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Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members

How's this for a tie-in between evangelical houses of worship and the politics of exclusion? The East Waynesville Baptist Church in North Carolina voted out its Democratic members.

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.”

If true, the church could lose their tax exempt status:

Valerie Thornton, a spokeswoman for the Internal Revenue Service, said she could not comment on the East Waynesville situation specifically, but noted that "in general if a church engages in partisan politics it could put their tax-exempt status in jeopardy.”

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  • Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:57:44 PM EST
    Keep going preacher! I hope you and other followers of "Rovism" proclaim it from the mountains. All we need him to say is that Democrats are going to Hell. Hopefully - a case of the darkest hour being just before the dawn.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:57:47 PM EST
    Who in the hell does ths preacher think he is? The Pope?

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#3)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:57:47 PM EST
    et al - Southern Baptists have a long tradition of throwing each other out of the church, starting new ones, etc. It is actually quite democratic when you think about it. Don't like the preacher? Become your own.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:57:47 PM EST
    I wonder if there's a reason that Fundamentalist Religions aren't that popular in Europe?

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:57:48 PM EST
    "If true, the church could lose their tax exempt status." Don't worry; they won't. They'll instead be awarded a Presedential Medal of Freedom or some other such hooey. I have a general question for readers of this site: How long do we have to wait before we start talking about real honest-to-god fascism around here? A number of things in this country are turning very ugly. How much uglier do they have to get? I hope we never have to find out, yet feel certain that we will.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#6)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    mfox - "I wonder if there's a reason that Fundamentalist Religions aren't that popular in Europe?" If you mean those religions that chop off heads while screaming "God is Great!" killing movie producers, and engaging in honor killings of young female family members, I think their actions show why.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#7)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    urizon - I commented on the fact that this is nothing unusal for Southern Baptists, and you ignore it. Which tells me you don't know the history of these groups. Instead you launch into a rant about fascism and tax exempt status. Two points. If we made all of the black chureches that have had Demos campaign in pay taxes we might pay off the national debt. Trust me, you don't want to go there. Instead of vague claims, show me fascism in action. Could it be college students attacking speakers? And can you show me attacks by right wing students vs left wingers?

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    Jim, I simply hadn't checked back. I like to take the time to, you know, make coffee, take a shower, etc. It's good to get away from the keyboard every now and then. You should try it. So, I wasn't ingoring you. Allow me to do so now.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    Ahhh. Talibaptist Wingnuttery being covered nationally, and the Kansas "Scopes II" hearings are the butt of jokes around the world. Good times...good times.

    It is small wonder to me how there are those who forget the history they are taught in their student days, no doubt due to their preoccupation with putting bread and butter on the table for their families and those, in the governmental power structure, who selectively forget their history in order to advance their agenda for personal gain and control. How very sad. If only all of us had a moment of intellectual curiosity and reviewed our student history, perhaps we would find that all of the religious wars fought on Western European soil from the 16th thru the 17th centuries were ignited by the unbridled greed of rulers. How very sad indeed! I wonder if this were the reason our Founding Fathers were so very rabid in their idea of total seperation of Church and State. And I also wonder if this idea was the impetus for the "encouragement" of activist Christian fundamentalists to leave Europe and settle the New World in the 17th century. Hmmmm....

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#11)
    by Pete Guither on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    At first, it outraged me. But then I thought.. Fine, let them go ahead and marginalize themselves. I'm sure there are other churces available (most towns have one on every other block). A lot of these fringe "churches" are just glorified social clubs -- a chance to be with other people who have the same opinions and not be challenged (often because the beliefs don't stand up well to challenges). In fact, I find it somewhat amusing how weak the faith is of so many of the extremists. Their faith is so shaky that apparently dissent, or even certain movies and books can destroy it. Personally -- give me a church that includes everybody. Though I'm not a member, the principles of the Unitarian church make the most sense to me.

