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Church Ex-Communicates Democrats

Arch Enemy

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A Church in Waynesville, North Carolina excommunicated Democratic members because when they voted for Kerry, they voted for Abortion and Homosexuality. These members have been with the church for 30+ years and have recently gotten a new Preacher, this preacher has abused his powers in the pulpit and has told the congregation "you have to vote for Bush, on behalf of god". The Preacher Chan Chandler said during a sermon that he'd force more democrats to give up their church positions, "I have to... I have to... I have to... according to the word of god".

Sorry I couldn't find this story, it's in video format on the front page of Road Runner (for those who have it) The story/video was done by CNN.

For me, as a Democratic Christian, I am disgusted by this... I feel this is definitely abusing the Preacher's powers.

If the story becomes in Text form, I'll definitely post it here.

What do you all think?
 

Rev.

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This is ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY OUTRAGEOUS! I stand with you on this one Arch Enemy.

But I have a question...aren't they in danger of losing their non-profit status on this one?
 

Arch Enemy

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here I found the story for you all.

Democrats voted out of North Carolina church weigh next move

PAUL NOWELL

Associated Press

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. - A pastor who led a charge to kick out nine church members who refused to support President Bush was the talk of the town Saturday in this mountain hamlet, with ousted congregants considering hiring a lawyer.

Pastor Chan Chandler did not return calls, and no one answered the door at his parsonage across the street from the East Waynesville Baptist Church.

Members of the congregation said Chandler told them during last year's presidential campaign that anyone who planned to vote for Democratic nominee John Kerry needed to leave the church.

Longtime member Selma Morris, who was treasurer at the church, said Chandler's sermons remained political after Bush won re-election. This past week, his comments turned to politics again at a church gathering that ended with nine members voted out.

Morris said Saturday that some of the ousted members planned to meet with an attorney on Monday to discuss their options. "We're hoping he (the attorney) will make him leave so that the church members can come back," she said.

"This is very disturbing," said Pastor Robert Prince III, who leads the congregation at the nearby First Baptist Church. "I've been a pastor for more than 25 years, and I have never seen church members voted out for something like this."

Those who are still members did not know if the church would be open for services Sunday, or if Chandler would be in the pulpit to preach.

The 100-member East Waynesville Baptist Church sits on a bluff a short distance from downtown Waynesville, a mountain town about 125 miles northwest of Charlotte. A white steeple and stain glass windows adorn the simple brick structure, built in 1965, with a view of the mountains from the front steps.

Across the street sits the church's parsonage, a small brick ranch home with children's toys scattered in the front lawn. A small wooden sign out front reads simply "The Chandlers." No one answered the phone there on Saturday.

In the days since the nine members were ousted, many more members have reportedly left the church in protest.

"He went on and on about how he's going to bring politics up, and if we didn't agree with him, we should leave," Isaac Sutton told The News & Observer of Raleigh. "I think I deserve the right to vote for who I want to."

Sutton, a deacon who worshipped at East Waynesville Baptist Church for the past 12 years, said he and his wife were among the nine voted out.

"I've been going to this church for 25 years and I've never had a problem," Sutton's wife, Lorene, told The Associated Press on Friday. "He's young and he thinks he knows everything."

Other former members of the church declined to speak with a reporter Saturday, citing the advice of their attorney. But the furor over politics at the church was the talk of Waynesville, a community of about 9,200.

"It's just an outrage for something like this to happen in America," said Heidi Jenkins, 52, as she held a garage sale at her home down the street from the church.

Prince said he noticed during the presidential campaign that more pastors made endorsements - although not from the pulpit - than in past years.

"It used to be that pastors would speak about the issues and not specific candidates," he said. "I think that line is being crossed."
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/11591384.htm
 

Arch Enemy

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I think once this a-hole gets the boot, then it'll all return to normal. If I had my license then I'd drive to Waynesville and sit on the guys lawn till he came out and he'd be in trouble.
I don't care what the bible, quran, Torah or any other spiritual book says... church and state aren't supposed to interact. This man should also be thrown in jail, for depriving some people the right to worship.
 

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Guys remind me never ever to live in the USA!

