Christian churches still struggle with race, how to discuss it, what to do

t's Wednesday night at Crossroads church in Corryville, and about 30 people, equal numbers white and black, more women than men, stand in a circle in a basement meeting room.A church leader asks them to give a one-word answer to describe how they're feeling about being a part of the Undivided racial reconciliation program. "Happy," says one. "Hopeful," says another.

At the same time, on a website that originates about 75 miles east of Cincinnati in Bainbridge, Ohio, an avowed neo-Nazi proclaims a different sermon. Only a select group of white people are chosen by God, he says. Everyone else is unworthy.

"Not the Jewish nation. Not blacks. Not mongrels. Not half-breeds, yellows, Chinese, Koreans, homosexuals or bisexuals," says the white supremacist preacher, Paul R. Mullet.

The messages could not be more different, yet both are based on an interpretation of the same Christian faith. While Mullet is a fringe actor, his sermons are a reminder of Christianity's complicated history with race in America – one stained by the justification and endorsement of slavery.

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