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In a move to "promote greater unity" among its body and the Pike County community it serves, a small Kentucky church voted to ban interracial couples from membership and from participating in certain worship activities, reports.
Though reminiscent of some Jim Crow-era mandate, the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church actually made the decision earlier this month, following a visit from 24-year-old Stella Harville, daughter of the church's secretary and clerk, and her 29-year-old fiance, Ticha Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe.
However, the historical record shows that denominations actually do change their beliefs over time.
Religious groups use various methods to change their beliefs.
A more recent example is Bob Jones University, which, up until 2000, disallowed interracial dating because they thought it would be symbolic of an ungodly "blending together." Where did such an interpretation of the Bible come from, and does this mean that God is mad at me for liking smoothies? The aversion to blending together is taken from the story about the Tower of Babel, as described in Genesis 11:1-9.
Not everyone at the church agrees, and it may not be the last word.Of course interracial marriage - or, for that matter, interracial anything - isn't immoral.Once again, what gets conservative Christians all worked up turns out to be quite wrong and just plain bizarre.Sometimes, the texts which support the old beliefs: He tracked many religiously-based conflicts, and showed that they often take decades or even centuries to resolve.Although his book exhibits a heavy -- sometimes quite intense -- bias in opposition to religion, he did notice what appears to be a pattern in these conflicts.
"It's not the spirit of the community in any way, shape or form," said Randy Johnson, president of the Pike County Ministerial Association, according to