According to information currently found on the webpage for the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that monitors hate groups, the KKK is on the decline.

The SPLC webpage states that the KKK has been failing to recruit young people in recent years, a significant reason that “the number of (KKK) groups continues to plummet.”

Furthermore, the website states, “The most visible Klan activities have been few and far between,” with activity by the KKK in 2018 consisting of a single KKK rally in Indiana last September and occasional flyer distribution in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The flyer distribution in Virginia hit home locally last week, when KKK flyers were allegedly found placed throughout Waynesboro.

While the news that this hate group is getting weaker in numbers and influence is good news indeed, it is understandable that some in Waynesboro are concerned over the appearance of these flyers, which praised ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency tasked with enforcing immigration laws and investigating terrorist attacks in our country.

One organization in Waynesboro has called on the city council to make a public denouncement of the KKK. Such acknowledgment by the council would undoubtedly give the KKK the attention it is hoping for, but the request is reasonable, nonetheless. While the council can’t legally stop all KKK activity nor deny them their rights to freedom of speech, surely they could release a joint statement saying that organizations that exist to promote racism and prejudice are not welcomed nor supported by the Waynesboro City Council and will be watched with a close eye. That wouldn’t be too hard to do, would it?

You ask me if I, as pastor of First Baptist Church of Grottoes, denounce the KKK? Absolutely. Anyone who comes to my church will tell you I frequently preach against racism. I point out that Jesus taught us to love people who are like us as well as unlike us, that God says nothing to prohibit two people of different skin colors from marrying, that it is God who chose what sex and what race we would be born according to His will (we do not need to apologize for our sex or skin color) and that heaven will be filled with people from all tribes and nations who submit to Jesus Christ as Lord.

I’ve also been known to point out the fact that Jesus being born a white man in the Middle East would have been as great a miracle as turning the water into wine — that picture of white Jesus so many have in their minds is way off! I preach against racism and unequivocally denounce the KKK because I feel it is the pastor’s job to clearly explain what the Bible says on issues that we talk about at the dinner table, at work and on Facebook, and then take a clear stand on it.

You might ask if I stand against all organizations and groups that clearly, intentionally promote racism and act with prejudice against a person because of his or her skin color. Again, absolutely I do, which brings me to a concluding point/question.

My guess would be that nearly all people reading this today agree with me that the KKK is a hate group that we should oppose. How many, I ask, would also stand with me against the hate group that is responsible for killing more black babies every three to four days than the KKK has killed in its entire history?

How many would stand with me against that same hate group, a group that intentionally, maliciously plants over 75% of its facilities in minority neighborhoods and communities? How many would stand with me against the hate group that is the leader in the abortion industry, the industry that has accounted for twice as many black deaths in the last fifty years than gun violence, AIDS, cancer and heart disease combined?

That hate group, of course, is Planned Parenthood, whose founder Margaret Sanger referred to our black brothers and sisters as “reckless breeders,” and “human weeds,” and, in her 1938 autobiography, reminisced about a speaking engagement for a female branch of the KKK, that organization we all just admitted that we denounce and despise.

Can I count on those of you who join me in standing against the KKK to also join me in standing against Planned Parenthood and their continued practice of targeting black communities for abortions? Have we found some common ground?

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Mark Wingfield, pastor of First Baptist Church in Grottoes, is a columnist for The News Virginian. His column is published Saturdays.

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