Southern Religion

Another Christian woman gives up second-class citizenship

Born into a Roman Catholic family and educated by nuns, Irish broadcast journalist Olivia O’Leary left over the church’s refusal to ordain women. According to the Belfast Telegraph:

“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.”

Unlike churches in the shrinking Southern Baptist Convention (as it is for the moment still named), where a slow parade of churches embrace expulsion by accepting women pastors.

The pursuit by women of equality where it is denied them appears to be as sweepingly nondenominational as it is relentless.

December 26, 2011 Posted by | Catholic, Religion, SBC, Uncategorized, Women | | 3 Comments

Yes, there are …

Yes, there are better ways than adroit theatrical fibbing to help your children with the secular myths of Christmas.

December 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Comments Off on Yes, there are …

Richard Land’s embrace of Peter King’s Muslim McCarthyism

The Souther Baptist Convention’s Richard Land struck an “innocent until proven guilty” pose in defense of Republican Rep. Peter King’s hearings on the “radicalization” of Muslims in the United States.

The Christian Post reported:

Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, praised the upcoming meetings for allowing Muslim leaders to separate themselves from Islamic terrorists and establish their loyalty to the United States.

“This is a great opportunity for the Muslim community to come forward and denounce terrorism,” Land told The Christian Post on Monday.

The long-time religious freedom expert said he would advise Muslim leaders to reject the acts of American terrorists – such as that of Faisal Shahzad, who attempted to detonate a car bomb in Times Square – and to aid authorities to stop the recruitment of American Muslims by terrorist groups.

“If they (Muslims) don’t do that and attack the questioning, they’re exacerbating the problem,” Land said.

Land and King use the term “Muslim community” in the same McCarthyite way, as William Saletan explains:

Through this phrase—the “Muslim community”—King has casually substituted unnamed Muslim “leaders” for Muslim citizens as representatives of American Islam. Yesterday on MSNBC, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post told King, “You have alleged that the Muslim American community has not been forthcoming in helping law enforcement officials deal with radicalization.” King replied: “I talk to cops and counterterrorism people on the ground all the time, and they get virtually no cooperation.” Robinson accused King of assuming “that the Muslim American community, a religious minority in this country, is somehow abetting and aiding and giving shelter to this process of radicalization, when that is clearly not the truth.” King shot back: “It is the truth.”

No it isn’t the truth.

A study released in February by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security (a combined effort by Duke University, the University of North Carolina and the Research Triangle Institute) found that:

  1. The “number of Muslim-Americans engaged in terrorist acts” is declining. It fell “from 18 in 2009 to 10 in 2010.”
  2. When Muslim-American terrorist suspects were brought to the attention of U.S. officials, “the largest single source of initial information (48 of 120 cases) involved tips from the Muslim-American community.”

King has responded to the study with claims that off-the-record sources report the opposite. Thus neither the existence of King’s sources, nor if they exist their credibility, can be examined.

Too convenient, and so not persuasive.

As a result the onus is still on King, and therefore on Land, to demonstrate that there are in fact truly compelling reasons for the hearings, which begin Thursday.

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on Richard Land’s embrace of Peter King’s Muslim McCarthyism


December 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Comments Off on HISTÓRIA DO NATAL DIGITAL

Cindy McCain joins the NOH8 campaign

November 12, 2010 Posted by | Religion, SBC, Uncategorized | , , | Comments Off on Cindy McCain joins the NOH8 campaign

‘Appointment with death’ cards anger NZ elderly

Death date appointment card received by New Zealander Richard Lawson

Death-date appointment cards, once sold by California-based Ray Comfort’s Living Waters Web site, provoked outrage when they began showing up in the mail of elderly New Zealanders. At least one contacted the police. Joanne Carroll of The New Zealand Herald wrote:

The cards ask recipients to predict the date and time of their death and advise them to get in touch with evangelists to avoid going to hell.

Waiheke resident Marianne Taylor, 89, was shocked to receive an “appointment card” in the post last week. The card, published by, was addressed to her by name and asked her to fill in the date and time of her death.

Richard Lawson of North Shore City in Auckland, N.Z.

Liz Willis of the North Shore Times wrote:

Mr Comfort replied to an emailed request for comment, apologising for any offence caused by the card that he published in the United States years ago.

“We have published over 100 million gospel tracts and very rarely are people shocked by them. My intention was simply to remind those who read it, that all of us are going to die, and that God offers us the gift of everlasting life,” Mr Comfort says.

In his book, The Evidence Bible, Comfort urged the use of “fear of death” as a conversion tool:

Here is how to use the tool when speaking to an unsaved person: Let’s assume the average person dies at 70 years old. If you are 20 years old, you have just 2,500 weekends left to live. If you have just turned 30, you have just 2,000 weekends until the day you die. If you are 40 years old, you have only 1,500 weekends left. If you are 50 you have just 1,000 weekends and if you are 60, you have a mere 500 weekends left until the day death comes to you.

Comfort was born in New Zealand but his strategies are “something we don’t need in New Zealand,” one card recipient said.

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on ‘Appointment with death’ cards anger NZ elderly

‘The Baptist connection in the Eddie Long story’

Christa Brown explains the dangerous lack of Baptist accountability which is central to the scandal surrounding independent Baptist Eddie Brown.


Rather than dodging the “Baptist” part of the church’s identity, the media ought to be asking why it is so easy for a preacher to make use of the “Baptist” name. And when people see other Baptists trying to suddenly disclaim a scandal-plagued “Baptist” preacher as being “not a typical Baptist,” they should realize the weakness of the “Baptist” brand. It’s a name that can be attached to almost any preacher and any church.

And when something goes wrong, there is no one who will take responsibility or exercise oversight. As Baptist historian Timothy Weber once said, when things go wrong in Baptistland, “there is no there, out there.”

In 2002, renowned religion writer Terry Mattingly wrote one of the most concise explanations of Baptistland’s “no accountability” problem that I have ever seen. The headline for his column was “Where does the Baptist buck stop?” And the answer he gave was essentially this: Nowhere.

Read the entire piece here.

October 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on ‘The Baptist connection in the Eddie Long story’

NPR: Church tackles sex abuse by Eddie Long and others

Garland’s cross-denominational study

Why predatory clergy flourish

Sexually abusive pastor profile and technique

On NPR, Baylor’s Diana Garland, co-author of “How Sexual Misconduct Happens,” and Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, clinical associate professor of Pastoral Studies at Catholic University, address how church tackles sex abuse by clergy.

They address both the problem in general and the Eddie Long case.

Garland’s study found that the problem cuts across denominational lines.

Listen to the interview here.

October 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

It’s what you do, not what you say

Christ Brown responds with understandable anger to Southern Baptist pastor Sam Underwood’s preachment about his visit to Dachau.

She argues clearly that in her youthful experience as a victim of clerical sexual abuse by a youth and education minister at the church where Underwood currently pastors, his actions belie his words.

Read her account here.

September 8, 2010 Posted by | children, Crime, SBC, Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on It’s what you do, not what you say

Scientology founder’s view of women

L. Ron Hubbard’s take on women has been edited out of the reprint of Scientology: A New Slant on Life. No doubt Nevada GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle knew nothing about it when she pushed a Scientology-endorsed prison rehabilitation program.

From the Village Voice, we see that Hubbard wrote:

A society in which women are taught anything but the management of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation is a society which is on its way out.

That’s certainly a step back past the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, for example. Although there is ongoing debate, underlined by apparent shifts in position, about full implications of even that.

June 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment