Sunday, May 08, 2005

Today's Sermon:
Calling Bret Harte!
Mr. Bret Harte!

Remember when many of us considered Barry Goldwater and Satan to be synonymous?

"I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism."

Barry Goldwater, September 16, 1981 LINK

By now, you've probably heard of the fundie whack job Baptist Snake Oil Salesman in North Carolina who called his Democratic Party voters to repent or leave the church.

If not, here's the story...

NC-Preacher Throws Democrats Out of His Church

The minister of a Haywood County, North Carolina 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 Friday, 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. LINK

Ah, unknown variables!

I don't know how many tithing members belong to Chandler's congregation.

I don't know when the church's fiscal year begins.

I don't know how many tithers filed itemized deduction tax forms this year.

I don't know if the Board of Trustees approved Chandler's little hissy fit sermon.

But I do know...

The easiest way for a congregation to fire a preacher is to cite reduced revenues.

One can surely assume that those 9 Democrats and their 40 protesting supporters, whom Chandler deems unfit to worship in his fascist fundie church, have officially withdrawn their annual pledges (tithe) to the church .

One can also assume that those 49 former church members were probably extremely active in church committee work and fundraising endeavors...

Unless, of course, the Right (and I do mean RIGHT) Reverend Chandler took the time to research the financial and volunteer variables associated with those 49 congregants BEFORE he preached his little "Satan, Be Gone" sermon at that meeting last week and decided that the church could afford to drop those liberal hot potatoes (aka political sinners).

In which case, Chandler's actions were premeditated and "intelligently designed" to benefit the public persona of, er, Chandler...

And not merely the heart-felt, extemporaneous ramblings of a
misguided religious zealot (trans. The possible basis for Chandler's future legal defense).

Perhaps Chandler is in league with NC State Rep. Walter Jones...

Church Split In North Carolina Shows Dangers Of Partisan Politics In Pulpit, Says Americans United

Friday, May 6, 2005

Church Electioneering Bill In Congress Would Invite More Disputes Over Politics In Houses Of Worship, Says AU's Lynn

A bitter controversy over partisan politics at a North Carolina church shows the danger of electioneering in the pulpit, according to Americans United of Separation of Church and State. --snip--

Lynn said matters will become even worse if a bill now pending in Congress becomes federal law.

H.R. 235, a measure introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), would allow clergy to endorse candidates from the pulpit and still retain a tax exemption of their house of worship.

“Introducing partisan politics into our churches is a terrible idea,” said AU’s Lynn. “I hope this incident in North Carolina will cause our members of Congress to reject Rep. Jones’ bill.”LINK

A Federal Law?

What a crock!

Jesus wept, y'all!


Go forth and re-read Bret Harte's "The Outcasts Of Poker Flat."

You had to read it in school for a reason.

It's only 7 pages long, but its moral remains extremely important.

Click the link.

I mean it, damn it!


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