Was William Branham a racist?
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Was William Branham racist? Are his followers racist?
What did William Branham believe?
William Branham was all over the map on what he believed and what he preached. So it is not surprising that this is also true when it came to his position on racism. He clearly portrayed himself as non-racist when he stated in 1947:
- if you're black, white, yellow, red, American, Canadian, Russian, Spanish, Mexico, wherever you're from, we're all one in Christ Jesus, every one of us. God don't love one any more than He does the other one. He doesn't love me any more than He loves you. He doesn't love you any more than He loves me. So there we are; we're all one together in Christ Jesus.
In the latter part of his life, William Branham's stance on many controversial doctrinal issues became more vitriolic. This also appears to be true of his positions on miscegeny (interracial marriages). We were unable to find any opposition to mixed race marriages in any of William Branham's sermons prior to 1960. His most objectionable comments all appear to have been in the last several years of his life.
The most racist comment he made was in February 1965 when he stated that a Christian had to believe in segregation. He clearly stated that if you believed in racial integration, you were not a Christian:
- Now, I am an integrationist, absolutely... I mean a segregationalist. I am a segregationalist. Because, I don’t care how much they argue, you cannot be a Christian and be an integrationist. That’s exactly right. God even separates His nations. He separates His people. “Come out from among them!” He’s a…He is a segregationalist. “Don’t even…Touch not their unclean things!” He pulled Israel, that Jewish race, out of every, all the races in the world. He is a segregationalist.
William Branham's first pastor, Roy Davis, had significant ties with the KKK and William Branham also indicated that when he was a boy, the KKK paid his hospital bill (see quotes below).
William Branham also clearly sided with George Wallace, the governor of Alabama in 1963, who stated:
- The President (John F. Kennedy) wants us to surrender this state to Martin Luther King and his group of pro-communists who have instituted these demonstrations."
William Branham echoed this view when he stated:
- And I think that Martin Luther King is Communistic inspired, which is going to lead about a million people to a absolutely a death trap.
- Like I said, this Martin Luther King is leading his people to a crucifixion. It’s communistic. Sure, it is. If them people were slaves, then I’d be down here fighting for them. Right. But they’re not slaves. It’s an argument, where they go to school or not. Won’t go to talking about that. I just thought I’d express it. See? All right. Notice. It’s just the devil. Certainly.
- I've told you here in this pulpit, Martin Luther King is the greatest indebtment the colored people’s ever had. Right. That man’s going to lead a thousands of them to a slaughter (that’s right), inspired by communism.
William Branham's beliefs on interracial marriage
Here are some comments on biracial marriages that William Branham made that are clearly racist:
- Hybreeding, hybreeding, oh, how terrible, hybreeding. ...What white woman would want her baby to be a mulatto by a colored man? God made us what we are. 
- What good would a white woman want to have a baby by a colored man making him a mulatto child? It's not sensible. 
- He makes white man, black man, red man. We should never cross that up. It becomes a hybrid. And anything hybrid cannot re-breed itself. You are ruining the race of people. There is some things about a colored man that a white man don't even possess them traits. A white man is always stewing and worrying; a colored man is satisfied in the state he is in, so they don't need those things.
- He makes white flowers, and blue flowers, and all colors of flowers. Don't interbreed them. Don't cross them up. You get against nature.
- Now, I don't believe in mixing marriages. I believe that a white man should not marry a colored girl, or a colored girl marry a white man, or a yellow marry a colored, or a white, ...It fools me that I seen some real pretty colored girl, intelligent, nice looking kid, just as pretty as any woman you'd want to see... What does she want to marry a white man and have mulatto children? What would an intelligent colored girl want with such a thing as that? 
What do William Branham's followers believe?
It must be understood that William Branham's followers believe that his word superseded the Bible. So when he stated the mixed marriages are improper, his followers believe that the couple in a biracial marriage are clearly disobeying God.
