"Fighting Back Against the Perversion of Religion"
In yesterday’s New York Times, op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof stated, “Liberals can and should confront Bible-thumping preachers on their own terms, for the scriptural emphasis on justice and compassion gives the left plenty of ammunition.” If some preachers haven’t been talking about justice and compassion what have they been doing? Three stories over the last week will give you an idea:
“A Kansas-based evangelical group plans to picket Englesby Intermediate School June 6 after a student won an essay contest writing about openly gay comedienne Ellen DeGeneres.” The flier announcing the event is an “invective-laden leaflet [that] includes a photo of the Englesby School and a grotesque devil. The diatribe attacks the staff, labeing it a ‘homo-fascist regime,’ among other things.”
A Minnesota 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…Ann McComas-Bussa did not wear a sash, but she and her husband and three children all wore rainbow-colored ribbons and were denied communion. ‘As a Catholic, I just need to stand in solidarity with those that are being oppressed,’ she said…Last year, some conservative groups in St. Paul kneeled in church aisles to block sash-wearers from receiving communion.”
Reverend Chan Chandler of the North Carolina East Waynesville Baptist Church effectively tried to excommunicate members of the congregation over their political beliefs. According to several corroborated accounts, Chandler instructed the congregation that “if they voted for John Kerry or were Democrats, they were against the church. They had a choice to ‘repent’ their sin or leave.” Now these church members are being asked to return, but the damage has already been done: “Things will never be the same here until he leaves. This all started over politics and our right to vote for whoever we wanted to.”