Kentucky church bans interracial couples:

The Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church in rural Kentucky has banned interracial couples from its congregation, following a visit from the Church secretary's daughter and her black African fiance.


    1. Errr… I hate to burst your prejudiced knee-jerk “South = ignernt racists!” rant but:  Kentucky is not in the South.  Darn those racist rural Yankees!!

    1. The “free will” only refers to the decision to become a Christian (which distinguishes them from the Calvinist teachings of predestination). Everything else, you better do what you’re told!

    1. Kentuckians will tell you that they technically aren’t part of The South, they even fought for the Union in the Civil War. Not that any of that is relevant to this church’s disgusting behavior.

        1. Well, I guess that’s what they get for not jumping in with both feet from the beginning. Must make for some awkward war reenactments though.

        2. As a former Southerner I’d consider them Southern whether they want to believe it or not.

          Wait till you see western Massachusetts.

          1. wait what, i live in western mass. most everyone i know is pretty evenly racist/sexist/bigoted. we hate everyone especially those asshats in eastern mass.

        3. Southern Culturally?  As a  CURRENT Southerner I have to say no.  Not entirely at least.  Some parts of the state are and some are not.  This happened in Pike County, which is at the eastern edge of the state near WV, and is about as “Southern” culturally as Ohio.

          The North and Midwest have rural hillbillies, too.

          1. Of course they do, yet these little “oopsies” events seem to happen more in The South than any where else.  Also, thanks for proving the “Leave Britney The South alone” moment I was talking about earlier.  Did I mention that I used to live about 3 hrs away from here in Tennessee?

            Lets see:
            Southern dialect.   check.
            Former slave state. check.
            Red state. check
            Fire and brimstone Baptist state. check.
            Scots-Irish. check
            Jim Crow. check
            Country/Bluegrass.  check
            79% of Kentuckians consider themselves “Southern”. check

          2. The North and Midwest have rural hillbillies, too.

            Rural California is full of hillbillies, too. Also a KKK stronghold.

      1. They were only part of the Union because Lincoln chased the sympathizers to hell and gone before they could form a pro-Confederacy State government.  (Thus the quip: “I hope to have God on our side, but I must have Kentucky.”)

  1. Those silly people that like to tell us we’re in a post-racist society or that we no longer have racism in our society or some other similar bullshit?

    We can just point them to this racist crap to shut them up.

  2. The church member who crafted the resolution, Melvin Thompson, said he is not racist and called the matter an “internal affair”.

    “I am not racist. I will tell you that. I am not prejudiced against any race of people, have never in my lifetime spoke evil about a race,” said Thompson, the church’s former pastor who stepped down earlier this year.

    What is it with racists not being able to acknowledge their core beliefs, even to themselves? What does this clown think the word “racist” even means?

    1. He will likely claim that his views that “races shouldn’t mix” (which is what it comes down to) isn’t racist.  Of course it is, but he’ll claim otherwise, I’m sure.

    2. What is it with racists not being able to acknowledge their core beliefs, even to themselves? What does this clown think the word “racist” even means?

      cf. I have sex with rent boys but I’m not gay.

      1. Or, “I jack off to gay porn every day, and I fantasize about men when I am having sex with my wife, but I swear, I’m not gay!”

    1. Former pastor. In fairness the current one has stated that he opposes the resolution. Gotta wonder how much influence the new guy has over his flock, though.

    1. Of all the phrases in the English language, beginning any sentence with “I’m not a racist, but…” is probably the single biggest giveaway that the speaker is a racist.

  3. This is a 40 person church in a tiny town.  Is what the did racist? Yes.  Is what the did representative of “red states” or all of Christendom?  Lets be a little more critical than that.

  4. The title of both this post and the Guardian article are highly misleading. From TFA:

    The resolution says anyone is welcome to attend services, but interracial couples could not become members or be “used in worship services or other church functions”.

    This seemed to become an issue after the couple in question sang a song (presumably of the African fiancée’s own heritage).