Donny Reagan, the pastor of Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ in Johnson City, TN, achieve notoriety for a rant in a sermon he spoke on April 24, 2013 that was focused on anti-racial marriages. A video clip from his sermon was previously posted on Youtube but was pulled after Pastor Reagan threatened legal action for copyright violation.
Reagan addresses this in his sermon when he says that if Moses was here now, he would have to obey William Branham. This comment clearly shows that Donny Reagan does not believe the Bible but does hold William Branham as being above the Bible.
Reagan also stated at one point that:
- There is a move in the message, of blacks marrying whites, whites marrying blacks. And folks think that is alright, but you know, my God still has nationalities outside the city.
With this statement Donny Reagan is insinuating that mixed-race children are destined to hell. This is because followers of William Branham's message believe that they are the Bride of Christ and will dwell in New Jerusalem while those Christians that are not in the elite group (anyone who does not follow William Branham) will be part of the nations outside the city. The only other option is hell.
Race versus ethnicity
Today, we have come to understand the following about race and ethnicity:
- Mainstream belief among scientists is that race is a social construct without biological meaning.
- There is more variation within a race than between races at the level of our DNA.
- How we define races has varied throughout history and differs from one culture to another.
- Studying our DNA reveals that races are not real in a biological sense, but how we treat other races does have an impact on their health because of poverty, stress, and lack of access to healthcare.
- Ethnicity speaks to our ancestry, the physical component, while race is a cultural construct.
What does the Bible say about marriages between different ethnicities?
We are not aware of any passages in the Bible that condemn or even discourage what William Branham considered to be inter-racial marriages.
Here are five arguments that are used to oppose marriage between different ethnic groups, and Biblical responses to each argument.
1. God forbade the Jews from marrying other peoples
The Hebrews were forbidden to marry Canaanites and other pagan peoples (see (Exodus 34:12, Deuteronomy 7:1-4, 1 Kings 11:1-3, Nehemiah 13:25, Ezra 9:11-14). The reason was because those people worshipped idols, not because of ethnicity. In fact, the Hebrews, Amorites, Canaanites, etc. were all from similar ancestry.
The only marriage constraints put on a Christian are that they marry someone of the opposite sex and they they marry a believer. (1 Corinthians 7:39, 2 Corinthians 6:14)
Additionally, there were approved inter-ethnic marriages in the Bible. (Ruth 1:16)
Moses was married to an Ethiopian woman and was criticized for it by his family:
- Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.
A Cushite is from Cush, a region south of Ethiopia, where the people are known for their black skin. We know this because of Jeremiah 13:23: "Can the Ethiopian [the same Hebrew word translated "Cushite" in Numbers 12:1] change his skin or the leopard his spots?""
In response to Miriam’s criticism, God does not get angry at Moses; he gets angry at Miriam. Then God strikes Miriam with leprosy. Why? Consider this possibility. In God’s anger at Miriam, Moses’ sister, God says in effect, "You like being light-skinned Miriam? I’ll make you light-skinned." So we read, "When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow" (Num. 12:10)
God says not a critical word against Moses for marrying a black Cushite woman.
2. "Races" are God's will and therefore amalgamating them is against his will.
Genesis 11:6-9, Deuteronomy 32:8, and Acts 17:26 are texts that are used to support this argument. However, these texts refer to separation of peoples that are along lines much more narrow than "race". They are not racial divisions, so, used this way, they "prove" too much, since they would seem to forbid intermarrying between any people group boundaries even within the same "race".
When God separated the peoples in Genesis 11:6-9 it was by language, not race. Racial distinctions came later and differed between cultures. This passage does not teach that people cannot learn each other's languages and marry each other. Rather, the lesson to be learned is that no group of people should conspire against God.
God's punitive judgments (like the curse at the tower of Babel) do not become our mandates. For example: God cursed creation at the fall, but this does not mean that we should not use antibiotics or aspirin. So God's separating peoples does not mean there should never be any coming together of peoples of different ethnicities or cultures, including in marriage.
