A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Most Southern Baptists STILL Support Iraq War??

According to Richard Land, head of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC, they do...
"I still think Iraq is one of the more noble things we've done. We went there to try to restore freedom and to bring freedom to the Middle East."

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted earlier this month indicated that 42 percent of white evangelicals disapprove of the job Bush has done as president. But Land contends Bush has lost less support from Southern Baptists than "virtually any other constituency." The Nashville-based SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. with over 16 million members. "I don't think there's any question that the vast majority of Southern Baptists still strongly support this president and his policies," Land said.

Dr. Jim West disagrees in his post - "Richard Land Does Not Speak For All Southern Baptists"

He certainly doesn’t speak for me and I know a rather impressive number of Southern Baptists for whom he also does not speak. Even if, in his more delusional moments, when he actually believes that he truly does speak for Southern Baptists, if you visit communities where soldiers have been brought home in flag draped coffins or visited Southern Baptist Churches where funerals for those dead soldiers are conducted, you will find a large number of people who would gasp at the suggestion of him speaking for them...
Why is Land lying? Because he wants to position his brand of Southern Baptist life with the far right wing of the Republican party- in hopes of wielding influence in the upcoming election. His claims are outrageous, and reprehensible.

Any honest Baptist who followed closely the 1980's Takeover of the SBC, knows Richard Land for what he is...

An Opportunist.

Land led the Fundamentalist-brigade in their decade-long struggle to defund the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. After a fifty-five year relationship, Land finally got his way as the SBC officially dissolved all financial ties with the BJC in 1991. Guess who became the new Church-State expert for the SBC? Richard Land. Guess whose organization was given most of the BJC's budget? Richard Land's. Only one person benefitted from the defunding of the Baptist Joint Committee. Richard Land was that person.

Now, the world must realize that when Richard Land says, "mosts Baptists believe," as he does, he misrepresents reality.

It's quite unfortunate that Richard Land speaks for ANY Baptists.

As Baptists committed to the cherished principle of Religious Liberty, let us remember the words of the late Foy Valentine...

In the name of George W. Truett and in the name of Liberty’s Lord, let Baptists rise up now to stop these detractors. And let Baptists with one heart, one mind, and one will raise high the banner of religious liberty/church-state separation. As Chaucer put it, if gold rust, how shall Iron be clean? What our forebears secured at great sacrifice letus not basely relinquish.


Blogger Dr. Danny Chisholm said...

Former U.S. Senator Danforth is an Episcopal priest who has a new book out. He criticizes the Republican party for allowing itself to be taken over by a religious movement. He maintains that the GOP is not so much a political party as it is a religious one. He believes Republicans and the religious right are "in bed together" and are using each other. You're touching on a subject that many of us have known about for a long time. I am still amazed (but less frequently nowadays) at how political the SBC has become. It's more amazing to note the certainty of SBC leaders in gauging the beliefs of "their" constituency. So much for separation of church and state.

7:56 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Watching SBCers like Jerry Sutton participate in events like Justice Sunday was just sickening. My Bible doesn't encourage the impeachment of judges or filibusters.

By the way, I do know Brian Wilcox. We lived next-door to him for a couple of years in Ailey. My dad and I played alot of late-night pickup basketball games with Brian and another neighbor.

What happened to him? At one point, we heard he was a Methodist minister in Florida?

9:34 PM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I tend to think that Land might be right. Southern Baptists voted for Bush in disproportionate numbers in '04. They have been fed a steady diet of crap since '79 without even much resistance since '92. I wouldn't be surprised if they have all been brainwashed.

I try to ignore the SBC unless it directly impacts me. Let's concentrate more on building newer Baptist movements like the CBF and Alliance and trying to save the ABC from its own fundamentalist takeover.

3:10 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Coming from a BJC background, Land gets under my skin. 15 years ago, one Baptist voice existed on Capitol Hill on Church-State issues. Now, we have two.

Land has convinced many Congressmen (some Dems too) that he speaks for ALL Baptists.

Your friend Sharyn Dowd "preached" an awesome prayer this morning. She began with Darfur, transitioned into Peace in the Middle East, then called on everyone to put down arms and leave Iraq, she bashed CEO's and demanded a Living Wage, and concluded by showing her support for AIDS relief. I've never heard such a powerful social justice sermon or prayer at CBC. Actually, in a few weeks she's guest preaching on Poverty.

8:20 PM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Oh, I can't stand Land for all the reasons you cite, Aaron. I just think he may be right that most of the SBC still supports the Iraq war. I sure would be happy to be proved wrong, though.

Good for Sharyn! That should be an excellent guest sermon, too.

5:16 PM


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