Preacher Ousts Members for Voting Democrat

A Baptist preacher has ex-communicated several members because they didn’t vote for President Bush.

Minister ex-communicates members for not backing Bush (AP – Charlotte News & Observer)

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.

[…]

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.

Little Baptist churches in the South have been known to split over disagreements on the color of the choir robes, so this is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. The Baptists are congregational, not episcopal, so I’m not sure what it is Chandler would be “ex-communicating” people from. If Haywood County is like any other county in the South, there’s another Baptist church within spitting distance.

Still, I can’t help but think Chandler’s understanding of Scripture needs some fine tuning. . . .

Update (0805): Joe Gandleman is a little more animated.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Byron Schmidt says:

    Joe Gandleman must have graduated from the Karl Rove School of Spin. “So this is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things,” he says and hopes you will believe it.

    I suspect this is just the beginning of what’s to come in the GOP Neocon grand scheme of things.

  2. jen says:

    More than fine tuning. This kind of idiocy drives most Christian insane because it does nothing to help the cause of Christ or our churches.

  3. dot jackson says:

    The Rev. Chan Chandler has just confirmed that Satan Worship is alive and well in Waynesville, NC. Bow down to Bush or burn in Satan’s everlasting kingdom!
    We have been noted in these parts for the handling of serpents as a rite of worship, but snakes and the faithful who handle them are quite a different lot of folks. They refer to at least some actual basis in Scripture, whereas the Rev. Chandler and his ilk — and their chosen champions, Mr. Bush and Co., are on a collision course with every tenet of the Gospels of Christ. They can “excommunicate” whoever they choose — as was the will of our current Pope, remember. But whatever will it matter, WHERE it matters?

  4. McGehee says:

    “This just proves we’re ABOUT TO BE CONSUMED BY A NEO-CON THEOCRACY!!!!”

    Do these people even listen to themselves?

  5. bryan says:

    James,

    you are correct that Chandler can’t really “excommunicate” someone from the baptist faith, since it is about as non-heirarchical as you can get.

    Still, he’s going a bit farther than most evangelicals would go.

  6. SoloD says:

    I do think this is pretty outrageous and I would be upset if my church tried to this. However, I also believe that church can certainly set whatever criteria it wants for membership, but using politics as one of those criteria causes some legal problems.

    I wonder if the congregation willbe quite so accepting of this overzealous preacher in the face of losing their 501(c)(3) exemption? My guess is one call from the IRS could undo this action.

  7. bryan says:

    I wonder whether the 501(c)3 itself is not a violation of the separation of church and state, and using such monetary methods to ensure churches don’t engage in politics tantamount to state control of religious speech?

  8. Hal says:

    “using such monetary methods to ensure churches don’t engage in politics tantamount to state control of religious speech?”

    Yep James, they’re getting feisty aren’t they? Kind of funny that the right is in power because of these jokers, ain’t it? Sad to think that without them, you guys would be the minority….

    But I guess Michael Moore is fat n’ all.

  9. bryan says:

    Yep James, they’re getting feisty aren’t they? Kind of funny that the right is in power because of these jokers, ain’t it? Sad to think that without them, you guys would be the minority….

    What are you talking about “they”? I’d say the same if someone were going after the local African-American church for allowing John F. Kerry to speak in the pulpit on Sunday morning. Or Jesse Jackson to masquerade behind his “Rev.” title to do “the Lord’s work” of electing a suitably liberal democrat president.

    The domain of the political is not exclusively secular. The separation of church and state so esteemed by the ACLU and the like begins with “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Couple that with the free speech provisions of the First Amendment, and I think I’ve got a pretty good civil libertarian case that religious groups should be able to spout off on whatever political issue they choose without fear of government reprisal.

    So stick that in your hat and smoke it, “hal.” and sad to think that even with all the groups the liberals have bought allegiance from, they are still in the minority.

  10. Ben says:

    Pastor Chan should be arrested on a federal complaint of intimidating voters.

    The assets of the church should be turned over to the victims.

    As for Black churches – it’s almost a fair criticism and the FBI has investigated the NAACP for tax status. But there is a far cry between blending the line of _supporting_ a political platfom and direct intimidation and denying people a property interest in their life-long community.

    I have never heard the NAACP say that if you don’t vote our way, we’re going to ex-communicate you from the Association. My guess is that a good number of members vote for Republicans.

    Ben

  11. PAXALLES says:

    Theocrat Boots Democrat Voters from House of Lord – Bush is Prez, not “Prime” Minister?

    Theocrat Boots Democrat Voters from House of Lord – Bush is Prez, not

  12. Kappiy says:

    I have never heard the NAACP say that if you don’t vote our way, we’re going to ex-communicate you

    The NAACP is not a religious organization. They have no connection to churches–there are Jewish and Christian religious leaders on the Board, but their mission is decidedly secular.

  13. Preacher ousts members…or does he?
    I skipped this story when I first heard about it because it was either A. some crackpot that anti-Christian bigots…

  14. Christian says:

    Apparently this particular preacher isn’t all that devout when it comes to the teachings of Christ. Christ was wise enough to accept anyone who came to him for guidance.

    I sure am glad I didn’t vote for Bush considering these are the kinds of fanatics I’d be associated with.

  15. Jerry says:

    So, our little town gets in the news, and its because of some preacher shooting his mouth off. Gee thanks Chandler, you really did us here in Waynesville and Haywood county a REAL service didnt you. Next time, (if thier is a next time) Keep your political views out of your church and to yourself. After all, not everyone here in Waynesville NC believe as you do, believe it or not.

    Yes, i Live in Waynesville NC.

  16. More on East Waynesville Baptist controversy
    I reported on this yesterday. Since the MSM as well as many bloggers are more than willing to believe the…

  17. wenemeg says:

    “I wonder whether the 501©3 itself is not a violation of the separation of church and state, and using such monetary methods to ensure churches don’t engage in politics tantamount to state control of religious speech?”

    Religious speech? “Vote for Bush or get out”? It’s political speech and we all know it. If they want to engage in that, fine. If they want to trade on Christ’s name for political reasons, fine. But if they’re going to go down that dubious road, why should they be tax exempt? Since when is partisan hackery equivalent to worshipping the almighty?

  18. Marilyn says:

    While the good pastor was cleaning house of the evil “Liberals”, too bad he didn’t run the “money changers” off too! I can’t help but think “What Would Jesus Do?” I believe Jesus would Puke!