We have entered the era of swift action taken towards those who do not comport in the approved fashion.
(This is the latest in a series of reports detailing the way activists are wielding punishments for improper protest support.)
One of the disturbing practices we bear witness to on the regular involves people combing through the past of individuals and finding something from years past — sometimes decades ago — that can be interpreted as ‘’offensive’’ today. This is the cancel culture practice of unearthing skeletons in order to claim a scalp. Now it has evolved to a point where people can come under fire over things they have not even said, a new level of intolerance being expressed in the name of tolerance.
All of the outrage and protesting we see taking place the past few weeks involves the treatment by police towards the citizens. Activist leaders are calling for needed change, so that communities can heal and that racial harmony can be the new focus. In the claim of institutional racism affecting this country a call for racial understanding is being made in order to make our communities whole.
In Alabama, we are seeing the exact opposite taking place, and it is a direct result of the very movement that is making those demands. A mega-church, that not only has a significant percentage of POC parishioners but does significant outreach and work in the local community to the benefit of numerous POC citizens, has been evicted from its location by the school board and local housing authorities, from whom it rented space. This is all over perceived potentially insensitive positions by the pastor, Chris Hodges.
The Birmingham Board of Education announced that it had voted to curtail the lease agreements it held with The Church of the Highlands, Alabama’s largest church that boasts a congregation in the tens of thousands. Also cutting ties with the church is the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District. That governing body explained, ”HABD Board of Commissioners agreed that Pastor Hodges’ views do not reflect those of HABD and its residents; and Hodges’ values are not in line with those of HABD residents.’’
This was not over something spoken during a sermon. It was not a result of any positions held by the Church nor any of its teachings in the community. This was not a reaction to anything said, taught, or even written by Hodges. It was over FaceBook posts. Moreover, Hodges did not post anything; he merely liked a collection of posts made by Charlie Kirk, from Turning Point USA.
To make this all the more astounding these two reactions were not spurred by a massive backlash in the community. No, this entire controversy was served up by a lone individual. One of the local high school teachers, Jasmine Faith Clisby, filed a complaint. Nothing more than that has led to the ouster of a massive church that does a tremendous amount of work in and for the local area.
Clisby, operating in the full ‘’Karen’’ mode, had discovered the pastor ”liked’’ a post by Kirk thaat she disagreed with, so she combed through the social media history of Hodges. After she found a few other times he liked posts that SHE did not care for Clisby went to the local media, to report on Hodges’ insurrections. ”I would be upset if it comes off as me judging him. It’s not that,’’ she tells AL.com. ‘‘I’m not saying he’s a racist. I’m saying he likes someone who post[s] things that do not seem culturally sensitive to me.”
Yes, it would be a shame that you appear to be judgemental, Jasmine — as you run to the media with a list that you made of supposedly objectionable FaceBook clicks.
Hodges did the expected but unnecessary act of apologizing profusely from his podium, the same location he had preached against racism, and gave vocal support to the Black Lives Matter movement to his congregation. It would not satisfy the governing bodies. As a result of this lone complaint of asinine merit, made by a solitary crank, the church is losing its lease at two locations, as well as the suspension of its numerous services in town.
The direct result of this is the city will lose out on close to a million dollars annually that the church brought in through its rentals and other services, but that is just money. The community will be feeling this immensely. Besides the churches, also being halted is Christ Health Clinic, where the churched served those locals in need. The Housing Authority will see that location is closing down, and it is banning volunteers from the property.
The church is also being banned from the local housing communities, where it served the public in numerous ways. The members provided mentoring for area youths, health services for citizens, and local social ministering — as well as currently providing free COVID testing for residents. All of that is gone now, over a few mouse clicks which left a thumbs-up trail of evidence for a lone complaint to be registered.
This church has built itself up in the area over decades, developing a congregation that is comprised of one-third minorities. Today, in the name of those very same POC worshipers, the church has been placed in the lurch and the locals are left without numerous services. The local community that was being served with the very activities that activists are calling out for today will now suffer as a result of the new intolerance and the hyper-sensitivity that has blossomed from the movement.
When this result makes sense to our leaders it becomes a sign that the solutions are becoming far more insidious than the alleged problems.