Row deepens over ordination of gay minister as insults fly

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A supporter of openly gay minister Rev Scott Rennie has described his opponents as “terrorists”.

Rev Georgie Baxendale, one of Scotland’s first female preachers, said members of evangelical group Forward Together, which has played a strong role in the reaction against his appointment, were damaging the church.

She told the Press and Journal: “Forward Together is part of a worldwide movement of fundamentalists that I would class as terrorists. They are not fighting Scott Rennie but the Presbytery of Aberdeen and its right to choose a minister.

“These people have no room for negotiation and want to impose their will on the Church of Scotland and are stamping on its good nature.”

The ordination of Rennie, who lives openly with his partner, to Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen is threatening to create a schism in the Church of Scotland.

It has been described as the biggest issue to face the Church in 160 years, after the disruption of 1843.

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This week, anti-gay Scottish minister Rev Ian Watson compared supporters of gay clergy to the Nazis.

In a sermon on Sunday, he compared the failure of the French Army to stand up to the Nazi annexation of the Rhineland in 1938 to the current battle in the Scottish Church over Rennie’s appointment.

A petition against the appointment has gathered more than 10,370 signatures as the row becomes more bitter.

Despite the opposition, more than 80 per cent of Rennie’s congregation voted for him.

Rennie’s opponents are also gathering the support of controversial US pastor Fred Phelps, who was last week placed on a list of 16 people banned from entering the UK.

Phelps, who presides over Westboro Baptist Church, believes homosexuality is destroying America and pickets the funerals of AIDS victims, chanting ‘God hates fags’.

His supporters are reportedly planning to travel to Scotland to picket over Rennie’s ordination.

According to their picket schedule, they intend to be at the General Assembly meeting over the issue in Edinburgh on May 23rd.

A Home Office spokesman said it would be difficult to deny them entry if they have valid visas.

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