St. John’s Reformed United Church of Christ was burned on July 9, just days after the UCC’s national conference passed a resolution backing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. The text of the messages spray-painted on the church referred to this issue: “Gays lover,” “Lesb hell,” “UCC siners” and “sinners.”I'm guessing "anti-Southern" activities include not only the work of the anti-slavery work of the Congregational church, but the anti-poverty work of the German E&R church, such as Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Mississippi.
“The writing on the wall, literally, tells the story,” Foster said, “This was a politically motivated attack because of the gay issue, and the FBI is going to investigate it.”
St. John’s is the third UCC church in the Shenandoah Valley that has been intentionally damaged in recent months.
After the Middlebrook attack, the News Virginian, a newspaper in Waynesboro, Va., published a story about the responses of three white supremacist groups to the arson.
In that story, Bill White, a Virginia-based spokesperson for the National Socialist Movement, also known as the American Nazi Party, condemned the arson but said that he understood how the actions of the United Church of Christ could provoke such a reaction.
White told the Blade that he believes homosexuality is a mental illness, and that the UCC is a “heretic” church.
“Their encouragement of homosexuality is simply a modern extension of their 200-plus-year history of anti-social, anti-white and anti-Southern activities,” White said.
The United Church of Christ was active in the anti-slavery movement, and was the first church to ordain women, African Americans and gays, according to Currie.
Earlier this summer, White wrote that “taking on” liberal churches should be a top priority for area Nazis.
White told the Blade that his group is discussing “targeting pro-homosexual events being organized by local ‘gay’ churches.” He went on to name the Metropolitan Community Church of the Blue Ridge in Roanoke as a specific target of his group’s efforts, which he said included distributing messages on leaflets and through direct mail.
And, of course, will any of this even be noticed by the pundits and the media pooh-bahs? And if it is, how likely will they be to lay blame on the churches themselves?