    Well said, urizon. but politics and religion have long standing connections. That's why Jesus and Lincoln was a republican. Wait a minute, maybe just Lincoln, and maybe not that kind of republican anyway. There is a real problem with the right wing religious folks when they start identifying our independent judiciary as the enemy, as dangerous as Al Qaeda. It's clear to me that this is a fascist attack on democracy and Jim is a good german. Off to the showers with you, Jim.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#13)
    by Kevin Hayden on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    I wouldn't mind being excluded from a Klan rally or a Bush luncheon, so why should I be concerned about being excluded from Chan Chandler's brand of hatefest? Sometimes exclusion means we are dangerous because we are not in a persistent hateful state.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#14)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    CA - Glad to see you are in fine form this morning. But typical. No rebuttal, just off to the showers with me. Hmmmmm, and just who is the extremist here? urizon - Excuse me, I mistakenly used your absence to frame my argument. Now that you have improved your appearance, I wait for your devasting counterattack. Peter G - I have always been concerned about the decision making abilities of any organization that will accept me for membership. But then again, we are dealing in faith in these matters.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#15)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    Jeebus somebody's in a foul mood today. Jim, I actually agree with you here. This may be a blip on the political screen. Yet if it ticks somebody off I think they have a right to complaint to the IRS and let THEM check it out. The threat of fascism in this country is greater than you seem willing to acknowledge. And it occurs at the highest levels of our government and the richest board rooms in the world, mostly because they are all neighbors. The media is their main tool, and what a wonderful thing it is. Mass communication with 300 million people and all the money you need. Keep as many people mezmerized by reality TV a possible so as not to be reavealed. Now we have the ultimate reality TV, but it's ratings are slipping. What's next?

    The threat of fascism? Stolen elections, elimination of all restrictions on Bush-backer corporations, no-bid contracts to cronies, and the civil warization of innocent Iraq is all the evidence you need of fascism. Jim needs to be shown the memo that Blair discussed with his cabinet in July 02 which spelled out how weak a case Bush's invasion LIES had, and how the USPNAC gov't would have to cook the books to make a case, however flimsy. Then again, show yourself, Jim. [insults deleted]

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#17)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:50 PM EST
    PIL - You must be in a special mood, not calling me a liar and all. I am shocked. Yes, shocked at that small bit of civility. Are you slipping in your old age? And could you provide us with some small token of proof as to your various charges? Not that you will, of course, but I thought I would ask.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#19)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:50 PM EST
    Blagdaddy - My comment was about that Southern Baptist church. A subject that you evidently nothing about. I say again, Souther Baptists have a long history of running each other off to form new churches. How do you think there are so many First Baptist, Elm Street Baptist, etc? And as for politics, when the Left condemns black churches with equal vigor for their support for Demos, I'll applaud. And speaking of off subject, why do you advertise your blog? No readers?

    PPJ, if you have evidence of black Churches mandating political votes for Democrats to remain in that Church, by all means, bring it forward...or are you generalizing again? One has to know nothing about the Southern Baptists to know that one's politics aren't asked at the Church door, and if they are, it's not a Church- it's a Republican "Forum." Christians talk about "forgiveness" and "redemption." Christ forgave and had as one of his most ardent followers a condemned adulteress... Blaghdaddy wonders if Jesus asked her if she was "fer me or agin' me?" before he came to her aid....

    Blaghdaddy- Jim's just doing some heavy duty trolling this morning, looking for an argument. Loved your comment in the Bloggers on Rumsfeld trhread. Give ol PPJ the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he honestly can't see the difference between inviting a campaigning politician to speak at a church and a church kicking people out over their political affiliation. If so, don't condemn him. Pity him.

    Gracias, Adept-One. Blaghdaddy knows what the guy's up to, but sometimes you just wanna have a lively discussion and not have it sidetracked with blather-vision... Seems like (PPJ aside), everyone agrees this is a blatant violation not only of the separation between Church and State but of simple common sense and human rationality- you CANNOT force people to vote for someone to prove they're "Good Christians." How did Amrerica get so far and yet progress so little from the Salem witch trials?

