One more round of anti-gay rhetoric coming out of the pulpit. I'm wondering if this is the tip of the iceberg. This has happened twice in the last month. CNN's Anderson Cooper has investigated two incidences of anti-gay pulpit rants. Both from churches in the South, both Baptist and both with rather large followings. Church websites that feature uploaded sermons are providing rich fodder for the media.
As one who lived in the deep South most of my growing up, I am very familiar with this vein of thought. I remember when it was common (and acceptable) for white Baptist church goers to use racial slurs in describing African Americans.
I see some common characteristics in these stories that feature:
1) America comes first (Nationalism to an extreme)
2) Homophobic bigotry
3) Fundamentalism with literal interpretation of scripture
4) Stereotypical thinking
5) Use of hyperbole as a rhetorical device (putting gays in an electric fence, etc.)
6) Confrontation as a method of expressing one's values
7) Ridicule as an acceptable form of speech
8) The Bible is used as a billy club to straighten people out
You could probably add some to the list.
How pervasive is this problem?
Now that the internet has blown the door open to what is actually said in the pulpits of Christian churches, do you think it is possible for some churches to lose their not-for-profit status?