Whites Only Pastor Conference Has West Alabama Residents Upset

Why hosting a whites only pastor conference did not fly with the people of Winfield, Alabama.

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REUTERS/Rainier Ehrhardt

Members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) participate in a cross lighting ceremony at a Klansman's home in Warrenville, South Carolina October 23, 2010. KKK Imperial Wizard Duwayne Johnson said it was the first public cross lighting in 50 years.

The good folk of Winfield, Ala. have been very upset by the news of an annual pastors conference taking place near their town. Not because of any animosity towards religious gatherings, but rather to the stipulation that only white Christians are invited.

(MORE: ACLU to Represent Ku Klux Klan in Adopt-a-Highway Bid)

Tyler Cantrell, the manager of Norris Music in downtown Winfield, discovered a flier for the conference earlier this week. “It was put up throughout the town in the middle of the night. When everyone was asleep and without the permission of the business owner[s],” he told WBRC news.

Despite the fact that the three-day conference in neighboring Lamar County was reportedly festooned with confederate flags and banners bearing Ku Klux Klan and white-supremacist slogans, and that it was scheduled to end July 6th with a “Sacred Christian Cross Lighting Ceremony” — not unlike the kind performed by the Klan –organizers denied that his organization was a hate group.  “The white race is God’s chosen people,” William C. Collier, the organizer of the event, told WBRC. “We don’t have the facilities to accommodate other people. We haven’t got any invitations to black, Muslim events. Of course we are not invited to Jewish events and stuff.”

The Christian Identity Ministries, which is running the event along with the Church of God’s Chosen, also claims on its website that the “Europeans and their descendants are the chosen people of God.” Ministry founder Mel Lewis spoke with a reporter from WAFF TV and claimed that the town’s mayor was violating their right to free speech and religious freedom.

“We are not breaking any laws. We’re not violating any ordinances. We’re bringing the Word of God to people who want it, obviously, or they wouldn’t be here,” said Lewis.

(MORE: Is Racism an Illness?)

However the town’s Mayor, Wayne Silas, sees it differently. He told WBRC that “Business people are upset. The city is upset. The city of Winfield does not condone this.”

26 comments
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Beamax
Beamax

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in theLaw?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord yourGod with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatestcommandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophetshang on these two commandments.”

Do you think Jesus was talking about only our neighbors of a certain race? Those who use the Holy name of God to justify hate are in for a very big suprise on the day of their death. Like Jesus, we must love all people of all races. There is no "master race". It does not exist. Every one of us is a child of the Father.

Charlee Talor
Charlee Talor

So this is racist, but a meeting of the NAACP is not? Why is there such a double standard? Get rid of ALL race-based organizations, and maybe we might have less bigotry in this country.

Phil
Phil

Charlee, If I had a magic wand and could wipe you white southern bastards off the face of the earth; it would be instantaneous!!!

brrryce
brrryce

 Wow. This is ignorance writ large. You're equating the NAACP with groups like the Klan that have histories of violence, murder and racial hatred? I'm guessing you have no clue that white people have been not only members, but directors of the NAACP since it was founded. That is such a right wing thing to do, compare one evil thing they support and pretend there is a comparably evil entity supported by normal humans. Kind of like the New Black Panthers (a couple of black guys in Milwaukee sick of white racists) being compared to the the Klan (again, a hundred years of bloodshed and terrorism perpetrated by tens of thousands of men who helped shape the laws of the U.S.) Yet, the most obvious comparisons, al-Quaida or the Taliban being the flipside of the Christian Right Wing movement (including these racists) elude them.

GoldenGir1
GoldenGir1

Oh my God my time machine works ! It's 1912 !

I agree that they do have freedom of speech, as we all do...

but they really are a sad bunch of people... If they can make all those comments, so can I.

Joel Pelissier
Joel Pelissier

The Obama presidency is directly responsible for the emergence of the tea party and other hate groups.

f_galton
f_galton

Freedom of speech and freedom of association are fundamental American rights.

Phil
Phil

Hate speech isn't a right.   Look up the civil rights act, moron!

f_galton
f_galton

If you find certain speech "hateful" you can counter it with speech of your own, the government can't abridge it. Maybe you should move to North Korea, pinko.

betaray100
betaray100

Jesus himself would be turned away from this Christian Conference for being Jewish and decidedly non-white.

aguafiesta
aguafiesta

In the novel The Shack  the  big chief is a negro woman.

No law can make man love his neighbor, no matter what creed or color.

Alexis Parker
Alexis Parker

I wonder if there would be as much bitching if it were a black only conference?  Guess that's different, right?  There's a Congressional Black Caucus, a Black History month, etc. but let something have a whites only stipulation and all hell breaks loose.

Steve Reaves
Steve Reaves

Nazis. They have no right to live. There should be a bounty on these evil rednecks.

f_galton
f_galton

The Constitution, ever read it? 

We have freedom of speech and freedom of religion here in the USA, pinko, thanks to the Founding Fathers whose racial views were a lot like the courageous men of the Christian Identity Ministries.

RockyMissouri
RockyMissouri

Not all rednecks are this way.....! Stupidity is TAUGHT...just as kindness is .

mdenis46
mdenis46

Well, I for one am glad they are not a "hate" group.  I mean, it's not like they had a conference displaying confederate flags, or banners proclaiming KKK and white supremacist slogans, or that they're planning on a cross-burning, or something like that.   It's not even that they believe whites are chosen by God, instead of blacks, Muslims or Jews.

Yeah, that's it, they're not a hate group, just a branch of the Tea Party!

Leonard Escalante
Leonard Escalante

 Are you a typical Democrat ? Blame everyone else . The Tea Party represent what the Constitution say . If you are going to blame anybody blame The MUSLUM, SOCIALIST , Illegal  IN THE WHITE HOUSE . 

RockyMissouri
RockyMissouri

You sound rather ignorant.... Haven't you heard? He's a Zoroastrian Buddhist ......

7worldtraveler
7worldtraveler

Your ignorance is shown in your grammar and spelling, as well as your remarks.  

Tommy Lee
Tommy Lee

We all know that colored christians in America  are not accepted for a long time. White christians have a different Bible ?  Guys like Cain and West are dumbs to think they are one of them

Bill Nedra Bill
Bill Nedra Bill

So we have people who use the Bible and God's name to support their Homophobia and we have people who use the Bible and God's name to support their Racism and we have people who use the Bible and God's name to support their Sexism.

Am I to assume the Bible and God's name are just ploys to support HATE?

f_galton
f_galton

Am I to assume you suffer from GRIDS?

RockyMissouri
RockyMissouri

No....! Just Another misuse of religion....! Religions seem to do just fine....until somebody perverts anothers' religion in order to delegitimize or destabilize a group or groups of people..... It is a special form of inhumanity that is LOATHESOME...

John Digiacomo
John Digiacomo

i love these compassionate christians...yes, i can feel the love for mankind.  of course, you have to look and talk like them don't you.  

betaray100
betaray100

Sir, these are not Christians. They are hatemongers perverting the Word of God for their own demonic purposes.