Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Job Opening 

How it galls us to report that Rev. Chan Chandler, who expelled nine Democrats from the East Waynesville Baptist Church for the intolerable heresy of, well, voting Democratic, has tendered his resignation:
"No one has ever been voted from the membership of this church due to an individual's support or lack of support for a political party or candidate," he said in a statement
-- shortly before resigning.

Chandler told the congregation that he was departing "with gratitude in my heart for all of you," adding that the whole brouhaha was rooted in his strong feelings about abortion. We ourselves suspect that some small portion of the brouhaha was rooted in the Rev. Barry Lynn's strong feelings about the Constitution:
The Rev. Barry Lynn, director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, sent a letter to the IRS in response to reports that the Rev. Chan Chandler led an effort to expel members of East Waynesville Baptist Church because they did not support President Bush.

"The IRS cannot afford to ignore such blatant disregard for our nation's tax laws, as it sends a signal to others religious leaders that they too can engage in partisan politicking from the pulpit without fear of sanction," Lynn wrote.
Lastly: Google News took us to an editorial from the Decatur (GA) Daily, entitled "Don't Fault Preacher for Church Politics." Our geographical prejudices are such that we clicked through expecting to find an apologia; we were, however, delighted to discover this instead:
The Rev. Chandler, who called it a misunderstanding, wasn't smooth enough to emulate the silver-tongued preachers in the mega-churches who find fortune in spewing their intolerance across the nation's airwaves daily.

He's a sad victim of their trickle-down theology . . . .

Politics have no place in America's churches. Politics will destroy the holiness of civilization's greatest institution if Americans don't stop this dangerous movement.

Church congregations are allowing their leaders to grow calluses on Christ's greatest commandments. It's difficult to love God with all of one's heart, soul and mind, and your neighbor as yourself, when ministers persecute non-conforming Christians.

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