3. There is a curse on Ham, the son of Noah, who the Black race came from
The curse was on Canaan, Ham's son, not on Ham (Genesis 9:18-27), and Canaan was not the father of the Black "race".
Even if a particular ethnicity was cursed, the curses of God are not mandates to his people. God's curses are not commands to treat the cursed people badly. All of these things have been done away with by the cross of Jesus Christ and the new covenant that God made with man.
4. Interracial marriage tends toward the lessening of the diversity that God intends.
This argument might carry some weight, perhaps, if there were the real possibility that marriage between different ethnic groups diminished diversity. But doesn't it actually increase it?
The statement of relational and social unity among the races that is made by intermarrying is as important as any biological differences, whereas opposing interracial marriage makes the statement that "races" are not relationally or socially equal.
It was once believed that our DNA could sort us into categories like the “five races:” African, European, Asian, Oceania, and Native American. But a report in Scientific America stated that "today, the mainstream belief among scientists is that race is a social construct without biological meaning." As a result, "ethnicity" is a better word to use than "race".
Genetic studies have shown that there is more genetic diversity within various "races" than there is between the "races". In fact, there is not a single absolute genetic difference between the perceived races, for example, where all Africans have one variant and all Europeans another one. In fact, there is so much variation within "racial" groups that two people of European descent may be more genetically similar to an Asian person than they are to each other.
Scientific evidence has shown that humans are fundamentally more similar than different from each other. Though physical differences between ethnic groups may appear, on a superficial level, to be very dramatic, they are determined by only a minute portion of the genome: humans as a species have been estimated to share 99.9% of our DNA with each other.
Nonetheless, racism has persisted. Scientific findings are often ignored, or otherwise actively misinterpreted and misused to further racist agendas of extreme political groups.
5. The cultural differences make interracial marriage wrong because the couple will be incompatible
As Christians, we should base ideas of compatibility on the facts of a situation not on skin color.
There are couples from similar cultural backgrounds that are less compatible than couples from different ethnicities, because the issue is not cultural or ethnic. Spiritual union, common conviction, and similar expectations make the marriages workable.
Quotes of William Branham
It appears that William Branham had a soft spot for the KKK. His first pastor, Roy Davis, was a well known member of the KKK. William Branham also seems to have confused the KKK with Freemasonry, and there is some speculation that the KKK evolved out of the Masons.
- But she, through her church society and the Ku Klux Klan, paid the hospital bill for me, Mason's. I can never forget them. See? No matter what they do, or what, I still... there is something, and that stays with me, see, what they did for me. And they paid the bill to Doctor Reeder. He is still living, lives here in Port Fulton, could tell you the story.
- ...'Cause I--I believe that the Masons are all right, but the Mason Lodge will never take the place of the Church, or the Blood of Jesus Christ. All my people are Masons, and they're all right as a lodge. But it won't take the place of the Church.
- And the trouble of it is, you've got the church, till it's no more than a Masonic lodge, or any other lodge. The church is a house of God where Christ lives and manifests Himself amongst the people. That's right.
- You Masons, I'll call your attention. You remember the sign of the cross? Now, you--you know what I'm talking about.
Hybreeding, hybreeding, oh, how terrible, hybreeding. They hybreed the people. You know it's a big molding pot. I've got hundreds of precious colored friends that's borned again Christians. But on this line of segregations and things they're talking about, hybreeding the people. What, tell me what fine cultured, fine Christian colored woman would want her baby to be a mulatto by a white man? No, sir. It's not right. What white woman would want her baby to be a mulatto by a colored man? God made us what we are. Let's stay what God made us; I believe it's right.
Today, we have so much fussing and stewing about this segregation of white and colored and everything. Why don't they leave it alone? Let it the way God made it. Tell me what real good, smart, intelligent, beautiful, colored woman would want to have a baby by a white man to make it a mulatto? Not sense. Many thing the colored people has is far beyond the white man.
