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Pastor Allen Joyner Calls for the Shooting of Those Who Refuse to Stand for National Anthem

pastor allen joyner

Allen Joyner is the pastor of Sweet Home Baptist Church in McKenzie, Alabama. Joyner is also the football game announcer for McKenzie High School. Prior to the start of yesterday’s game, Joyner told the crowd:

“If you don’t want to stand for the National Anthem, you can line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots AT you since they’re taking shots FOR you.”

Evidently, Joyner thought that he was preaching to his church. You know, typical red meat Fundamentalist bullshit that countless Baptist preachers routinely utter on Sundays. Now, thanks to someone posting his words to Facebook, Joyner is facing widespread ridicule and condemnation. And rightly so. Here’s what was posted on Facebook by Denise Crowley-Whitfield:


The crowd wildly cheered. So sad that the people cheering Joyner’s ignorance seem to have no understanding of the First Amendment, nor do they understand that there is a time and place for everything. By all means, Pastor Joyner, unzip your pants and show your congregation your “patriotic” manliness. Let them cheer your prowess and “conviction.” But, on fall Fridays your job is to announce McKenzie High football games. Save the patriotic junk-waving for Sunday.

Sweet Home Baptist Church posted the following statement:

sweet home baptist church mckenzie alabama

Joyner’s words were taken out of context? Sure, they were. Pray tell, in what other way could Joyner’s words be understood?  No, Joyner meant what he said, and now he is upset because he has been accused of indecent exposure.

Both Sweet Home Baptist and Crowley-Whitfield have deactivated their Facebook accounts. While the folks at Sweet Home are standing by Pastor Joyner’s words, I hope that the powers that be at McKenzie High School will make sure that Joyner had announced his last football game.

In an email to, Butler County Schools Superintendent Amy Bryan stated:

“Patriotism should be a part of school events but threats of shooting people who aren’t patriotic, even in jest, have no place at a school. Threats of violence are a violation of school policy and certainly not condoned by the school board.”

I suspect that Joyner’s words and his continued employment will be subjects of discussion at the next school board meeting.

In the coming days, countless right-wingers will defend Joyner, even going so far as to say that Joyner has the right to say whatever he wants while announcing McKenzie High football games. While this may or may not be true, one thing is for sure: words have consequences. What Pastor Joyner SHOULD do is apologize for what he said, but he won’t. His pants and underwear are now down around his knees. No turning back now.


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    Every time I’ve heard the National Anthem announced, it goes something almost exactly like this, “Ladies and gentlemen, please stand for our National Anthem.” Notice that please in there? We do not require patriotism in the United States of America. I really am starting to think some of our fellow citizens would have been way too comfortable had they lived in Germany circa 1935-1945.

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    SWEET HOME BAPTIST CHURCH issued this statement: “…Anyone who has anything negative to say on our page will be banned and ignored.”

    Isn’t it wonderful how Jesus changes lives and turns people into open-hearted servants of the Gospel, helping, caring people? Sweet Home indeed. Fucking authoritarian bully man. Give them America and you will get a gulag that they call Christian Love! Line up the unbelievers and call in our boys to fucking shoot them. And all the people cried, Amen!

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    What on earth are kids supposed to do when this horrible person proposes firing squads Not one Veteran I know, or have seen interviewed appreciates this nationalism or die bull shit. Most feel this is why they were in service. So many people fight, fought and recovered, just so they could go back. I am really worried that kids think that a shooting squad at a football game is ok, because mom and dad clapped and cheered. I think America, in all it’s imperfections, really needs Americans learning how to be civil, and compromise when appropriate and politely disagree. We need everyone to repeat pre-school and take Civics.

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      Hello Lara, I wonder if part of the problem IS preschool and the early-on indocrination that occurs in USA. Americans seem to feel that the flag is somehow related to God and both are to be worshipped. Because God is every bit the figment that blind nationalism is, they face a double-whammy.

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    Joyner expresses the religious nationalism that has been one of the more unwelcome political developments in the last 35 years. This is rather characteristic and frightening when you consider what really lies beneath the religious nationalism;

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      Bruce Gerencser

      The article states what the pastor says he said. It is not a statement of fact. He could be lying in an attempt to cover his ass, rehabilitate his reputation, and save his church from scorn. You are related to Pastor Joyner, yes? Why didn’t the pastor immediately say the woman who quoted him was incorrect? Why wait 4 days to give his version of what was said?

      That said, I thank you for posting the link to this story. Here’s the relevant quote:

      “if you don’t want to stand for the national anthem, please go sit at the baseball field and let some of our folks take a shot reminding you of the price our military paid for your freedom to sit.”

      I would only ask readers one question. Which quote sounds more likely to have been uttered by a red meat Fundamentalist Baptist pastor?

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    Bullies who are also preachers are a dangerous breed of biped. When you blend shallow interpretations of scripture in a damaged man (a bully who forces his ways on others) and then you throw in a flag (militaristic nationalism) you get Preacher Joyner. I listened to radio interview with him where he tip-toed around playing the victim in all this: He almost seemed to break into tears while stating, “They still let us pray…”
    I was the son of an IFB preacher, Wade Joyner, and my dad would have never used a mic to do something like this even though he believed the black and white every bit as much as any Joyner. Let me state this clearly: Preacher Joyner is proud to harm others, to corporally punish others around him. He sees himself as an authority and is standing with what he believes to be true. This is bona-fide American Christianity at work in the real world. Can you see it honestly and allow your heart to feel the pain this man spreads throughout his family and community? And then, can you call it love? Really? I think you will reject what I am saying but please watch silently now and observe honestly what this man does as he ‘steps down’. There will be hell to pay all around him. Just watch, is all I am saying.

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    Oh, they’ve got a problem with ‘sharia law,’ all right. They love their version of it so much and are jealous of what ISIS gets away with – so envious, in fact, that they’ll tear this country into tatters to get their way. If they could get away with it here, so many of them would be all over that like white on rice.

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Bruce Gerencser