    All this aside, this whole thing makes my head asplode. I guess technically, it is within the congregation’s “free will” to do what they please… Remind me again what century we’re in?

    1. The title of both this post and the Guardian article are highly misleading.

      How is it highly misleading to interpret “interracial couples cannot become members of this church” as “interracial couples are banned by this church”?

      Even if you think “ban” is too strong a word for a policy that boils down to “you can come here but you can never ever belong here” then the title of the article is, at worst, somewhat misleading.

      This seemed to become an issue after the couple in question sang a song (presumably of the African fiancée’s own heritage).

      That’s a pretty big presumption. And an incorrect one.

  5. Let’s be clear that this church is obviously very divided over the issue, the pastor does not endorse the issue, the denomination doesn’t likely ENDORSE the issue, and there are numerous instances in the Bible of interracial couples, namely Moses and his Midianite wife, Zipphorah. God even struck Aaron with leprosy when he despised Zipphorah. 

      1. Zipporah… sorry

        Doesn’t matter how you spell it as long as you remember that she was played by Lily Munster.

    1. Well, it’s a small church. Out of the 40 folks who voted on the issue, 25 declined to vote either way. 25 whole people who didn’t immediately stand up and say “this is wrong”.

  6. I am a Free Will Baptist this does not reflect the views of our denomination.  Here is a statement from our National Association:

    For Immediate Release
    December 1, 2011
    Free Will Baptist Executive Office
    Statement Regarding Interracial Couples

    Antioch, TN—Recently, the action of a Free Will Baptist church in the state of Kentucky raised questions regarding the position of the National Association of Free Will Baptists on interracial couples. This statement is intended to bring clarity to the subject. The National Association of Free Will Baptists does not have an official policy regarding interracial couples because it has not been an issue in the denomination. The Free Will Baptist Treatise neither condemns nor disallows marriage between a man and woman of different races. Free Will Baptists have historically championed the rights and dignity of all people, regardless of race. The denomination’s leadership in the abolition movement is evidence of that fact. Free Will Baptists currently spend millions of dollars each year to take the good news of Jesus Christ to people of every race. Many interracial couples are members of Free Will Baptist churches. They are loved, accepted, and respected by their congregations. It is unfair and inaccurate to characterize the denomination as racist. It is our understanding that steps are being taken by the church in question to reverse its decision. We encourage the church to follow through with this action. Leaders from the local conference and state association in Kentucky are working with the church to resolve this matter.

    Burden, CMP
    Executive Secretary
    National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc.

    1. That church has acted illegally and brought disrepute, and the threat of a lawsuit, upon your denomination.  Historical behaviour is of no import in this case: only the actual behaviour of the members of that church has any bearing, and their intent is clearly racist; it is far from being “an internal affair”, as the church member who wrote the resolution claims.

      1. Now now, that doesn’t jibe with the tenet of trying to rescue the sinner. I personally find it is always laudable to try to give people a chance to turn back from a destructive path. Excommunication only hardens the resolve, something to do with the psychology of “if they persecute me then I must be right”.

      2. The National Association of Free Will Baptists has about 250,000 members. (That’s not counting non-member attendees, nor all the congregations that aren’t part of NAFWB.) The resolution was passed by a minority vote of one forty-person church, and was opposed by their pastor. I’m pretty sure you’ll find a similar ratio of bad apples to good in any barrel you care to start poking around in.

        Per Wikipedia, the “autonomous power of the local church [is] highly valued” by Free Will Baptists, which to me suggests a strongly non-hierarchical power structure. Even so, the Free Will Baptist Executive Office has issued a statement condemning the resolution, and is working to get them to reverse it. I’m not sure what else they could do, or why any of this should turn AmonRiley against his or her church.

  7. ” The National Association of Free Will Baptists does not have an official policy regarding interracial couple”

    Well you might consider having one right now. Nothing in your book sanctions this treatment.

