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Waynesville, NC church pastor: vote Repug or be excommunicated

Just amazing. Doug over at Reality Stick pointed me to a NC story about redneck AmTalibanism that sounds just about right for that part of my state – a little church in the mountains. Parishioners were forced to vote for Bush or face ex-communication, because of the pastor’s views on abortion and homosexuality. Nine members were excommunicated and 40 other members of the 405-member church resigned.This little bumf*ck church needs its tax-exempt status revoked.

Religion and Politics Clash
Religion and politics clash over a local church’s declaration that Democrats are not welcome.

East Waynesville Baptist asked nine members to leave. Now 40 more have left the church in protest. Former members say Pastor Chan Chandler gave them the ultimatum, saying if they didn’t support George Bush, they should resign or repent. The minister declined an interview with News 13. But he did say “the actions were not politically motivated.” There are questions about whether the bi-laws were followed when the members were thrown out.

There is news video here. To add irony icing to the cake, WLOS, the station covering this story, is a Sinclair Broadcast Group station — the group infamous for ordering its 62 stations to air an anti-Kerry documentary, “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal”, during the 2004 campaign. This proposal caused a groundswell of boycotts, letters and lefty activism, and what eventually aired was a watered down clips/discussion event.

UPDATE: It’s become a big thread on DKos, with some action items from Georgia10:

To that end, I urge all to take the following action:
1.    Contact the IRS.
 Let’s make a paper trail.

2.    Contact the ACLU in North Carolina at this address: aclunc@nc.rr.com
3.    Write a letter to the local newspaper.

4.    Contact North Carolina Senators Burr and Dole and urge them to denounce this discrimination:
Richard Burr (R-NC)
(202) 224-3154
online contact form

Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
(202) 224-6342
online contact form

5.    Contact Minority Leader Harry Reid. He should know about this.

Harry Reid (D – NV
(202) 224-3542)
online contact form

6.    Contact your local media and the national media as well:

7.    Contact the East Waynesville Baptist Church itself. Let’s be polite, but let’s tell them how wrong their action is:
175 Woodland Drive
Waynesville, NC
828-456-6841

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding