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West Michigan Far Right Watch: A Christian Church is building an Armory!

April 6, 2022

In September of 2020, we wrote a bit about The Ridge Covenant Church, as part of our ongoing look at the Far Right in West Michigan.

In that posting we wrote: 

The last example this week is from a Christian Church that displays hatred toward the LGBTQ community, believes that wearing masks during the pandemic is stupid, and refers to Black Lives Matter as a “Marxist cancer.”

The church we are referring to is The Ridge Covenant Church, located at 4453 Fruit Ridge Avenue NW, in Grand Rapids. The church’s pastor, Andy Parker, posts regular videos in their Facebook page, sometimes wear t-shirt that say Socialism Sucks.

The videos they post promote patriarchal values, along with regular condemnations of people that Pastor Andy calls, “homos and Trannies.” The  church also celebrates faith communities around the country that have been violating social distancing and mask wearing policies, calling the pandemic a hoax.

In addition, a recent video they hosted (shown below), provides a detailed attack against Black people in general, but specifically the Black Lives Matter movement. It is places like The Ridge Covenant Church, which helps to create space for White Supremacist values, which often leads to social indifference, outright support for state violence against Black people, and it can lead to individual acts of violence directed at members of the Black community by people who embrace this ideology.

The Ridge Covenant Church has since moved from Grand Rapids to Kent City, but they are still promoting an ideology of White Supremacy, homophobia and other supremacist values. In one of the videos from their pastor, which aired just before the 2020 Election, he encouraged people to vote for Donald Trump.

Recently, I was alerted to The Ridge Covent Church’s Facebook page, where on March 14, they posted a picture of construction being done on the church premises, with the words, Starting on the ARMORY!

Considering the ideological positions that this church takes, it would be safe to assume that they mean an actual armory of weapons. Now, I looked at what the law says about guns at churches in Michigan, under the heading of Prohibited Premises:

5. Any property or facility owned or operated by a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship, unless the presiding official or officials allow concealed weapons.

Now, if I am reading this correctly, it is lawful for a pastor of a church to allow concealed weapons on the church property. However, regardless of what the law sanctions, people should be made aware of the fact that The Ridge Covenant Church is building an armory in their church facility. In addition, considering the church’s attitude about Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community, having religiously sanctioned firearms at this church should especially be of concern for those communities.

Having said that, the reality is that most Christian Churches throughout history have been complicit in State violence. Most churches have NOT actively opposed wars throughout history. In fact, many churches have actively participated in war, whether we are talking about the Catholic Church’s role in the Crusades or the more recent manifestations of having military Chaplins in the US Military, or just the general notion that soldiers are godly people. Lots of Christians throughout the ages have taken up arms to defend slavery, genocide, to combat the Black Freedom Struggle or to attack those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. 

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