Menu Close

Local IFB Pastor John MacFarlane’s Latest on “Reverse Racism” and “Miscegenation”

trump im not a racist

John MacFarlane is the pastor of First Baptist Church, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) congregation in nearby Bryan, Ohio — the place of my birth. I attended First Baptist Church in the 1960s and 1970s. I was attending First Baptist when I left in August 1976 to study for the ministry at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan.

MacFarlane writes a public daily devotional on First Baptist’s website. I have featured his prose on this site several times. Last July, MacFarlane posted a devotional titled “Racism.” As you shall see, MacFarlane thinks race and ethnicity are one the same:

I am writing today’s devotional on June 10 while sitting in a Hampton Inn & Suites hotel room in Louisville, KY

…..

The culture of Kentucky is definitely different than the culture of Ohio.  I didn’t say wrong and I didn’t say worse.  I said different and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.  But I want to share with you a very politically incorrect observation.  Bear with me as I set this up.

In the little dining area of the hotel, the television has the morning news running to provide those enjoying their breakfast with some indigestion.  News is never good, it seems.  The news today featured:  the millions of ransom dollars paid by a company to someone who had taken their computer systems hostage; issues on the border and a Vice-President who has yet to act as the border czar;  Presidential missteps and mistakes; millions of COVID vaccines rapidly reaching their expiration dates;  race riots, BLM, protests, white privilege, and apologizing for our race.  That’s where my observations come in.How much of this is made up, contrived by those who aren’t content unless they are fighting?!?  

How much of this is stirred up by people whose nickname should be Maytag – always agitating?

Oh, please don’t misunderstand.  I believe racism is out there.  There are places where it is practiced in some despicable ways.  But deal with it there.  Don’t bring it where I’m at and introduce it like another strain of the Wuhan plague.  I have yet to be in a place where I’ve felt that tension and I don’t want to be in that place.  Get rid of it THERE…deal with it THERE…and certainly don’t bring it around me!

Let me introduce you to Betty, Earl, Millie, and Carl.   Every one of them had a much darker tan than I have!  In fact, this was true throughout the facility.  The Hampton Inn & Suites of Louisville, KY was an ethnic melting pot.  So what?They were the kindest people.

….

The Asian housekeepers were courteous and polite, smiling and accommodating if you asked a question.

There were mutual niceties and respect.  I didn’t feel treated or looked at differently because of the color of my skin and I certainly didn’t treat or look at them differently because of the color of their skin.  Isn’t that the way it is supposed to be?

….

I never once felt uncomfortable or threatened.  I saw blacks treating whites respectfully, openly talking with each other.  I saw whites treating blacks the same way.  Never did I see anything that made me think that I needed to hide in fear.  Doors were opened for one another.  Common courtesies and manners were demonstrated between ethnicities

…..

We cannot deny our history and pretend that there are not some very shameful events from the past.  But I’m not living there.  If the past continues to shade our present – if we allow it to do that – we will never move on and achieve the equity that is allegedly sought.  Yes, atrocities were done.  However, the people that deserve the strongest apology and acts of restitution have been in graves for many years.

Is it possible that some people aren’t happy unless they are stirring a pot, creating a fight, and spreading animosity and hatred?  Once again, please hear what I’m saying.  I know racism exists.  But creating a national narrative that teaches racism is everywhere and that if you’re white, you’re automatically a racist is nothing more than a vicious, vulgar lie and I personally resent and am angered by the accusation.

Genesis 1:27 tells us, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  From this original couple sprang every ethnicity there is.  There are not multiple races.  We are all of one race and that race is humanity.  Ethnicities are just the spices of life that the Lord has added to keep us from becoming dull and boring.

Celebrate the ethnicities.  Respect them.  Refuse to place one above another.  Make the playing field level.  That’s the way God does it.

….

