Angela Thomas has created a furor in Madisonville, Kentucky by describing the local church leaders as “Shiite Baptists, “which is unfortunate, since her husband, Bill Thomas, has been an assistant pastor at the First Baptist Church there for the past ten years.
She wrote in her newspaper column for The Madisonville Messsenger that Southern Baptists were “the crazy old paranoid uncle of evangelical Christians.”
She was referring to the opposition of the Southern Baptist Convention to the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to welcome gay members.
She went on: “Sexuality doesn’t come up and isn’t relative to typical scouting activities but now, thanks to Southern Baptists, the parents of little innocent scouts everywhere are having to have The Talk.”
The fallout, following her article, is hotly disputed. The local Pastor, Joe Leonard, claimed that Bill Thomas had quit, but Thomas denies this. Thomas also stated that that he fully agreed with his wife’s sentiments.
But, it is possible to understand why the church leaders are so upset, since Angela Thomas did not mince words. She accused the Southern Baptists of becoming “raging Shiite Baptists” and moving “to the right” for the past forty years.
And, she added: “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.”
The Rev. Russell Moore, PR head of the Southern Baptist Convention, condemned the “sarcastic tone” of the article: “I didn’t find the column to be the sort of lighthearted poking that one would typically find in satire……(I) found it instead to be more of a screed from someone who’s very hostile to where most Baptists stand.”
He claimed that the column’s allegations had distorted the church’s policy. He said the Convention’s decision “was a very balanced resolution that didn’t denounce the Boy Scouts.” He added: “We expressed disappointment, but didn’t speak in harsh terms and also did not direct churches as to how they should respond.”
However, this seems to contradict the fact that the Baptist Convention opposes gay marriage, and thinks homosexuality is a sin.
Congregation member, Larry Wilson, thinks there is more to Bill Thomas’s resignation – or firing – than the issue of his wife’s column. He believes that Thomas upset the church leaders when he supported the inclusion of an openly gay member in the church choir.
Wilson said he liked Angela Thomas’ column. “There were points in it that I thought were hilarious, it was funny, thought provoking.”
He added, “Maybe we are Shiite Baptists.”
What do you think about the Southern Baptists view of gay scouts? Or gay parishioners? Share your thoughts in the comments feed below.