A megachurch in Alabama is planning to create its own police force after the passage of a law allowing it to, CNN reported Friday.
The law, signed by Gov. Kay Ivey (R), authorizes Briarwood Presbyterian Church to “appoint and employ one or more suitable persons to act as police officers to protect the property of the school or academy.”
A similar bill reportedly was considered four years ago, but was dropped amid public outcry over the church’s racist history and concerns that it violated the Establishment Clause’s separation of church and state.
Briarwood’s members are primarily white, according to CNN. The nearby city of Birmingham is two-thirds black.
The church is part of PCA, a conservative denomination that originated early 1970s Alabama. In 2016 it apologized for “racial sins” that included “the segregation of worshipers by race” as well as “the participation in and defense of white supremacist organizations.”
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SOURCE: The Hill, Chris Mills Rodrigo