I pit the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, MS for not allowing a black couple to marry there

Story here.

Fuck that congregation with a rusty shovel handle.

I understand their point. Today it’s two black people, next it’s guy wanting to marry a goat, and then it’s Ellen Degeneres coming there to marry Honey Boo Boo Chile, where would it end?

I wonder if the couple could collect damages from the church on this. I know that a church has 100% right to allow anybody it wants or disallow anybody it wants from using its sanctuary and has carte blanche control over what unions they’ll perform and all, BUT, this couple had already reserved the sanctuary through proper channels and been approved. They had sent out invitations with the church listed on it, with the church again saying “y’all go ahead”, and then had to change the location after the invitations were sent when the church reneged on its agreement due not to anything that was disclosed (i.e. I doubt they concealed the fact they’re black). This had to have been a major inconvenience, an embarrrassment, there were probably some expenses to change it close to the wedding date, certainly some emotional stress, etc…

I wonder if this is actionable, because it seems to go beyond what (in my completely lay opinion) could or should be protected by freedom of religion.

I don’t understand why the pastor didn’t have a final say. He claims it was a small number of the congregation that objected. He couldn’t stand up to that?

Especially when he claims he had to cancel the wedding because otherwise the congregation would vote him out of his position. How’s that going to work if it’s only a minority complaining?

I definitely feel we’ve only got half the story here.

The 1950s called, they want their controversy back.

How are Protestant churches usually ran? (As an atheist raised Catholic I don’t know much about the logistics.) Are votes on issues like firing or hiring the pastor usually a full congregation vote, or do a council of deacons or something get to make those decisions for the congregation as a whole? That might explain how a small minority of the congregation could halt the wedding…if that small minority of the overall congregation was actually all the deacons or something.

This is a strange story.

I know pastors work at the whims of the board of trustees et. al, but they are generally considered the head of the church. Is he saying that if the minority of the church wanted to have pole-strippers dancing on the pulpit, he would have no choice but to go along with it? If he thought what he was doing was Right in the Eyes of the Lord, he would have gone on and married the couple in the church, regardless of what the congregants wanted. If that meant losing his job, well, worse things have happened to God’s children. Like being nailed to the cross.

The pastor is a giant lame-o. He had a chance to do the courageous thing but didn’t.

If they had any kind of reservation agreement with a deposit it could be a fairly simple breach of contract.

It’s one thing to have a few of those people in your church, but if they hold a wedding and the whole church is full of them, how are you ever going to get the smell out?

As he said, he didn’t want controversy. :rolleyes:

I can’t believe this shit still happens in 2012.

Its not happening in 2012. Its happening in Mississippi.

Compromise: Let them have the wedding in the back of the church.

Does that church have a separate(but equal) baptismal font?

I wonder if the choir wears hooded robes?

That’s what kills me: he really couldn’t look more than one step ahead to see that this might be even worse. And the same Dale Gribbles in the congregation he was afraid would fire him will now probably fire him for letting the church get in the news. You really don’t have to qualify for Mensa to become a minister, do you?

And he probably could have kept his job anyway. Putting aside the issue of it supposedly only being a minority who objected, he should have gone ahead and performed the wedding. Then if the congregation tried to vote him out, he could have made a public issue out of why they were trying to get rid of him.

It would have become a national issue, like it is now, and he’d have all the public opinion on his side. My guess is the congregation would have backed down rather than voting him out once it voting him out became a referendum of racism. Worse case scenario, if they actually were hardcore enough to vote him out, there would have been dozens of other congregations looking to offer him a position.

But instead of being a leader who defied racism he chose to be the spineless coward who backed down to racism.

Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense. The couple already attend the church regularly and that’s OK?