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Monday, June 14, 2004

The Ride of the Baptistas...

"The trouble with our Texas Baptists is that we do not hold them under water long enough." - William C. Brann, 19th-century Texas jounalist (shot to death by an irate Baptist...but it was a fair fight...mostly)
Being one who got a fair bit of his early churching with the Baptists (First Baptist Church of Moose Jaw, even though I was baptised in the United Church), I don't have a problem with most of them. Of course every group has its "way-out-there" element, and the Baptists are no exception (in this case, 'tho, it's a very large - 16-million member - element; the largest US Protestant denomination).

Reuters is reporting that the Southern Baptist Convention will vote at their annual convention whether or not they will ratify the executive committee's decision (made last February) to leave the Baptist World Alliance:
Southern Baptist Convention leaders have said the Baptist World Alliance has taken an increasingly anti-American tone, favors rights for homosexuals and the ordination of women and has consorted with such "socialist" figures as South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Cuban President Fidel Castro.
It would appear that, to the Southern Baptists, everybody else's God is a Cohm-yew-nist...

But wait....there's more:
Another issue that may surface this week involves a call for Baptists to boycott U.S. public schools. A resolution circulated before the meeting says children in public schools are taught that "God is irrelevant" and a homosexual lifestyle is acceptable. It suggests that home schooling is the correct alternative, or if not that, certain private religious schools.
Well, damn those secular humanists all to Hell and back! A more succinct biased espousal of separation of Church from State (education) you couldn't find.

This is, of course, going to play out in a rather ugly fashion, as the Southern Baptists have never really been renowned for their tolerance and understanding. Their creed seems to be "hate the sin, hate the sinner" (one could be tempted to refer to it as the "Internecine Creed"), which is not entirely unexpected from a group that believes, among other things, that the Bible is literally true and error-free.

Being one of those "secular humanist" types I guess I'll be looking forward (at least if the Southern Baptists have any say in the matter) to an afterlife where I'll be desperately wishing for air-conditioning. But since the members of the Southern Baptists (and, indeed, most of the heavy-duty Christian types) know, with the unconquerable certainty of the savéd faithful, where they are going to end up...I'm not worried...
"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." - Mark Twain
Looking forward...

Mucho thanks to Tristero for the original heads-up.

And for the satirical-minded amongst you, I would recommend a visit to the Landover Baptist Church, which the Southern Baptists have unsuccesfully tried (several times) to sue out of existence as an "evil, perverse slander." Some people just have no sense of humour...