Southern Religion

Taitz fined $20,000 for willfully abusing her right to practice law

David Weigel writes:

The “Birther queen” has been slapped with a five-figure fine for “wasting the judicial resources” of the Middle District of Georgia, where she’d filed one of her numerous lawsuits demanding that President Obama prove his citizenship before deploying soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan. The judgment, which calls Taitz’s case and tactics “delusional”:

Read the full decision:



October 13, 2009 Posted by | Politics | | 1 Comment

Old Testament scholarship tempest, meet blogosphere teapot

Broken News: Old Testament scholar says proper translation of the Hebrew says God created man, the animals, etc … but the heavens and earth already existed.

Prof [Ellen] Van Wolde, 54, who will present a thesis on the subject at Radboud University in The Netherlands where she studies, said she had re-analysed the original Hebrew text and placed it in the context of the Bible as a whole, and in the context of other creation stories from ancient Mesopotamia.

She said she eventually concluded the Hebrew verb “bara”, which is used in the first sentence of the book of Genesis, does not mean “to create” but to “spatially separate”.

The first sentence should now read “in the beginning God separated the Heaven and the Earth”

She’s a serious scholar and as J.F. Hobbins observes at Ancient Hebrew Poetry, her basic findings are hardly new. Her interpretation is interesting. We’ll see how her fellow scholars respond.

Otherwise, Richard may have temporarily stretched a mind or two, and that’s good, but the earth has been neither shaken nor stirred.

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , | Comments Off on Old Testament scholarship tempest, meet blogosphere teapot

Bearing Nobel disappointments

Hillary Rodham Clinton must be silently disappointed at being only the third woman secretary of state not to receive a Nobel Peace Prize during her first year of service.

Joe Biden has to be silently grieving his fate as “the first beardless Democratic vice president of this century to not win the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Richard Land pitched a fit, however. The head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said Oct. 10 on his radio program, “I think the Nobel Prize committee is trying to lobby this president to pull him in an even more left-wing direction by giving him the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Was Land disappointed that the Nobel Committee passed on an opportunity to give the award to a third Southern Baptist? (Counting Jimmy Carter, who when named still hadn’t split with the SBC.) Or disoriented from his Florida venture into reality denial? Certainly he was not speaking ex cathedra as he did in 2006 when declaring Southern Baptist support for then-President G.W. Bush.

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Obama, Religion, SBC | Comments Off on Bearing Nobel disappointments

American Papist & ‘condom couture’

Condoms, we covered in detail after Pope Benedict XVI unconstructively claimed they “can even increase the problem” of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). And thought we were through with the subject for a while, until American Papist turned our heads with a a condomized fashion show put on at the Columbus College of Art and Design.

Held Oct. 1 at the Columbus, Ohio, Bar of Modern Art – the renovated 1898 First Baptist Church – that show was a celebration of Planned Parenthood’s 77th anniversary and entitled “Condom Couture.”

Betsy Melick of The Chimes student newspaper wrote:

Twelve students from the Columbus College of Art and Design have proven your health teachers wrong-there is more than one way to wear a condom.

Pictured is what Melick termed the “especially impressive design” by Rachel Kaplan, who made “a pair of skin-tight black leggings entirely from condoms and paired them with a feminine aqua-blue top.”

See others here.

Catholic views on condom use in Africa are a matter of ongoing debate, notably with the Second African Synod meeting in Rome until Oct. 25.

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Health, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion | Comments Off on American Papist & ‘condom couture’

Fact-free Land

Richard Land’s Sept. 26 speech to the Christian Coalition of Fla. was distinguished by its disregard for the truth. Ignoring nonpartisan fact checking (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) and history itself, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission head Land said of health insurance reform efforts:

I want to put it to you bluntly. What they are attempting to do in healthcare, particularly in treating the elderly, is not something like what the Nazis did. It is precisely what the Nazis did.

There is loose within the liberal culture which dominates the Democratic Party and dominates our government at present, a biological bigotry that is feeding a euthanasia mentality.

The Nazis said people should be euthanized when they had lives unworthy of life. … Well, at the very least Dr. Emanuel, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, [Sen.] Max Baucus and President Obama are saying that some people have lives less worthy of life. And the older you are, the sicker you are, the less valuable your life is and the more likely they want to terminate your care.

Florida Baptist Witness Executive Editor James A. Smith Jr.’s decision to report Land’s barrage of false claims with no attention to the well-established facts was a failure of journalistic integrity. But the principal failure was still Land’s.

Professor of history emeritus at Indiana State University Richard V. Pierard wrote in response:

His action goes beyond the unprincipled behavior of such foul mouthpieces of the right as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. We know that they are ideologues who make big money by spewing their poison over the airwaves and in books consumed by their disciples. Land calls himself a Christian, a Baptist and a historian. I too accept all of these labels and feel he has disgraced them.

Land has distinguished himself in recent years by name-calling and falsehood. In constrast with his triumphant claims to have successfully promoted Sarah Palin as a vice presidential nominee, his latest efforts reek of desperation.

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Religion, SBC | , , | 1 Comment