I think of that colored minister stood down there that day in Shreveport. He said, "I never was ashamed of being a black man. God made me a black man, and I appreciate my Creator making me this way. It's the way He wanted me." But said, "Today, to see my people acting the way they are, then I'm ashamed I'm a black man." God bless his loyal heart. Certainly.
What good would a white woman want to have a baby by a colored man making him a mulatto child? It's not sensible. If God wanted a man brown, black, white, whatever color He wanted him, that's God's creation. That's the way he wanted it. He wants white flowers, blue flowers; God's a God of variety. He likes big mountains, little mountains, deserts, plains, white, black, short, fat, and indifferent. God's a God of variety.
If I was a colored man, or a brown man, or a yellow man, or a red man, I would be just as happy about it. Yes, sir. I sure would. That's the way that my Maker wanted me and that's the way I am. Right. Why does man want to tamper with anything for? When man gets into it, he ruins it. Let it alone the way God made it. Let a man be what he is; by the grace of God let him be.
But he has to cause great fusses now calling our... causing riots, and big fusses, and everything else across the nations, and across the world just because he wanted to stick his head out about something. That's the ignorance of the man. That's right; hybrid again. Instead of leaving it the way God wants it, he wants to make his own way. He has to do something about it, you know. He has to make his own self a name. God be merciful to him. It's a pitiful thing. 
He makes white man, black man, red man. We should never cross that up. It becomes a hybrid. And anything hybrid cannot re-breed itself. You are ruining the race of people. There is some things about a colored man that a white man don't even possess them traits. A white man is always stewing and worrying; a colored man is satisfied in the state he is in, so they don't need those things.
What about the other day when we had this question of segregation, down in the South? When this governor of--of Alabama... I wish I could talk to that minister, that Martin Luther King. How can the man be a leader, and leading his people into a death trap? If those people were slaves, I'd be down there, my coat off, beating away for them people. They're not slaves. They're citizens. They're citizens of the nation. The question of "going to school."
Them people, if they got a hard heart and don't know those things. You can't drive into a people, spiritual things, what is beat in there with political powers. They've got to accept it, be born again, then they'll see these things.
But, this man, if I could only speak to him; leading those precious people, under the name of religion, into a death trap where he's going to kill thousands times thousands of them! They don't... They just get the--the natural side.
This man, the colored brother, when that great uprise come in Louisiana, I was there at the time. When the... There's a colored minister, precious old brother, stood up out there and said, asked the militia, "Could I speak to them? They're my people." And this old minister stood up, out there, said, "I want to say, this morning, I never was ashamed of my color. My Maker made me what I am."
That's the way He wants him to remain. That's the way he wants every man to remain. He makes white flowers, and blue flowers, and all colors of flowers. Don't interbreed them. Don't cross them up. You get against nature.
Men and women have their own rights. Our colored brothers, and our Japanese, and the yellow, white, black, and whatever they was. There's no difference in the color of a god. We all come from one man, Adam. But if God separated us and turned us different colors, let's remain that way. If I was a--a yellow man, I'd want to remain a Japanese, or Chinese. I was a--a--a colored man, I'd want to remain that way. God made me that way.
Frankly, there's a lot about the colored race that the white race ought to have. They don't have the worry. They're more spiritual. There's a thousand things about them that the white man can't even touch. God made them thus.
Who could ever out-sing a colored choir? Where could you find voices? I've seen them come from the lands back there, didn't know which, a right and left hand. Thirty or forty different tribes of them, and they sing to a place, the masters stand there, say, "I just can't touch it." He trained choirs for years, and one will be octave high, and low, and everything. Said, "Listen to that, just perfectly, even in different language." They're gifted.
And the other day, when that governor stood there, sworn and elected into that office, by the people, and the question of segregation according to the constitution is, that each--each state can take its own thought about that. He didn't care, but he read the constitution, said, "Now, the school stands for segregation." They got a school over there. And only two colored children wanted to enter that school, when they got their own college. But he stood and said, "What?" He even read the constitution.
