Southern Religion

NAMB error distorted GCR strategy (rethinking . . . . . . . . . . ) [O Rly? Update]

Feb. 22’s Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) interim report shocked Southern Baptist Conventioneers (SBC) with news that two-thirds of their missions money is spent in the old south. That meant they were spending the most money to spread the faith where they’re already strongest. Bad.

Those dismal numbers were wrong, North Carolina Biblical Recorder Editor Norman Jameson explained in his blog today.

Actually, “53 percent of NAMB missionaries serve outside the old south states,” according to Jameson's parsing of numbers in a correction issued by the SBC's North American Mission Board, from whence those numbers come.

Re-reconsideration (it has already been considered and reconsidered by the Southern Baptist Blogosphere (SBB)) of the GCR may begin.

Update Surprise

GCRTF chairman Ronnie Floyd sought to minimize the importance of the error. GCR documents have been revised to correct for the error, but Cooperative Programs funds were the major concern of the task force, he told Baptist Press. Specifically:

“[W]e spend 2/3 of the Cooperative Program dollars on 1/3 of the population and conversely spend only 1/3 of the Cooperative Program dollars on 2/3 of the population in the United States,” Floyd said.

Whereupon Southern Baptist Conventioneers heaved in unison a mighty sigh of “O Rly?” (And wondered silently what the big Tuesday conference call would reveal).


March 15, 2010 Posted by | SBC | , | Comments Off on NAMB error distorted GCR strategy (rethinking . . . . . . . . . . ) [O Rly? Update]

Don’t take the Beck bait (he’s trolling for you)

Pastor Dan agrees that Glenn Beck is a troll. As we said. And having offered one obligatory response, we’re taking the Pastor Dan pledge: “Ignore Glenn Beck and don’t buy crappy products from his crappy sponsors.”

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , | Comments Off on Don’t take the Beck bait (he’s trolling for you)

Silence at the expense of the innocent

Amid Vatican attempts to minimize clerical sexual abuse comes word that Ireland’s most senior Catholic cleric helped conceal and so continue the four-decade criminal career of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Cardinal Sean Brady admits he was at a meeting where children abused by Smyth were forced to take a vow of silence as part of the coverup. Brady, as a priest and Vatican-trained canon lawyer in 1975 when he interviewed the two children — “one a 10-year-old altar boy, the other a 14-year-old girl.”

Brady never told police about the crimes of which he was aware. He speaks of it now only because he is compelled to by a Dubline lawsuit filed by “Helen McGonigle, 48, who says Smyth repeatedly molested her four decades ago in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.”

As as result of that and other actions, Smyth continued to exploit the trust of his role in the church to molest and rape scores of children in Britain, Ireland and in American dioceses. It was British authorities in Northern Ireland who finally demanded Smyth’s arrest in 1994. He died behind bars.

Yet L’Osservatore Romano stressed last week in a front page editorial, “For the love of truth, the number of incidents involving clergy is very small.” How small? Both the Smyth coverup, the history of the similar scandal on this continent and the progression of revelations sweeping Europe illustrate that we don’t know what the numbers are. Even if we did, the relative numbers would not be the central issue. The issue is the systematic, deliberate, globe-spanning betrayal of trust, which produced a slaughter of the innocents as the resulting psychiatric complications led to the suicide of victims.

The Smyth case offers well-documented examples.

Smyth made priestly instruction of the young who came into his care a nightmare of rape. The Irish Tribune News reports::

In 2006, McGonigle notified the diocese of Providence of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Smyth in Rhode Island . She was informed that she was the sixth person to come forward but there was “no pastoral reason” for making this information public. “I have since located two other victims of Smyth from our parish. I know of a third, a neighbour and my sister’s friend, and if I count my sister, that makes at least nine children. Smyth was caught molesting children at our parish in early 1968, sent to a mental hospital and allowed to return to reoffend. To my knowledge there are two major groupings of us. Those aged six and seven who were one-on-one with Smyth in preparation for taking the sacrament of penance, and those five years older preparing for confirmation.”

