PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A church on the Main Line will become the second in the area to put up a banner in support of a controversial movement. And they’re already prepared for backlash.
The Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon is placing a “Black Lives Matter” banner in front of the church at South Valley Forge Road and Maple Wood Avenue. It reads: “Black Lives Matter, Uphold the Inherent Dignity and Worth of Every Person.”
“The problem of racism is very real in our society and we want to call attention to that, we want to shine a spotlight,” says Rev. Neal Jones, pastor.
He says the church, which has about 600 members, has less than ten that are of color. But they held a series of forums about racial injustice and, in June, the congregation voted to display the Black Lives Matter banner.
“Does this mean that we are anti-police? No it doesn’t,” he says. “You can be supportive of police, as well as be supportive of African Americans.”
Central Baptist Church in Wayne put up a similar banner last year and it was vandalized. Jones says their church is ready for what comes:
“If it gets vandalized we’ll just put up a sign and we’ll do it over and over again if need be. Our decision to do what’s right must be stronger than hatred or ignorance. We will not back down or be intimidated.”
Jones says the Unitarian Church has a progressive history and is known for being at the forefront of the civil rights, women’s rights and LGBT equality movements.
They’ll dedicate the sign and hang it following a 2 p.m. service Saturday afternoon.