The minister of a predominantly African-American church in Richardson, Dallas County, included Judaism and Islamism among “dangerous isms” listed on a flier it distributed, the Dallas Times reported.
Minister Shelton Gibbs III admitted that his church could have better handled the wording of the advertisement, which included pessimism, materialism and alcoholism, yet still insisted the flier was innocuous.
“We’re not here to criticize or be antagonistic toward people and to beat them down,” he said. “There’s no threat. The people in the community should not feel a threat.”
Jews felt different.
“To put another religion in the same class as alcoholism or materialism, pessimism — certainly, while the intent may not have been to be provocative or antagonistic as the minister stated … that was the impact,” said Joel Schwitzer, regional director of the American Jewish Committee Dallas.
Schwitzer invited Gibbs to meet with representatives of Dallas’ Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council and discuss why their faiths were included on the list.