding at the predominantly white First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs and posted the invitations. Yet the day before their happy day, the church's pastor, Pastor Stan Weatherford, had to turn them away, claiming "a small number of church members had virulently opposed holding the event at the church, and he faced being sacked if he went ahead with it." Pastor Weatherford compromised by marrying the couple at a nearby church which had a largely black congregation.
What makes matters even worse (if that were possible) is that Te'Andrea was already a member of the flock at the Crystal Springs First Baptist Church.
Apparently, no black couple has ever married in the white First Baptist
Church of Crystal Springs since its founding in 1883 and clearly these
narrow-minded bigots calling the shots were going to make damned sure
that record wasn't going to be broken on their watch. Of course if they
had the slightest scrap of brains between their ears, they would have
seen that this was in fact an opportunity to end that relic of
Confederate jingoism, acting in the true meaning of the Christian faith
by loving thy neighbour.
So far it seems that this small number who appear to be opposing the fact the Confederates lost the Civil War, let alone the successes of the Civil Rights movement, are now keeping their heads down. So all we can do is imagine what they must be like. Now if they had the power to ensure sacking of Pastor Weatherford, then they had to be in a position of authority with that particular church, perhaps the congregation's Elders. It is not difficult to imagine them being older, still missing the good old days when those 'black varmits knew they's place' and possibly with a pillow case or two laying around their homes, complete with eyeholes cut out. And once they discovered their precious record was about to be broken, shocked telephone calls and secretive meetings going on so they could stop that heresy! And I don't care much for Pastor Weatherford's future there either as he would fall into the KKK's definition of a 'nigga luva'. And even if those leaders of the congregation aren't members of the KKK, they sure as shit are acting like they were.
In fairness, a member of that Crystal Springs congregation has been reported as stating she and the bulk of the congregation were unaware of this stunt, stating they were ashamed of the decision. If so, then now is the time for the apparently silent majority of that congregation to stand up to this incredibly bigoted minority, sending them on their way.
Now there are those who might be uncomfortable with an Australian, with our less-than-stellar record of treating indigenous Australians, now criticising treatment of African Americans. But should a church here turn a couple away merely because of the colour of their skin, there would be hell to pay in our modern society. And yes, I am well aware of the (unjust and unfair) irony that they can turn people away because of their sexuality. But if this sort of act, so terribly reminiscent of an era best left way behind, is allowed to stand, then we are sure as shit never going to progress!
I have said it before and I shall say it again. Sometimes one really has to wonder if the human species is indeed worth saving. Well it seems that while the rest of us are grabbing our snorkels and heading to the hills to escape the oceans rising from global warming, there is a group of Christian elders at the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs who should be left behind, firmly tied down on the beach.
Here endeth the rant... for now.
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