North Carolina Baptists Expected To Vote To Expel Gay-Friendly Churches

| Mon Nov. 13, 2006 7:55 PM EST

You would think, what with Ted Haggard's issues and many similar issues among the fundamentalist clergy, that the more conservative churches would back off on their oppression of people they do not like, but not so in North Carolina. The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is expected to pass a measure tomorrow that would expel any church that "endorses" homosexuality.

The North Carolina convention is the second largest association of Baptist churches in the U.S. In 2003, it expelled a church for accepting two gay men as members and baptizing them, and it has expelled other churches, also. As of 2005, members of the Alliance of Baptists, which supports gay rights, have been barred from serving as trustees of Baptist organizations.

Says convention spokesman Norman Jameson, "We will not view favorably churches that allow that practice." "That practice," of course, is sex, which is the only part of gay relationships in which organizations such as the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina take any interest. About twenty churches will be under immediate investigation if the measure passes. If two people complain to the state conventino about a church, that church is likely to be expelled.

Not everyone is happy. Stephen Shoemaker, senior minister at Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, said "We regret very much that the state convention is taking this exclusionary action." Richard Kremer, pastor of St. John's Baptist Church in the Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte, said the system will "encourage churches to tattle on others."

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