Read a weird article about Hyde Park Baptist Church in, of all places, Austin. Basically, Hyde Park Baptist was perfectly fine with having an interfaith Thanksgiving celebration on some (RENTED) property at their sports complex (um.. sports complex? Is this a Pharisee church or something?) That would include non-Christians such as Jews, Hindus, Ba'Hai.... but it appears from the article that it wasn't until somebody pointed out to the church leaders that MUSLIMS were going to be there, that Hyde Baptist suddenly decided to pull the plug.
Organizers of an interfaith Thanksgiving celebration scrambled to find a new location for the annual event after an evangelical Baptist megachurch objected to Muslims worshipping on its property.
Hyde Park Baptist Church notified Austin Area Interreligious Ministries this week that it wouldn't allow the event scheduled for Sunday at Hyde Park's sports complex known as the Quarries.
The Thanksgiving event is in its 23rd year and invites Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Bahais and others to worship together. Austin's largest synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, has now offered to host the celebration, organizers said.
Simone Talma Flowers, interim director of Interreligious Ministries, said staff members at the Quarries were notified of the event's interfaith nature when it was booked in July. The sports complex is not located at the main church grounds.
So, if I understand this right, Hyde Park Baptist was perfectly fine with collecting money from renting out their spaces for interfaith activities as long as it didn't include Muslims (or, maybe, as long as their church members didn't find out that there were Muslims coming). But once they did, suddenly it was time to take the road that claimed
"Although individuals from all faiths are welcome to worship with us at Hyde Park Baptist Church, the church cannot provide space for the practice of these non-Christian religions on church property," the statement said. "Hyde Park Baptist Church hopes that the AAIM and the community of faith will understand and be tolerant of our church's beliefs that have resulted in this decision."
Now, I personally don't have anything against a church deciding who their constituents are. If a church believes that THEY have the ONLY truth, then they can decide not to rent to those they think DON'T have the truth. (And that obviously means at churches ONLY and not