Shunning Makes a Comeback in US Churches
Pastors resurrect old practice to tame black sheep in their flocks
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2008 10:08 AM CST
Many Protestant ministers have reinstated the all-but-lost practice of shunning unrepentant sinners from their congregations.   (Index Open)
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(Newser) – In an effort to reclaim their churches' role as moral authority, many Protestant ministers have reinstated the all-but-lost practice of shunning unrepentant sinners from their congregations. And while nobody's yet had to pin a scarlet "A" to their Sunday best, the consequences of the puritanical revival have weighed heavy on some so-called sinners, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A 71-year-old Michigan grandmother was recently arrested for trespassing in her Baptist church after her pastor shunned her for spreading "a spirit of cancer and discord" by meddling in administrative affairs. Others have filed lawsuits against pastors for publicizing their private confessions, with varying success: Most courts won't hear such cases, and send errant sheep back to their flocks.