Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Too Goddamned Tolerant 

The Southern Baptist Convention voted to withdraw today from the Baptist World Alliance, denouncing the umbrella group for its "liberal theology" and "anti-American thinking." Southern Baptists, who number 16 million, represent about a third of the World Alliance's membership:
The Rev. Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, told the meeting the problem was a liberal drift within the alliance.

Patterson said some in the group question the inerrancy of the Bible and that one U.S. member denomination, American Baptist Churches, includes a group of "gay-friendly congregations."

Graham's address as outgoing president said the 2004 "election matters because there are two different viewpoints on where this culture needs to be on the moral issues of our time."

He urged Southern Baptists to lobby Congress in favor of an anti-gay marriage amendment . . . .

A Tuesday night presentation urged congregations to join the SBC's new voter registration campaign organized by Richard Land, president of the denomination's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

"It is a disgrace that 30 percent of the members of the average Southern Baptist church are not even registered to vote," Land said. "We believe it is every Christian's responsibility."
Activists within the convention membership are also urging Southern Baptists to pull their children out of the public school system as part of a program called the "Exodus Mandate":
A Columbia-area man, E. Ray Moore, founded in 1997 the Exodus Mandate, which calls for all Christians to remove their children from “secularized” public schools.

. . . Moore and others active in Exodus Mandate think the only way to fix the school system is for Bible-believing Christians to remove their children from the classrooms.

“If even 20 percent of Americans pull their kids out of public schools, we’ll be a step closer to establishing a new model in this country,” Moore said.

Moore, a U.S. Army chaplain who runs a program called Frontline Ministries, is the author of a 2002 book, “Let My Children Go: Why Parents Must Remove Their Children from Public Schools.”

He has written and spoken extensively in recent years about how increasingly secular public schools are harmful for Christian children because they push a secular worldview and deny Christians their rights to express their religious beliefs.
I guess I needn't tell you who popped up via satellite to sponge up a little love from the base:
Laura and I are also thankful for your prayers. I have felt them at crucial hours. Your convention has a proud tradition going back to your first gathering in Augusta, Georgia almost 160 years ago. You represent more than 16 million Southern Baptists and congregations all across our country, and many others who serve as missionaries far from home. And all of you are living out the high-calling of spreading the good news and proclaiming the Kingdom of God . . . .

Last November, I signed a law to end the brutal practice of partial-birth abortion. (Applause.) This law is not only valid and constitutional, it is compassionate and urgently needed, and my administration will fight to uphold it. (Applause.)

We will also continue our support for crisis pregnancy centers, incentives for adoption and parental notification laws. I propose to double federal funding for abstinence programs in schools and community-based programs. (Applause.) And I will work with Congress to pass a comprehensive and effective ban on human cloning. (Applause.) Life is a creation of God, not a commodity to be exploited by man. (Applause.)

My administration is defending the sanctity of marriage against activist courts and local officials who want to redefine marriage forever. (Applause.) The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. And government, by strengthening and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all. So I am calling for funding for healthy marriage programs, and I support a constitutional amendment to protect marriage as a union of a man and a woman. (Applause.)

I will continue our efforts to defend the liberty of religious organizations. Faith-based charities have a right to provide publicly-funded social services, just like any other group. You see, our government should welcome faith. So I have signed an executive order allowing religious charities who seek government support to compete for funding on a level playing field. I call on Congress to codify my faith-based initiative into law, so that people of faith can know government will never discriminate against them again. (Applause.)
Bold stance on cloning there, by the way. I know it's mental-defective code for stem-cell research, but really: is there anyone out there trying to pass pro-cloning legislation?

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