Somebody needs to be told that...
Hat tip to my buddy Matt for this article from the AP via CNN.com:
Ousted church members ponder next move
Kicked out for not voting for President Bush
Saturday, May 7, 2005 Posted: 10:43 PM EDT (0243 GMT)
WAYNESVILLE, North Carolina (AP) -- 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.
"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."
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 and 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.
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."
I know that this is not what the majority of churches have explicitly done in the last election year, but isn't it what they have done implicitly?
And does not the dominant Radio Church of Contemporary Evangelicalism (led by James Dobson and many others of the Religious Right) implicitly make evangelicals feel that there is only one way to vote?
We need to allow for open debate on issues of biblical proportions in our churches--issues like Sanctity of Life, War and Peace, Economic Policy, Creation Care, Marriage and Family, Poverty, Hunger, AIDS, Globalization, World Debt, and other issues.
See my Social Action page.