When the North Carolina Council of Churches, a coalition composed of mainline Protestant and Catholic churches, selected an openly gay man as the body’s new president, right-wing activists jumped on the story in their efforts to foster divisions and anti-gay sentiment among church groups. Seventeen denominations, including Episcopal, Lutheran, AME, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Reformed, and Methodist churches, are members of the North Carolina Council of Churches, and President-Elect Stan Kimer promised to make outreach, environmental stewardship, and social justice key parts of his agenda.
“I have a strong belief that as a Christian I'm called to make the world a better place,” Kimer told the Charlotte Observer, “I like to spend my time with groups where I can see an impact.”
Now, the far-right Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) is using Kimer’s election to advance its agenda of splitting Protestant churches by opposing any denomination’s support for LGBT equality.
For more information about the IRD, read Frederick Clarkson's piece, "The Battle for the Mainline Churches," on the PublicEye.org website, view the trailer for the documentary Renewal or Ruin?, and search the Talk To Action website for various posts.