Alabama pastors conference invites only ‘white Christians’

A group of  pastors in Alabama says that they are not racist even though only “white  Christians” were invited to their three-day conference, which will include a  cross burning and be attended by Ku Klux Klan (KKK)  members. 

Residents in  Guin, Alabama became outraged earlier this week after they noticed flyers posted  around the town that read, “Annual Pastors Conference All White Christians  Invited.” The groups Christian Identity Ministries and the Church of God’s  Chosen told WIAT that they just didn’t have the “facilities” to accommodate  non-whites. 

“We’re seldom  ever have been invited to black Muslim events and we never have been invited to  NAACP events and we never have been invited to join Jewish synagogues events and  stuff,” Christian Identity Ministries Pastor William J. Collier  explained. 

“It has nothing  whatsoever to do with any kind of racism or hate or anything like that,” he  added. “And anybody who would brand it as that would be a racist and a hater  themselves, you know.” 

Collier insisted  that the “Sacred Christian Cross Lighting Ceremony” to be held on final day of  the event symbolized an “opposition to tyranny.” 

“We are not  burning a cross, look at the word is says it says light a cross,” Christian  Identity Ministries Reverend Mel Lewis told WIAT. “If you light a light in your  house do you burn down your house. We often use fire. Our ancient fathers said  fire was a cleansing element. Even the Bible says the earth will be purified  with fire what purer element can we use as a symbol of our  worship.” 

But the  president of the NAACP’s Birmingham Metro Chapter could not recall any past  cross burning that had not been associated with racism or  hate. 

“The only  context that I’m familiar with is one that is not very positive,” Hezekiah  Jackson said. “And one that really symbolizes an era that many of us have hoped  to put behind us. And that is this whole era of Jim Crow, this whole era of  white supremacy, this whole era of discrimination and racial  hatred.” 

“I think it’s  really hard to clarify what’s going on, but it seems to be some vestiges of what  we call white supremacy here in Alabama. We just have to be honest about  it.” 

The “Annual  Pastors Conference All White Christians Invited” event ends on Friday. It is the  fourth year that the whites-only conference has been held in Lamar  county. 

Watch this video  from WIAT, broadcast July 5, 2012. Raw Story

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