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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Church Nazi -- "No Church for You, One Years!"

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Author Topic: Church Nazi -- "No Church for You, One Years!"
David Ricardo
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Wow, thing would be hilarious stuff if it were not so scary as well:

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/news/local/11582657.htm

quote:
The minister of a Haywood County Baptist church is telling members of his congregation that if they're Democrats, they either need to find another place of worship or support President Bush.

Already, the Reverend Chan Chandler has ex-communicated nine members of East Waynesville Baptist Church. Another 40 members have left in protest.

During last Sunday's sermon, he acknowledged that church members were upset because he named people, and he says he'll do it again because he has to according to the word of God.

Chandler could not be reached for comment today, but says his actions weren't politically motivated.

One former church member says Chandler told some of the members that if they didn't support George Bush, they needed to resign their positions and get out of the church, or go to the altar, repent and agree to vote for Bush.

A former church treasurer says she's at church to worship God and not the preacher.

Someone remind me why I should not be afraid of the religious fundamentalist nuts out there?
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Dagonee
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Because you don't go to that church?
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Funean
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At the very least, this minister is a person with a tenuous grasp of boundaries.

And of course, as is my usual cant, this church needs to find a new pastor or starting paying some taxes! [Smile]

I wonder how the Baptist heirarchy feels about it?

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RickyB
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Exactly, Fun. The title of this thread should be "No tax exemption for you! Come back one year (and in any case, not before you've repented you evil ways)!"
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Someone remind me why I should not be afraid of the religious fundamentalist nuts out there?
I don't have a problem with this. If certain policies of the Democratic party are clearly contrary to Baptist doctrine (pro choice, for example) it is not unreasonable for a Baptist preacher to excommunicate his Baptist congregants for supporting a party that has those positions. To the extent that he has the power to excommunicate people for making religious or moral errors (and supporting a party that has immoral policies is immoral, by any standard I can think of) he has exercised his right fairly. I don't see this as a political move. Rather, he has made a religious judgement that happens to have political implications. You may believe that religion and politics should not mix, and the government may be bound by that seperation, but religions and churches aren't. The wall between politics and religion is a wholly artificial construct. Politics is just as much a part of moral life as any other endeavor, and churches are not obliged to turn a blind eye to immorality, just because it happens to be taking place in the political sphere, as opposed to the private one. If a church sees a political party as being immoral, it is within its rights to suggest that supporting said party is immoral.

Do I think this was a wise move? I don't know, probably not. Maybe it does deserve to lose its tax exempt status. I suppose it depends on what the purpose of tax exempt status for religious institutions is. Anyone care to enlighten me?

[ May 08, 2005, 01:19 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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canadian
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Are there no Republican policies or actions that could be considered contrary to Baptist Doctrine?

Further, what elements of these artificial political constructs could be considered to promote tenets of the Baptist Doctrine?

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RickyB
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The purpose is to allow religious institutions to function as charities. Secular charities are aklso tax exempt, IIRC.

In any case, a strict condition for any taxz exemption is to maintain a strict non-partisanship.

The church cannot say "you must support President Bush". It can say "you should support those politicians who support positions consistent with those of this church". It has to be about the cause, not about the party or the candidate. And even then, it would still deserve to lose its tax exemption if it kicked out members for political positions.

Once it's no longer tax exempt it can do and say whatever the hell it wants, within certain restrictions on hate speech of course [Smile] .

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Are there no Republican policies or actions that could be considered contrary to Baptist Doctrine?
There are indeed, and there are some churches that have taken the contrary position, that those who vote for Bush will go to hell. Kerry campaigned and raised contributions through churches. I'm all for applying the law, so long as we apply it evenly, and so long as we avoid the Canadian approach to "hate speech," where a Catholic cleric gets prosecuted for saying that the government should discourage homosexuality.
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Sancselfieme
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quote:
There are indeed, and there are some churches that have taken the contrary position, that those who vote for Bush will go to hell.
I'm sorry but this is a bit too much. I have never heard of a single instance of this happening and it seems far too easy to just say it in light of the opposite view which is demonstrated in the article. Pete do you have a source for this?
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Pete at Home
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I'll see if I can search the WSJ archives. That one was in their "Opinion journal" section, about 2-3 months before the election.

Look, to be fair, I don't think that's really all that different than say, making a timed statement that John Kerry can't take the sacrament of church X. But then, wasn't it Newsweek just a few weeks later, that has a cover with a big 8x10 picture of John Kerry taking a communion wafer?

And neither of those statements is as grotesque as personally inviting George Bush or John Kerry to specifically campaign from your church pulpit during election season -- something both sides did.

Guys, face it: the "wall of separation" between search and state is thinner than a stretched latex condom, and even anti-religous groups will perforate the wall when it turns to their advantage. Would you still be complaining about the venue, if you agreed with the message?