    1.  If the book you’re referring to is the Bible, look again.  God sanctioned the murder of Zimri and his Midianite woman by Phinehas, and killed twenty-four thousand Israelites with plague to punish them for merely tolerating Zimri’s miscegenation.

    2. I actually read that as equivalent to “we never had an official policy regarding drinking arsenic”. But once someone does start doing dumb stuff like that that then yes, I agree that they need to take a stand lest they be seen as tolerating it.

    3. Nor should it have one. Anything not explicitly prohibited is allowed. they also do not have anything on the books about couples of Indonesian decent who eat cookies in bed. You can’t have a list of everything that is allowed, unless you only want to allow a small subset of all possibilities.

    4. Why does any organization need to have an official policy regarding interracial couples?  It’s like saying they need an official policy on wife beating or child pornography or any number of things that are clearly illegal.

  8. The first comment on Fark : “I’m sure people will try to make this about racism, but their opposition to interracial marriages is just a logical part of their opposition to couples that aren’t blood related.”

  9. To be fair, there probably won’t be a lot of interracial couples clamoring to join this particular church. 

  10. Silver lining: This is proof that the legalization of inter-racial marriage didn’t lead to the government forcing churches to perform inter-racial marriages or accept inter-racial couples are members.

    Y’know, just in case anyone thinks legalizing gay marriage will lead to the government forcing churches to perform gay weddings, etc.

    1. Was that the goal? To force churches to acknowledge other viewpoints? I was under the impression that it was to provide justice. To give the same legal benefits to gay couples that straights enjoy. Church never had anything to do with it.

      If churches want to go against accepted standard of fairness and justice, and undermine religion in the process, that is their own fault.

  11. Just stick ta datin yer kinfolk, traditional-like.

    *plucks out first few chords of Deliverance theme on the ole banjo*

  12. From the church’s resolution banning interracial couples, this measure was brought in “to promote greater unity among the church body”.

    I’m pretty sure the only unity it’ll bring is the unity the size of their congregation will converge towards.

  13. Sigh – why are they even an ‘interracal couple’ and not just a ‘couple’. America continues to confound and confuse.

  14. Right. Because some people read between the lines of the New Testament, and just KNOW Jesus would’ve wanted this.  It’s obviously the christian thing to do.

    I like to think there’s a God. I finally learned, though, that I have all the justification I could ever need to disregard people’s opinions – because that’s all they are – as to how he/she/it manifests.  There are just too many stupid and demented types, absolutely sure they have the inside scoop, ready to tell the rest of us how we should think and behave.

  15. Sigh. I knew this would happen. Rural Kentucky isn’t exactly a diverse place. Until 30 years ago, and especially until the rise of the internet and thus shrinking of the world, a lot of people who lived there never saw a black person. They were brought up with people just like them, and anything different was dealt with incredibly slowly. The older generations are gradually fading, which has certainly enabled more and more progress (for example, the young woman from there who fell in love with an African man…and proudly brought him home).

    All that said, it’s awesome that everyone lumps the rather large and diverse state of Kentucky with the mountainous, often-backward regions. I live in Lexington. We have an openly gay mayor. Obama won our well-populated city. There are regular parades and festivals celebrating many different cultures. Racism exists…but it exists everywhere, even if some people have a hard time admitting it (because it isn’t constantly thrown in their face in the media).

  16. Having grown up in a Baptist community, the only thing newsworthy to me here is that they issued a ban. Most Baptists aren’t stupid enough to draw attention to their racism this way. Instead they keep interracial couples away via hostility: keying their car, for example, if they don’t get the hint after the first few visits. I was blissfully unaware this was going on until I picked the wrong girlfriend, leading to endless lectures on God’s will, the mark of Cain, and other fairy tales.

  17. Would be nice to see this get national coverage.

    In particular, it would be nice to see the anti-interracial marriage crowd get a national platform to spout its talking points on why it’s opposed to interracial marriage.

    Because at least a few people would be bound to notice they’d heard those exact same talking points in another debate recently.

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