Southern Religion

Judge bans South Carolina Christian-style car plate

U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie has, BBC reports, ruled that an auto license plate approved by the state legislature violates First Amendment separation of church and state. She said:

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.

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Religion, SBC | | 1 Comment

Ruling recommends against sectarian prayer at Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ meetings

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.”

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Law, Politics, Religion | | Comments Off

Rep. Woolsey pushes back on anti-abortion health reform changes

Not a good point to toss into the currents of calculated confusion and induced paranoia about hate-crime threats to free pulpit speech, Lynn.

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.

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Churches, Health | | Comments Off

Obama’s Office of Faith-Based Partnerships has a Web site and blog

Office of Faith-Based Partnerships finally has an official Web site, and a blog written by Joshua DuBois.

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?

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Obama, Religion, WWW | , | Comments Off

Email from the edge and a revealing power point

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.

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Law | , | Comments Off

State Baptist Convention twitter hash tags [Updated]

Baptist Hashtags:

Do you see others?

Let us know.

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized, WWW | , | Comments Off

Sweet BSCNC hash tag

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.

November 10, 2009 Posted by | SBC, WWW | , | 3 Comments

BSCNC has (invisible?) staff blogging/social networking guidelines

What are the shiny, new Baptist State Convention of North Carolina staff blogging policies, we wonder?

The BSCNC account of yesterday’s action says uninformatively:

Davis also brought to the EC a policy about blogging and the use of social networking media. This policy will guide BSCNC staff as they seek to establish blogs and maintain blogs, and utilize social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) related to their work in BSCNC ministries. The EC approved this policy and it will be included in the BSCNC staff personnel manual.

Norman Jameson’s account in the N.C. Biblical Recorder was more timely and reports even less. Does that affirm BSCNC Executive Director Milton Hollifield’s view of BR’s purpose and value? Just askin’.

November 10, 2009 Posted by | SBC, WWW | , , | Comments Off

The act of an individual, not expressive of an entire faith

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.

Prescott’s guest, Razi Hashmi, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK), said [mp3]:

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.”

Faith in Public Life’s Bold Faith Type blog published an inclusive survey of Muslim voices denouncing the Fort Hood shooting.

Our view of the incident is here.

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , , | Comments Off



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