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Old 12-02-2011, 08:07 AM   #1
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Baptist Church Bans Interracial Couple

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In a move to "promote greater unity" among its body and the Pike County community it serves, a small Kentucky church voted to ban interracial couples from membership and from participating in certain worship activities, Kentucky.com reports.

Though reminiscent of some Jim Crow-era mandate, the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church actually made the decision earlier this month, following a visit from 24-year-old Stella Harville, daughter of the church's secretary and clerk, and her 29-year-old fiance, Ticha Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe.



Interracial Couple Banned From Kentucky Church
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:11 AM   #2
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I heard about this and it depressed me, but then I remembered this is Kentucky and they are part of "Real America" and therefore not part of the United States.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:12 AM   #3
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There are so many things that bother me about this story, but the one that disturbs me the most is the repeated "this is not racist" answer.

Really? Then what would you call it?

I feel like a big portion of our country still doesn't understand the definition of 'racist', they believe that as long as they aren't wearing a white hood that their ignorance is somehow acceptable.

And the fact that it's a southern Baptist church... don't get me started.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:20 AM   #4
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I really am tired of the Bible and the people that use this story written by some desert dwellers thousands of years ago to justify their absurd hatred against others. But again, this doesn't surprise me at all. My dad went to Atlanta in the '90s and stopped in some bar where he carried a conversation with some guy. They somehow ended up on the subject of Cuba and after a small tirade against hispanics, my dad told him he was Cuban.
The guy's response?
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I thought all Cubans were niggers!
He managed to insult two peoples in one sentence! And this is Atlanta, not Hodunk, Kentucky.

From what I've read the alliance of Baptist churches (whatever, man) has condemned this church. The best thing is to not picket or make a scene. Let the racists have their church and you can go somewhere else and watch it die a slow death from a distance.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:26 AM   #5
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I'm not even outraged anymore, to be honest. It just seems as if you hear about these sorts of things almost every day.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:38 AM   #6
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I really am tired of the Bible and the people that use this story written by some desert dwellers thousands of years ago to justify their absurd hatred against others.
I don't think this has anything to do with the Bible. These people are racist, period. They'd probably be racist if they weren't religious.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:45 AM   #7
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I guarantee if you ask the pastor who initiated the ban, he will cite something from the old testament regarding a curse of Ham...

Honestly, there's more insight in a Twilight book.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:56 PM   #8
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I guarantee if you ask the pastor who initiated the ban, he will cite something from the old testament regarding a curse of Ham...
But that's probably because he's already a racist and has found something that supposedly corroborates his racism.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:56 PM   #9
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I'm sure there are still plenty of small churches and small civic organizations around the country where interracial couples are "unofficially" unwelcome. This one made news because they put it to a formal community vote (9 to 6 "with a number of abstentions" and the current pastor opposing, which gives you some idea how small the church is). I gather one of the signature features of this Free Will denomination is that individual churches have much more autonomy than in, say, the Southern Baptist denomination.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:33 PM   #10
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I don't think this has anything to do with the Bible. These people are racist, period. They'd probably be racist if they weren't religious.

I agree, and I also agree that they use it as some sort of twisted rationalization for their hatred and bigotry.

Just incredibly sad and wrong.

They overturned it today

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An eastern Kentucky church under a firestorm of criticism since members voted to bar mixed-race couples from joining the congregation overturned that decision Sunday, saying it welcomes all believers.

Stacy Stepp, pastor of the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church in Pike County, told The Associated Press that the vote by nine people last week was declared null and void after it was determined that new bylaws can't run contrary to local, state or national laws. He said the proposal was discriminatory, therefore it couldn't be adopted.

Stepp said about 30 people who attended church services voted on a new resolution that welcomes "believers into our fellowship regardless of race, creed or color."

The issue came up at the tiny all-white Appalachian church after the daughter of church secretary Dean Harville visited over the summer with her boyfriend, who is from Africa, and the two sang for the congregation.

Harville said he was approached in August by Melvin Thompson, the church member who crafted the resolution to bar mixed-race couples, and was told that his daughter and her boyfriend were no longer allowed to sing at the church.

Thompson has said he is not racist and called the matter an "internal affair."

Stepp said the Sandy Valley Conference of Free Will Baptists declared the vote on Thompson's resolution null and void during a meeting on Saturday.

He said he told church members on Sunday about the decision and proposed a resolution to promote "peace, love and harmony."

He said the resolution to welcome all believers passed with a unanimous vote.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:27 AM   #11
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Well I'm glad that this vote has magically made them unracist.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:55 AM   #12
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it's made the news over here too! absolutely disgraceful!

even though they've now overturned the vote, they've lost all credibility as a church... if they had any in the first place...
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:22 AM   #13
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I'm sure those interracial couples will be lining up at the door to become members.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:03 PM   #14
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They should definitely consider changing their name.
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