Monday, May 16, 2005

Churches Batten Down the Hatches


I seem to remember all sorts of Bible stories from my youth in a lily white Luthern Church. These Bible stories were about Jesus inviting all and sundry to follow him. Male, female, young and old. Little children even. People of any color, any ethnic background. All were welcome to his loving embrace...hold your horses!. Seems many a vicar and preacher for this Jesus are screaming at us to go away. Seems the latest fad in right wing America is to exclude people. Just like when the TV bosses refused to run an ad for a Church that wanted to invite gay people into their services even as gays get locked out, the bosses whined this was mean and they didn't want to run divisive commercials about embracing people and loving them.

Meanwhile, the NYT commissions a study of what is wrong with them and arrives at this amazing conclusion: they need to cover rural America and religion more. Pray tell us, didn't the NYT run nonestop stories about a Pope dying of old age? And covered his funeral like it was a Second Coming? And then did an hour by hour story about the Ratzi coupelection? And when it was revealed that this man had a squirrely Nazi past, they helped to laugh it all off? And worse, when he peeped out of his palace to wave, this made front page news? And we need more of this? So...
From the pulpit of East Waynesville Baptist Church, the temporary pastor offered an unusual message for his adopted flock: "I don't mind telling you before I start off this morning, this is not where I want to be."

No one blames him. Over the past two weeks, the modest brick church with baskets of artificial lilies on the doors has found itself at the center of a national debate, a crash test site in the mixing of politics and religion. The Rev. Chan Chandler, the young minister who led the congregation of about 100 people for the last three years, is gone, having resigned under fire last week and taken his mostly younger followers with him. And nine longtime church members who said he had ousted them because they did not support his increasingly political sermons are back.

When Mr. Chandler, 33, resigned on May 10, some said the battle had been won. But the congregation that regrouped on Sunday was smaller and grayer, teary-eyed and leaderless.

A preacher comes to town and conspires with some angry and obviously right wing deranged people to hijack a church and is foiled by the press and by church goers who refused to leave when he ordered them out and now they are sad because they can't attract angry white parisoners who want to use the church as a political base so they can plot things? Seriously, if they are that eager for people, maybe the church goers should go out into the community where there are other people, maybe blacker in color, and spread the good word of Jesus who never once founded or talked inside of a church.

The NYT is interested in rural America and obviously, their churches. We are glad they noticed this story which the bloggers have been watching closely since the first hours it made news down south.
Even Mr. Chandler's opponents acknowledged that he brought new life and new members to the 52-year-old church.

"He was energizing them," said David Wijewickrama, a lawyer for the ousted members. "But he was not energizing them with religion, he was energizing them with hate."

Isn't someone who is using the name of Jesus to energize people with hate....a possible anti Christ? One senses these poor church goers wanted the energy and Luciferian powers of this deranged orator. We assume they overlooked his unpleasant sides. I remember the son of our own Germanic minister who was a full blown Nazi. Everyone pretended to not see him. He was painfully obvious.

He even wore the Nazi uniform to meetings.

Here is how Ratzi the Nazi is running his Church:
A Roman Catholic priest denied communion to more than 100 people Sunday, saying they could not receive the sacrament because they wore rainbow-colored sashes to church to show support for gay Catholics.

Before offering communion, the Rev. Michael Sklucazek told the congregation at the Cathedral of St. Paul that anyone wearing a sash could come forward for a blessing but would not receive wine and bread.

A group called the Rainbow Sash Alliance has encouraged supporters to wear the multicolored fabric bands since 2001 on each Pentecost Sunday, the day Catholics believe the Holy Spirit came to give power to Christians soon after Jesus ascended to heaven. But Sunday's service was the first time they had been denied communion at the altar.

Archbishop Harry Flynn told the group earlier this month that they would not receive communion because the sashes had become a protest against church teaching.

Sister Gabriel Herbers said she wore a sash to show sympathy for the gay and lesbian community. Their sexual orientation "is a gift from God just as much as my gift of being a female is," she said.

Can't let those people "eat the body of Christ". Heavens. We all remember Jesus saying, "Keep those damn people away from me, hit them with whips". He didn't say, "Suffer the children to come to me," he said, "Make those little creeps suffer for coming to me". Yes, the Bible tells us so.

Perhaps we should make "Jesus Loves You" Tee shirts that list all the people Jesus can't love. It would have to be a full length burkha.

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