Whether motivated by sincerely-held Christian beliefs or an effort to purchase political capital with religious coin, the result is the same.
The statute is clearly unconstitutional and defence of its implementation has embroiled the state in unnecessary (and expensive) litigation.
Magistrate Judge P. Trevor Sharp recommended [.pdf] yesterday that U.S. District Court bar Forsyth County from allowing sectarian prayers at board of commissioners meetings, the Winston-Salem Journal reported today:
Sharp found that the “overwhelming frequency” of references to “Jesus, Jesus Christ, Christ or Savior” in the prayers at commissioners’ meetings indicates that the board demonstrates a “preference for Christianity over other religions by the government.”
As a result, as Religion Clause explains, “the invocations opening Forsyth County Board of Commissioners meetings violate the Establishment Clause:”
The court concluded that while the selection process strives to include a wide variety of speakers from diverse religious faiths, “it is the prayers themselves that the public ‘sees and hears,’ not the selection policy.”
Rep. Lynn C. Woolsey (D-Cal.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was displeased with the perfectly legal lobbying effort by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, who helped force anti-abortion health-reform compromises.
Although the USCCB wants health reform, but not abortion, she suggested a rewrite of IRS regulations governing nonprofit-group lobbying. They can lobby, you see, but not endorse candidates for public office.
We’re not voting her “least favorite person,” as American Papist did, but leave the rules alone. Play on.
Long sidetracked. But there is still hope for it. Melissa Rogers is still on the advisory council. Those serving with her include Frank Page, a Southern Baptist. Ultimately enough breadth in the group, and perhaps clout, to make good things happen at last?
The New York Times account of Nidal Hasan’s emails deserves careful attention. Mark Silk calls attention to Hasan’s revealing Power Point Presentation. What we see here, still, is not so much a jihadi as a man coming undone.
- Alabama Baptist State Convention twitter hash tag: #absc09
- Florida Baptist State Convention twitter hash tag: #fbc09
- Kentucky Baptist State Convention annual meeting twitter hash tag: #kbc09.
- Baptist State Convention of North Carolina twitter hash tag: #bscnc09.
- Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma twitter hash tag: #bgco09
- Tennessee Baptist Convention twitter hash tag #tbc2009
- Baptist General Convention of Texas twitter hash tag (thus far in use): #BGCT
- Louisiana Baptist Convention Pastors Conference twitter hash tag: #LBC
- Georgia Baptist Convention tweeters don’t appear to have chosen a hash tag.
- For general comment on things Baptist, the most commonly used hash tag is #baptist.
- For Southern Baptist Convention issues the most reliable hash tag is #SBC.
- For Southern Baptist Convention Great Commission Resurgence issues the most frequently used hash tag is #GCR.
- For Southern Baptist Theological Seminary issues the most frequently used hash tag is #SBTS.
Do you see others?
North Carolina Southern Baptist tweeters have anointed a hash-tag: #bscnc09.
Indeed, thus far the comments discovered thereby suggest the most puddle-wonderful state convention in decades. Maybe, ever. You can’t really tell what’s going on. But it is so very nice.
Our growing list of Discovered Baptist State Convention and Baptist-related twitter hashtags.
Assuming Nidal Hasan was driven by his religion to kill 13 and wound 31 at Fort Hood is akin to judging Christianity by the actions Timothy McVeigh, who was executed for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing which killed 168 people.
So argued Bruce Prescott, executive director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists on his Nov. 8 “Religious Talk [mp3]” radio program. He said:
The problem is with the individual. It’s not with the faith.
This is really, really upsetting, because this reall violates the tenets and the principles of my faith, and I believe of Islam. And it is very unfortunate that this happened. But we shouldn’t use it as an issue of religion, and it shouldn’t be framed in that way. I think it concerns some greater issues, such as mental health and the harmful consequences of war. There are many Muslims that proudly and patriotically serve in the American military. About 20,000.
. . .
There’s a verse in the Quran that speaks to this, that if you kill one innocent human being, it’s as if you have killed all of humanity. Conversely, if you have saved one innocent life, it’s as if you have saved all of humanity. It shows the sanctity of human life in the Quran, and it mentions this many, many times.
Prescott and Hashmi touched on the “fear mongering” of the “extreme right wing” in response to the Texas tragedy.
The independent Associated Baptist Press
both failed to report that in its mentioned a reference to Islamophobia in its account of the interview, and subsequently imported the rightist view from the blog of Bryan Fischer, director of issues analysis for the American Family Association. They quoted Fischer as writing, “This is not Islamophobia. It is Islamo-realism.”
Our view of the incident is here.