The cure to the violence, hatred, and fighting in the world is NOT to give any ethnicity advantage over another.  We definitely don’t need sensitivity training.  It’s for EVERY ethnicity to be brought before the cross of Jesus and together, we humbly kneel in gratitude for the blood that covers our sins and the power of the resurrection that makes us alive.If it’s a fight people want, take them to the cross where the greatest fight ever was fought and won – by a JEW, nonetheless!  Praise the Lord!

You can read my pointed response here.

You would think that MacFarlane would recant his previous post and make amends for his overtly racist language. Alas, he is an IFB preacher, so no honest reflection is forthcoming.

Today, MacFarlane doubled down on his (deliberate) misunderstanding of race and ethnicity:

Where do I begin with Biblical application?!?  Let’s start by addressing the obvious – racism.  I know.  We are sick to death of hearing about this because of the media hype and the cancel culture.  But we have to acknowledge and admit that racism does exist.  There is a rapidly growing Antisemitic spirit in America.  Jews in large cities like NYC are targeted for violence.  There is racism against blacks.  And there is a reverse-racism against whites.

….

Let’s add to this by talking about miscegenation.  The vast majority of you reading this are the product of miscegenation.  I am a product of miscegenation.  From what I understand, my grandmother was a full-blooded German.  She married a Scotsman who was part Irish.  They had my dad.  He married a woman who was part Irish, British Anglo-Saxon, and hillbilly!  That combination had me.

What is my “cultural identity?”  What is my heritage.  I really don’t have one.  I’m Heinz 57.  I’m a mutt.  I’m a mixed breed.  And my culture/heritage is mine.  It’s new.  Better yet, I’m saved!  That’s an entirely different culture/heritage that doesn’t fit with any that are in this world.

As I read Scripture, one heritage and cultural identity was to be protected and that was the Jew.  Amazingly, it has been preserved through the centuries so that during the Tribulation, 12,000 from each tribe will still have their heritage intact and will make up the 144,000.

As I noted in my previous post about MacFarlane’s views of race and ethnicity, the good pastor doesn’t believe racism exists in rural Northwest Ohio (please see Does Racism Exist in Rural Northwest Ohio?). Oh racism exists “somewhere,” just not here in white/Republican/Evangelical Northwest Ohio. Today, MacFarlane mentions for the first time “reverse racism” against whites. I thought, yet again, OMG, John, did you really say this out loud?” MacFarlane is an avid Trump supporter — the man who has done more to advance the intellectual bankrupt idea of “reverse racism” than David Duke.

MacFarlane defines “miscegenation” as people of different ethnicities marrying each other. I am beginning to wonder if MacFarlane has access to a dictionary. Had he bothered to look up the word miscegenation, he would have learned:

miscegenation

Wikipedia defines “miscegenation” this way:

Miscegenation is the interbreeding of people who are considered to be members of different races.The word is derived from a combination of the Latin terms miscere (to mix) and genus (race) from the Hellenic “γένος”. The word first appeared in “Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro,” a pretended anti-Abolitionist pamphlet David Goodman Croly and others published anonymously in advance of the 1864 U.S. presidential election. The term came to be associated with laws that banned interracial marriage and sex, which were known as anti-miscegenation laws.

Interbreeding of different races John, not whites marrying whites. Surely MacFarlane knows this, so I assume his fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between race and ethnicity (and I understand “race” is a complex issue) is driven by his right-wing theological and political beliefs; that and the fact that he has spent most of his life living in white-as-a-KKK-sheet rural northwest Ohio.

Unfortunately, I will likely be the only local person to call into question MacFarlane’s harmful misunderstanding of race and miscegenation — along with many other political and social issues.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

9 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Benny S

    Dear Pastor MacFarlane:

    I applaud you for admitting that racism exists (you even give specific examples), yet you also say there is only one race. I think it’s time for you to consider retirement.

