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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Sound of Silence Surrounding Wiley Drake

Please read this post from Frederick Clarkson of Talk2Action....

A Top Leader of the Southern Baptist Convention Endorsed Domestic Terrorism. Shouldn't That Be News?

Snippets won't do Clarkson's post justice. I'll offer a few tidbits below - but check out the fullversion at Talk2Action.
And now there is the vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention who publicly endorsed the assasination of a doctor by a member of an underground terrorist organization who had been on the FBIs Ten Most Wanted List. The first two scandals created international news, but not the third. Since Intelligence Report, the magazine of the Southern Poverty Law Center broke the story, there has been no press coverage that I can find, except for Ethics Daily on Friday; and only a handful of blog posts, notably Mainstream Baptist, Big Daddy Weave, Moiv and me. This merits further discussion.......

The silence is not limited to Baptists. There is silence across the entirety of the religious and political spectrum, at least as far as my Google searches indicate. To me, this is quite inexplicable. A top official of the largest protestant denomination in the U.S. endorses domestic terrorism -- and the nation is silent?


The Baptist blogger, Rev. Wade Burleson, a leader in the SBC election of a reform slate of candidates that included Drake, was challenged by several fellow bloggers to speak out about the Drake affair. In this comment thread at Baptist Life Burleson initially (see April 30th) declined to say a discouraging word about the man who endorsed the murder of a doctor; described the government and judicial system of the United States as "godless" and "oppressive," and hangs out with the Army of God. Here is part of his response:
I have personally visited with Wiley Drake about several issues that he has advocated and supported in the SBC (both before and after his election) with which I adamantly, publicly and vociferously disagree.... His positions politically, culturally and eschatologically are precisely the logical ends of the ideological and philosophical viewpoints of many in current leadership -- but not the majority of the convention herself. ... but I admire his compassion for those he considers downtrodden ... that will be my only comment on Pastor Wiley Drake.
I was struck by the quote that Burleson has as his signature line on his comments:
The world is too dangerous to live in - not because of the people who do evil but because of the people who sit and let it happen. Albert Einstein
Well, Rev. Burleson, one of the great evils in the United States is the terrorizing of abortion providers in violation of the laws and constitution of the United States, not to mention a few Christian principles. This happens because there are thousands of people who specifically encourge and enable these activities or do and say nothing in response. They let it happen.

Interesting that the conservative Baptist Burleson quoted the atheist, socialist, scientist Einstein in his signature line. So let's quote the conservative Christian philosopher of the Enlightenment Edmund Burke, right back at him (since Burke and Einstein are essentially saying the same thing):

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing."
If the leaders of the SBC, reform or otherwise, cannot speak out against the endorsement of domestic terrorism by one of their own elected national officers -- then how can they say that they speak with integrity on anything?

A little farther down in the comment thread, after several commenters challenged him, Burleson further huffed:

"I, Wade Burleson, strongly, vehemently, unconditionally, and eternally disagree with Wiley Drake's affirmation of a murderer, if indeed he ever made such an affirmation."
So Burleson said he "disagrees" with Drake, then casts doubt on the entire matter -- pretending that the facts might not exist, or if they do, he is not going to look into it.

The simple fact is an elected national officer of the Southern Baptist Convention is at least periferally involved with a domestic terror organization with a long history of violent crimes and has explicitly endorsed one of them. My hunch is that this that this is probably but the tip of the iceberg of Drake's involvement with the Army of God.

Given what is known, it would seem like SBC leaders and the national press corps, would want to get to the bottom of all this.

As it now stands, Wade Burleson, a leader of the reform wing of the SBC is publicly unconcerned that a national officer of his denomination not only supports domestic terrorism, but may have deeper involvement. Of course in fairness to Burleson, no other leaders SBC leaders have yet to emerge from the shadows, making Burleson the more courageous and forthright leader in the Southern Baptist Convention. But I am eager to learn of any others. I may have missed.

And in fairness to the Baptists, I have not heard any other leader from any sector of society say anything either.

Please read the rest at Talk2Action.

