The Klan, Trying For A Toehold In Moscow

Tom Trail, a longtime State Representative who’s a friend of mine, received the following invitation to join the Ku Klux Klan:

http://www.notonthepalouse.com/Klan_Flyer_033112.htm

He shared it on the online Moscow community forum Vision 2020, from which I’ve occasionally taken my posts and repeated them on Prevailing Winds. This is another example; I wrote this today, and while it makes sense without the context of the execrable “invitation” Tom received, I encourage you to read what he found in his mailbox.

It’s unsettling, no matter where you live. But if you take into consideration that Moscow’s most famous, most influential pastor is a self-proclaimed “paleo-Confederate” who collaborates with League of the South members and has written much on the “harmonious relationship” enjoyed by Black slaves and their “Christian” white masters, defending Antebellum slavery from the Bible using a hermeneutical approach that butchers the Scriptures and bloodies the Church, it’s a little more sobering.

Check the link above, and my comments are below.

(From Vision 2020, April 2, 2012)

This is chilling — not that Tom Trail, a decent man if ever there was one, received it (as opposed to, say, my hairdresser receiving it), but that such filth continues to propagate beyond the sewer from which it emerged.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it now, and I’ll probably say it ’til the day I die: The Christian Church, the Body of Christ in the United States, is largely responsible for the birth, growth, and continued presence of the Klan and other white supremacy groups. Virtually every manifestation of the Klan, from its inception in the 1920s as an anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish “fraternity,” was begun by white, male “Christians” who trumpeted their Baptist or Methodist or Holy Temple of Perpetual Glory membership — and went unchallenged by the Gospel-loving disciples among them.

This cancer could have been excised early on if the Church had been committed to the truth of the Gospel and cast its lot with Christ rather than wallowing in waters of privilege, hate, ignorance, violence, and bigotry. But it wasn’t; in fact, it was “Christians” who helped in its spread, and its the Church now that is left with the uncomfortable reality that its silence then and its largely impotent reaction to hate now has left a stain on the Body of Christ that will last ’til the end.

This happened on our watch. Versions of it that pop up here and there, particularly in the area we all live in, continue and flourish. The growth of racial, sexual, classist bigotry is undeniable — and where it’s found in the “Church” that claims the name of Christ, it must be confronted by others who claim the Name.

My Church — not my individual congregation, but the Christian Church in the U.S. — has been guilty of allowing what our Savior never would. How odd it is that breaking from the silence and acquiescence to evil too often found in the institutional Church might well, for some of us, be a significant step in moving closer to Christ. It’s my duty and my privilege, then, as a Christ-disciple, to fight this ’til the very end.

I don’t want to have to explain to Jesus on judgment day why I felt that “tolerance” or silence or rationalizing it all away was the path I chose.

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