The consequences for McGonigle and her family illustrate the price in blood and horror of that kind of priestly abuse of trust. The Irish Tribune News explains:

He also sexually abused her elder sister Kathleen under the pretence of preparing her for the sacrament of penance. Kathleen and Helen’s brother Gerard both died from fatal drug overdoses as a result of the abuse Smyth perpetrated against her family. Her mother also spent time in a mental institution before her death because of the actions of the paedophile priest.

What of other, still undisclosed victims? The Catholic church has refused to release the late priest’s “assignment record” in the US, detailing the parishes where Smyth served. Nor has the Catholic church released the complete list of other, similarly transferred priests and their assignment records. Although a partial list as been accumulated by Thus the variously-explainedwall of silence‘ continues.

It is a canard to argue that pursuit of the truth in these matters is “Campaign Against the Pope.” That sounds like a demand for silence as each church explanation raises additional questions. After all, silence is what the church enforced for decades, at the expense of the innocent victims.

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, children, Crime | , , | Comments Off on Silence at the expense of the innocent

‘Maafa 21’ insults its audience

Maafa 21 was brought to our attention in a comment which telegraphed its propagandistic intentions. The attendant distortions and errors are examined Michelle Goldberg found in her review.

Startling to anyone who read Gunnar Myrdal’s work when it was first published and fought through the controversy over it at the time is Maafa 21’s abuse of it:

Maafa 21 moves from distortion to outright deception in its treatment of Gunnar Myrdal, a Nobel Prize-winning economist who, with his wife, Alva Myrdal, championed family planning and pioneered Sweden’s social democracy. In the film, Connie Eller, who is identified only as a “St. Louis community organizer,” but who is actually the founder of Missouri Blacks For Life, discusses Myrdal’s 1944 book An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. Myrdal, says Eller, “believed that not only could blacks not help themselves, he felt that nobody could help them, and the only solution in his eyes was to get rid of them.”

This is an outrageous distortion. Myrdal was initially commissioned to undertake a large-scale study of race in America by the Carnegie Corporation, whose leaders wanted the fresh eyes of a foreigner. He was horrified by segregation and by the conditions African Americans were forced to endure. He concluded that racism was a “problem in the heart of the American,” one that pitted the American creed of freedom and equality against American reality. An American Dilemma was an anti-racist opus; it was cited in the Brown v. the Board of Education decision; one of Myrdal’s collaborators on the project was Ralph Bunche, who later worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement. Maafa 21 quotes descriptions of the mindsets of white racists in a way that implies that they’re Myrdal’s own views. It’s an ugly trick, and a mendacious one.

Read the entire review here.

March 15, 2010 Posted by | children, Politics | , , | Comments Off on ‘Maafa 21’ insults its audience

Richard Land misfires on HCR (again)

His Nazi libels and “death panels” prevarications failed to stop health reform, so Southern Baptist Convention ethics czar Richard Land found other ways to mislead.

In the key passage of an email begging Southern Baptists for telephone opposition, he said:

“If this bill passes, it will mean federal funding of abortion, a nearly half-trillion-dollar cut to Medicare, heavy taxes on individuals and businesses, higher premiums, and strong government control that will inevitably lead to a decline in patient care,” Land said.

Taking his points in order …

  1. “None” is the amount of “federal funding for abortion” found in an expert assessment by Washington and Lee law professor Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, whom Mark Silk describes as “an ardent pro-lifer who’s an expert on abortion and health care.”
  2. Senior scare is what calls the alleged “half trillion dollar cut to medicare.” Pulitzer Prize winning is no more complimentary.
  3. “Backward” is how he got it in predicting “heavy taxes.” Obama’s plan “cuts government spending.”
  4. “Strong government control” like that imposed by the Republican-spawned Massachusetts plan — RomneyCare, “implemented by former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney?”
  5. “Decline in patient care” = more scare words and the opposite is what helped inspired Catholic Health Association President Sr. Carol Keehan, DC to say “it is time for health reform.” As Jost explains, the Senate bill provides more care for those who need it worst. Not less.

Srsly, Brother Land.

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Health, Law, Obama, Politics, SBC | , , | 2 Comments