The BaptistLife discussion can be found here. In my response to Burleson - I wrote:
Mr. Burleson forgets that as former-Southern Baptists, we still proudly claim the title - Baptist. When my non-Baptist and non-Christian friends from college hear about the shenanigans of Baptists like Wiley Drake - they give me a call. It's embarrassing. I have to defend the Baptist namesake for the umteenth time....
And for those looking for some Big Daddy positivity directed towards a Southern Baptist figure, please see my previous post:

T.B. Maston - Conscience For Southern Baptists

I'm quite proud of that post - as my paper was well received today.

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Blogger peter lumpkins said...


Thanks for the post. For me, I am stunned. I possessed no idea Wiley Drake was associated with the AOG or the Declaration.

Personally, I would be considered 'pro-life.' Nonetheless, to advocate murdering doctors who perform abortions and make moral heros out of those who do so, stands Christian ethics on its head and, in my view, denies the command of Jesus to love one's enemies.

This really needs attention from the SBC leadership. You, BDW, are to be commended for bringing this further intto the spotlight.

Grace. With that, I am...


7:51 PM

Blogger Jim Paslay said...

Big Daddy Weave,

As a Southern Baptist pastor who was and is supportive of the Conservative Resurgence, I distance myself from anyone who advocates the killing of an individual regardless of occupation, race or religion. What abortionists do is wrong, but you cannot justify two wrongs in the killing of an abortionist.

With that said, I do want to point out something in your post.

Big Daddy said:

Well, Rev. Burleson, one of the great evils in the United States is the terrorizing of abortion providers in violation of the laws and constitution of the United States, not to mention a few Christian principles.

Let's get one thing straight, abortion is not in our Constitution. That supponsed right was found in 1973, almost two hundred years after our founding fathers established this country. It was a bad ruling then and it continues to be a bad ruling. In fact, I cannot fathom how a Christian can read the Bible and justify Roe v. Wade. May I remind you that "whatever is legal is not necessarily moral." If you want to talk about Christian principles, what about defending those who have no voice. The most dangerous place for unborn children the past 30 plus years has been in the womb of their mother.

How about some political courage and break from your morally bankrupt political party and say what abortion is: the killing of an unborn child.

1:30 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


If you will notice, I did not write the post. What you just now quoted were snippets from an article that I linked to. Not my words.

I'm not an abortion rights advocate. And of course I realize "whatever is legal is not necessarily moral." I am a Christian, Jim and when I apply my Christianity to life - I'm quite conservative.

As to abortion, I've always held that abortion may be permissible in any of the three standard exceptions accepted by most Christians: incest, rape, health of mother.

Don't hijack my blog. This post has absolutely nothing to do with the Democratic Party or the Republican Party - since members of both take pro-choice positions. And Jim, I'm not a one-issue guy. I believe Christ has called us to be engaged in the political process as Christian citizens.

When determining who to vote for, I consider three things: (1)the basic character and integrity, as best they can be determined of the candidates,(2) the position of the candidates on ALL issues that are relevant to the office they are seeking,(3) and the ability, training, and the experience of the candidates to fulfill the responsibilities of that office.

To me, being a one-issue Christian is much worse than being a one-issue voter. One-issue Christians judge other Christians on the basis of one issue. But there is no single issue that is an adequate test of the genuiness and vitality of one's Christian faith. The ultimate test is how much we are like the resurrected Christ.

It seems you judge me because I vote for Democratic candidates. Do know, that while we may disagree on several issues (though my views on abortion are in comparison to others quite conservative) - I respect your views. I agree to disagree with folks nearly everyday of my life. But let's not be one-issue Christians.

2:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wiley has denied doing this. Now that he has done so, where do you go with your anger? What if he didn't do it?

8:48 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


I have no anger in my heart for you or anyone else.

At the moment, I have frustration in my heart for not keeping up with my Constitutional Law reading throughout the semester. Finals are a pain in the butt.

Listen, I trust the award-winning journalism of the Intelligence Report and the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center over the word of a man who has (at least on one occasion) struggled with the truth.

Please see Brian Kaylor's piece on Wiley Drake's struggle with the truth.


9:46 PM


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