No Wrongthink Allowed
A large Birmingham church loses a lease over its pastor liking the "wrong" social-media messages.
The largest church in Birmingham, Alabama, has lost its home thanks to the anti-racism ministers of woke and their charge of wrongthink. You see, Chris Hodges, pastor of Church of the Highlands, committed the unforgivable “sin” of “liking” several social-media postings that supported President Donald Trump. A teacher, Jasmine Clisby — who freely admits to not attending Hodges’s church nor being able to “see into Pastor Chris Hodges’s heart,” and who “would be upset if it comes off as me judging him” — still felt the need to issue a complaint to the Birmingham Board of Education for his “culturally insensitive” “likes.”
Church of the Highlands, whose diverse congregation of 60,000 has been meeting for the past six years at Parker and Woodlawn High Schools for its Sunday services, had its lease with the city terminated following a vote by the education board initiated by Clisby’s complaint.
Furthermore, as Family Research Council President Tony Perkins writes, “The church’s Christ Health Clinic will also be banned from operating, according to the Birmingham Housing Authority, who also decided Monday to ban volunteer workers.” Justifying its dubious decision, the housing authority argued, “Commissioners agreed that Pastor Hodges’s views do not reflect those of [the Housing authority] and its residents. … HABD and Campus of Hope staff will continue to work with other faith-based organizations in the community to identify resources that will replace the services that were provided.”
So much for the freedom of speech and diversity of thought. It would be one thing if it was a private company that elected to end a relationship with the church over the pastor’s opinions. But for the city to do it is a fundamental violation of Hodges’s and the church’s First Amendment rights. Government officials are punishing the expression of political opinion. That’s beyond the pale. This is not America; this is 1984.