Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Anti-Kerry Pastor Resigns, Remains Symbol of Disturbing Trend

The North Carolina Baptist pastor who threatened to kick Kerry voters out of his church has resigned. Seems the nationally publicity this story received was enough to drive the pastor out.

For the most part, this story has been gratuitous—a rather insignificant story elevated to national attention because the media feels it represents some greater trend in our society. Namely the use of religion to support Republican ends.

In this case, the media is right. It does indeed represent a greater trend. Let’s not forget that the Catholic Church tried to deny Kerry communion rights. And leading religious figures just staged Justice Sunday to denounce the judicial filibuster as an attack on people of faith.

The events at the Baptist Church in North Carolina, while insignificant on a national level, are symptomatic of the growing right-wing politicization of a number of American churches. It’s not that there’s suddenly more socially conservative churches, it’s just that they’re more politically active. And the longer this kind of theocratic activism continues, the less and less well this is going to sit with the American people.

It’s interesting that the pastor in North Carolina decided to resign rather than fight. Perhaps our continued condemnation of the religious right can have the same affect on the national leaders.


At 1:53 PM, Blogger David Irby said...

I agree with the general trend of your article. But your statement that, "the Catholic Church tried to deny Kerry communion" is mistaken. Precisely FOUR bishops (out of about 200 in America)tried to deny him communion, NOT the Church as a whole. Also a directive signed by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) said that a Catholic could vote for a pro-abortion candidate, if the vote was for other "proportional" reasons. And by the way, in terms of Catholic teaching, Bush who signed a bill funding embryo-based stem cell research would be a "pro-abortion candidate".

At 3:06 PM, Blogger Sean said...

last time i checked, a church can do what it wants regarding who it has as members. Considering that Southern Baptist dont even have a mthod of excommunicating people, have to wander how much is media driven.
religion has a place in politics.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Robert Rouse said...

As someone who grew up in a Baptist Church, I can tell you that people have been voted out of the church for reasons such as "extramarital affairs". However, they only lost their membership at that particular church. Most would move on to a different Baptist Church. Some, who were not that embarrassed, would sometimes return to the church for a Christmas show or revival meeting. Also, Some Baptist churches belong to different associations. My grandfather was a deacon at his church in Kentucky, but when he moved to Indiana, he could no longer be a deacon because he smoked cigarettes. Different associations have different rules and regulations. However, I never heard of anyone losing their membership due for political reasons. I think the Chan Chandler controversy is a direct result of the Christian Right movement that made so much noise during the last election. Whatever, I had better stop, I'm starting to ramble.


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