Racism has always been, and is, a prevalent issue we face throughout the world. Whether it be through violence, racial slurs or the disapproval of interracial relationships, the denial of a place to wed for the happiest day of an interracial couple's life while using Christian beliefs as an excuse is heinous in every sense of the word.

In light of a Mississippi event hall refusing to host an interracial couple's wedding earlier this month, controversy has risen as the business owner implied interracial relationships are an abomination. According to a report from WLBT, the soon-to-be-married couple was scheduled to meet with the owner to tour the venue, but the morning of, the bride got a horrendous message that sparked many questions for the family. The owner stated the venue could not host the wedding due to her "Christian beliefs."

"First of all, we don't do gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race, I mean our Christian beliefs," the owner said in a video provided online by LaKambria Welch, the sister of the groom.

At first glance, the headline made me want to hurl. While the owner is legally correct on being able to deny business to homosexual couples in Mississippi, which is backed by the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, there was no accuracy in her statement implying the marriage of mixed-race couples is able to be refused on grounds of religion.

Section two of the act states, "The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction : (a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; (b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and (c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual's immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth."

This act allows for business owners to lawfully deny business to homosexual couples based on the business owners' religious beliefs as the Bible does state in Leviticus 20:13, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination."

However, there is no law which defines interracial relationships as unlawful; there, also, is no scripture in the Bible that implies interracial relationships as being sinful.

Often times in cases of racism, the Bible is used as an excuse to say a mixed-race couple shall not be in a relationship. In full disclosure, I am in a interracial relationship, so this issue really hits home for me. I have had such racist slurs said to me from members of my family because of my decision to begin dating my significant other over two years ago.

"Don't expect him to ever step foot in this house" was only one of the heart-shattering statements I was told in response to my relationship. I have heard two common excuses from my family members I hear constantly from people who live across the South: "that is just how I was raised" and "those are just my Christian beliefs." 

While the owner of the venue has since recanted her statements and offers her apologies, she also stated, "My intent was never of racism, but to stand firm on what I 'assumed' was right concerning marriage. [I] have come to the conclusion my decision which was based on what I thought was correct to be supported by the Bible was incorrect."

Regardless of race, we are all God's children made to His image, so why even use Christianity as an example to be racist against others? What ever happened to thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, as stated in Matthew 22:39 in the Bible? It is not 'thou shalt love thy neighbour of only the same skin color.' 

According to Numbers 12:1, Moses married an Ethiopian woman. This is textual evidence that interracial relationships are, in fact, biblical. So, the fact interracial relationships are often deemed sinful is ludicrous.

People who are racist, yet say they are Christians and continue to use the Bible as an excuse to inflict discrimination, are not setting the right example for our future generations. This is not how we are all supposed to treat one another. We should love everyone, regardless of color because we all bleed the same color blood.

This is my decision, and as Hannah Brown, the former Bachelorette, said, "Jesus still loves me" and he loves my significant other just the same. While she was stating this in relation to her sexual life, it relates to any experience where someone is being judged because of their decisions and relationships.

Who cares about the color of someone's skin? We are not defined by our race. We are defined by our love for one another. For someone to use Christianity as an excuse to deny this interracial couple a venue for the happiest day of their lives is very disheartening.

Even though she recanted her statement, she serves as a prime example many are still living in the old days with racist remarks. Many seem to be "raised to believe one thing," but do not actually research their beliefs. They just assume the Bible justifies their statements or actions, especially in the circumstance of race.

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