Kentucky Church Votes To Refuse Membership To Interracial Couples

A sad reminder that, in many parts of America, we still haven’t left prejudice behind:

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.

“It’s not the spirit of the community in any way, shape or form,” Randy Johnson, president of the Pike County Ministerial Association, said of the vote.

(…)

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.

Members at a business meeting decided to put the matter before the whole church. Last Sunday, nine people voted for the proposal and six voted against it, Harville said.

There were more people in attendance, but some didn’t want to take a stand, he said.

Harville said the resolution was motivated by racism and has given the church, the community, the county and even God a black eye.

“It sure ain’t Christian. It ain’t nothing but the old devil working,” Harville said.

They have a right to decide who they accept as members, of course, but we have a right to judge them for it.

Update: It looks like Steven Taylor and I were posting on this at roughly the same time.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Ben Wolf says:

    Ah, the dreams and hopes of vulgar libertarianism at work. The country will be so much better off when we get government out of the way, so we can treat others like the sub-humans they are.

    Free association and all, right?

  2. What part of the First Amendment permits the government regulate how churches decide who can and cannot become a member?

  3. Davebo says:

    What part of the First Amendment permits the government regulate how churches decide who can and cannot become a member?

    No part Doug. And if they want to give up their tax exempt status I have no problem. The same goes for Westboro.

  4. JKB says:

    Where on earth did their tax exempt status come into this? That status comes from their not being subject to the whims of the state via the First Amendment and not some regal grant.

    If you wish to argue the foolishness of their decision from the doctrine of their church, that would be another thing. However, the ban in no way impacts the public, even to the point of the public’s attendance of public services. Even with what they did, they didn’t ban African-Americans from membership, simply those individuals who had made the free choice to enter an interracial marriage.

    Now, I find the move ignorant and as best I know, not supported by religious doctrine. However, they are a small group who voluntarily join together in free association, they’ve simply restricted membership in the group to those who have not, by their own choice, entered into disapproved relationship.

  5. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    The country will be so much better off when we get government out of the way, so we can treat others like the sub-humans they are.

    lol…

    For so called Christians: The Creator God of the bible says that there are other kinds of created beings but that he created only one kind of human. Look it up!!! There are no excuses or exceptions to being a racist church….It is 2011, your have the right in this country to read the very best and accurately translated bibles that can be put together, or have one read to you…..

    For evolutionists: lol, where do I start……I will just say that in this instance I am happy about some of your cherry picking and denial, I guess….

  6. BleevK says:

    Christianity at work.