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Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Faith of Fred Thompson???

Fellow Baptist blogger Brian Kaylor has a breaking news story today over at EthicsDaily.com. Brian has uncovered information about where (if???) Freddy T attends church.

Let's look at a snippet from Brian's piece:
Questions about Thompson's religious affiliation have dogged the former senator and star of "Law & Order" since Focus on the Family founder James Dobson remarked in March he was under the impression that Thompson is not a Christian.

The Thompson campaign shot back by saying Thompson was baptized into the Church of Christ as a boy in the 1950s. A bio on Thompson's exploratory Web site said he attended First Street Church of Christ while growing up in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., where he learned "the importance of family, hard work, faith and education."

A political science professor at a Church of Christ-affiliated university responded with a tongue-in-cheek "I Saw Fred Thompson at a Church of Christ" Challenge on a blog, observing the former senator "may not be filling out an attendance card at a Church of Christ on Sundays."
Brian reports that a Church of Christ newspaper investigating Freddy T's religious roots discovered that he had been spotted on "occasion" at Brentwood Church of Christ in Tennessee where his mother is a member.

So, the good folks at EthicsDaily.com picked up the phone and rang Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. As all of my avid readers know, Dick Land is a frequent subject of many of my posts. Over the past 9 months, Dick has been mentioned over 20 times. What can I say? We like Richard - perhaps more than Ben Cole and SBC Outpost like Paige Patterson.

Over the past two months, I have documented Richard Land's more than obvious man-crush on now Presidential candidate Freddy T here, here, and here.

In an interview with EthicsDaily.com, Richard Land who has described Freddy T as "Southern Fried Reagan" claimed that Thompson's wife is a "very regular attender" at Vienna Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Virginia. Vienna Presbyterian Church is affiliated with the mainline Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) denomination - a "pro choice" denomination that has rejected Christian Zionism and recently intiated a process of divestment from multinational corporations operating in Israel. Not exactly kosher in Christian Right circles....

Land added that Thompson "attends there with his wife and children when he's in town." "So, he is attending church on a regular basis," Land said. "I think that that information will help, perhaps, with all but some very-devout Church of Christ folks."

However, Peter James, pastor of Vienna Presbyterian Church told EthicsDaily.com that Freddy T "has attended" the church but that he has not had a conversation. Pastor Peter said Freddy T was at the church "on occasion" and "much less often" than his family.

This is quite interesting. Pastor Peter says Freddy T only visits VPC "on occasion." Yet, SBC political guru Dick Land asserts that Freddy T attends church on a "regular basis."

Which is it? Is Freddy T a Church of Christ guy or a mainline Presbyterian?

Or just more of a Bedside Baptist?

I recall another prominent conservative who is friendly with the Christian Right and has a poor track record regarding church attendance. Any guesses?

Ann Coulter.

Ann Coulter has said she is a Christian; she said she attends Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City - however Redeemer has no information that she has ever attended. Sounds alot like Freddy T. At least he's managed to roll out of the bed on Sunday AM's "on occasion."

Like Robert Parham said in the article, "Christian voters especially deserve straight-talk if Thompson is going to use God-talk in his campaign...If Thompson doesn't walk the talk, then he misuses faith for wrongful political ends and discloses a deep moral flaw."

Already, media personalities are misleading American's about Thompson's faith. Tonight, Chris Matthews of Hardball referred to Freddy T as a Southern Baptist not once but twice.

Let's hear from Freddy T not Richard Land about his religious roots and church activity.

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Blogger Kaylor said...

Did you see ABC World News Tonight? Land was on there continuing to state his infatuation with Thompson. You have referred to it as his "man-crush." Land's comments today fit your terminology very well. Here's what he said:

"I think a lot of conservatives, they've been sitting by the phone waiting for Sen. Thompson to call and they're ready to go on a date and see if it works out."

7:06 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Brian, that is hilarious!

9:03 PM

Blogger foxofbama said...

Please bring this blog to the attention of Uncle Prentice as I have been kicked off the board there for a season; and Dog him about it.
To hold Coulter as a Christian voice of the Right is ridiculous as you point out. She is an impostor.
Check my post at faithinpubliclife.org, the Pew blog of today and advance the cause there. That site is very glued into national press that can make a difference; smarter use of our time than just preaching to the choir as we often do.
Any further insight you can give me into Marsh and how he may effect Snyder, please share at my blog.
Kaylor: I saw that segment last night as well. You stole my thunder

12:48 PM

Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

As a criterion for whether he would be a good president, Thompson's faith or church attendance is of little importance. Some poor churchgoers like Reagan were bad presidents. Some, like Abraham Lincoln, were good presidents. Some deeply Christian presidents, like Jimmy Carter, did well in the White House (until the end, anyway), while others, like George W., have dug deep pits of shame for the country.

This is only relevant because Thompson is expected to pander to the Religious Right. Then his lack of faith is a matter of deception, like Rove's.

