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Pastor: '$*!*holes' sign outside midstate church is about theology, not politics

Written by Ted Czech/The York Daily Record | Jan 20, 2018 4:27 AM
dallastown_church.jpg

A sign put up by Pastor Christopher Rodkey at St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Dallastown reads, "Blessed are those from the $*!*holes." (Photo: Ted Czech, York Daily Record)

Since news of the comment went viral, Pastor Christopher Rodkey said he's come across local support for it, both on social media and on talk radio.

(Dallastown) -- Pastor Christopher Rodkey says the sign in front of his Dallastown church is not so much about President Trump's recent comment about third-world countries, but rather, about the local support the comment received.

The sign in front of St. Paul's United Church of Christ, reads, "Blessed are those from the $*!*holes Lk 17 11-19."

"It wasn't so much the President ... but more specifically, the way the conversation was developing around it ... defending what he's saying, that this is appropriate for someone to be saying," Rodkey said Thursday.

Trump reportedly uttered the comment about certain nations being "s---hole countries" at a Jan. 12 meeting to reform the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Trump has since denied making the comment, tweeting that he used "tough" language when talking about DACA, but did not make that specific comment.

Since news of the comment went viral, Rodkey said he's come across local support for it, both on social media and talk radio.

"I think calling a place a s---hole is, I don't know how it's not pejorative, I don't know how it's not an insult," he said. "It's coming from a position of privilege. It assumes that everything we do is better than everything else." 

Rodkey said the sign makes a theological statement, not a political statement.

Therefore, he felt he should include the Biblical reference at the end of the sign -- the Gospel of Luke, chapter 17, verses 11 through 19, which tells of Jesus' visit to a village in which 10 lepers lived. The lepers asked Jesus for mercy and he sent them to a group of local priests, but on their way, they were healed.

Rodkey said a common thread in the criticism he's received for the sign is that he is "just looking for attention," something that he does not deny.

"We're putting out a message that's hopefully making people think," and possibly draws them to the church itself. "That's what a sign does (but) If people find it offensive, I think they should ask themselves why."

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record

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