And you wonder why foreigners have such a bad view of America?

I'm pretty much speechless that, that sort of stuff happens in what is meant to be the most free nation on earth.

You guys should realize that the real threat your civil liberites is the rise of Christian facism, not from Al-Queida.
 

Arch Enemy

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it usually isn't like that. There are only a few hardcore Christians like that, I am not afraid of Christian Facism, they don't have enough common sense. And usually the Chrisitan Fascists are old WWII Vets.
 

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You guys should realize that the real threat your civil liberites is the rise of Christian facism, not from Al-Queida.
I wouldn't go that far, Gar. Pat Robertson had some pretty radical statements about the liberals being worse than Al-Q, and I reject that also. I have more faith in the American people to make informed decisions, rather than rubber stamp all the information they hear.
 
S

sebastiansdreams

GarzaUK said:
Guys remind me never ever to live in the USA!

And you wonder why foreigners have such a bad view of America?

I'm pretty much speechless that, that sort of stuff happens in what is meant to be the most free nation on earth.

You guys should realize that the real threat your civil liberites is the rise of Christian facism, not from Al-Queida.
Of course the screaming irony of that statement is that originally it was seperatists leaving Englad to avoid religious persecution.

I do not wonder why "foreigners" have a bad view of America. I know that it is for the same reasons many non-Christians have a bad view of Christians, or why many Republicans have a bad view of democrats, or why many women have a bad view of men. It is because we, as people, tend to make our opinions based on one person or select group of persons who are fanatic. If you are under the impression that most Republicans in Christianity feel that Democrats ought to be ousted, then you have a completely backwards view of Republican Christianity. Furthermore, if you believe that this is anywhere near a close view of what America is like, then again, you need to take a closer look.

The problem here lies in the legality. Technically, this is a matter of the Church. Therefore, does the government have any right to do anything about this? Now there is a fun little question for someone much braver than I to address.
 

Arch Enemy

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well the issue has finally been solved:

[url said:
http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050510/NEWS01/50510017/1001][/url]
Waynesville church pastor at center of controversy over pulpit politics resigns


WAYNESVILLE - The pastor at the center of a storm of controversy over his preaching of politics from his pulpit resigned tonight.

Just a few minutes after an East Waynesville Baptist Church business meeting began, Pastor Chan Chandler and his wife left the meeting without comment. Later, the pastor's lawyer said Chandler decided it was best for the church that he leave. Attorney John Pavey said Chandler would pursue other opportunities and continue working on his master's degree.

A large group of Chandler's supporters also departed the meeting. Misty Turner said she would no longer attend the church because she couldn't support it any longer.

"We were not a cult. We never bowed down before Chan Chandler," Turner said.

Last week, nine long-time members of the church said they were kicked out because they disagreed with Chandler's use of the pulpit to push politics. During a sermon last October, Chandler, 33, told the congregants they should repent or resign if they planned to vote for John Kerry in November’s presidential election, according to 30-year church member Selma Morris said.

The turmoil embroiling the Southern Baptist church has drawn national attention from political watchdog organizations, as well as the national media.
 

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sebastiansdreams said:
The problem here lies in the legality. Technically, this is a matter of the Church. Therefore, does the government have any right to do anything about this? Now there is a fun little question for someone much braver than I to address.
Yes, I think the government does have a right. By endorsing a particular candidate from the platform, the pastor forfeited his church's status as a "non-profit organization." I believe that would make them NOT a religious organization any longer and therefore subject to all the descrimination laws there are...is "Thou shalt not descriminate on the basis of political persuasion" in the Constitution?

Pastor must have been absent the day "No politics from the pulpit" was covered in Pastor School
 

shuamort

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Rev. said:
But I have a question...aren't they in danger of losing their non-profit status on this one?
Churches fall under a tax code in the US, code 501(C)(3). This code gives the charities special tax breaks which are contingent upon some restrictions and grounds. One of the restrictions is that the church is not allowed to endorse a candidate, nor contribute money to candidates, solicit contributions on their behalf or donate to candidates' PACs (political action committees) or create their own PACs. If they fail to do that, they could be fined, have their 501(C)(3) status removed, and could work under a not-for-profit or a 527.
 

