Black people! Have I told you lately that you obviously (duh) ruin everything you touch? Take church for example. Here’s a perfectly nice, Mississippi church, innocently minding its own business when you – grrrr– decided to roll up all in love and wanting to spend a lifetime together. You, in all your selfishness, cruelly insisted on starting your lifetime of love in this church (where you are a member) when this church never hurt anyone and obviously doesn’t deserve this.
Why are you doing this to churches, black people? And doing this with your love? Ugh. And in 2012, in this day and age.
I bet it was that black woman’s fault. She probably wanted to be that man’s loving wife, marrying him in the church their family attended.
Charles Wilson said that he and his wife sent out invitations and the printed program with their wedding date of July 21 at First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs.
Insiders say five or six members went to the Rev. Stan Weatherford after seeing the couple’s wedding rehearsal the Thursday night before their Saturday wedding.
The church pastor said he was surprised by the reaction of some church members.
“I didn’t want to have a controversy within the church, and I didn’t want a controversy to affect the wedding of Charles and Te’Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day,” Weatherford told WLBT-Channel 3.
Charles Wilson said it was a huge disappointment that he and his wife couldn’t get married at the church they attended because of the color of their skin.
“I feel like it was blatant racial discrimination,” Wilson said Friday.
Who knew that what would Jesus do would mean enact a copious amount of CYA.
From ABC News:
The vast majority of Crystal Springs residents, blacks and whites alike, were “blown away” by the church’s decision, said Theresa Norwood, 48, who was born in Crystal Springs and has lived there her entire life.
Norwood said she believes Weatherford should have married the Wilsons regardless of the risk to his job.
“That church was their home,” she said. “What would Jesus have done? He would have married them, without a doubt, because it’s the right thing to do. We’re all God’s children.”
The minister who made this terrible call is Pastor Stan Weatherford, and I’m trying really hard to be like Bill Clinton and “feel his pain.” I mean, what could he do? Stand on principle and possibly lose his job due to bigotry in this economy, or end up looking like a sap on the national stage for doing something that sounds more 1912 than 2012? Decisions, decisions. But this all goes back to how, for all our advancements as a nation on race, that hour (or two or four or six) we spend in church on Sunday is still one of the most segregated hours in America.
Years ago, there were some other ministers, priests, and other religious folk who faced a similar dilemma. Follow Jesus or follow bigots. Now, sure, some of those bigots claimed they knew Jesus, but a lot of people claim to know Jesus, which goes back to how any and all beefs I have about Christianity has very little to do with Christ and everything to do with a few of his followers. So let’s take a look at what people in similar (and far more dire) situations did.
James Reeb: A Unitarian minister who died while marching for Civil Rights in Selma, Alabama, during a time when being a white minister siding with a bunch of “trouble-making” negroes would get you killed. And it did. He was beat to death in 1965. He was 38 years old. He wasn’t even from Selma. He was born in Boston and was a minister/activist in Washington, D.C. So he actually stopped everything he was doing and rushed down to help those being oppressed.
Bruce Klunder: A Presbyterian minister from Oregon who stood strong in the fight against segregation in Ohio. The Yale graduate was protesting the building of schools in Cleveland that reinforced the city’s segregation. He acted as a human shield to stop construction, which lead to him being run over by a bulldozer during the protest in 1964.
Jonathan Daniels: A Episcopalian seminary student, he joined the Civil Rights Movement to help register black voters. For doing this he was arrested, released, and then promptly shot and killed by a local sheriff in Alabama in 1965. He was 26 and is considered a martyr in the Episcopalian church.
And that’s just recent, Civil Rights-related items. There’s a whole history, even a legacy you could say, of people who were so inspired by the story of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice that they took it quite literally and actually did the sort of work where they’d likely be rewarded for their activism by sometimes becoming martyrs, just like the man they were trying to emulate.
This Weatherford dude in Mississippi though, far as I can tell, was only facing getting fired. Not a firing squad. Not being beat to death, crushed by a bulldozer, or shot. Just the lonely, soul-crushing unemployment line. Now I’ve stared down the unemployment line. It’s not fun. And I’m not saying that just because you’re a man who’s decided to follow God and be Christ-like that you have to be like … wait! Your own order says you have to be like Christ. If you can’t handle the most basic test – the stand on principle in the face of adversity test – why on Earth did you become a minister?
So, scratch that. Maybe what I’m saying is that if other people faced death for equality and all you faced was a lost paycheck and you blinked, maybe this whole Jesus thing isn’t for you. Maybe you should do something less becoming of leadership and much more like following.
I know you thought you had a calling. But maybe this one time you heard wrong.