Shiite Baptists a new name for Southern Baptists? Some are allegedly up in arms over a recent column in a local newspaper that blasts Southern Baptists in the opinionated piece. A Kentucky pastor’s wife’s article calling the religious group “a crazy, old paranoid uncle of evangelical Christians” has sparked a tremendous controversy and even may have given the wife’s husband, a local pastor, the boot from his job, Detroit News reported this Wednesday, July 10.
The so-called Shiite Baptists of the Kentucky church and its members are allegedly outraged over a newspaper column article penned by Angela Thomas. The pastor’s wife’s writing piece — with the pastor who may be given the boot being her husband Bill, formerly an assistant pastor at the First Baptist Church of Madisonville — discusses the Southern Baptist Convention’s recent opposition to a new policy being upheld in the Boy Scouts of America organization that openly welcomes gay recruits and members.
“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 ,” wrote Thomas in June as part of her daily humor and issues column for the local newspaper.
Since the controversial words in the article hit stands, the Shiite Baptists search term began to trend online, and Bill Thomas’ role as assistant pastor within the Southern Baptists church became hazy. The pastor of the First Baptist Madisonville church announced that he’d accepted an official resignation from Thomas, but the assistant pastor allegedly said he’d never quit his job in the first place.
Bill Thomas has been involved in the church for over a decade, and served as its musical director. Although both Bill and Angela did not want to be interviewed on the matter, a statement from the local newspaper had stated that he agreed with his wife’s column discussing the wrongful hate and opposition against welcoming gay Boy Scout of America members.
In the newspaper column, Thomas had written that Southern Baptists were quickly becoming something of “raging Shiite Baptists … coming too far to the right” for years.
“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,” she wrote.
The First Baptist Church pastor, named Joe Leonard, has since said in his defense that Bill Thomas being “booted” — or leaving his position as assistant pastor of the church — was not related whatsoever to the article at hand. He similarly insists it was a resignation, not a firing.
“That’s what people have made it out to be,” Leonard said. “That column precipitated some conversation with (Thomas), but that is not the reason he resigned. And because of confidentiality I can’t divulge the conversation and what went on.”