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Southern Religion

After the fall

Republicans not only lost, public opinion is shifting toward the enacted health care reform [USA TODAY/Gallup Poll] and they must decide what to do, as Newsweek headlines it, “After the Fall.”

Will Republicans follow those who helped lead them into this abyss by, say, raving about the Battle of Midway?

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March 23, 2010 Posted by | Health, Medical Care, Politics | , | 1 Comment

Wiley Drake goes after all 219 who voted for health reform

Wiley Drake, the former Southern Baptist Convention second vice president who used to pray for President Obama to die, is now praying for the death of the 219 House members who voted for health care reform.

John Avlon reports at The Daily Beast:

Orange Country Pastor Wiley Drake fired off an email to his supporters this morning, telling them that all 219 Democrats have been placed on the “imprecatory prayer list.” “We’ll remember in November and pray Psalms 109 while waiting,” he urged, before listing each offending congressman by name in “Satan’s domain in Washington D.C.”

Just for the record, this isn’t a standard Southern Baptist practice. Back in May, Sing Oldham, vice president for convention relations with the SBC Executive Committee, observed:

I think it is fair to say that the vast majority of Southern Baptists reject any call to pray imprecatory prayers of death over any individual.

Or group of elected officials.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | SBC | | 1 Comment

Waterloo, not Pearl Harbor

Debated for a year, health reform has in the mind of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission chief somehow become an aircraft carrier-based surprise attack:

Liberals across America are rejoicing today over their ‘historic’ victory. My message to them is, ‘Enjoy it while you can.’ This was a Pyrrhic victory of epic proportions. The Japanese pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor won a ‘historic’ victory as well. Their celebrations were cut short six months later when most of them were killed at the Battle of Midway.

Richard Land’s curious view of World War II also came up in September, when he misappropriated Holocaust images to assault Obamacare. You may recall that he attracted attention as far away as Jerusalem with that, and was was driven to apologize at the time.

Land has a penchant for the counterfactual, and was joined in that on occasion this week by Baptist Press, which for example wrote:

The House of Representatives barely passed a controversial health-care bill Sunday, deeply disappointing pro-life Americans who hoped a small group of Democrats would block legislation they say will permit federal funding of abortion and likely increase the rate of the procedure.

Yet both Catholic and protestant pro-life Americans were famously divided on the issue, with pro-life/faith leaders applauding the Senate bill as pro-life. Thus some pro-life Americans were disappointed by the 219-212 House approval of health reform. While at the same time, some pro-life Americans celebrated passage.

Land’s radical denialism helped create the circumstances he seeks, with more of the same failed strategy, to undo. Former Bush speech writer David Frum has both commented on the magnitude of the defeat and explained that the legislation is effectively immune to repeal:

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

As for the voter outrage about which Land speculates, it isn’t there except perhaps in a radical minority, and isn’t likely to emerge. As Nate Silver accurately observes today, “history suggests that endeavors of this nature (Medicare, Social Security, Romneycare) generally become popular and are appreciated by the large majority of voters once they become law.”

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Health, Politics, SBC | , , | 3 Comments