One of the tragedies of segregation was how some Christian churches misused the Bible and religion to justify racial bigotry. In recent decades, however, many have renounced their racist pasts. In 1995, for example, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution apologizing for the denomination’s past support of slavery, segregation and white supremacy. The denomination elected its first African-American president just last year.
Sadly, not all churches have progressed. That apparently includes Appleby Baptist Church in the East Texas town of Nacogdoches. Even today the church uses the Bible to justify openly racist beliefs. Some examples from the church’s website cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center:
“Satan wants to eliminate color by interracial marriages. Someone will ask why do we have to see color when we look at one another? Why can’t we just see each other as people? The same reason you see a Poodle, German Shepherd, Beagle, etc. God made us different and set the bounds. You don’t get thoroughbreds by taking the fences down. You get thoroughbreds by putting the fences up.”
“Christ terms her people as dogs. ‘It is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it to dogs.’ … Unlike modern day blacks yelling about equal rights, this woman humbles herself and says ‘Truth Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from the master’s table.’”
“Interracial relationships bring much heartache. … Before the coming of Christ, there will be many more half-breed producing marriages that will, in turn, produce more hate and envy against what the Lord has commanded.”
“The New Testament does not condemn slavery. What it does condemn is the misuse of a slave.”
You can read more about Appleby here. We thought it was interesting that the church still teaches the vile, discredited concept of “the curse of Ham,” which racists have long used to justify their beliefs. As we reported in January, at least one Texas public school still teaches students about the underlying concept that the world’s races come from Noah’s sons .