  2. Avatar
    BJW

    I met him once and he seemed somewhat nice, about 25 years ago. Of course, that was face to face and I am a white woman. He disgusts me. I don’t get the Bryan Times anymore and I don’t usually write too many letters to the editor. We have an idiot parked north of town with all kinds of those signs, Trump 2020, Biden bought by China, well, you get the picture. They aren’t going to change in an area that is overwhelmingly white unless they (1) leave, or (2) search their souls realistically. I’m sure Pastor McFarlane is pretty well hardened into his beliefs, and that doesn’t include empathy for those who are different.

  3. Avatar
    Sage

    John MacFarlane is so deep in his the privilege that is provided to him as a white man that he can’t even see it. No one in a marginalized group is going to talk to Johnnie about the systemic racism and the bigotry they face daily, because he would then brush them off as agitators. I can only tell you that in my lifetime, I have personally witnessed systemic racism and bigotry. In Ohio, my Black college roommate was always followed through stores, while I was left alone in the very same stores at the very same time. The towns in Indiana that my Latina girlfriend insisted we avoid or not stop in, because they were known centers of bigotry against minorities. Black work colleagues stopped for speeding, taken from their cars, and interrogated . I’ve been stopped many times by police for traffic violations, but only once, in West Virginia, I was stopped for speeding, while vacationing and staying in this small tourist town with my Latina girlfriend, and I was taken to the police car and interrogated.. where are you going – where have you been – where are you staying – who are you with- why are you in town. Why was that one stop different from any others?? Hmmmm…

    Racism and bigotry is not just “out there somewhere”, it is everywhere. But the story of systemic racism is not mine to tell, I will leave that to the experienced voices of people of color – people like those whom he describes as “the kindest people”, or “courteous and polite, smiling and accommodating”. Not that Johnnie would listen to them.

    But I can talk, with great experience, on the bigotry faced by by non-binary and trans people – bigotry that occurs today in the very town in which you dwell. Things as simple as using a public restroom, which I am sure Johnnie does without thought, is, for a non gender forming person, a challenge. I am a very androgynous person. On any given day, I will be called he or she, sir or ma’am, multiple times per day. This is no big deal – until i enter a public restroom. Since there is so much fear among christians and conservative about non-binary people using the correct restroom, I have to be wary. Most people just go in and do what they need to do. But for me, I walk in, and immediately note the location of each person in the restroom, analyze how they react to my presence, and then mentally track to movement of people as they come and go, while always being aware of their position in relation to me and the door.

    Does anyone else do this in a public restroom? Why should taking a piss be so difficult???

    This is only one issue that non-binary and trans people face on a daily basis, and to be completely open, the danger of just publicly existing as a non-binary person escalates in small towns and rural areas. I don’t fit in to these places, and attitudes and comments are much uglier. Sadly, places that are lean heavily toward christian and conservative are among the worst. I guess that is because, to christians I am an “abomination”.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      I’m baffled that John cannot or will not see what is right in front of him.

      Several years ago, we were outside at a local ice cream store . . . several young women from Defiance College were there too. One woman was black — Nigerian, I believe. Several young white hillbillies drove by in a pick-up truck. One of the half-wits hollered at the black woman, calling her the N-word. Just another day in rural Northwest Ohio.

      I’m surprised any black person wants to live here. Typically, the racism is more subtle — more in the line of the John’s words.

      I grew up here, having lived in Northwest Ohio much of my life. I know what I know, and anyone who denies racism exists here is deliberately blind. It’s taken me decades to come to terms with my own racism. I’m acutely aware how living here can pervert reality. I am grateful most of my children and grandchildren are far more accepting and tolerant than their dad and grandfather was for way too many years.

  4. Avatar
    Sage

    Yes, this is my post #2. But this clueless man really has me irritated tonight.

    MacFarlane says “Yes, atrocities were done, However, the people that deserve the strongest apology and acts of restitution have been in the graves for many years”.

    I present a list in response.

