An Alabama pastor says it was the Lord who motivated him to put up a sign encouraging people not to vote for President Donald Trump in the upcoming election.
The controversial sign outside New Era Baptist Church in Birmingham has caused a stir in the community, but pastor Michael Jordan is standing by it.
One one side, the message board declares that “A Black vote for Trump is mental illness,” while the opposite side reads, “A white vote for Trump is pure racism,” local station WVTM reported. Despite the backlash, Jordan has no apologies about the sign.
“God motivates me to take a stand for what’s right,” he told the outlet. “Read the Bible; if they call me a racist, look in the White House.”
He added: “When you support Donald Trump, you support institutionalized racism.”
Trump, 73, has faced claims of racism throughout his presidency and recently sparked a political firestorm when he ordered four Democrat congresswomen of color to “go back” where they came from after they dared to criticize U.S. policies. A week later, the president launched a racist attack against Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings and his district in Baltimore, characterizing the mostly Black city as a “rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human would want to live.”
“If he (Cummings) spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place,” Trump tweeted.
Pastor Jordan’s message targeting the president has hit a nerve with local Trump supporters like Daxton Kirk, who said he was offended by the sign. Kirk argued that he shouldn’t feel unwelcome at church, of all places.
“You should not come into a building and feel that you are hated and diversified just because you came here to worship the lord,” he told WVTM in a recent interview.
This isn’t the first time Jordan’s church signs have rubbed folks the wrong way. Last year, the pastor made headlines for a his sign arguing that “Black folks need to stay out of white churches,” and highlighting that “White folks refused to be our neighbors.”
The message was in protest of a suburban, predominately-white mega church’s efforts to build a new location in Birmingham’s inner city community. A Black pastor was slated to head the new house of worship.
“It’s a slavemaster church,” Jordan told AL.com at the time. “I call it plantation religion, slavemaster religion. The white rich folks start a church and put a black pastor in charge of it.”
“Blacks have flooded white churches and moved into white neighborhoods,” he added. “It’s for status reasons. It’s a sense of self-worth. But 99 percent of whites won’t go to a black church.”
Kirk told WVTM he’s since contacted City Hall in hopes something will be done about the church sign.