Birmingham, AL – A Baptist pastor is taking criticism after displaying a sign at his church that compared voting for Donald Trump to mental illness and racism.
The sign on one side read, “A black vote for Trump is mental illness.”
On the flip side of the sign it read, “A white vote for Trump is pure racism.”
“God motivates me to take a stand for what’s right,” said Michael Jordan, the pastor of the New Era Baptist Church, according to WTVM. “Read the Bible. And look in the White House. If they’re calling me a racist, look in the White House. … When you vote for Donald Trump, you are supporting institutionalized racism.”
Jordan, who is black, said he intended to send a message to white and black voters.
Daxton Kirk is a white Trump supporter and told WTVM he didn’t approve of the sign. Kirk told WTVM that people “should not be able to come into a building and feel like you are hated or diversified just because you came here to worship the Lord.”
Kirk also said he had complained to City Hall officials to see if they could take action over the sign.
In 2018, Jordan used the church’s signage to post a message that said, “Black folks need to stay out of white churches,” according to the Washington Post. Jordan posted that message after a suburban megachurch had planned to open another church in Birmingham as part of an effort to reduce crime.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, a Democrat, criticized the 2018 sign, according to the Washington Post.
Under IRS rules enacted by congress in 1987, churches could lose their tax-exempt status for making political statements.