Coming and publicized recently by Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. is an event being sponsored by Immanuel Baptist Church March 1 at Robinson Center featuring preacher D.A. Horton. It costs $10. The preacher’s views might not sit well in many quarters in Little Rock.

Scott, nominally a Democrat, thus adds some face time with Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson to a recent appearance at Republican Party headquarters to his ecumenical political event roster. Scott is a preacher himself and has already had several church-based events.

The discussion in Little Rock is said to be about race and faith. But I thought some background on Horton might be of interest.

His beliefs are outlined extensively on the website of  Reach Fellowship in Los Angeles, at which Horton is a pastor.  A few snippets stood out. They outline some points of view that might not find majority appeal in the city of Little Rock based on, for example, city votes against the gay marriage ban and against the anti-abortion constitutional amendment.

In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. 

We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.

A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

UPDATE: Horton’s views stirred quite a response on Facebook. It prompted this comment from Scott:

As I campaigned across this city, I returned to the theme of unity, time and again. As a leader, I have established an inclusion agenda, and made inclusion an important pillar of my administration. There is strength in our diversity, but only if we can find ways to collaborate and cooperate to move Little Rock forward and to create opportunity for every citizen.

I want to thank Immanuel Baptist Church, a church that has attempted throughout its history to play a role in both the spiritual and civic life of Little Rock, for hosting its upcoming City Center Conversations panel on race and faith in our city. Race relations in Little Rock have stymied our city’s job growth, quality of life, and overall connections with one another. This is not an easy conversation to have, so their willingness to invite controversy into their congregation outside of sanctuary walls is a challenge to all of us.

As mayor of Little Rock in its entirety, I know for a fact that I have basic, fundamental disagreements with the moderator’s thoughts on inclusion. I decided long ago to be a unity and inclusion leader. This is precisely the reason why I will participate. And for that reason, I would like to invite all whom are concerned about our city’s race relations to participate in this critical conversation.

I will never be able to deliver on my promise to unify our city if I only talk to people who agree with me. Sometimes we must be willing to be uncomfortable in order to make progress, but we never have to sacrifice our principles. I will not.