Politics and religion are a potent weapon, and the only poor suckers that disarm unilaterally, like the Mormons, get screwed black and blue. For one side, right or left, to be the first group to actually keep their promise to stop campaigning from the pulpit, would be like for a senate minority to give up the filibuster. Our bureaucrats would have to value principles over power. Our elected polititians would have to to actually believe in the values that they espoused. Be realistic.

[ May 08, 2005, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Hannibal
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another example why religion should be outlawed, or atleast limited in some way.

muslim, jewish, christian, religious fanatics are the most dangerous people in the world.

they by far out weigh the benefits of religion (if there are benefits? i dont see any)

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KnightEnder
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quote:
Would you still be complaining about the venue, if you agreed with the message?

I think you know I would.

KE

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Paladine
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I see nothing wrong with this man's actions. If it is a belief of your Church that abortion is murder, for example, then supporting a candidate who desires to uphold "abortion rights" isn't overly different from supporting Hitler.

When you support a regime that slaughters millions and millions of your fellow human beings, you are not a fit member of an organization which is expressly opposed to such activities.

And yes, when one party supports what a religious group sees as mass murder, I believe the leaders of that group have a right, and indeed a responsibility, to demand that members of their organization either support the opposition effort or find a different religious community.

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Dagonee
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Let's look at it from extreme positions (assume no repentance):

Would this Church be legally justified, with no threat to their tax exemption, in kicking out an abortion provider?

A woman who obtained an abortion?

A politician or activist who worked often to expand access to abortions?

A politician who supported abortion on demand, but whose office gave no real opportunity for affecting it?

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Funean
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As Ricky said, it is perfectly acceptable, and perhaps even incumbent, on a religious community to encourage its members to support *causes* in the secular world. What is not acceptable is the support of *candidates* or *parties.* And by acceptable I really just mean that if they want to do that, they must step up to the plate and pay their share of the taxes. Tax-exemption for religious or charitable purposes requires non-partisanship. It's not complicated.
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Dagonee
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This is the same problem I have with campaign finance laws: where is the line between supporting causes and candidates or parties?
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Everard
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Pretty simple. Naming names.
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Funean
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I guess I think churches have the right to excommunicate members who break the kinds of rules that warrant it (though I've never understood it; isn't the point of the church to try to get all of us understood-to-be-sinners to God?), but I have trouble with excommunicating members over political *beliefs.* Beliefs aren't actions, and sometimes you have to choose which elements of a party or candidate's position are more important to you, especially when there are some you don't like so well.

For example, I can't for the life of me understand why the Catholic Church could provide any support to candidates who purport to be pro-life, but are pro-death penalty. At the very least our legal system seems to do a poor job of ensuring that every person to whom that sentence is meted deserves it.

You are right about campaign laws. They are most vague exactly where they most need to be specific.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Pretty simple. Naming names.
So they could excommunicate people if the description for who gets excommunicated was "those who vote for politicians who do not acknowledge the primacy of the right to life of unborn children over a woman's right to privacy?"

quote:
Beliefs aren't actions, and sometimes you have to choose which elements of a party or candidate's position are more important to you, especially when there are some you don't like so well.
But voting is an action. We know the next president will most likely replace 2 SCOTUS justices, including the deciding vote in Casey.

quote:
For example, I can't for the life of me understand why the Catholic Church could provide any support to candidates who purport to be pro-life, but are pro-death penalty. At the very least our legal system seems to do a poor job of ensuring that every person to whom that sentence is meted deserves it.
The Church is ver vocally anti-death penalty. And, if Kerry weren't Catholic, very likely there would have been no Church-sponsored (Bishop or Priest, not layperson) statements about either candidate.

The Church has been a very vocal critic of many of Bush's policies - the war, welfare, tax cuts, and death penalty.

[ May 09, 2005, 10:29 AM: Message edited by: Dagonee ]

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Funean
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quote:
But voting is an action.
That's true. I think the point I was (failing) to make was that at some point every church has to leave some things to the individual parishner's conscience. The pro-life/death penalty issue is my favorite, because there are quite a few conservatives who are both, and I don't see how the Church could sensibly make an endorsement there, or censure a parishner over his or her choice.

If you voted for Bush because he is the anti-abortion candidate, even though he is pro-death penalty and (arguably) a hawk, does that make you a better or worse Catholic than voting for a pro-choice, anti-death penalty, anti-war candidate (I think Dean meets these 3 criteria)? I don't think anyone can make that determination for another person.

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Pelegius
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This is silly. The deranged pastor can't know how his parisherners voted, and if they ar uncomfterble with his demagougery, they can leave.
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KnightEnder
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Hey, when you let other men tell you how to think, believe, and act, how can you blame them when they go too far?

KE

[ May 09, 2005, 10:30 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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RickyB
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Very true, KE.
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