Oh, Kentucky …

I got this link a few days ago, but I’m lazy and had my actual day job to attend to …

Pike Church Takes Stand Against Interracial Couples

A small Pike County church has voted not to accept interracial couples as members or let them take part in some worship activities. The decision has caused sharp reaction and disapproval in the Eastern Kentucky county.

[…] Stella Harville, who is pursuing a master’s degree in optical engineering at a school in Indiana, brought her fiancé, Ticha Chikuni [a native of Zimbabwe], to church in June and played the piano as he sang.

Dean Harville said Melvin Thompson, who had been pastor for many years, told him in August that his daughter and her fiancé couldn’t sing at the church again.

In early November, Thompson proposed the church go on record saying that while all people were welcome to attend public worship services there, the church did not condone interracial marriage, according to a copy of the recommendation supplied by the Harvilles.

The proposal also said “parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services” or other church functions, with the exception of funerals.

The recommendation “is not intended to judge the salvation of anyone, but is intended to promote greater unity among the church body and the community we serve,” the copy supplied to the Herald-Leader read.

Wow, this from a church in the Bible Belt. Nothing promotes unity among members of a community like excluding those who marry outside of their race. Not only is this pandering to the racism that is so ingrained in that part of the country, but it is a perfect example of the kind of attitude that is given a pass as soon as it’s identified as part of someone’s religious doctrine.

“We don’t like gays!”
“Women are inferior to men!”
“We are afraid of science!”
“We don’t like people who look different!”

All backwards. All ignorant. All based on a combination of fear and a sense of superiority.

Now to their credit – and in the interest of fairness – the community of Pike County has responded unfavorably to the church on this issue, so much so that a revote is very likely. So obviously we’ve made some significant progress since the middle of last century. It’s my hope that a strong community response to the use of religion to promote bigotry, sexism, racism, and outright ignorance will stay strong so that we can keep moving forward as a modern society.

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