Rev.

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shuamort said:
One of the restrictions is that the church is not allowed to endorse a candidate,
Which this pastor did. So technically speaking, the church could lose it's status and become subject to anti-descrimination laws, right?
 

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Ok, this is one of those cases where I very reluctantly feel the need to defend something that I feel on a personal level is indefensible. Let me preface this by saying that what this pastor did appalls me both as a Christian and a conservative. It is people like this who give those of you who hate Christians more ammunition.

That said, one thing that must be looked at is the structure of this church. Some Protestant churches are almost entirely run from within their own congregations and some are run by a central church authority. For example, Baptist churches are congregationally controlled, with the congregation (through a board of trustees) usually owning the church building, and having the power to hire or fire the pastor. Methodist churches are run almost entirely by the United Methodist Church, with the UMC usually owning the building and always reserving the power to move pastors with or without input from the congregation. Independant churches (as I believe this was) are often formed around a charismatic pastor and their charters will vary greatly. This matters because it affects the remedy this particular congregation had. If the pastor owns the church building, founded the church, and runs the church - I tend to believe that if you don't like what he has to say you should find another church. However, if that is not the case, there are usually provisions in the charter for a congregation to remove the pastor if the majority agrees (now ain't that democratic)

As a general rule, I feel that freedom of association is one of the most sacred and endangered of our Constitutional rights. If the majority of the people in a religous group decide to set a rule, that is their religous group. If you don't like the rule, don't join. If you are a member and you are overruled in a majority vote, either suck it up or go somewhere else. One poster said that the people who were drummed out were denied their freedom of religion. Whoever said this obviously has a very poor understanding of freedom of religion. All freedom of religion say is that the government can neither make you go to church nor prevent you from going. It cannot forbid a religion nor promote one. You are in no way protected from being excommunicated from a particular religous group for whatever reason. For example, as a Presbyterian I am not permitted to take Holy Communion in most Baptist churches and all Roman Catholic churches. Am I being denied my freedom of religion? In many conservative LDS or Jehovah's Witness congregations I would not even be permitted to attend services. Can I sue?

This notion that politics has no place in the pulpit has never and never will be true. It is impossible to adopt a set of moral principles (such as a religion) and then never allow those principles to affect your conduct or beliefs in the secular world. For example, if a religion believes abortion is immoral, and a particular candidate supports abortion, isn't that religion taking a stand on that candidate whether or not the pastor stands up on Sunday and quantifies that? And there is nothing wrong with that! Everyone has some motivation for their beliefs. We are not as Americans required to explain to anyone what past experiences, education, religous guidance or magic eight-balls help us to arrive at our views of the world.

Where does this idea that America is teetering of the brink of theocracy come from? It seems to me that if anything we are rapidly entering the post-Christian era, catching up with Europe. Is there anyone who can with a straight face tell me that religion has more influence in this country than it did fifty, twenty, or even five years ago? In fact, this rabid fear of the religous in this country only comes about because (i believe) there are far fewer of us than there used to be. Only about 30% of Americans attend church regularly. So rest easy heathens, the numbers are in your favour.
 
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shuamort

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Rev. said:
Which this pastor did. So technically speaking, the church could lose it's status and become subject to anti-descrimination laws, right?
The church could lose its status, that's a for sure. In fact, I remember a church (Clinton-era) that did for this exact reason. As for anti-discrimination law applicability, I'd have to guess that they still wouldn't be. The 2000 decision of BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA et al. v. DALE read into the First Amendment the freedom of association for the club. I think that that precedent would buttress a church's ability to still...well... discriminate should they choose to.

As for Walrus' statement, I completely agree, the churches should have a right to speak their mind on whatever they choose to. In fact, they do have that right. It just behooves them fiscally not to. But should they choose to create a PAC or pander to a candidate, they are doing so with the knowledge that they, like any other charity running under the IRS 501(C)(3) code will be getting a new and more costly tax status.
 

