RALIEGH-DURHAM — Responding to a spate of gouges, pokes and injuries due to over-zealous worship, North Carolina's governor is on the verge of classifying worship banners and streamers as weapons, meaning that anyone who injures another person in the act of worship can be tried for assault.
"I've seen enough bloodied heads to know that someone had to get this stupid trend under control," said bill co-sponsor James DeWalt.
Worship banners, which worshipers in charismatic churches wave during song services, now fall into the same category as knives and baseball bats. Streamers, which DeWalt says are "basically another form of handheld mace or medieval war instrument," will be considered weapons of opportunity. If someone is injured "during the act of worship" by a banner pole or streamer, the bill says, it will be considered a misdemeanor.
Local churches vowed to fight the classification.
"We're doing nothing wrong," said Randy Quandt, pastor of Fountain of Life, the largest charismatic church in the city. "If you sue us for whacking someone with a banner pole, you have to sue cheerleaders for hitting someone with a pom-pom. It's ridiculous."
His church keeps a nurse on hand for the "occasional scrape" resulting from their worship style, he says. •
As Reported In Lark News
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