Wednesday, August 01, 2012

1051 Not in MY Church

1051 Not in MY Church

Let’s get the statistics out of the way first.  Crystal Springs, Mississippi is five square miles of nothing that’s about half an hour out of Jackson, which is about 100 square miles of not much.

The Robert Johnson Blues Museum is in Crystal Springs.  And Johnson likely would understand what’s going on there today.  Today, he would be in the majority... Crystal Springs’ population is mostly black.  Not mostly by much.  But in a town of about 5,000, anything over 2,500 is “mostly.”

Then, there’s the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs and this is the place where the preacher, in fear of losing his job, refused to marry Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson because they are black.  The Wilsons attend this church but aren’t members.  The preacher, Stan Weatherford, did conduct the ceremony, but not within the hallowed walls of the FBC.  

Pressure from congregants is what he claimed.  But not from all of them.   There’s a line of members and attendees waiting to apologize.  Pressure from congregants could mean anything from “y’all don’ wanna be marryin’ none a those folks in our church,” to that same sentence with the words “or I might have to rethink my annual contribution of 48% of the budget” tacked on.

So a little church in the middle of nowhere performs a racist error for reasons more complicated than race.  And the deacons came out with a statement that says in more flowery words “we’ll minister to anyone, regardless...” blah blah blah.

Is that a change of policy?  Will the preacher man now be thrown out for NOT marrying the Wilsons?  

What’s easily as important as the marriage is that a discussion like this is still going on in 21st Century America, almost 150 years since the issue was supposedly settled and never should have had to been a big deal to begin with.

Keep the Stars and Bars flying, guys.  It’s nice to be open about what you stand for.  

And to the right thinking, right feeling members of the First Baptist Church:  apologies are nice.  But find another source of income and send Mr. Big Contributor packing.

Shrapnel:

--Only 12 days to go and the Olympics freak show will be over, less than two little weeks.  Then Romney can find somewhere else to put his foot in his mouth.  Anyone know who won the gold medal in speed-texting?

--On his foreign tour, Romney insulted the Brits, offered paternalistic praise to Israel while insulting the Palestinians and pandered to laborites in Poland.  Three stops in the countries of three staunch US allies.  Just think of how that will translate when he addresses our enemies.

--What ultimately will kill the Romney campaign is not the telling of tall tales he’s famous for -- his role at Bain, traditional marriage and the like -- nor his shipping jobs overseas, his ham-handed reverse-diplomacy, nor his arrogant richguy lifestyle.  It’s the dog.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© 2012 WJR

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