On another note, is that Thompson's WIFE?? Wow. I guess Kissinger was right: Power is the ultimate aphrodesiac! (Kissinger himself managed to date a string of incredibly beautiful women.)

On a different level, this connection between power and attraction could explain Land's "man crush" over Thompson, no?

1:34 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

I actually agree here with Michael, ultimately it doesn't matter what a candidate's church attendance is when it comes to their ability or lack thereof (though I disagree with him that Reagan was a bad president, but I won't go through the list of all the great things Reagan did).

For me it comes down to core values. I can I agree with a Mormon (though I think Mormonism is a cult) on core values, and I can agree with an atheist (though I think he is delusional), again, if we agree with core values. But there are some who call themselves Baptists (like the Clintons) that I cannot agree with because of, yes, core values.

Land is correct that conservatives have been waiting for a clear candidate and I think Thompson represents that. I don't think he uses faith any more than any other candidate (either Republican or Democrat) to pander to religious conservatives and I wouldn't vote for him strictly on that basis (and really no one should do so). What is interesting is the double standard that many liberals employ in things like church attendance and marked Christianity. Going to church makes one no more a Christian than going to Europe makes one European. But that is something that liberals scream at the top of their lungs. So why now is that an issue??

Finally, BDW, I don't understand how one like yourself so tries to appear intelligent and Christlike and then uses such juvenille language, such as your nickname for Richard Land, and your use of the term "man-crush." I'm sure you will tell me it's a joke and that I have no sense of humor, but to me it only appears immature and a bit crude.

8:07 AM

Blogger D.R. said...

One last thing...the PCUSA is a quite diverse denomination and though a majority can vote in liberal ways, no individual church can be pidgeon-holed as being mainline. Take for instance Hope Presbyterian in Memphis, a PCUSA church that only recently began thinking of pulling out of the denom. due to the stance on homosexuality. They are as conservative as any other church in Memphis. Many, many other PCUSA churches are in the same boat, so it would be a false conclusion to say that Vienna Presbyterian Church supports the PCUSA line simply on the basis of what the denomination has voted on in the past. As Baptists, we should understand that distinction clearly.

8:15 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

You're exactly correct, lighten up!

Without a doubt, it's a man-crush. I'm proud to have put that out in the blogosphere.

To quote Land from ABC World News...

"I think a lot of conservatives, they've been sitting by the phone waiting for Sen. Thompson to call and they're ready to go on a date and see if it works out."

It's cute.

9:10 PM

Anonymous Lee said...

From a religious perspective, I would think that a lapsed Church of Christ member who rarely attends a PCUSA congregation would be a hard sell for religious conservatives. He, like Reagan, will require regular briefings to keep up with what evangelical conservatives believe.

9:13 PM

Blogger D.R. said...


I noticed that you ignored the comment about your frequent use of the nickname for "Richard" (I don't see you as a close friend and it's pretty obvious how you are using it). That's not cute and that is really what I was referring to when I used the words "juvenille" and "immature." The "man-crush" slogan is silly, but certainly not as crude as referring to Dr. Land as "Dick Land."

5:43 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Tricky Dick Nixon???

I didn't invent the nickname. Certainly the precedent was set with Tricky Dick himself.

It's interesting that somehow you think the nickname "Dick" would be any less "crude" if I was actually buddies with Land. If the believe the shortening of Richard to Dick to be "crude" and not appropriate then don't justify its use in certain circumstances....

Better yet - find a sense of humor. If that's not possible, hopefully you will come to realize that others do like to have the a HA-HA moment every now and again...

10:15 AM

Blogger D.R. said...


I love how you try to justify your crude behavior by saying it's a precedent, and that you're just simply following it. Now THAT is a joke. Way to avoid that whole "let no unwholesome talk proceed from your mouth" thing.

As for the use of "Dick" in some circumstances, uh...let's think about that. NEWSFLASH - Some people who are named Richard actually go by the name Dick, not because of the connotation to which you are applying it, but because it IS their nickname. If Richard Land was know by Dick by his close friends (though I am virtually certain that is not the case), not as an adjective (as you are using it here), then those are two different things. But surely a guy in Law School knows that. And again, as usual, when you are confronted with anything critical you avoid, justify, and then try to throw it back (Remember the discussion you deleted under the post on Wiley Drake?)

And great job with the old stale standby. . . "if you don't think I'm funny, then you must not have a sense of humor." I thought you guys had to learn logic in Law School. Sorry man, using crude nicknames to demean your fellow brothers in Christ isn't humor, no matter how you try to spin it in your mind.

7:57 PM

Blogger Spivy said...

Ok, let me get this right. the head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission says that he claims to be church of christ but is actually a regular attendee at the Presbyterian church? While your coming up with these amazing discussions why don't we ask The makers of coke if pepsi is better?? No wait lets ask the yankees brass if the mets are the best sports team in NY?? come on dude, that was one of the weakest arguments i've ever seen. honestly, if you're gonna preach religion at least follow some christian principles of going to your brother if you think he is slipping and not helping the spread of gossip. great work buddy.

11:39 PM


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