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Tennessee Baptist Convention bans church for not ‘cooperating’ by hiring female pastor

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The Tennessee Baptist Convention affirmed on Tuesday a decision to ban the First Baptist Church of Jefferson City from voting at the conservative organization’s annual meeting.

WBIR News reported the decision was based on a resolution stating “a church whose office of pastor is held by a woman is not a cooperating church.”

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Following a 17-month process by a nine-member search committee and vote of the congregation during two Sunday services, Rev. Ellen Di Giosia was named pastor of First Baptist in June.

“It wasn’t a surprising decision, it’s sad. It’s sad because we believe that cooperation is a hallmark of Baptist life,” Rev. Di Giosia told WBIR. “Although one of our Baptist affiliations has changed, FBC Jefferson City is the same congregation we were yesterday. We will still gather to worship, study, and pray.”

In 2015, Di Giosia told Baptist Women in Ministry of the challenges she had faced as a female pastor.

“Even in churches that hire and affirm women in ministry, there are still pockets of patriarchal weirdness,” Rev. Di Giosia explained. “I’ve been told to always wear jackets so that my elbows don’t show, have received official church correspondence addressed to ‘Mrs. [husband’s name],’ and listened as colleagues said that we couldn’t invite a woman to preach because ‘we just had one last month.’”

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Rev. Di Giosia was at the time an associate pastor in Texas, and explained the intense pain she had experienced.

“In one case, it became too difficult to stay, and in another, I chose to ride out an intense storm. Using family systems theory has been helpful in these cases. Asking questions such as what does it mean to bear the anxiety of a system? How can I be the presence of Christ when that anxiety has begun swirling around me?,” Di Giosia explained. “But even when you identify things academically, it is still intensely painful.”

The Tennessee Baptist Convention is the Southern Baptist Convention’s state affiliate with 3,200 affiliated churches.

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“It is regrettable when one of our churches makes a decision that results in a broken confessional relationship with our TBC network of churches,” Tennessee Baptist Mission Board President and Executive Director Randy C. Davis told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The First Baptist Church traces it’s origins to the 1830s. After 140 years of partnership with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, the church says all ties have now been severed.

“This is an opportunity for [the convention] to be clear about who they are, and so we have made it an opportunity for us to be clear about who we are as a congregation,” Pastor Di Giosia told WVLT News.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

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Elementary school cheer squad parents raffling off an AM-15 automatic weapon as a fundraiser

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Just weeks after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people, only 200 miles away in Richmond, the cheer squad is selling raffle tickets to sell a semi-automatic gun.

Fox19 reported Wednesday that the Junior Lions Cheer Team have infuriated Heather Chilton, who's 7-year-old daughter is on the squad for the first time.

"This is absurd, you're having elementary kids sell your AR-15. Why?" Chilton said. "I highly doubt that something would happen with the gun, but say it did. Say one of the kids in the high school got a hold of it — got the AR-15 or AM-15 and shot up a school with it, and I'm the one that sold the raffle ticket to his dad?"

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Gov. Jay Inslee withdraws from presidential election

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that he was officially leaving the presidential race Thursday.

He said that he got into the race with the intention of trying to raise the important issue of climate change and demand the issue be part of the conversation in the debates.

The Democratic Party has refused to have a debate that focuses exclusively on climate change, despite the numerous plans, ideas and approaches from the 20-plus candidates running for president.

He said that he isn't currently endorsing other candidates for 2020, but he hopes that his "atlas" for a climate plan will be adopted by other candidates.

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Scorching WaPo editorial tells Trump to own his bad economy and stop blaming the fed

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

In a scathing piece from the Washington Post editorial board, the team at one of the nation's top papers told President Donald Trump to stop trying to pretend it's the Federal Reserve's fault for a slumping economy.

Trump has tried to claim that the economy isn't just fine, but outstanding and excelling expectations. Yet, in the same breath, Trump claims that that the Federal Reserve is responsible for all of the problems he says don't exist. It's enough for The Post editorial board to note the economic message is "remarkably dissonant."

Trump decided to that the Fed must lower interest rates and engage in “quantitative easing” to lower bonds. It's part of a tactic the Fed uses during tough times, which Trump says don't exist. Even during the worst financial crisis in a generation, in 2008, "quantitative easing" was controversial. Then there is the matter of a payroll tax cut, something Trump said he was looking at before saying he wasn't looking at it. But if there's no crisis, then why is it necessary.

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