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Posted by on Jan 8, 2009 in Uncategorized

SBC Pastor Says Jew & 2 Christian Ministers To Burn In Hell

According to several news outlets, more than 400 people gathered at People’s Baptist Church in Greer, South Carolina to protest a federal district court’s decision to protest the Dec. 11 injunction stopping the production and sale of the controversial “I Believe” license plate. The plates featured the words “I Believe” with a cross superimposed on a stain glass window. The court found that it was unlikely that the “I Believe Act” (which authorized the plates) passed any of the three prongs of the Lemon Test. Under the Lemon Test a statute must have a secular legislative purpose. The statute’s principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion and the statute must not foster excessive government entanglement with religion.

Summers v. Adams, the suit that challenged the constitutionality of the “I Believe Act” which authorized the license plates, was filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State on behalf of several South Carolina religious leaders.

The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reports that the 400-person rally at People’s Baptist Church in Greer included South Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor. The rally also included an angry tirade from the Rev. Arnold Hiette, pastor of People’s Baptist. Here’s what the Rev. Hiette had to say:

Red-faced and angry, shaking his fist alongside his Bible, Hiette told the congregation that the four complainants – especially the Unitarian – and one judge who took away the people’s right to witness via their vehicle tags “along with the ACLU, they’re going to burn in hell.”

In addition to the Unitarian minister whose name is Dr. Neal Jones, the good pastor of People’s Baptist consigned these three men to hell:

Reverend Dr. Thomas A. Summers. Dr. Summers is a retired minister with the United Methodist Church. He served for nearly 35 years as a full-time chaplain at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. During his forty years in South Carolina, Dr. Summers acted as a guest minister at many churches across the state.

Reverend Dr. Robert M. Knight. Dr. Knight has been the pastor of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Charleston, South Carolina, for 14 years. He has worked as a pastoral counselor since 1975.

Sanford T. Marcus. Marcus is Rabbi Emeritus at the Tree Life Congregation in Columbia, South Carolina where he served as Rabbi for 20 years. He has also served on the South carolina Council of the Holocaust.

Classy. Rev. Hiette, you are one classy dude. And it’s Americans United not the ACLU that filed the suit.

Not to let the facts get in the way of your tirade.

You can read more below:

South Carolina Rally Consigns Separationist Clergy To Hell

No License To Discriminate

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5 Comments

  1. Sad, yes, but the legal decision is encouraging. It’s nice to see the Lemon test back in force. Conservative judges have tried to water that test down and have tried to eviscerate the wall of separation for nearly 3 decades, now. It’s good to see people of faith defending it–now if only that included more Baptists who were once the reigning champions of church-state separation.

  2. My question is where were the Baptists? We should have had some “real” Baptist (ref. Randal Balmer, Evangelical’s Lament) who were consigned to Hell by these unBaptistic “Baptist” spokesmen. Real Baptists should have joined the side to remove the license plates as an entanglement of Church and State. My other question is have we watered down the Gospel so much that wearing a license plate on your car’s lapel is now called “witnessing?” In a Culture War church I guess that’s how it is. If Jesus were still dead He’d roll over in His grave.

  3. While I would disagree with the court decision, and applaud those who came forward to speak up and attend a rally supporting their position, the comments of the Rev. Hiette were absolutely out of line, and not consistent with the instructions of the Bible he was wielding. Being opposed to a particular religious expression on a license plate is not grounds for eternal damnation.

    I don’t see that allowing someone to choose a religious themed license plate constitutes state endorsement or favor of religion, nor does it involve any kind of coercion. It’s a matter of free speech. Now if the state required those license plates, that would be something else but this is voluntary, costs the state nothing, and is a choice made by the individual owner. Under Equal Access, schools which have extra-curricular activities must allow religious-based clubs and gatherings that do not interfere with the primary instructional purpose of the school. A number of states allow alumni of their major universities to display emblems or order license plates in their school colors with school symbols on them. This would not seem to be any different than that.

  4. “I don’t see that allowing someone to choose a religious themed license plate constitutes state endorsement or favor of religion, nor does it involve any kind of coercion.”

    I agree with that sentence. The issue here is preferential treatment of one religion (Christianity) over all others. Several elected officials in South Carolina who had role in drafting/pushing through the “I Believe Act” made it clear that similar license plates designed specifically for Pagans and Muslims would not be allowed. The South Carolina legislature passed a law to create a Christian license plate. The government did not intend nor did they later allow for other religions to be accommodated.

    There is definitely no secular legislative purpose served with such a law.

    Christians who cry about being persecuted should step back, reflect, and consider being a little more friendly to pluralism in the public square. Pluralism is a reality that many conservatives still refuse to accept. Respecting pluralism will ultimately help not hinder the evangelism efforts of evangelicals.

    Your Equal Access analogy only works if the Pagans and Muslims are allowed their own license plates….

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