Then when it come back to this fellow we got up here, that knows not Joseph, freedom. Pulling for those colored votes, and not knowing it was a republican party that freed them, in the first place. Selling out their birthrights, to such a thing as that, to lead them into a death trap, to show that every man-made system has got to fall. Exactly right. And Mr. Kennedy nationalized that guard, and send those men right back into the face of their own fathers standing there under the constitution. That broke the constitution again.
Said, "We'll not fight. No, sir." And said, "I hope the nation can find out that we're not living anymore under a democracy, but under military dictatorship."
One thing, I pray that Brother Martin Luther King will certainly soon wake up. He loves his people; there's no doubt. But if he just only see where his inspiration. What good would it do if you went to school, a million of you laying yonder, dead? Wouldn't just be, go to school, just the same? Now, for--for hunger, if it was for something another, slaves, the man would be a martyr to give his life for such a cause, a worthy cause, and that would be a worthy cause. But just to go to school, I--I don't see it. See? I don't think the Holy Spirit is agreeing with him, at all, on that. It's got the people all worked up, in a bunch of ballyhoo, you see.
Just--just like Hitler did, over in Germany, led them right into a death trap, them precious Germans. And they laid by the billions, or millions, piled up there on top one another.
And that's exactly the same thing. And remember, I'm on tape. You'll see it, after, maybe after I'm gone. That's exactly what's going to happen. Them precious people will die down there, like flies. Starts a revolutionary, both white and colored will fight again, and die like flies. And what you got when it's all over? A bunch of dead people. 
Now, I don't believe in mixing marriages. I believe that a white man should not marry a colored girl, or a colored girl marry a white man, or a yellow marry a colored, or a white, or a... I believe the brown, black, white, and races of people are like a flower garden of God, and I do not believe they should be crossed up. I believe that's the way God made them, and I believe that's the way they should remain.
What... It fools me that I seen some real pretty colored girl, intelligent, nice looking kid, just as pretty as any woman you'd want to see... What does she want to marry a white man and have mulatto children? What would an intelligent colored girl want with such a thing as that? Is because that something... that communist... And how would a--a fine a-a-a colored man want to marry a white woman and have mulatto children?
I don't believe I... I believe you should stay just what we are. We--we're servants of Christ. And God made me... If He made me, my color black, I'd be happy to be a black man for God. If He made me yellow, I'd be a happy yellow man for Christ. If He made me white, I've a--happy white man for Christ. If He made me brown, or red, an Indian, whatever it is, I'd stay my same color. That would be me. I want to be like my Maker made me.
Down there that day in Shreveport when that uprise come, and them--and there was all them young colored inspired out there, communistic...
I've told you here in this pulpit, Martin Luther King is the greatest indebtiment the colored people's ever had. Right. That man's going to lead a--thousands of them to a slaughter (That's right.), inspired by communism.
Let me prove my point. I said that about two years ago. Look what's happening right now. They said they were fighting for integration, and when the law give them integration... And to you people that don't believe in integration, be ashamed of you. Our nation permits integration, and we should do what the big boss says do. That's exactly right. And now, you say... Not to come in places, and so forth like that, or shopping, or set in the back of the bus, and so forth, no, sir. The law says they're just the same as we are, so we're the same as they are; so let's act that way. Let's be that way. And that's exactly what all really true borned again people believe. And now, I believe that's in their heart.
I never had such a feeling for people as I have them poor people in Africa, the way they were treated. And I do not believe in that stuff. I'm a southerner; I was borned across the river yonder, but I'm like Abraham Lincoln; I come here, because I believe that men were born equal. That's right. And I do not believe in separating people and things like that, when them people... baptized with the Holy Ghost and so forth.
But look, it isn't them real genuine borned again Christian colored people that's causing all this trouble. You want to condemn them for that, what about some of our renegade white kids? See? Now, what sauce for the goose is for the gander. Why, our white kids cause twice as much trouble as they have. That's exactly right. Where's it at? In our colleges and things like that. Some of our higher educated people is causing those things. See?