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shuamort said:
As for Walrus' statement, I completely agree, the churches should have a right to speak their mind on whatever they choose to. In fact, they do have that right. It just behooves them fiscally not to. But should they choose to create a PAC or pander to a candidate, they are doing so with the knowledge that they, like any other charity running under the IRS 501(C)(3) code will be getting a new and more costly tax status.
And I have no problem with this law, as long as it is only applied to churches which openly endorse a particular candidate. However, what if a church simply says, "candidate X does not reflect the beliefs that we hold as a church, therefore as the pastor of Joe Jones First Church of What's Happening Now I recommend that you do not vote for candidate X." Would you sanction the church in that case? How about if the pastor said, "as Jonesians we do not believe in war, therefore we ask that you not vote for any candidate that supports war in any way." Is that pandering, or is that a group of (potentially) like-minded people gathering to express their views (something that as Americans we should certainly defend)?

Here is a dirty little secret - black churches preach politics from the pulpit constantly. Don't we all remember the sad image of Al Gore trying to act like he had soul in Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta? Black churches have always been very strong in their communites - spiritually, economically, socially, and politically. Ask any Democratic candidate courting the black vote, if you get the preachers the congregations will follow. That has been a maxim of politics in the South (black and white) for generations.
 

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walrus said:
And I have no problem with this law, as long as it is only applied to churches which openly endorse a particular candidate. However, what if a church simply says, "candidate X does not reflect the beliefs that we hold as a church, therefore as the pastor of Joe Jones First Church of What's Happening Now I recommend that you do not vote for candidate X." Would you sanction the church in that case? How about if the pastor said, "as Jonesians we do not believe in war, therefore we ask that you not vote for any candidate that supports war in any way." Is that pandering, or is that a group of (potentially) like-minded people gathering to express their views (something that as Americans we should certainly defend)?
Sure, the Catholic Church for instance has put out voters' guides that went through a litany of their positions and how they applied to political issues at hand. Abortion, gay marriage, cloning etc.

Here's the guide.
And here's one attorney's opinion stating that he believes it doesn't violate the 501(C)(3). (Of course, that's an attorney's opinion and interpretation, and not a judge's).(PDF warning).

Now, one might argue that this guide nitpicked issues that would support a Republican candidate and ignored issues, like the war in Iraq or Healthcare, which would typically support the Democrat candidate and the Church has made their position about as well.
 

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It would seem that we agree for the most part shuamort. Like I originally said, I do not in any way agree with what this pastor had done. If my pastor ordered someone to leave my church because of their political beliefs I would follow them right out of the door - regardless of what that belief was. Fortunately, I cannot possibly envision that situation in my church.

I guess I have a somewhat knee-jerk defensive mechanism when it comes to attacks on expressions of religion, specifically Christianity. We have reached a point in this country where seemingly rational people have actually indicated that people who are motivated by religious beliefs on any issue are unfit to hold office - or in many cases even hold an opinion. Every belief held by everybody is based on something, and religion is as good if not better foundation than what many people's belief systems are based on. I also find it thoroughly disgusting that the very same people who claim to champion tolerance and open-mindedness are the first to generalize all Christians on an extreme example. All you have to do is scroll up through this thread. All Christians are intolerant. All Christians seek to turn the United States into a theocracy. What they don't realize is that expressions like that are in the same category as "all black people like fried chicken", or "all Mexicans drink tequila and wear bandoleers". Hypocrisy - thy name is Liberalism!
 

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walrus said:
All you have to do is scroll up through this thread. All Christians are intolerant. All Christians seek to turn the United States into a theocracy. What they don't realize is that expressions like that are in the same category as "all black people like fried chicken", or "all Mexicans drink tequila and wear bandoleers". Hypocrisy - thy name is Liberalism!
You had me up to the last sentence. It's that kind of blanket statement that really stops and argument and is just meant to flame or insult.

Christians as a whole are NOT trying to turn America into a theocracy. BUT, there are some that not only want to but are actively promoting the idea. The BushFish is a good example:


Does that mean that all christians follow that? No. Does that mean that all Bush supporters follow that? No. In fact, ALL of the Christians and Bush supporters I know wouldn't ever want that fish. I do, however, know some democrats who would point to that Bush Fish and say that this is evidence that the Republicans are trying to push religion into politics.

