I foresee two likely responses to threatening their 501(c)(3) status. One, derisive laughter. Two, persecution complex. Making the pastor quake in his jackboots is way down the list.
Oddly, the complaintants hit upon the standard Unitarain solution- to talka bout issues but not about candidates.
I've seen this story discussed in a couple of forums, and all seem to concentrate on the pastor- which proves the writers know little about Baptists. Baptists are a congregational denomination, owing allegience to nothing but John 3:16. The Pastor is an employee, to be hired and fired by the congregation at will. As a child I witnessed two different Baptist churches have a congregational vote on whether to retain the Pastor or not. This Pastor is doing nothing that the congregation isn't permitting- or even possibly encouraging.Joel MonkaP.S. I'm not all that worked up about their tax exempt status after hear this from the pulpit of my own UUA church: "To be Republican is to be racist, sexist, and homophobic. If there's any Republicans out there, don't come up to me after the service and say not all Republicans are like that; you'll be lying, to me or to yourself." Granted, it was a guest minister during the summer, but the selection committee knew full well that's how his sermons go; that's why they picked him.Joel Monka
Joel, as I've told you before, I would have insisted that particular guest minister not return to my congregations. Also, technically UU churches can kick out minister, too. I've heard of ministers getting fired for reasons much stupider than this, but I've also heard of churches putting up with some pretty dysfunctional ministers who really needed to go, too. The groupd dynamics involved with firing a minister are really complicated. Art, I'm not sure what you mean. The AP coverage directly said that the minister had threatened any member who voted for John Kerry with booting out if they didn't repent. CC
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