The Racist, Homophobic History of an Ala. Church Gunning for Its Own Police Force

Apr 25, 2017

By Michael Harriot

While advocates of civil liberties decry a powerful Alabama politician’s effort to push through a bill that would give a lily-white suburban church its own police force, many are unaware of the church’s long history of troubling race relations.

The Alabama Legislature is now considering Senate Bill 193. If passed, the law would give Briarwood Presbyterian Church the right to establish its own police force, with all the power and authority of any other municipal law-enforcement agency. The megachurch claims that it needs a police force to provide a safe environment for its parishioners, the private school and the Bible college all run by the church.

While national outlets like CNN have pointed to the news blurb as an intriguing local tale that raises interesting questions about the separation of church and state, they fail to uncover the real story: how a powerful man might single-handedly strong-arm the state of Alabama into giving a fundamentalist church with a history of racism and homophobia the authority to create its own little private army.

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4 comments on “The Racist, Homophobic History of an Ala. Church Gunning for Its Own Police Force

  • Like Saudi Arabia with its Morality Police? I doubt it. Perhaps that Church wants a Security service for their premises (school, church and Bible college) but I don’t think they would get a licence to patrol the city streets as it happens in Saudi Arabia. In the USA this would be unconstitutional or at least this is what I think; but so many funny things are happening today……….

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  • As I suggested on a parallel discussion, this looks like a scam to have the police service pay for the stewarding of their crowds! – perhaps with a bit of theistic “law interpretation” thrown in as an extra!

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  • Meanwhile – the (established state) Church of England in the UK, is accused of being homophobic by one of its own priests!

    A vicar in the Church of England has slammed the church for its “homophobic” practice and quit to be with his partner.

    53-year-old Andrew Foreshew-Cain decided to leave the church which he has since branded “institutionally homophobic” in a move that he hopes will change the CofE’s policy on gay clergy members.

    Foreshew-Cain resigned from his position as a parish priest and a member of the General Synod so that he could be with his partner, whom he is married to, when they move to Manchester.

    The former vicar married his partner after being appointed and was told that he could not take up another position if he were to move he would be barred from another paid job.

    He wrote a letter to members of the church expressing his “relief” over his decision, and insisted that unless the church changes its ways it will lose its status.

    He added that himself and other gay and lesbian clergy members were “barely tolerated”.

    “[The church is] an institutional homophobic organisation that kindly denies its policies and practices are deliberately and harmfully discriminatory and wrong.

    “I am looking forward to no longer feeling that a significant part of me is rejected by the organisation that I work for and have served faithfully.”

    He said that he had faced staunch homophobia, with a priest once telling him “I don’t believe you are a Christian.

    “The Church of England is a national church. If it wishes to become a sect and draw up its own rules and not be part of the national life, it is perfectly at liberty to do that, but it can’t continue to claim a role in the national life if it is so at variance with the basic moral principles of the country,” he added.

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  • Odalrich,
    “unconstitutional” isn’t a thing in the US anymore. It’s a phrase uttered by an ignorant politician anytime the encounter something that they can;t overcome through simple bribery. None of these boobs know the constitution. None of them abide it, nor do they care when trampling it helps their cause. they simply yell it when shit ain’t going their way.

    It has reverted (here in the US) to the wild wild west and the person with the strongest personality who can also talk loudest is “right”.

    It’s a scary place, until you realize that all the bravado and posturing is simply “for the camera” and does not impact the “regular joe” at all. Sure, there are ideals at stake but my life does not hinge on nor change due to any of these assholes actions. It’s purely make believe.

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