The BR editor did pretend injured innocence by blaming mainstream media for “distortion,” yet it did nothing to inform its readers about the principal sources of the outrage (Chick-fil-A’s ties to anti-gay groups).
We recommend the full account here.
A private gathering of 150 unnamed religious activists tried to throw the South Carolina evangelical vote to Santorum. That gathering was held at the ranch of a Southern Baptist Convention conservative takeover heavyweight – retired Texas Judge Paul Pressler. As Interfaith Alliance head Welton Gaddy said on the Jan. 21 broadcast, it had all the hallmarks of Pressler’s manipulations of the SBC:
The eventual victors touted the movement as the “conservative resurgence” and claim that it rescued the nation’s second-largest faith group from liberalism and decline. Gaddy, who was active in SBC leadership until the 1980s, said he called it “political fundamentalism,” which he defined as “a manipulation of theological issues and church loyalty to advance purposes latched on to interests in politics, money and power.”
The politics of religion still prevailed in South Carolina, albeit without being bent to Pressler’s will by handing the primary to Rick Santorum.
Mark Silk found that the evangelicals instead chose Catholic Newt Gingrich as their alternative to Mormon Mitt Romney:
The Mormon Gap killed Mitt Romney. Defined as the percentage-point difference between the evangelical and the non-evangelical vote for a given Mormon candidate in a Republican primary, it turned out to be 16 points; i.e. Romney won 38 percent of non-evangelicals but only 22 percent of evangelicals. By contrast, Newt Gingrich won 44 percent of evangelicals, as opposed to only 33 percent of non-evangelicals.
New York University Professor Jay Rosen parses Republican views as reality vs reality-denial. Similarly, an irrational anti-Mormon religious reflex may be seen as having had a determining effect in South Carolina. It may do so again in Florida.
“David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage
Startling to some of us. Kimball covers the issues in reverent detail.
Franklin Graham (son of Billy), who got in a bit of a tangle over the “blessing” of Sarah Palin past presidential time around, has pronounced Republican hopeful Mitt Romney’s Mormonism a nonproblem. Graham said:
Yes, the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon doesn’t bother me. I think when we are voting for president we need to get the person who is absolutely the most qualified. You can have the nicest guy and he can be a Christian and just wonderful but have absolutely no clue as to how to run a country, you don’t want that.
With that view, Graham put himself opposite the head of the South Carolina Southern Baptist convention and strayed from the more commonplace Southern Baptist view.
“Graham is misleading Christians to vote against Scripture for Mormon Mitt Romney. God cannot bless us for betraying Jesus and voting for a non-Christian. No one comes to God except through Jesus-this includes the USA,” said Pastor Steven.
Pastors are concerned. Scripture forbids hosting false teachers in our homes and Graham wants one in the White House?
For Romney as for Palin, Graham may have had little political effect. Except on himself. as Charles W. Dunn, a professor of government at Regent University’s Robertson School of Government suggested to Chad Groening:
“We can understand the political nature of the statement; we can understand the constitutional nature of the statement,” he states. “But from a practical standpoint of his being a religious leader, that statement I think was unwise because he didn’t have to make it.”
With a Mormon and a twice-divorced Catholic leading the Republican field, this debate among conservative Christian activists seems destined to become more strenuous.
The Village Voice Scientology video of the year has been selected:
Over the top, don’t you think?
“No longer at my age can I accept a subordinate role; not for myself, not for my daughter, not for my sisters, my nieces or friends,” the 61-year-old current affairs presenter declared.
She added that other women had walked out of the church a long time ago.
“Maybe I just kept hoping,” she added.
She was provoked to a recent, detailed on-air explanation by an interview with American Catholic theologian and intellectual George Weigel. She was unimpressed, explaining:
“He [Mr Weigel] gave the same old non-reasons for the refusal of the church to ordain women, ‘we have different tasks, different gifts’ . . . ‘God made men and women different for a reason’.”
Ms O’Leary continued: “At this stage I don’t feel rage so much as weariness — that ‘difference’ is still latched onto as a reason to discriminate; weariness and, for me, relief, that it’s all over now. I’ve moved on out.”
She now attends the Church of Ireland (part of the Anglican Communion) where “I can stand tall because the Church of Ireland, whether I join it or not, accepts my full humanity. It ordains women.”
The pursuit by women of equality where it is denied them appears to be as sweepingly nondenominational as it is relentless.
The Washington Post does a fine job here, starting with the myth that Christmas is the most important Christian holiday.
Adelle M. Banks of Religion News Service seems to think the message is clear:
“The Chaplains Corps’ First Amendment freedoms and its duty to care for all will not change,” reads a slide in the PowerPoint presentation, released to Religion News Service Thursday. “Soldiers will continue to respect and serve with others who may hold different views and beliefs.”
Critics familiar with the Army presentation, however, say the military is essentially telling chaplains who are theologically conservative that they are not welcome.
“U.S. Army now warning chaplains: If you don’t like the homosexual agenda, get out!” reads a headline on the website of Mass Resistance, an anti-gay group based in Waltham, Mass.
The Army doesn’t see it in such stark terms:
Lt. Col. Carleton Birch, a spokesman for the Army chief of chaplains, said about half of the military service’s 2,900 chaplains have received the training, which started in February and is likely to conclude in April.
“Our training is an opportunity for our senior chaplains to have an honest and open conversation about the repeal policy, its effects on them and their ministry,” Birch said. “And it’s going very well. … In no way are we giving the message, shape up or ship out.”
Birch said only one Army chaplain has left the service over the pending repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.