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February 14, 2005

Mixing state and church

Not the best source, but interesting none-the-less:

Steve Kane a South Florida radio host featured a local deacon who says he faces excommunication from his church after considering a switch to the Republican Party.

Owen Blackwell, who is a member of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, based in Pompano Beach, Florida, expressed frustration with the Democratic Party during a call-in to the Steve Kane Show several weeks ago.

During the show, Blackwell, who is African-American, told listeners he was considering switching his voter registration from the Democrat to the Republican Party and gave a list of reasons. His remarks have generated much discussion; and a widening political controversy ever since.

Due to escalating debate over the issue, Blackwell reappeared on the show days later, and informed the host that church leaders had summoned him to a meeting after getting word of his plans. During that interview, he also said he had been “promised a top leadership role” in the church if he remained a Democrat.

Steve Kane, host of the Steve Kane Show, questioned if he had been “bribed.” If he does change his party registration, and is ousted from the church, it could create a controversy over whether or not a non-profit, religious organization is allowed to intervene in such a matter.

I could find no other mention of this on the internet. One of the drawbacks of writing up my blog in the early morning is that it's almost impossible to check up on stories. I'll mention this here, but note that considering the sources there is a possibility it could be exaggerated or even fabricated. I could find nothing on Steve Kanes site to back up the story.

Posted by Jack Lewis at February 14, 2005 08:38 AM

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