    Jason Fox, killed Sept 14, 2020, for being gay by his “friends”

    Tyianna Alexander
    Samuel Edmund Damian Valentin
    Bianca “Muffin” Bankz
    Dominque Jackson
    Fifty Brandz
    Alexus Braxton
    Chyna Carillo
    Siblings Jeffery “JJ” Bright and Jasmine Cannaday
    Jenna Franks
    Diamond Kyree Sanders
    Rayanna Pardo
    Jaida Peterson
    Dominique Lucious
    Remy Fennell
    Tiara Banks
    Natalia Smut
    Iris Santos
    Tiffany Thomas
    Keri Washington
    Jahaira DeAlto
    Whispering Wind Bear Spirit
    Sophie Vasquez
    Danika “Danny” Henson
    Serenity Hollis
    Oliver “Ollie” Taylor
    Thomas hardin
    Poe Black
    EJ Boykin
    Aidelen Evans
    Taya Ashton
    Shai Vanderpump
    Tierramarie Lewis
    Miss CoCo
    Pooh Johnson
    Disaya Monaee
    Briana Hamilton

    These are 36 transgender people that were murdered in 2021, This represents the people we know about, but the number of murders is most certainly higher because many non-binary and transgender people are mis-gendered and dead named by police.

    They were killed by strangers and people they knew. Many of these victims are dealing with homelessness, poverty, and unemployment because they are transgender, The risk of violence is even worse for transgender people who are also people of color. They have to deal with racism as well as transphobia and homophobia.

    The church crowd like Johnnie prefer to go in their church, close the door, sing their songs, and pretend that non-binary people have no value. They rail against LGBTQIA+ from the pulpit, using slurs, and advocating for laws that would stop this “abomination” against god and put these evil people in jail, or even kill them.

    People like Johnnie will say these victims reap what they sow, and only need to get right with god, get cleaned up, put their repugnant ways behind them, and all will be perfect. What a crock of BS. These hypocrites who scream “saving one life is worth it” when trampling the rights of a woman to have an abortion remain silent as a stone when living adults are murdered. They make no effort to help adults in need, instead they prefer to preach at them, to “win” them, and hope god does the dirty work of helping them. They hurl bigoted and hateful attacks, and denigrate people in the LGBTQ community, then wonder why they get anger and vitriol in return. OF course, this gets blamed on the people they attacked, or their love of since and hatred of god, or trickery of the devil.

    Then when all else fails, they claim “oh we don’t have that around here – its not us – its not our problem – we accept all people” but in fact they refuse to treat everyone equally. This is a classic “Somebody Else’s Problem (SEP)” field, defined by Douglas Adams as “An SEP is something we can’t see, or don’t see, or our brain doesn’t let us see, because we think that it’s somebody else’s problem. That’s what SEP means. Somebody Else’s Problem. The brain just edits it out, it’s like a blind spot.” When all else fails, christians like McFarlane turn on the SEP, so they don’t have to face the world, and the way in which they contribute to the bigotry and hatred that is so prevalent in our world today. God forbid they actually try to fix the problems by critically analyzing their own attitudes and actions, and work to make their local world a better place. Nope, much easier to pray to god and let god get their hands dirty, while they go back and sing one more song.

    • Avatar
      BJW

      Sage, I have a conservative “friend” who doesn’t believe in LGBTQ+ people. When I tried to get her to examine why she should care if trans people deserve to have rights, she said she didn’t want to talk about it. These types of people are so afraid of people who aren’t like them that they are okay with bad things happening to them. Makes me sick.

  5. Avatar
    Charles S. Oaxpatu

    Well, I think Preacher MacFarlane’s problem might be that his mind is stuck in late 19th and early 20th century America and England. This was back in the heyday of “eugenics,” where quite a lot of our misunderstandings about race and racism first began and were sort of culturally Institutionalized (for lack of better wording). I know something about this as a result of my background in anthropology.