Well, what is it? Now, to show you that it's communism and not them colored people, that's how communism has always come in to take over. They do that in every nation. That's how they do it, getting you fighting amongst one another, revolution, then they take in without a shot. They don't want to blow this country up; they want it. They can wormweed it in. And now, they seen a case of doing that, and know what the old revolution was, and thought they'd start another revolution.
To prove my point is clear, after they have integration (They have it now, legally, lawfully.), they're causing more trouble now than they did the first place. See? It shows that it is communism and not them precious souls that's borned of the Spirit of God.
We are coming apart, looking for a messiah (something) to come and save us, get us out of all of it. We look down... the troubles down in the East. We look over in Africa to the uprises, and the racial problems, and the integration, and--and segregations. And we all fussed and hollered here not long ago (our colored friends) about, "We must have, we must have integration. That's what we need. We must have integration; every man, equal, every man." Well, that's perfectly all right. That's perfectly all right. I don't believe in slavery. Them people wasn't slaves to begin with. They're not slaves.
God is a segregationalist. I am too. Any Christian's a segregation. God segregates His people from all the rest of them. They're... They've always been a segregation. He chose a nation. He chooses a people. He is a segregationalist. He made all nations. But still, a real genuine Christian has to be a segregationalist. Separating himself from the things of the world and everything, and come into one purpose, Jesus Christ.
But they holler that. I've tried to tell them, "That's not the thing that's going to save our nation. That's only a political scheme. It's a--it's a thing of communistic background." I think Martin Luther King's going to lead his people to a biggest slaughter, and massacre, that they've ever been into. And they... You see, that ain't going to pull the world together. That ain't going to save us. We give them integration. Now it's worse than it ever was. See, that isn't the... that isn't the question. There's only one thing that can: that is God. And they certainly don't want It.
- THE.CHILDREN.OF.ISRAEL_ PHOENIX.AZ 47-1123
- Branham, William, 65-0206 - Doors In Door, para. 187
- Alabama Governor George Wallace, public statement of May 8, 1963 in The New York Times. (May 9, 1963).
- Branham, William, 63-0721 - He Cares. Do You Care?, para. 11
- Branham, William, 64-0418B - A Paradox, para. 195
- Branham, William, 64-0830E - Questions And Answers #4, para. 170
- CONDEMNATION.BY.REPRESENTATION_ JEFF.IN 60-1113
- BUT.IT.WASN'T.SO.FROM.THE.BEGINNING_ BLOOMINGTON.IL TUESDAY_ 61-0411
- O.LORD.JUST.ONCE.MORE_ HOT.SPRINGS.AR 63-0628M
- THE.THIRD.EXODUS_ JEFF.IN 63-0630M
- QUESTIONS.AND.ANSWERS.4_ JEFF.IN COD SUNDAY_ 64-0830E
- John Piper and Timothy Keller, Bloodlines (foreword by Tim Keller): Race, Cross, and the Christian (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011).
- The arguments which follow are from the sermon notes of John Piper's sermon on "The Ethics of Interracial Marriage", February 14, 2001
- Numbers 12:1
- SOULS.THAT.ARE.IN.PRISON.NOW_ JEFF.IN V-2 N-22 SUNDAY_ 63-1110M
- BE.NOT.AFRAID.IT.IS.I_ BLOOMINGTON.IL FRIDAY_ 61-0414
- THE.FIFTH.SEAL_ JEFF.IN 63-0322
- CONDEMNATION.BY.REPRESENTATION_ JEFF.IN 60-1113
- BUT.IT.WASN'T.SO.FROM.THE.BEGINNING_ BLOOMINGTON.IL TUESDAY_ 61-0411
- O.LORD.JUST.ONCE.MORE_ HOT.SPRINGS.AR 63-0628M
- THE.THIRD.EXODUS_ JEFF.IN 63-0630M
- QUESTIONS.AND.ANSWERS.4_ JEFF.IN COD SUNDAY_ 64-0830E
- WHO.DO.YOU.SAY.THIS.IS_ PHOENIX.AZ 64-1227