It's the rabble on the far left and far right that get the attention and end of making up the stereotypes of the parties. My parents are both Republicans and strongly believe in gay marriage and are pro-choice when it comes to abortion, they do however believe that Republicans are going to have a stronger military, stronger borders, and less taxes. I've got a couple democrat friends that own assault weapons and are pro-life, but believe in social programs and universal health care. These people are not benefited when it comes to bland speech like "right-wingers are all X" and "liberals are for that". When I see that bland speech, I tend to write that person off as intellectually lazy. But that's just me, in the political middle.
 

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shuamort said:
You had me up to the last sentence. It's that kind of blanket statement that really stops and argument and is just meant to flame or insult.
You are right and I apologize.

shuamort said:
Christians as a whole are NOT trying to turn America into a theocracy. BUT, there are some that not only want to but are actively promoting the idea.
True, there are extremists is EVERY movement and they usually serve to give the movement as a whole a bad name. It is unfortunate that the extremists also are usually the most vocal in any particular movement.

shuamort said:
The BushFish is a good example:

Does that mean that all christians follow that? No. Does that mean that all Bush supporters follow that? No. In fact, ALL of the Christians and Bush supporters I know wouldn't ever want that fish. I do, however, know some democrats who would point to that Bush Fish and say that this is evidence that the Republicans are trying to push religion into politics.
But what if they are? Why is religion the only belief system not allowed in politics? You can construct for yourself an inflexible, absolute belief system that incorporates no cosmic element and it is perfectly allowed. Why is the additional element that our moral beliefs are created and enforced by a third party matter? It is the result of a particular belief or action, not it's motivation that is important.

shuamort said:
It's the rabble on the far left and far right that get the attention and end of making up the stereotypes of the parties. My parents are both Republicans and strongly believe in gay marriage and are pro-choice when it comes to abortion, they do however believe that Republicans are going to have a stronger military, stronger borders, and less taxes. I've got a couple democrat friends that own assault weapons and are pro-life, but believe in social programs and universal health care. These people are not benefited when it comes to bland speech like "right-wingers are all X" and "liberals are for that". When I see that bland speech, I tend to write that person off as intellectually lazy. But that's just me, in the political middle.
I agree for the most part, despite my comment in the previous post. I know very few people who agree with all "conservative" positions or all "liberal" positions, however most people tend to side more one way than the other. As far as Republicans versus Democrats, I think that in the broad picture there is little enough difference between them now to worry about, despite their continous posturing on what are really trivial issues. They both support the continued expansion of a bloated, intrusive, distant federal government and the ongoing erosion of our personal freedom. But that's just me, in the political well of despair.
 

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With regards to the Bush/Jesus fish, that has to be the cheesiest thing I have ever seen. I am against all of that cute crap - Jesus fish, Darwin fish, Truth fish. Do these people really think they are going to change someone's mind as they drive down the interstate? Or are they really so proud that they have this particular belief that they feel the need to proclaim it on their bumper?
 
S

sebastiansdreams

walrus said:
With regards to the Bush/Jesus fish, that has to be the cheesiest thing I have ever seen. I am against all of that cute crap - Jesus fish, Darwin fish, Truth fish. Do these people really think they are going to change someone's mind as they drive down the interstate? Or are they really so proud that they have this particular belief that they feel the need to proclaim it on their bumper?
I once had a guy tell me that he wears Christian t-shirts to remind him that whatever he does, he's making a statement for Christ. That always kinda kept him on a path that he wanted to follow so that he would, in fact, be a good example in words and DEEDS so that other's could see Christ through him. I thought it was an interesting concept. And if it is one that works for him, more power to him you know?
 

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walrus said:
With regards to the Bush/Jesus fish, that has to be the cheesiest thing I have ever seen. I am against all of that cute crap - Jesus fish, Darwin fish, Truth fish. Do these people really think they are going to change someone's mind as they drive down the interstate? Or are they really so proud that they have this particular belief that they feel the need to proclaim it on their bumper?
I see this as capitolism at it's finest. Many people will buy it.

What I would give to be a stockholder in those magnetic ribbon stickers for cars...or those 2 cent super cheap plastic armbands.
 
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