Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Episcopalians For Bigotry and Race-Hate

Scott and Debra Volland
Mississippi Church Ousts Pastor For Taking a Stand Against Racism | Val Wilde | Friendly Atheist | Patheos

The Black Lives Matter campaign, following the casual public murder of George Floyd by a white police officer, while his colleagues stood and watch the crime being committed, has polarized America like few other issues could have done, and has force people to show their true colours and take sides. This is, after all, what polarization does.

One such organization that has made clear where is stands, is the board of the Episcopalian, The Heights Church of Lowndes County, Mississippi, which has just voted to sever relations with Bishop Scott Volland and his wife Debra Volland over the pair’s active support for Black Lives Matter and the cause of anti-racism, deeming that to "shed a negative light on church."

But the Vollands are not backing down, as Scott made clear on his Facebook page, with:

I love everyone, (as God does), and have a fondness in my heart to many of the people we have come to know and love at The Heights, or those who have passed through, even just for a season. We hold no bitterness or hard feelings, but we also don’t believe that God’s call to us regarding the ministry He desires us to lead here in Columbus, MS has been fulfilled. We are also not throwing in the towel and giving up on that call. This is not a period in the sentence, but only a comma.

Clearly, believing that you've been called by God to teach that all people are created equal and are equally deserving of love and respect as human beings is anathema to The Heights with its hypocritical mission of “lifting Jesus and lifting people.” Presumably, the term 'people' has certain limitations.

Volland said:

They said that what I was doing was shedding a negative light on the church. I was told my views didn’t reflect many of the views in that church. They in fact did not only disagree with me being involved but in many cases [disagreed] with what I was saying.

He had been at the forefront of campaigns against displays such as civil war monuments and the Confederate flag (now being removed from the sta flag of Louisiana) which glorify slavery.

It's heartwarming to see that there are some decent Christians still prepared to stand up for human decency, kindness and compassion - something that is often drowned in the tsunamis of hate and smugly self-satisfied bigotry that emanates from the Christian fundamentalist pulpits and mouths of self-seeking televangelists, and so often swamps debate in the social media.

Good luck to the Vollands as they set up their own independent church, though I suspect they will become rare lone voices in the Christian world.

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