St. John United Church of Christ of St. Clair, Missouri may have played in the local St. Clair Church Softball League for the past twelve years, but they aren't now. After three Baptist teams threatened to withdraw from the league if the St. John's team was allowed to play, the reason has finally come out. One of the pastors at St. John's, Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell, is bisexual.
In an e-mailed statement Semmelroth tells us, "What exactly, anyone's sexual orientation, let alone mine, has to do with softball is beyond me. What angers me most about this situation is not any offense to me, but that our softball team just wants to play - they aren't making a statement on sexuality, they simply want to play as they have for over ten years...it is ironic that this church league seeks to exclude those they disagree with, when Jesus welcomed all kinds of people on the margins of society, including lepers, prostitutes and convicts. Doubtless, they would not be welcome in the softball league either."
The league's commissioner gave the church two options: either withdraw from the league or it would be disbanded. The church is considering starting a new league at the urging of other LGBT supportive congregations around the city.
Video from local news after the break since it autoplays. I hate that almost as much as the Baptists hate diversity.