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There's a story I saw in the Seattle Times this morning... A Baptist church in North Carolina expelled a number of members because they were democrats! Apparently the minister made statements from the pulpit along the line of "If you didn't vote for President Bush, you can leave now." and kicked the members out of the fold. Where's separation of church and state?!

I also read recently on www.au.org (Americans United for the Separation of Church and State) that churches can lose their tax exempt status with the IRS for overt political activity.
 

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BobV said:
Where's separation of church and state?!
So you want the federal government(through the Constitution) to tell churches what to do?
 

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Oh, like this is something new. Preachers tell their flocks (baaaa...) what to do all the time, right or left....
 

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Holicow said:
Oh, like this is something new. Preachers tell their flocks (baaaa...) what to do all the time, right or left....
There is one problem with it though, tax exempt status should be lost if they desire to be political to the point of party affiliation.
 

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Urlik said:
So you want the federal government(through the Constitution) to tell churches what to do?
Are you instigating for the point of instigating? Come on, Urlik, you know that's not what he's suggesting.
 

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Urlik said:
There is one problem with it though, tax exempt status should be lost if they desire to be political to the point of party affiliation.
While the quote, as reported, isn't excluding people based upon party affiliation, it is discouraging membership based upon voting behavior. Time to yank that particular church's tax exempt status.
 

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JazzMat said:
Are you instigating for the point of instigating? Come on, Urlik, you know that's not what he's suggesting.
I thought I did, he's implying that somehow a church must seperate itself from government. That is not what seperation of church and state is. It's a responsibility of the government, churches (or any other free association of people) are free to do whatever they want. Just watch it if a tax exempt status means something to you.
 

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Urlik said:
I thought I did, he's implying that somehow a church must seperate itself from government. That is not what seperation of church and state is. It's a responsibility of the government, churches (or any other free association of people) are free to do whatever they want. Just watch it if a tax exempt status means something to you.
Knowing BobV for all these years, I don't think he's implying what you claim. Rather, I think he's merely outraged at any church leader using his pulpit to exclude congregants from membership in a particular congregation. And from a moral perspective, I agree with his outrage, 100 percent.

You are absolutely correct in your assertion that separation of church and state is a governmental, rather than church-based, responsibility, but the tax-exempt issue illustrates that it works both ways (although, as we all know, churches have many ways of promulgating their political views without running afoul of the tax exempt issue). But you have to admit, if this pastor said what is claimed, that's particularly ballsy.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
JazzMat responded better than I could have to Urlick's comment.
 

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BobV said:
No... I want church related activities to have no connection with state related activities and not be punitive to members with differing political views.
Sorry Bob, but I don't see how this is "state related"? This was 100% church related. IMO, the purpose of separation of church and state is the take the church out of the state, to keep the church from making governmental decisions.

IMO, a church may have nearly any skewed political view it wants. If the members don't like the leadership of the church they can leave. Or, if the church doesn't like the members they can do the same.

BTW, I'm not condoning what the pastor did. Its really shortsighted. However, leaders of congregations speaking on a political topics is nothing new. It happens regardless of whether its a Baptist Church, Catholic Church, synogogue, Mosque, etc.
 

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These kind of actions are so obviously against God, Jesus, and Truth that it amazes me why anyone puts up with it. We truly have a merciful and long-suffering God that would put up with this sh*t and not rain down fire and brimstone a la Sodom and Gomorrah. Hmmph. This is why I avoid churches like the plague... this same kind of stuff goes on all the time - man's infantile ideas about God being shoved down other men's throats under threat of hell... grrrrr don't get me started.
 
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