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Newspaper columnist Angela Thomas might be given the freedom to write out her feelings within the pages of The Messenger of Madison without repercussions, but apparently, that freedom does not extend to her husband Bill, an associate pastor and minister of music at First Baptist Church of Madisonville, Kentucky. Earlier this week, he was asked to submit a resignation letter after his wife criticized the Southern Baptist Convention in a scathing letter about the organization’s refusal to support the Boy Scouts of America in the wake of its decision to allow underage gay members.
After slamming the Southern Baptist Convention for also rejecting “the Democratic Party, Disney, the TeleTubbies, and any Baptists that aren’t Southern”, Thomas delivered the following blistering assault, as per KY Forward…
“Southern Baptists have little by little abandoned public schools and civic organizations. They are too sanctimonious to participate in Easter egg hunts and trick-or-treating. Santa and the Easter bunny are simply the devil in disguise, and cable television and the Internet are his playground. The Boy Scouts are his evil minions.”
That might not seem particularly aggressive to people living in the North who openly support homosexuality, but attacking Southern Baptists in such a straight on fashion can be interpreted as a call to arms in the South. In fact, Thomas’ bosses at First Baptist Church of Madisonville clearly saw it as such, and they immediately hunkered down and asked for the resignation letter. In baller fashion, however, the associate pastor refused the request to resign and released the following statement…
“I did read it, I agreed with what she said and I don’t censor what my wife does.”
It’s such a crazy contradiction. Some churches are so averse to potential scandals that they would rather fire a pastor than create waves; yet, this pastor in particular was asked to leave specifically because his wife said Southern Baptists should stop creating so many waves. It’s a complicated enough yarn to bewilder, but after untangling it, the hypocrisy is pretty clear. The Southern Baptists might be willing to fight for their freedom to bash gay people, but they’re not willing to defend a pastor whose wife called to not make an issue out of gay Scouts. Really, that’s all she did. She didn’t even come out and take a clear stand on homosexuality—just basically told everyone to relax and lighten up.
I have no idea whether the Thomas family will be forced to move along to another town more accepting of their Center Right rather than Extreme Right opinions, but for their sake, I hope they find a place that’s a little more open-minded and a little more accepting of her humorous, and in this case spot on, columns about the larger world.