Southern Religion

Graph: Whither truth in 2009?

Truth came out last with only 18% of the claims examined by PolitiFact last year evaluating as simply”true.”


December 23, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , | Comments Off on Graph: Whither truth in 2009?

Is the USCCB a staple from approving health reform?

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) says the Senate version of health reform does not go far enough in limiting abortion.

Howard M. Friedman, primary author of the blog Religion Clause, explains why.

He writes:

The Bishops’ concern seems to be that under [the current version as amended], abortion coverage will still be in some policies that receive government subsidies, so long as a separate check is written for the part of the premium applicable to that coverage. Instead, according to a Dec. 14 letter from the Bishops, they want language in the House bill that was proposed as an amendment by Sen. Ben Nelson, but was defeated by the Senate. That language provides that no federal funds could be used “to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes abortion coverage.” After that loss, Sen. Nelson negotiated the language in the Manager’s Amendment and according to AP argued that the differences were “about a staple.” By that he means that the disagreement is over whether abortion coverage — which would be paid for separately in either case — would be a part of the subsidized policy (not acceptable to the Bishops) or in a separate rider stapled to it (acceptable to the Bishops).

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Health | , , | Comments Off on Is the USCCB a staple from approving health reform?

Huckabee endorses a candidate who was going to promise not to run

S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer was going to promise not to run in return for being appointed governer if Gov. Mark Sanford resigned after his Appalachian Trail hike to Argentina.

The odd ploy failed and Bauer, who in a recent poll is tied with Attorney General Henry McMaster (both at 22%) and losing to “no answer” (28%) in the race for the S.C. Republican gubernatorial nomination, was endorsed yesterday by former Southern Baptist pastor Mike Huckabee.

That has attracted some attention of LGBT blogs for various reasons, a little from the mainstream press and not much notice from political blogs.

Huckabee’s endorsement looks like payback since the Methodist former Irmo (S.C.) High School varsity cheerleader, then Lt. Gov., endorsed Huckabee for president in 2008.

Go, guys?

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Politics, SBC | , , , | Comments Off on Huckabee endorses a candidate who was going to promise not to run

Sumptiousness at Southwestern Theological Seminary

Such seminary training prepares one to lead parishioners where? Recommended reading. Don’t skip a word. Helps to know who Benajah Harvey Carroll, L. R. Scarborough, E.D. Head and Robert E. Naylor are and a little about what they did, before you start.

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Religion, SBC | , | Comments Off on Sumptiousness at Southwestern Theological Seminary

Disciples World is logging off and closing down

After eight years of distinguished effort, Disciples World magazine has joined the slow parade of religious publications into oblivion. It has succumbed to “declining subscription and advertising revenue and charitable gifts.” Not only has it ceased print publication but also the Web site will log off, forever.

It announced on Dec. 16:

By unanimous action of its board of directors, DisciplesWorld, Inc., is dissolving and winding down. The corporation will liquidate its assets to attempt to meet obligations to creditors. Any donations received will be used to pay those obligations.

The associated story said:

DisciplesWorld won numerous awards from the Associated Church Press, a trade association for religious publications. Following its first year, DisciplesWorld received second place in the “Acorn Award” category for best new publication. In 2006, 2007, and 2008, it placed second in the “Best in Class” category for denominational magazines, and in 2008 it won the top award for editorial courage for the January/February 2008 issue on the ordination of gays and lesbians.

The magazine’s subject matter included controversial issues such as war, gun control, and immigration. In November 2008, the editors devoted an entire issue to the survivors of the Jonestown mass suicide in Guyana, 30 years after the tragedy.

Faced with declining revenue from subscriptions, donations, and advertising, DisciplesWorld came close to shutting down in 2007 and again in 2008. In early 2009, the magazine received a major grant to formulate new strategies to adapt to the changing publishing landscape. DisciplesWorld had planned to re-launch its website in January 2010 with expanded features, including the ability for site users to post news articles and share content.

The Web site will remain in place during the wind-down period.


December 23, 2009 Posted by | WWW | , , , , | Comments Off on Disciples World is logging off and closing down

Ugandan pastors shoot back (inaccurately) at Rick Warren

Monday the very new Ugandan National Task Force Against Homosexuality shot back at Rick Warren, demanding an apology for his letter to fellow pastors in Uganda condemning the proposed Uganda law that would imprison and in in some cases execute homosexuals.

A letter signed by the 20 members and published on Martin Ssempa’s Web site said:

Your letter has caused great distress and the pastors are demanding that you issue a formal apology for insulting the people of Africa by your very inapropriate (sic) bully use of your church and purpose driven pulpits to coerse us into the ‘evil’ of Sodomy and Gaymorrah (sic).

It is a rewrite of a letter sent to Christianity Today last week by the group’s chairman, Ssempa (a “former Bush Administration favorite“). Parts of Ssempa’s letter are included verbatim in the Task Force letter.

For example, both letters say:

As you yourself say about evil, – “the Bible says evil has to be opposed. Evil has to be stopped. The Bible does not say negotiate with evil. It says stop it. Stop evil.”

The task force letter shares errors and misleading language with Ssempa’s original, whose claims are compared to the text of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill by Warren Throckmorton.

Both letters say that the purpose of the bill is to protect “the boy child” in the same that the law protects “the girl child.” As Throckmorton points out, that overlooks the opening section of the bill, “which states the purpose.” The law is intended to eliminate homosexuality from Uganda by eliminating practice or speech intended to support homosexuals.

Ssempa’s letter is properly castigated by GayUgand for “Lying,” and the Task Force letter is vulnerable to essentially the same criticisms.

If factual accuracy were the principal issue, the debate would be over and the Ugandan pastors would have helped consign the anti-gay legislation to a permanent spot on the trash heap of history.


Tony Cartledge gently comments on the letter:

The intemperate use of bad puns like “Sodomy and Gaymorrah” and the suggestion that Warren is trying to coerce anyone into a homosexual lifestyle says a lot about the level of discourse, which has apparently been encouraged in part by visiting U.S. evangelists other than Warren (according to this article at, folks who echo the same tired mantra that tolerance of homosexuality will be the death of civilization.

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Law, Politics, Religion | , , , , | 1 Comment

Mexico City

First in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage.

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Law | , | Comments Off on Mexico City