Southern Religion

Prayers for Southern Baptist Women

On behalf of gifted Southern Baptist women: asks Southern Baptists to:

  1. Pray for women pastors and for women who are being called into ministry.
  2. Pray for a softening of the heart of the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention toward women in the United States.
  3. Start an email cell group which would commit to pray and to enlist others.

Unusual (in our experience the email cells are) and sound strategy.

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Churches, Religion | , , , , | Comments Off on Prayers for Southern Baptist Women

Anonymous FBC Jax Watchdog ‘muzzled’ for the time being



Advised to fall silent about First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., “until certain on-going events run their course,” the Watchdog has proclaimed himself “muzzled.”

Watchdog promises to tell his story then, and it sounds both interesting and illustrative of what can befall anonybloggers:

When I tell my story, it will be the entire story of what has occured regarding this blog, the legal proceedings, Comcast subpoenas, field reports, official JSO trespass warnings … all of it. It isn’t pretty, and many people will be sorely disappointed at what has transpired in the last few months behind the scenes.

Public-spirited anonymous blogging deserves our support and defense. After all:

Do we not protect the discourse itself by protecting this one blogger?

A collapse of anonymity appears to have led to this silence — a caesura in self-expression about matters which at every step have appeared to be legitimate public concerns.

Do not look here for a celebration of such silence.

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Churches, Law, Religion, WWW | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Remember being 9 with your Easy-Bake Oven (Mommy/MDs excommunicated)?

Allison Hantschell writes:


I had an Easy-Bake Oven, when I was 9. It made tiny cupcakes and itty-bitty cookies, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I read about the girl in Brazil.

I don’t know her name, but she’s 9 years old, living in Brazil. Brutally raped by her stepfather, multiple times over a period of years, and finally impregnated with twins.

Nine years old. And instead of playing baseball, or learning numbers, or baking tiny cupcakes and itty-bitty cookies, this little girl is at the center of a worldwide controversy over the Roman Catholic Church, its views on abortion, and, above all, the role of mercy and the incoherence of men.

Raped by a parent until precocious adolescence led to pregnancy, and the church at last took action . . . .


Brazil’s Archbishop Emeritus Jose Cardoso Sobrinho takes anti-abortion political stance and church officials argue that the abortion was not a medical necessity.

02/24/2010Archbishop Fisichella Stands His Ground:

Five members of the 145-member Pontifical Academy for Life, which Fisichella heads, circulated a letter calling for his resignation. And he isn’t going to resign, apologize or lend further ink to his critics. Why <a href="“>the uproar?

Archbishop Fisichella’s alleged sin was to write in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, that the public declaration of the already automatic excommunications [in Brazil] was “hasty” and the nine-year-old girl, whose life was saved by the abortion of twins she was physically unequipped to have, “should have been above all defended, embraced, treated with sweetness to make her feel that we were all on her side, all of us, without distinction.”

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Religion | , , | Comments Off on Remember being 9 with your Easy-Bake Oven (Mommy/MDs excommunicated)?

Nurturing a community of civil Southern Baptist theological discourse

Southern Baptist blog-world need not be a sometime verbal brawl. Enid, Okla., pastor Wade Burleson, whose blog is well-known and who has been on the receiving end of considerable harshness, has (in our humble view) a good idea.

He’s talking “out loud” in his blog space about how “many Southern Baptists can debate theological issues with a spirit of grace, never demeaning those who disagree, while displaying a humility that conveys they don’t feel they always have all the right answers.”

Positive examples are offered, the existence of the negative noted, and the benefits of civil discourse underlined.

All of which sounds (to us) dangerously like old-fashioned, humility-rich Christian courtesy. Can that thrive in the Southern Baptist blogosphere?

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Churches, Religion, WWW | , , , | Comments Off on Nurturing a community of civil Southern Baptist theological discourse

Turning an opportunistic Page

Christa Brown called Frank Page out on his uncorrected 2007 abuse of the victims of clerical sexual predation. In an article for the Florida Baptist Witness entitled “Guarding against sexual abuse in the church,” he wrote:

. . . please realize that there are groups who claim to be one thing when in reality they are another. It would be great if the many groups who are claiming to be groups of advocacy and encouragement in ministry were that which they claim. Please be aware that there are groups that are nothing more than opportunistic persons who are seeking to raise opportunities for personal gain.

Such sweeping assaults are generally a ham-handed politician’s attempt to tar everyone in sight who disagrees with him/her. Neither clarification nor apology and retraction = irresponsibility.

It’s all part of the heritage the former Southern Baptist Convention president took with him to President Obama’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships advisory council.

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Churches, Religion | , , , | Comments Off on Turning an opportunistic Page

Decades later in response to a Holocaust denial …

Irena’s Vow reminds us of how buried memories, hers heroic and deserving our celebration, erupt irretrievably back into present consciousness.

March 17, 2009 Posted by | anti-Semitism, Catholic, Churches, Religion | Comments Off on Decades later in response to a Holocaust denial …