Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists have been attacking churchgoers at the Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York since the end of June. Reports surfaced that the group was triggered by the church’s gun giveaway.
Why is the mob beating church members in Troy, NY for trying to enter church and escort black members through the mob?
“No justice, no peace”
“Peaceful protest” pic.twitter.com/qsE1kUvqnR
— Grace Baptist Church (@realgbctroyny) July 3, 2020
— Kevin McCashion 🇺🇸 (@Kevin_McCashion) June 29, 2020
While the right-leaning media put the spotlight on BLM with headlines describing “Godless” BLM supporters as having “stormed” the Grace Baptist Church, overwhelming young women and children, the truth is, this is a story of two extremist movements — which, of course, does not excuse the reprehensible and violent behavior of the BLM protesters.
Just for the record, here’s the backstory of the church and its pastor:
First the gun giveaway (which isn’t the totality of this story): At first it might seem bizarre for a church to host a gun giveaway, even though the church had twice before given away AR-15 rifles, once in 2014 and again in 2017 in response to New York’s SAFE Act — a 2013 gun regulation law. (Winners had to successfully pass a background check. The event garnered the attention of local politicians, with at least two supporting it: New York State Assemblyman John McDonald of the 108th District and Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin who represents the district itself).
This latest gun giveaway was advertised on the church’s website, which also stated that to qualify for the giveaway, one must be present at the church and,
“As always, there will be a slice of ham (the Bible word is swine) outside the front church doors. Everyone entering the building for the service is required to touch the ham before entering the building. Anyone refusing to touch the ham outside the front church doors is not permitted to enter the building. GBC reserves the right to allow any Orthodox or Hasidic Jew to enter without touching the ham.”
We can surmise that the “ham test” is to make sure there aren’t any Muslims entering the church. This is consistent with the the ideology of the leader of the church, Pastor John Koletas, who is known for preaching that “Every Muslim is a Terrorist.” What is seemingly inconsistent with Koletas’ ideology is why he would let Jews in, since he also preaches that “Jews have ruined America” and “Jews Are Cursed”:
Here’s another taste of his preaching:
Pastor John Koletas pic.twitter.com/Ivnu0kiu0B
— IFB Preacher Clips™ (@FakeSermon) January 22, 2020
Remarkably, Pastor Koletas’ flock includes both white and black members and men and women, even though the pastor also preaches that “Blacks Are Cursed” and “Voting Women Ruined America.” He also posted a movie on the church’s Facebook page called “Martin Luther King Jr. Exposed! (Marxist Lucifer King)”
Most news outlets covering this story focused on the Black Lives Matter protesters attacking churchgoers; local New York news focused on the church gun giveaway as a trigger for those protests. Unreported was the fact that other protesters were initially across the street before BLM organizers arrived at the church.
Yet, the bigoted rhetoric of Pastor John Koletas has largely gone unreported. While harassing churchgoers is totally unacceptable, so is being a vile bigot with a pulpit.
For more on Pastor John Koletas, below is a shocking interview where his daughter tells the story of how Koletas came to his extremist views and how his family excused him for them:
EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.