Short Takes
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:34:58 AM EST
... on the religious right and the Akinola Episcopalians; Rev. Moon's Man-In-Congress-To-Be...?; more Southern Baptists against public education;  more on the retirement and career of D. James Kennedy; and a very early rumbling about Tony Kaye's film documentary, Lake of Fire.
The Colorado Spring Independent has found a religious right, post-graduate political training academy with a big budget operating out of the basement of the conservative and schismatic Grace Episcopal Church, whose pastor stands accused of all kinds of financial fraud.  Fr. Jake discusses.

Another part of the religious right rising in the GOP?

State Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Mesa, is considering a challenge of freshman Democratic Congressman Harry Mitchell in next year's elections.

Anderson, who is in his seventh term in the Arizona Legislature, has formed an exploratory committee for a possible run against Mitchell.

Anderson is a Realtor and a member of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. If elected, he would be the only member of Congress to be part of the Unification Church.

The Orlando Sun Sentinel profiles the career of D. James Kennedy.

Southern Baptists are on the move against public education.

Tony Kaye's documentary film on the politics of abortion, Lake of Fire, opens October 3. A Maryland high school newspaper has a review. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the media does.

"SBACS says children from ages 5 to 18 spend 16,000 hours in school, compared to about 1,600 hours in church. They view that as a main reason that studies show that 88 percent of children leave the church within four years of high school graduation. "

The Catholic and Jewish school systems came about in response to a Protestant public school system that had little respect for people of Jewish or Catholic faith.  Affiliated summer camps were also popular and part of the education of many Catholic and Jewish, and Orthodox kids during summer months.  

Catholics returned to public schools as they became more friendly and accessible.   As long as the public school system remains separate from private I could care less if Southern Baptists pull their kids out.  They are a nuisance in the classroom, always ready to file a lawsuit on any interpretation of historical or scientific relevance, and have effectively dumbed down the public school system out of  of fear of lawsuits.

While they claim that God has been removed from the classroom, it is only their intrepretation and vision of God they want.  

My take is that if Southern Baptists were to make a mass exodus from the public school system, the result would be that public schools would be free to pursue critical thinking skills once again.  The influence of SBC (and other anti-intellectual denominations) on public schools has gone on long enough.

by lilorphant on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:47:25 AM EST

Remember. Even those who send their children to private schools still vote, and may run for school board, city council, etc. Taking children out of the system is one part of the plan by those who wish to defund, destroy, and supplant the public school system.  

While the "exodus" plan might not, by itself, acheive this,(there are many other factors in play in America), there is no question that many of those who have advocated for this are part of a long term effort to up-end public education in America from some sectors, and to siphon off public funds for corporate owned, for-profit schools from others.

SBC children leaving the schools may, as you say, reduced some pressures on the schools, but over time, the movement will almost certainly add others.

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:21:53 PM EST

I daresay the conservative Protestant trend toward economic Calvinism also plays a role in dreams of abolishing community funded free public education. Those (whites) who are able to pay tuition or can afford to have a non-income-producing wife homeschool are likely to be unwilling to financially support universal school access through 12th grade - if only because it is expensive to have both a non-income-producing spouse and the inflated American dream of a (non-condo)  house in the suburbs, with two recent model cars and a supersized TV. Race plays a huge role in attitudes towards the importance of universal education - most blacks feel the need to at least say they support quality education for all, while a substantial number of whites not only do not support quality education for all, but openly assert that certain (black, poor) people don't deserve and won't benefit from schooling.

A good many whites would be perfectly happy to have a permanent black semi-literate/ semi-numerate underclass only let out from the ghetto to provide cheap menial service for the whites.

by NancyP on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:28:21 PM EST

how a standard-issue white liberal like myself starts out analysing issues in terms of economics, and not coming around quickly to the core pathology of this country  - RACISM. It just goes to show how second-nature it is for all whites, even those who try to be antiracist, to try to avoid the thought or word "racism". I rewrote the above post after additional thought, but didn't think to change the title before posting.

by NancyP on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:37:15 PM EST

I thought the author of the Orlando Sentinel's piece landed perfectly upon the key to Kennedy's ministry and the ministries of those cut from his cloth: ambition.

There is no sense of serving the Holy One through humbly reaching out to those in need within the community in Kennedy's needle like spire; there is only ambition.

Kinda makes ya wonder what was driving him....

by Molly on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:26:33 AM EST

Filling Kennedy's shoes, if Coral Ridge evaluates its needs to be what he provided all along, will take someone with an enormous ego and even more ambition. And, of course, that will be a man.

I wonder what would happen if the congregation realizes that it needs something and someone different for the next phase, someone who will not drive people out with messages of exclusion and hatred? Could Coral Ridge actually call a (gulp) WOMAN?

Sorry. Just had a Realm of God vision there...though we can pray for them, right?

by RevRuthUCC on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 06:04:52 PM EST
at least not without going into a major schism.

D. James Kennedy was a leader in the formation of the schismatic Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) back when the Northern and Southern branches of mainline Presbyterianism were in merger discussions enroute to forming the present Presbyerian Church in the USA. (PCUSA)

Among the issues at the time was the ordination of women. The PCA didn't, doesn't and won't. For PCA's premeir pulpit to call a woman pastor would be earth shaking indeed.

by Frederick Clarkson on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 07:29:24 PM EST

"The John Jay Institute for Faith, Society, and Law is a para-academic center that is committed to advancing the knowledge and piety of the Christian faith as it pertains to the ordering of society, politics, and law. This educational task involves the re-discovery, recollection, and understanding of our religious, cultural, social, economic, and political heritage with relevant application to the pressing moral, social, and economic concerns facing America today."

"Para-academic" ?

I tried to find a definition of the term and this is the closest I got :

"Para-Academics Terrorize the public with abstract ideas, without all the prior study and peer-review of real academia.   

You know how para-militaries have all the fun of playing around with guns, without the tedious accountability of real soldiers?

I wannabe a para-academic, and have all the fun of playing around with ideas on much the same basis."

Question is, are the minds of "para academics" open like, err.... parachutes ?

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 12:42:16 PM EST

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