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Missouri church softball team excluded due to pastor's bisexuality

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | 1:19 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — The new pastor at St. John United Church of Christ in the eastern Missouri town of St. Clair doesn't play softball, but members of his church do. Or at least they did until their pastor's sexual preference prompted a boycott within their church league.

The Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell is bisexual. When pastors at three of the churches in the league found out, they decided their teams wouldn't take the field against the team from Darnell's church, saying the pastor's lifestyle goes against what they consider Christian beliefs.

St. John players decided to quit the six-team league rather than ruin things for everyone else.

Darnell called the situation frustrating and said he wonders what sort of message it sends.


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