UPDATE: Two discussions at his church (not First Methodist) my neighbor had this morning lead me to revise my opinion of the impact of this issue. I now think this is penetrating and has the potential to significantly impact both races adverse to the Walkers.
My neighbor did not initiate either discussion, with one group he encountered between Sunday School and church and the other after church. Someone in the second group had read the article below but when my neighbor asked, no one in the first group even knew what the BO was. Both groups were highly concerned with the pandering to homosexuals aspect, and the second group also highly concerned about the illegal alien aspect. The concern was higher on the school board race, but existed for both. What was really telling was that there was consensus in both groups that the Walkers should not be re-elected.
To me, this shows the information is spreading among voters and they are starting to use it in making their voting decisions. Of the four places I had heard this earlier, only the one who was a First Methodist member had mentioned using it as determining how they would vote.
There has been a good bit of chatter among voters about the potential impact of involvment with a church split swinging two key local races against a local power couple. To their credit, these politicians' opponents do not seem to be trying to use this politically against them, nor do any other political organizations. Although more widespread than one would expect, it is still just chatter among voters.
It is smart by opposing candidates not to try to use this politically as trying to weaponize anything about an opponent's religion usually backfires on those using it. A good example is former US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), who ran some TV ads that were interpreted as casting doubt on her opponent's religion, and prompty sank Dole's reelection campaign.
To give some background, the situation involves County Commissioner Randy Walker and his wife School Board member Carolyn Walker and the congregation split at First Methodist Church in Washington. The Walker's had long been members of that church but were part of the minority of members who departed in the split.
Many "mainline" Protestant denominations have had their central church bodies come under the influence or outright control of those who push more politicized doctrines over traditional religion. This has been going on for decades. First there was the "Social Gospel" which promotes liberal political doctrine, and then the even more radical "Liberation theology". These ideologies promote causes ranging from homosexuality to illegal immigration over traditional religious views.
The United Methodist Church was one of the earliest such Protestant denominations to be heavily infiltrated by the Social Gospel, which was what we now call "woke" long before the term "woke" was even coined. Many local church congregations have never been happy with the Social Gospel and there has been increasing pushback, in some cases involving splits in denominations.
In the Methodist Church, the pushback finally evolved to creation of a new denomination, the Global Methodist Church which is designed to get the church back to traditional religion and out of politicized doctines like the Social Gospel. This is where the split at First Methodist came in. Many in the church saw the new Global Methodist Church as representing more what they thought a church should be and began a process to leave the United Methodist Church to join the new denomination.
The liberal Wikipedia says the split pitted the "progressives" who remained in the United Methodist Church against the "conservatives" who moved to the new Global Methodist Church. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Methodist_Church
The Walkers were part of a vocal minority that wanted to remain in the United Methodist Church, and when that issue went against them the Walkers bailed out to another Methodist Church that remained part of the "woke" United Methodist Church. This is what led to the chatter among voters.
While it might seem tempting in the throes of hotly contested political campaigns to try to tie some of the Walkers votes in government to their stance on this church split, like Randy Walker's vote in favor of tearing down the monument to fallen Confederate soldiers at Arlington Cemetery or Carolyn Walker's vote in favor of a math curriculum that includes promotion of leftist "social justice" political views in math class, their opponents have wisely not done so. If those issues on those votes as elected officials do get used, they should stand strictly on their own and not be tied in any way to what is dividing our churches.
Contested issues within churches need to stay within those churches and not be dragged into politics. Other candidates in these races are to be commended for not trying to drag this church split into political campaigns. It is already a big enough challenge for the churches involved.
What about voters? It may well impact how some who were very involved in the issue within that church vote, but probably not much beyond that. Only if the races are very close will that be enough to have a real impact. In spite of the wide chatter on this situation, most voters will likely look at other issues in making up their minds, like the failure of the county commission to reduce taxes in spite of their surplus, and the failing scores of so many Beaufort County schools.
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