Southern Religion

Disintegration of the world financial system …

The world financial system has effectively disintegrated says said George Soros on Friday at a Columbia University dinner. Reaganomic deregulation is at the root of our current, perhaps historically unprecedented catastrophe.

Bailout, anyone?

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Economy | , , , , | Comments Off on Disintegration of the world financial system …

‘Muscular Christianity’ takedown

Critical reservations about our positive reviews of Muscular Christianity came to us by way of this Saturday Night Live Hans & Franz lampoon.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Religion, Satire | , , | Comments Off on ‘Muscular Christianity’ takedown

Dog, elephant and Southern Baptist intolerance

Oklahoma Baptist bloggers like Wade Burleson aren’t all about animal-friends stories. Or, once upon a time when the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) was still larger, they weren’t reduced to a metaphoric tale about about a dog and an elephant who are best friends. Even as recently as Nov. 7, 2007, although he had already left the SBC, pastor David Flick met the issues of SBC conflict head-on with a bullet-point historic summation.

Like Burleson, he sees intolerance as an overarching problem. He wrote:

This week, Southern Baptist intolerance has raised its ugly head yet again. The International Mission Board could not tolerate trustee, Wade Burleson’s, principled dissent on several issues of little consequence. In the scheme of things, Burleson’s dissent amounts to little more than a hill of beans. Yet the IMB, led by chairman John Floyd and former chairman, Jerry Corbaley, censured him. In a wildly slanderous and lengthy report, Cobaley accused Burleson of slander and sin. Burleson’s censure says a lot about the credibility of the IMB. on a scale of 1-10, the IMB’s credibility is minus-6. It says a lot about Burleson’s credibility as well. On the same scale, Burleson’s credibility is a strong-9.

Yet more than intolerance is involved, Flick argues in a document here which deserves to be revisited while others attempt to arrest the well-foreseen inquisitorial process which has been grinding down the SBC. Flick details a history of manipulative conservative Baptist myth-making. Baptist-associated businesslike institutions — colleges and hospitals, for example — which are capable of reacting to the conservative takeover strategies have in general done so. They have progressively disassociated themselves from the SBC. Tony Cartledge chronicles North Carolina’s experience with those departures in The Changing Face of the BSC [.pdf].

Left behind are enterprises like the North Carolina Biblical Recorder, which was apparently too legally entangled to detach.

Yes, Burleson is late to the game, as John Pierce of Baptists Today observed in reviewing Burleson’s new book, Hardball Religion: Feeling the Fury of Fundamentalism.

Still it is Hardball, as Burleson said in the title of his book — not saccharine zoo-animal stories — and has been played for decades, with an accumulating destruction score.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | History, Religion | , , , , | Comments Off on Dog, elephant and Southern Baptist intolerance

James Madison on where the ‘wall of separation’ applies to faith-based initiatives

Today is the anniversary of President James Madison 1811 veto of “An act incorporating the Protestant Episcopal Church in the town of Alexandria, in the District of Columbia.”

Rob Boston reminds us of Madison’s words:

“[T]he bill,” he wrote, “exceeds the rightful authority to which governments are limited by the essential distinction between civil and religious functions, and violates in particular the article of the Constitution of the United States which declares that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment.’”
. . .
“[T]he bill vests in the said incorporated church an authority to provide for the support of the poor and the education of poor children of the same, an authority which, being altogether superfluous if the provision is to be the result of pious charity, would be a precedent for giving to religious societies as such a legal agency in carrying into effect a public and civil duty.”

Boston argues that Madison would have similarly resisted the Obama administration’s current blurring of church/state lines in the faith-based initiatives.

The Anti-Defamation League is similarly concerned.

Mark Silk writes, “The [ADL] letter goes beyond the hiring issue to make it clear that additional safeguards are needed, including separation of religious and secular functions, oversight, and the assurance of secular alternatives to faith-based service provision.”

Right on target, and this is the right day to remember it.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Law, Religion | , , | Comments Off on James Madison on where the ‘wall of separation’ applies to faith-based initiatives

Nurse Ratched didn’t have modern, psychotropic drugs

Charged with using psychotropic drugs to achieve the goals of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, three former top managers of a Kern County, Calif., were arrested. The Los Angeles Times reported:

“The state attorney general’s office contended in a criminal complaint that more than 20 residents at a skilled nursing center run by the Kern Valley Healthcare District were drugged ‘for staff convenience.’ Many of them experienced side effects that included dramatic weight loss, slurred speech, tremors, loss of cognition and even psychosis, according to the complaint.”
. . .
“These people maliciously violated the trust of their patients by holding them down and forcibly administering psychotropic medications if they dared to question their care,” state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said.

“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”

You can read the entire complaint from California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s office here.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Medical Care | , | Comments Off on Nurse Ratched didn’t have modern, psychotropic drugs

Holocaust-denying bishop ordered out of Argentina



Unrepentant Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson is being booted out of Argentina, where on Feb. 9 he was dismissed as director of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) seminary in La Reja. He has 10 days to leave.

Legally, Williamson failed to declare his true job as director of a seminary on immigration forms interior ministry, but Argentine officials make it clear that his Holocaust-denials “profoundly insulted Argentine society, the Jewish community and all of humanity by denying the historic truth.”

Argentina’s Jewish population, one of the world’s largest, praised the decision.

Ordered by Pope Benedict XVI to recant, Williamson has not done so, claiming he needed time to research the issue so that he can act with sincerity. The head of Williamson’s Swiss-based society, Monsignor Bernard Fellay, said in an interview published Monday that Williamson should be given time to reconsider his denials.

There is pressure on the pope to further repudiate Williamson’s views, and time appears to be running out, now in more than one regard.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | anti-Semitism, Catholic, Nostra aetate, Pope Benedict XVI | , , , | 1 Comment