Southern Baptists Engage in More Partisan Politics
Journalist Ken Camp noted in the Baptist Standard that the SBC has moved from its traditional stances on church/state separation and now uses patriotic rhetoric. He noted the SBC Pastor's Conference, that met a few months after 911, was adorned with a huge American flag and had soldiers who rappelled from the above rafters during the worship service. This took place while fireworks blazed.
Even vulgarity is not taboo when it comes to bashing Democrats by these Baptists. Mike Huckabee is tied to friendship to Ted Nugent. Nugent is the controversial singer who often uses vulgar words in songs, especially when singing about Hillary Clinton or President Obama according to The Daily Show. Controversial legislator Dr. Tom Coburn is a Southern Baptist deacon from Muskogee, Oklahoma. Tom often votes with big tobacco, in favor of school vouchers, and pro school prayer amendments, once legendary Baptist taboos. He has advocated the death penalty for abortionists according the Oklahoma Observer. John Boehner was commended by name for his leadership in a 2011 SBC resolution at the annual meeting. Boehner and family owned bars and John has used vulgar references at commencement speeches. He does meet the SBC test of taxation which seems to trump other ethical issues.
Tom's fellow Oklahoma legislator, James Lankford, is another interesting figure. James used his office as director of Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center in Oklahoma to run for public office. Churches passed out contribution memos for his campaign He is said to get from $200 to $4000 for speaking fees to aid his campaign that has roots in the Baptist assembly center.
Dallas SBC pastor Dr. Jeffress was made famous by his bashing of Mormon Romney. MSNBC quotes the pastor as stating we must unseat Obama because of spiritual reasons. He would even vote for Romney over Obama he stated. Which means Obama must be way down there on the wish list.
Controversial Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is the son of a Baptist minister. The anti-Union governor scored low points on the truth meter according to Politifact.com He supposedly lied to the Democratic Congress to get them back tricking them to pass his budget according to Christian Ethics Today. Journalist Brian Kaylor chronicles the scandalous political career of Baptist GOP former politician Rick Green. Texas Monthly named Green one of the ten worst legislators of the year once. He career was marred with scandals. Green is tied into David Barton and works with Barton on radio. He once slugged an opponent in the face and went on to brag about it. Southern Baptist leaders continue to embrace Green in spite of his career.
SBC's ethics agency head, Richard Land ,is a long time Clinton basher. He led the charge to impeach Clinton. SBC leaders at the time were calling on Clinton's Baptist church to excommunicate the President. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich, who was Speaker of the House at the time, was found to be doing almost the exact things Clinton was accused of. We find that now Land is embracing Catholic Gingrich and suggesting to the public he needs to be forgiven of his multiple marriages and infidelities according to Ethics Daily. Jerry Falwell U. invited Newt to address the students. Richard Lee, a former president of the SBC's Pastor's Conference, embraced Newt as the true Christian candidate. Land said on CNN that evangelicals and forgiveness go hand in hand. A stark contrast to when he stated we needed to make Bill Clinton the last causality of the Viet Nam War. Land was also shown to be excited about the candidacy of divorced Fred Thompson. Brian Kaylor wrote, "Although Land often claims to be nonpartisan , his past record demonstrates a clear partisan record favoring conservative Republicans."
The Texas Fundamentalist Baptist newspaper noted some comments Land made at a summit on economics. Land stated that four times in the last century the government cut tax rates on the highest wage earners and each time there was significant economic growth. The old trickle down theory is held by Richard even though recent events have caused buddies like Gingrich to take another position bashing Romney for such.
Land is anything but consistent in his partisan views. He called Obama a "playboy" taking too many trips and having too many aids at government expense. Politifact found that in truth Mrs. Obama did not have any more staff than Laura Bush. It also noted friend George W. Bush, whom Land once was invited to work for as a political aid, took more trips than President Obama.
The latest Land story is the meeting he will be connected with in Texas. He will meet at a ranch with Paul Pressler, the architect of the political takeover of the SBC. MSNBC is reporting Land denied the meeting is partisan but the interview noted Land was working with others to forge a group of "conservatives" to unite the GOP field into one conservative candidate to unseat leader Romney. Land notes in Ethics Daily; ..."because I don't think our country can survive another four years of Mr. Obama... "
Bob Allen of Associated Baptist Press quotes Land as calling Barack Obama "the worst president of the United States that Israel has ever had." Land wants a blank check given to Israel claiming it is the Biblical mandate to bless the Jews. He even accused the President of being pro-Palestinian. He stopped short of calling Obama a secret Muslim. Many of Land's followers have not.
Watch for Southern Baptist leaders to step forward in the next months wanting to influence who the nation elects to its highest office.
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