    Jim's patented hurt feelings, followed by the deraillment responses. Mission accomplished. This kind of church-based politics is 1) conspiracy, being run out of the WH, er, some place in Virginia, and 2) a total violation of federal law as such. Since EIGHT-TWO of the largest corporations in the US have paid ZERO taxes since Bush took office, no reason why political-churches shouldn't get their taxes paid by the law-abiding ratepayers in the country, who are being ROBBED BLIND BY BUSH What heroes.

    Not only should Chandler lose his pulpit, that church should be taxed at the highest rate allowed by law. Better yet, a well-placed lightning bolt oughta knock it flat. The comments were irresponsible and divisive, just like President Bush has been during his two terms in office. To be fair to those who live out in western North Carolina, there's a lot of support for Bush. And I have no problem with anyone who wants to put their faith in him. But a preacher has no business imposing his own political beliefs upon the congregation, and the congregation has no buisness voting out any member in good standing, regardless of what they think politically.

    Just curious, why is one Southern Baptist pastor so important - show me a trend somewhere will ya (and for the record, I think this guy is way out of line - and probably should lose his tax-exempt status). Of course, its hard if your a believer in God's word to admit voting for Kerry (I did, and find some shame in that - but Iraq left me no choice other than to not vote at all)

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:51 PM EST
    ppj, my father's experience in georgia was white baptist churches were not nearly as welcoming or tolerant of rational dissent as black baptist churches. why? my hunch is southern blacks know a bit more than southern whites about being marginalized. poor southern whites were marginalized in their own way but were kept largely in house politically by appeals to racism and white superiority that kept them, and still does largely, from voting in their actual interest. "the politics of whiteness" by georgia state professor michelle brattain is a great book on this topic. as for this particular preacher, he's what most folks would consider a garden variety a**hole, and i don't see how anybody could tolerate being in his congregation.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#28)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:51 PM EST
    DA - I say again. The reason there are so many Baptist Churches is that they throw each other out, leave in a huff, etc., on a regular and routine basis. You may not like it, I may not like it, but the best thing to do is look at like this. The new church will be dedicated Democrats. Adept - Don't be obtuse. Of course I see the difference. One is being done, and approved of, by Democrats and one is being done by Repubs, and disapproved of. That's about it. Claxton - Beware of asking for lighting bolts. Collateral damage you know. dadler - If you are telling me that there is some racism still in Georgia, then we are in violent agreement. And I would agree with your comments re the Preacher. Being Southern Baptists they'll probably throw him out in a few months. So. Is this wrong? Yes. Is the black churches worng? Yes.

    Well hopefully Glanton you wouldnt compare politics to ice cream.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#31)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:51 PM EST
    In response to Jim's silly justifications, and even sillier comparison of this incident African American churches: Does anyone really buy the idea that it's normal for a preacher to organize the banishment of congregation members based on whom they vote for? How moronic. But once again, it's people like Chandler that grab the headlines and thus publicly frame Christianity in America today. Image is everything.

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#32)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:51 PM EST
    JCH: Certainly not. But I think the metaphor is much more effective, and fun, if you don't go all crude and try to make an exact match. Know what I mean?

    Re: Southern Church Kicks Out Democratic Members (none / 0) (#34)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    Bump and Update? Chandler resigns and takes with him all his fanatical new members. Looks like the church didn’t really ‘vote out its Democratic members’ but rather purged itself of its radical new membership.

    And these people want to call fundamentalist Muslims deranged... Let's all hold elections in church basements and synagogues and mosques from now on... In fact, let's just take a census count of religions and pick the Congress accordingly weighted? WTF is happening to America? The Puritans got kicked out of Britain for their Sh#*t, now they're trying to drag all of North America down with them...