Apparently, Jesus has been horribly misquoted for roughly 2,000 years. While everyone thinks he was a fan of loving your neighbor as you love yourself, what he actually meant is that you should love your fellow man as long as his skin isn't a different color than yours. Thankfully, there's a small church in Kentucky that's stepped up to remind us that judging others can really bring a community together.
On Sunday, members of the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church in rural Kentucky voted to condemn interracial relationships and ban all interracial couples from becoming members, according to the Associated Press. The congregation decided to express their disgust at the thought of people of different ethnicities loving each other after the daughter of church secretary Dean Harville came home from college this summer with her Zimbabwean boyfriend. Kentucky.com reports that Stella Harville and Ticha Chikuni, who are now engaged, performed the song "I Surrender All," during a service, and Pastor Melvin Thompson became convinced that he must prevent any other interracial couples from proclaiming their shared love of Jesus.
Thompson mentioned to Harville that his daughter and her fiance weren't welcome back at the church, and even though Harville begged him to drop the issue, he kept pushing to make the hateful policy official even after he stepped down as pastor. Though the new pastor says she has no problem with the couple returning, on Sunday Thompson pushed the congregation to make an official declaration. About 40 people were in church, but the issue passed with nine people voting for it and six people voting against it. The other 25 people refused to vote because even in this post-Heidi Klum and Seal world we're living in, they aren't quite sure where they stand on blacks and white dating. The resulting document says that, "parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services" or other church functions, except for funerals.
That sounds pretty bad, but it goes on to say that the move 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." In fact, Thompson says, "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. That's what this is being portrayed as, but it is not." You see, issuing a preventative ban on mixed race couples is actually just a bonding exercise, kind of like trust falls or going out on the town with a few buddies and telling black people where they can sit on public transportation.