Early O'Brien Trophy Winner?

It's only the first week of May, but we may have found our Robert O'Brien Trophy winner already. I present to you the Rev. Chan Chandler of East Waynesville Baptist Church in North Carolina. He has begun to excommunicate anyone in his church who didn't vote for George W. Bush. 9 members, including many who had been members for decades, were thrown out and the congregation stood up and applauded when they left. About 40 people have resigned in protest of this ridiculous display of idiocy. Those who were thrown out should really be thankful. Why on earth would anyone want to be a member of any group that freaking stupid?

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I hope someone goes after this church's tax-exempt status. I suspect it'll be ignored, though.

There are obviously lots of members who deserve the O'Brien trophy. Perhaps you could issue a group version of the award? :-)

And, when the tax exemption gets withdrawn, that means all the deductions the congregants took for donating will be bad, too. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, will need to refile their taxes, paying more.


By Ed Darrell (not verified) on 07 May 2005 #permalink

I'm not surprised. Although I'm from Philadelphia, I spent my childhood summers in the Waynesville/Asheville area, and I believe I've even been to that particular church. As a child, I even remember my own former denomination looking down their noses at the Baptists, and I remember not being able to attend the Lutheran summer camp as a 6-year-old since I wasn't Lutheran. I didn't realize Democrats lived in that area of the country (It's on the extreme West side of NC for those who aren't aware -- remember Eric Rudolph? Same area)

As a native and life long resident of North Carolina I can tell you that there are quite a number of Democrats and other liberal types in North Carolina and not everyone is like Eric Rudolph. Even the conservatives are quick to disavow him. Waynesville is near Asheville which has earned even earned the nick name "Haight Asheville." I can recommend a good vegetarian restaurant if you're in the area.

If at some point the congregation realizes its foolishness, I recommend that the expelled ex-members repeat the (possibly apocryphal) Groucho Marx line in a chorus: "I refuse to join any congregation that would have me as a member."

There is something in the story that makes the Rev. Chandler appear even more stupid. He used a deacon's meeting to facilitate the voting out; in doing so he violated his own church's by-laws, as well as those of the Southern Baptist synod. If he had merely waited two weeks, for the next regularly scheduled business meeting the SB synod would have had no problem with his casting out members.

It wasn't as if there was a time deadline, as the election was last November and the next one is just about a year away.

That part of North Carolina was home to one of my favorite bands--the Snake Oil Medicine Show--jamaican roots reggae meets hillbilly blue grass.

My apologies, Bill -- you're right, Asheville is a wonderful place. I was simply surprised how quickly things change as you go West (Maggie Valley area). And Rachel Ray's food network special about Asheville on food network was great!