Update December 18, 2011
Following are a couple posts detailing the rampant racism in the COG.
Ambassador College never previously allowed black men to apply until after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and even after that, the church only allowed married black men to enroll to keep interracial dating from infiltrating the campus.
There have also been multiple instances of the few interracial couples there are in the COG being required to split themselves between different congregations to avoid being seen together by the church’s racist membership. Of course, COG pastors have for decades refused to marry interracial couples within the church.
Mirrored via Life After the WCG
On the family side, things began to sour. My father got fired from his good paying career because he refused to work a Friday night shift that he was scheduled to work. Then he tried to call the church lawyer using the “religious freedom” card. The lawyer in our church stated that he can’t help him and hung up the phone rudely. In my opinion, losing a career in the manner my father did was irresponsible. As I look around me at church, the YOU group my brother was in were nice kids outside of church, but in church a collection of disinterested teens that did not care about church. I was in YES. I dutifully completed the bible lessons and I got my YES certificate from the minister-a stiff as a cardboard Englishman. I admit his daughter was cool to me because she was coming to church with yellow hair and openly criticizing the church current doctrines. I recall when word got out that she was pregnant, the self-righteousness of many people felt it was their right to openly criticize her. Using names like “*#$%@”, members (particularly the single men) started to quote this line about “be you not unequally yoked”. That service was just bizarre. I felt sorry for her. I saw in tears outside the meeting hall (a very old public school in another end of town) I said to her, I do not condone in this behaviour”. I then decided it was time for me to “go on strike with the WWCG”.
My biggest complaint with the ‘church’ was the policy on interracial dancing. My brother and I were not allowed to go because of this reason and I quote “The Worldwide Church of God view is that interracial dancing can ignite sexual arousal in black men so we don’t allow black men to dance with someone outside their race.” The minster went on to say that it was OK to call a black person “@%#%#@”. The two statements are the most ignorant, short-sighted, ridiculous statements I have ever sat through in my life. This was said in the middle of church! Recall that my family was the only black family in the congregation. I threw a temper tantrum like former tennis star John McEnroe in his prime at church and to this day, I am very proud of myself for speaking out in the middle of church! I got some lashes from my father for it when I got home, but I felt strongly that what the minister said was racist. It became the ‘hot-topic’ in the church district I resided in. The minister tried to “smooth things over” but the mere sight of him entering my parents house would make me want to toss him out in the manner like Philip Banks did to Jazz on the 90s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” television show-throw Jazz out of the house!
The minister came to my parents’ house to explain how SEP works, how I would be a “leader for the black kids”. I told him I am no role model for anyone. The minister assured me that those rules were done away with, realized they were rules that created sensitivity issues etc. I went to camp, first dance they had, no interracial dancing (not even in dance class!) I remember the camp director. I never liked this man because in a YOU track meet earlier this summer, he made comments about black people that I felt were insensitive. I sat alone by the lake. One of the girls’ counsellors found me and asked why I was not dancing. I told her why. She was SHOCKED to find out the rule existed.
My experience dealing with hypocrisy, racism (not just with Caucasian people but other black members of the WWCG were racist towards me due to my refusal to date their daughters and being called a “sell-out”. For those that do not understand a “sell-out” is a black person who “acts white.” By that I mean young black males like myself who do well in school, do well in extra curricular activities and are decent in character. For instance there was one young black woman who thought it was her divine right to go up in my parents face after church one and state this in a nasty attitude that was evident in some black women back then. I quote “You have raised beautiful whitechildren”. I know most who read this may not understand but I will state that was very hurtful towards my mother. My reaction, some CHOICEwords for this young woman), church leadership (and I have not even touched on the doctrinal side of the Church in this retrospective look) and the two-faced attitude of most of the members I came into contact with.
Mirrored via Armstrongism: Beware False Prophets
Herbert W. Armstrong’s views on interracial marriage were not at all a secret. I have found various sermons and written works by Armstrong that express a great deal of racism. The following collection of quotes is intended to illustrate how open Armstrong was about his racist beliefs, and how he enforced his prejudices upon members of the Worldwide Church of God.
“God originally set the bounds of national borders, intending nations to be separated to prevent interracial marriage. […] Noah was of perfect lineage in his generations. His wife and three sons were of that same white strain.”
Mystery of the Ages; H.W. Armstrong; pg. 149
“God intended to prevent racial intermarriages. But man has always wanted to violate God’s laws, intentions and ways. They wanted to become one race or family through intermarriage
Mystery of the Ages; H.W. Armstrong; pg. 151
Below, I have transcribed pieces of one of Herbert W. Armstrong’s shockingly racist sermons. I have included a link the the audio of the entire sermon. He was 90 years old when he spoke these words. I have capitalized certain bits of text to note the volume of Armstrong’s voice. Anyone who has heard a sermon by HWA will remember his bouts of screaming, when he was trying to make a point.
Apparently, what had spurred him to write this sermon was a letter,
written by one of his followers.
[Click to hear a racist sermon by Herbert W. Armstrong]
“Today I want to speak on what may possibly be the very next attack that
Satan will use against this church […] interracial marriage.”
“It was stated that the blacks in God’s Church are dissatisfied with such doctrines that are not in keeping with the current social trend in the world [civil rights movement] that are a part of this nations background. […] And this letter also says that they are trying to line up a group of blacks to give ME AN ULTIMATUM, that I get on the side of the social trend of this world, or else! I’ll tell you what I’ll give them, I’LL GIVE THEM THE ‘OR ELSE!’ (church audience laughs) I WON’T COMPRIMISE ONE MILLIONTH OF AN INCH! And if you will, you can go into the Lake of Fire if you want to. […] Some are saying that we have to to have racial balance at ambassoders college. […]“
“Genisis 6:1; And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of
the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Genisis 6:2; That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were
fair; and they took them wives of ALL WHICH THEY CHOOSE.”
“That’s what they want to do today. A black man wants to take a white
woman for a wife, THAT’S WHAT HE CHOOSES. […] Now I don’t know any
cases where a WHITE MAN wants to marry a black woman, WHY IS THAT?
Answer that for me! Why is it only BLACK MEN who want to marry white
This is obviously a twist of scripture. Armstrong is trying to ‘prove’ his racist beliefs with the Bible. There is no mention in the Genesis 6 that God sent Noah’s flood because of interracial marriage; nor is there any evidence that Noah was white. HWA himself declares this, but there is no evidence in the scriptures.
And why should ‘the church’ question him? He is God’s end-time Elijah… GOD TALKS TO HIM (or at least that is what WCG members were told.) Going against Armstrong was like going against God, for members; leaving the church was the worst sin one could commit. Apparently, these are concepts that are found in many cults*.