Lately, whenever we see tragedy in this country, it’s only a matter of time before one or more religious right personalities stick their feet in their mouths and jam them in deep. Last weekend’s carnage in Charlottesville, Virginia was no exception.
Some, like Dave Daubenmire, suggested that the racist thugs who descended on Charlottesville are the real patriots. Others, like Sylvia Thompson, suggested that the violence was actually the work of leftist provocateurs who were embedded with the white nationalists. Still others, like Lance Wallnau and Bryan Fischer, claimed that what we saw in Charlottesville was a struggle between two far-left groups.
But at least one evangelical pastor was willing to take off the blinders. Knowing that a good number of the bigots brand their movement as Christian, he let it be known that they have absolutely nothing to do with the cross.
While dedicating several babies at The House in Modesto, California last Sunday, pastor Glen Berteau felt compelled to go raw on the events that unfolded 24 hours earlier. Watch here.
Bearteau described what he’d seen online and on TV as “the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” He then took dead aim at those who claimed that God intended for the races to be separate.
“For anybody to use the word of God, and saying you’re gonna to use the Word of God, to hate somebody of a different color–you gotta be the dumbest person on this earth to go ahead and say something like that. There’s a bunch of stupid white people, I’m just telling ya, that are stupid, and telling people that God is into this. And God is into this at all! There is not person better than another person. I don’t care what color you are. That is not the Word of God, that is not what heaven is like, that’s not what this church is, and that is not gonna happen!”
Berteau wasn’t done, telling his diverse congregation that he wanted no part of the “stupid white folks” who thought they were doing what God told them.
“You using our Bible to go ahead and use to hate people is wrong. It’s wrong, it’s wrong, it will always be wrong! It will never be right! It’s gonna be horrible, and I totally detest that what they did!”
Berteau then went to a father holding his baby daughter. While rubbing her, he said that if you peel back both his skin and hers, “we both bleed red.” Turning to her father, he told the audience, “He’s got the same heart I got! He’s got the same mind I got!”
The Facebook version of this video has gone severely viral; as of Saturday, it has been viewed 6.4 million times and has been shared 185,000 times.
Berteau spoke with KCRA-TV in Sacramento about this fiery message. Watch here.
Berteau said that he felt this was “something that needed to be shouted.” He was frustrated with the hate that has been in display both in the nation and closer to home. It led him to wonder, “Have we not progressed at all?”
This wasn’t just an idle question for Berteau. He told The Modesto Bee that he grew up in Louisiana during a time when blacks and whites still attended separate schools. He recalled seeing at least one cross burning by the Ku Klux Klan while he was a kid. He admits the term “stupid white people” could be jarring, but believes it’s more than fitting for people whom he thinks are “ignorant” and “not being logical.”
Although he didn’t mention it to The Bee or KCRA, this was also a time when a number of pastors still preached that segregation was mandated by the Bible. No doubt when he saw those racists marching with their torches and using the Bible to justify their bigotry, he must have felt like he was seeing a flashback to his childhood.
As raw as Berteau’s message was, it’s the only acceptable response to this kind of pigweed. Bravo, Pastor.
(featured image courtesy Berteau’s Facebook)