    It was a time when even the high intellectuals in England (which) basically controlled most of the rest of the world through the British Empire—–when the English man or woman was the top dog on the world stage, It needed some sort of intellectual justification that existed outside the realm of raw military power. So, people turned to the ideas of Charles Darwin and some newfangled nonsense of the time called “social darwinism.” Among human beings, it was posited that there is a race to the end of time among human beings, and only the strongest and most fit human “races” will make it to the finish line—-all others dropping out eventually through natural selection. The British defined themselves (as a population) to be the leader in that race among men because they were first place in the world—at that time—and to their way of thinking, their empirical sway over most of the Earth proved it. Few were inclined to differ. So, at that time the traditional notion of race (Negroid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid, etc—all modern terms in physical anthropology) was taken a step further in comparing nations and their fitness in the race towards the end of time and which nation would win out. Therefore, in books and conversation, people of that time began to talk about the “British race” vs.the “French race.” Countries and their populations suddenly became an unusual extension of the traditional concept of race.

    I have a deceased uncle who grew up in that time, and from years of talking with him and working with him, I could tell clearly that he had—-in his youth—-absorbed a lot of the racial and eugenics bullshit of that time. He too referred to individual nations and their populations as “races.” I have heard other people of his generation do the same thing, which means they picked up all the bullshit somewhere in school (K-12 or first two years of college or on the streets) at the same time he did.

    I will never forget one morning when we were talking about the subject of race. My uncle was a southern racist, and he was convinced that all “negroes” (his terminology) were a—-and I quote him—-“naturally Immoral race.” In other words, doing evil deeds was in their genes, and an African could not avoid doing evil no matter how hard he or she tried to do good. Then he turned to me quite seriously, and said:

    “But you know what? Negroes are not the only immoral race. The British race (Englishmen, Scots, Welsh, etc) are also a “naturally immoral race.”

    He was in World War II as a U.S. Navy sailor in the Pacific Theater, and he had occasions to talk with U.S. Army personnel who had served in Europe, particularly in England. They told him willd stories about what they had done with British girls, all the alcohol ridden partying that went on everywhere in pubs, and so forth. Oscar Wilde did not help matters in the realm of literature, and he soon came to the conclusion that all Brits are members of a “naturally immoral race.”

    However, what you need to understand is that my uncle was raised as a rural Christian fundamentalist at at time when the fundamentalist movement around the Great Lakes region was having a powerful influence on rural Methodist churches in the American South. So, he grew up just like Bruce did and believing all the things Bruce was taught to believe in the IFB churches of his youth. I will never forget the time when my uncle insisted that all people who had engaged in premarital sex or had contracted a venereal disease should be required to carry a state government ID card attesting to that fact. Furthermore, at a job interview, they must present the card to the potential employer for examination. Why? This is what he said:

    “Any person who engages in premarital sex or has a venereal disease is a deeply immoral person. If they have done that, they are almost certain to steal money from the store’s cash register if they get hired. I can use that card to eliminate them from consideration during their interview.” No such card existed in Tennessee. He just deeply wished that it did.

    Apparently, someone has passed my uncle’s late 19th and early 20th century false notions about race and eugenics on to Preacher MacFarlane. It was probably some deeply trusted adult of the same generation as my uncle (1910 – 1993). Modern genetics and physical anthropology have blown the whole notion of “races” out the window. Nearly everything the good preacher knows about the subject of “race” is likely dead wrong in light of all that we have learned in science across the past 75 years.

  6. Avatar
    Troy

    MacFarlane is obviously being obtuse about the meaning of miscegenation. After all, miscegenation laws used to be on the law books and they never were enforced because of different European ethnic groups coupling. You don’t have to go back very far to the case of the Lovings from Virginia, went to DC to get married, and were charged with miscegenation in their home in Virginia. (The Supreme Court nullified such laws in the 1950s)
    As for racism in America, it is actually the driving force of a lot of politics, and Trump is the result. Racism doesn’t manifest itself in rudeness between races as MacFarlane would imply. At this point, most people think it rather than say it. As a political force most of it is that lower middle class whites need to feel there is a class below them to save their self esteem.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away! If You Are a First Time Commenter, Please Read the Comment Policy Located at the Top of the Page.

Bruce Gerencser