Friday, May 06, 2005

Recovering Baptist

I'm a recovering Baptist, due in part to items like this. East Waynesville Baptist Church has just kicked out all its Democratic members.
From the Ashville, N.C. Citizen-Times:

WAYNESVILLE – Nine members of a local church had their membership revoked and 40 others left in protest after tension over political views recently came to a head, church members say.

Some members of East Waynesville Baptist Church voted the nine members out at a recent scheduled deacon meeting, which turned into an impromptu business meeting, according to congregants.

Chan Chandler, pastor of East Waynesville, had been exhorting his congregation since October to support his political views or leave the church, said Selma Morris, a 30-year member of the church.

“He preached a sermon on abortion and homosexuality, then said if anyone there was planning on voting for John Kerry, they should leave,” she said. “That’s the first time I’ve ever heard something like that. Ministers are supposed to bring people in.”

Repeated phone calls to Chandler today have gone unanswered and he was not available at the church or his home to comment on the allegations.

It's not clear whether the church's tax-exempt status could be jeopardized if the claims about Chandler are true.

So do we now have a full scale war lanched against liberals? Is this evidence of the radical right's promise to "eradicate liberals"?

Frankly, if a group wants to kick out some of its members, that seems OK to me. However, that group should not be referred to as a church, nor should it receive benefits (tax or otherwise) of being a church. There are many churches I do not wish to associate with, but it has nothing to do with for whom I or members of that church vote. It's because I disagree with their belief system, but not their right to have said system.

The above doesn't fit into this view. I hope the IRS investigates and acts appropriately. But I won't hold my breath.