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Southern Religion

Southern Baptist Sharron Angle (& others)

Southern Baptist Sharron Angle misjudged the electorate in Nevada, and lost.

Amanda Marcotte makes a coherent argument that Angle’s Mama Grizzly racism is to some conservatives an unbearable contradiction of her femininity. A deal breaker:

This contradiction exposed why it’s so critical to the fundamentalist worldview that women stay at home and abandon ambition. In this world, women are supposed to be the light, the caretakers, the homemakers, those who smooth feathers and wipe brows. Aggression, meanness, ambition, and even lustiness are considered more masculine traits, even by the public at large. As Dave Weigel reports, the Republicans are beginning to feel that Sharron Angle, at least, spent too much time in the public eye. The longer the public stares at a Mama Grizzly, the more painful the contradiction between her ideals of femininity and her actual behavior.

Mark Silk makes the only slightly related argument that Angle and Christine O’Donnell would have done better if neither had been so much the culture warrior:

I would submit that Angle and O’Donnell lost not because of radical Tea Partyism but because they smelled too much of the unwanted social conservatism of yesteryear.

Who represents that social conservatism better, or better underlines the clarity of other analysts, than Angle’s fellow Southern Baptist, SBC ethics czar Richard Land? His post-election analysis was first an echo of aging rightist Richard Viguerie (one more chance for the Republicans). Then, almost as though we held national referenda in this country, Land asserted a rejection of “Obamacare,” a repudiation of judicial decisions with which he disagrees, a rejection of same-sex marriage and so on.

More about which, later.

November 5, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Religion, SBC, Women | , , , , | Comments Off

What N.C. Southern Baptist fundamentalists want in an editor?

About the abrupt resignation of North Carolina Biblical Recorder Editor Norman Jameson John D. Pierce of Baptists Today writes

In 2000, Herb Hollinger retired from the helm of Baptist Press — the Southern Baptist Executive Committee public relations arm that masquerades as a legitimate news service. In a meeting shortly afterward, longtime editor of Louisiana’s Baptist Message, Lynn Clayton, asked then-SBC Executive Committee President Morris Chapman what kind of person would be chosen to lead BP.

Without hesitation, Chapman responded: “Someone loyal to me and the conservative cause.” While he expanded on that response, there was no mention of competence or experience, just loyalty to those looking for help in carrying out their Fundamentalist agenda. Chapman found such a person in Will Hall. North Carolina will find one too.

October 26, 2010 Posted by | SBC | , , , , | Comments Off

The public opinion future belongs to same-sex marriage advocates

The Southern Baptist Convention’s LifeWay Research found in “a wide-ranging August, 2009, survey” that:

Six in 10 American “Millennials” – those born between 1980 and 1991 – see nothing wrong with two people of the same gender getting married.

That’s a slam/bang majority in a nation where for all age groups public opinion analyst Nate Silver has concluded that change toward approval is accelerating and the majority view is currently “too close to call.”

Silver mapped the data into an illustration which suggests, like the year-old SBC Lifeway results, that the future belongs to same-sex marriage advocates:

Same-sex marriage polls

Change in public opinion about same-sex marriage

September 4, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Religion, SBC | , , , | Comments Off

How ‘forgiveness’ becomes cover-up for church sexual predators

Christa Brown calls our attention to a story of a Southern Baptist church’s negligence in dealing with a preacher’s sexual abuse of his adopted children. She quotes from the Anchorage Daily News:

Church officials knew the oldest daughter, Renee, was being abused long before Diana did. One of them, according to Renee’s sworn testimony, told her to forgive her father and not tell anyone what he had done. It was three years before Renee got the courage to speak up again. By then, her father had started in on her two little sisters.

You see in that horror why sexual predators regard churches as attractive environments.

For example, one predator told a researcher [.pdf]:

I considered church people easy to fool…they have a trust that comes from being Christians…They tend to be better folks all around. And they seem to want to believe in the good that exists in all people … I think they want to believe in people. And because of that, you can easily convince, with or without convincing words.

Thus forgiveness becomes cover-up, with hellish results for victims.

July 1, 2010 Posted by | children, Crime, Religion, SBC | , , | Comments Off

Oops? Again? In the case of FBC Jax Watchdog

Oops is in a way how FBC Jax Watchdog was robbed of his anonymity.

Formerly anonymous blogger Thomas A. Rich’s identity was made public after an unnecessary investigation whose details are still being unearthed in court.

Although some evidence pertaining to the involvement of State Attorney Angela Corey was somehow inadvertently destroyed.

Really, and that destruction is cited as part of an argument against deposing Corey as part of the proceedings.

Oops!” indeed.

Another injustice.

June 26, 2010 Posted by | Law, SBC, WWW | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

What IMB message did the SBC messengers stay away from in droves on Wednesday?

Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board, told the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) on June 15:

…there are 11,000-plus distinct, ethnic people groups in the world, and more than 6,400 of those are still unreached with less than 2 percent of them who have heard the gospel. … [and] after sending out more than 900 new missionaries in 2008 and reaching a record level of 5,624 missionary personnel overseas, the IMB is having to cut back to no more than 5,000 missionaries by the end of 2010 due to budget restrictions.

Read the complete account by Lonnie Wilkey of the Tennessee Baptist and Reflector [here].

June 16, 2010 Posted by | SBC | , | Comments Off

Send records of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force deliberations to WikiLeaks

Controversy over the decision to seal for 15 years the record of deliberations by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Great Commission Resurgence Task Force is easily stilled. One person with access need only provide the complete record to WikiLeaks.

Before the SBC meets in Orlando, Fla.

Thereafter, assuming WikiLeaks can be prompted to republish with suitable dispatch, everyone who is so inclined can contemplate the deliberations at his or her leisure.

Although those who wish to cast thoroughly well-informed votes on related decisions in Orlando may have to set aside more time for reading/listening and less for sleep, they’re responsible people and can be relied upon to make the necessary sacrifice. If they’re afforded that opportunity.

June 11, 2010 Posted by | SBC | , | 2 Comments

Oh no, Rubio! From outRichardLandish to uh-oh?

Promoted by SBC ethics czar Richard Land as a credible 2012 Republican presidential nominee, Mario Rubio is under Internal Revenue Service investigation.

The Miami Herald reports that Rubio is one of three former Florida Republican Party credit card holders being scrutinized for their alleged use of party credit cards to pay personal expenses.

Whether a full-fledged criminal investigation is merited has not been decided, and Rubio adviser Todd Harris told the Miami Herland, “There is absolutely nothing to this.”

The principal effect, as Talking Points Memo suggests, is likely to be on the dynamics of Rubio’s fight with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for the Republican senatorial nomination, without which Rubio becomes another Land loser.

April 22, 2010 Posted by | Politics, SBC | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Is Rubio for president 2012 another outLandish prediction?

After making a scandal of himself in opposition to health reform, Southern Baptist Convention ethics czar Richard Land has in an interview with Politico promoted former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio as a credible 2012 Republican presidential nominee who has “more experience than Obama had.”

The gimlet-eyed journalists at PolitiFact poured that outLandish claim through their fact-filter and emerged with a “barely true.” Even that conclusion is a stretch. It assumes, for example, Rubio is elected to the U.S. Senate and serves two years — although he has yet to win the Aug. 24 Fla. Republican primary.

Sarah Palin benefitted from Land’s dubious blessings. In 2008 he sang her praises as a potential vice presidential nominee in an interview with Brian Goldsmith of CBS, mentioning Southern Baptist Mike Huckabee only as an afterthought.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential nominee and after a brief popularity bubble, she helped sink his candidacy. Then, Palin the public servant went home to abandon the governorship of Alaska.

Palin’s former prospective son-in-law Levi Johnson said at the time that she left in pursuit of cash. The dollar figures have since born Johnson out. Matthew Mosk of ABC News reported:

Since leaving office at the end of July 2009, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee has brought in at least 100 times her old salary – a haul now estimated at more than $12 million — through television and book deals and a heavy schedule of speaking appearances worth five and six figures.

Along the way health reform in which Land and Palin both invested so much vilifying energy and who both contributed to the “death panels” howler which copped a “lie of the year” award, passed.

When Land comes to anoint you, candidate Rubio, if you’re really interested in public service, then for heaven’s sake outrun him.

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Court allows FBC Jax Watchdog case against Assistant State Attorney to proceed

A Florida federal district court refused this week to dismiss the claim by blogger Tom Rich (FBC Jax Watchdog) that Assistant Fla. State Attorney Stephen Siegel violated Rich’s right to speak anonymously, and trampled on the Establishment Clause because defendants had no secular purpose for their actions.

The lawsuit alleges Siegel issued subpoenas that helped Jacksonville police officer Robert Hinson — who was a member of First Baptist Church of Jacksonvilla, Fla. — identify Rich when there was no evidence of criminal activity.

Dismissed in the same action were civil claims against State Attorney Angela Corey for her office’s role.

Rich’s claims against the police officer and against First Baptist were unaffected because they weren’t involved in this motion to dismiss.

Emerging standards for unmasking anonymous bloggers were certainly not met in Rich’s case.

To prevail in this instance, Rich must now prove the violations he alleges. But even at this juncture, the case is a caution for those who would twist legal authority to unmask an anonymous blogger without compelling legal justification. Abuse of power has a price.

[H/T: Religion Clause]

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Law, WWW | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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