Photo of Charles & Te' Andrea Wilson / WLBT-TVIt really shouldn’t surprise me — knowing as much as I do about Christianity — but now and again I nevertheless find myself amazed by a story of Christians brazenly and unapologetically refusing to live up to the dictates of their own religion, as its founder taught them to follow it. The latest example is reported by WLBT-TV (via WBRC-TV), and involves white congregants at a Baptist church in Crystal Springs, MS who refused to allow a black couple to be married there (WebCite cached article):

It was to be their big day, but a Jackson couple says the church where they were planning to wed turned them away because of their race.

Now, the couple wants answers, and the church’s pastor is questioning the mindset of some of members of his congregation who caused the problem in the first place.

They had set the date and printed and mailed out all the invitations, but the day before wedding bells were to ring for Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson, they say they got some bad news from the pastor.

“The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church, and that if he went on to marry her, then they would vote him out the church,” said Charles Wilson.

That pastor claims to have been on the couple’s side, yet he ended up giving in to his bigoted congregants by sidestepping the matter:

The church’s pastor, Dr. Stan Weatherford, says he was taken by surprise by what he calls a small minority against the black marriage at the church.

“This had never been done before here, so it was setting a new precedent, and there are those who reacted to that because of that,” said Weatherford.

Weatherford went on and performed the wedding at a nearby church.

That’s Christian courage for you. Faced with what he calls a small group of congregants who didn’t like what he’d planned to do, he scooted off and ended up doing it somewhere else. Nice work, Pastor. What a marvelous job of triangulation you’ve done!

Residents of Crystal Springs don’t seem to be too pleased about this turn of events, as WBLT further reports (cached) … but so far as I can see, no one has yet confronted the bigots in question and corrected them. So whatever kind of upset has been churned up, hasn’t really produced anything meaningful. Like Pastor Weatherford, the people of Crystal Springs are more or less just triangulating … claiming to be upset by the bigotry, yet unwilling, themselves, to do anything about it. Again, well done, Christians. Well done! Your Jesus must be so proud!

OK, I was being sarcastic in that last sentence. The truth about Jesus is that, according to the gospels, he associated with undesirables, outsiders and outcasts, and he was vocal about doing so. For Christians to make others into outcasts … no matter the reason they might have to do it (whether it’s occupation, skin color, whatever) … is decidedly and certainly un-Christian. Period. They need to fucking stop this kind of bullshit already and start living according to Jesus’ own teachings as he supposedly delivered them.

Hat tip: CNN Belief blog.

Photo credit: WBLT-TV.

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  • Monty Cabra

    Many blacks have been lynched in Mississippi. Is it time to turn the tables? Lynch the racists who prevented the wedding? Of course not. We cannot sink to their level of inhumanity. But, let us see them for who they are: backward, intolerant, criminal, hypocritocal. The best punishment is for the people in their church to condemn and ostracize them or leave that church. The pastor should be given the punishment he sought to avoid–the loss of his job. He lacked courage to do right thing.

    • It's apparent that whites in Mississippi have not managed to outgrow their intensely racist past. Even in the 21st century there are white Southerners who are still basically fighting the Civil War (woops, the "War Between the States," I keep forgetting that in the South, the phrase "Civil War" isn't allowed).

      But what's worse is, these racists being accommodated … by a pastor who refuse to confront them, and by a community that won't correct them. It's no wonder they're still acting this way, even after 150 years. No one is forcing them to grow up and act their ages, so of course they never will.