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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:56 AM

The Soul of the Christian South: Fundamentalist and Progressive Churches Square Off in Gay Marriage


When North Carolina voters head to the polls on May 8, they will be asked to decide on a constitutional amendment - known as "Amendment One" - that prohibits marriages between same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage is already illegal by statute, but N.C. is the only state left in the Southeast without a constitutional ban.

So this is quite a showdown. There’s much talk of liberty, lifestyle and family -- and a whole lot of talk about God. As opponents and supporters target churches all the way from Appalachia to the Outer Banks, religious leaders are flooding the airwaves to share their views on a hot button issue that throws core values into stark relief.

Growing up, I attended a church in Raleigh that is deeply involved in the current debate. And I can tell you that the fault lines are deep – and often surprising – to folks in other parts of the country.

A Tale of Two Churches

The Upper Room Church of God in Christ, located in south Raleigh, is presided over by the Rev. Patrick Wooden, who describes homosexuality a “deathstyle” and presents himself as a zealous defender of traditional marriage. Rev. Wooden, an African American, launched his ministry career with a tent revival in a small rural town. Bringing a message infused with miracles and warnings of the devil’s influence, the pastor came to Raleigh to lead the Upper Room in 1987, where his congregation, by the reckoning of the church Web site, today numbers 3,000. Proudly describing himself as a businessman and his church as one of the largest employers of blacks in Raleigh, Rev. Wooden's teachings carry a whiff of prosperity gospel that appeals to those striving for economic salvation as well as spiritual. And he champions social views that have made him a rising right-wing media star, complete with spots on "The O’Reilly Factor."

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Reply The Soul of the Christian South: Fundamentalist and Progressive Churches Square Off in Gay Marriage (Original post)
xchrom Apr 2012 OP
bullwinkle428 Apr 2012 #1

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:59 AM

1. K&R. Anyone hear that interview on NPR yesterday with that DIVORCE LAWYER that was

donating money to the anti-marriage equality forces, as he felt the "sanctity" of marriage would be sullied if those "evil gayz" were allowed to marry legally?

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