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Southern Ministers Liken Mississippi's Religious Law to Segregation

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By    |   Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 03:48 PM

Nearly 30 Methodist ministers throughout the South have likened Mississippi's new religious freedom law to segregation — this time, against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

"As Christian and United Methodist ministers, we proclaim that Christ came to liberate all of creation, not just those we want Christ to liberate and redeem," the ministers said in a letter published Tuesday in The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss. "Christ compels us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves and he put no qualifications on that love.

"Christ served all, even those whom society deemed as sinful and untouchable. Many in our state seek to deny hospitality and welcome to rightful citizens of our state in the name of Christianity, which is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we proclaim."

The letter was reported Thursday by ChristianExaminer.com.

The ministers cited a letter written by 28 clergymen in January 1963, protesting the Magnolia State's efforts to stop James Meredith from integrating the University of Mississippi.

Meredith, now 82, eventually enrolled in the university — but after the Kennedy administration sent in federal marshals and National Guard troops to ensure that he would be able to attend Ole Miss.

"With them, we stand against the powers and principalities of evil that seek to exclude those who are different because of their race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender disability, status, economic condition, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation," the ministers, several of whom signed the 1963 letter, said in Tuesday's column.

Earlier this month, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed legislation that allows public and private businesses to refuse service to gay couples based on the employers' religious beliefs.

Bryant signed the bill despite opposition from gay-rights groups and some businesses. Some conservative and religious groups supported the legislation.

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Nearly 30 Methodist ministers throughout the South have likened Mississippi's new religious freedom law to segregation — this time, against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
southern, ministers, mississippi, LGBT, law, segregation
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2016-48-28
Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 03:48 PM
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