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June 13, 2007

Comments

Jennifer

What a perfect lead in to the time of year where I pose the question to my family, "What do churches in other countries do for the 4th of July?".

Eigh.

Trav the Okie Vegan

There is a True Love Waits program for Uganda with an expectation of further expansion to other African nations? Okay, so these people are starving, living in abject poverty, oppressed by corrupt politicians and military leaders, and surrounded by civil wars, and our dipshit-in-chief wants to preach to them about the ostensible immorality of pre-marital sex? He really may be the biggest ass-fuck in the world.

Adam Smithee

Yet somehow the SBC will remain tax exempt even though they are clearly in bed with the republican party or whoever may be in charge. Then to even mention to a conservative fundamentalist that by associating in this manner should cost them tax exemption status you are labeled a heretic and a bad Christian. I don't know what to do with them anymore.

graham

Trav, perhaps he sees it as fighting AIDS? I don't know about the programme, but that's what I thought when I read it.

fiodax

Hey don't blame the Baptist for not providing equal time, they did give Gov Brad Henry (who supports abortion) an honorary chair at Falls Creek along with alot of hoopla to go with it. So despite their obvious leanings to the right, at least the Oklahoma Baptist throw a bone to the dems...Baptist churches are fortunately able to operate independently from what the convention sanctions, however too many simply drink the kool-aid without engaging their brains.

Joe

My understanding is that many Southern Baptist believe teaching true love waits is the only way to stop the spread of AIDS. My church sent "missionaries" over to Malawi and that's all they taught.

I think it's just American thought that no one is really starving and that they should get a job. I think that is the message people recieve from churches (ie SBC) and pastors. Because it's easier to address those issues than issues of famine, poverty, and oppression.

I like how GW wants to end geoncide. I found it ironic, considering his war crazy methods.

fiodax

It's interesting the UN studies that show male circumcision results in a 40% decrease in the chances of contracting AIDS. They were quick to chalk it up to some kind of physiological nuance regarding circumcision. However, none of the articles I read considered that circumcision is a Jewish/Muslim/Christian religious tradition, and in so much the presence of which may indicate that the populations they are studying are more influenced by these religious cultures which all teach abstinence from sex before marriage.

greg

fiodax,

In fact, the BBC reported that researchers were aware that most of the men in the study areas were Muslim, and therefore didn't know if the lower rates were due to physiological reasons or the tendency of Muslims to have fewer sex partners.

cheek

Fiodax, you might also look to the number of studies done in this country that show sexually active rates among teens vary not at all between those who claim affiliation with religions opposed to premarital sex and those who do not while teen pregnancy is actually higher among religious teens. Could it be that latex is better than God at preventing human misery?

fiodax

I never claimed God prevented human misery.

fiodax

Also, I would be wary of comparing the religious convictions of those in America (most of which are in the upper 2% of wealth on the planet and view their religion as a "trinket" or at best a politcal movement), with those of people struggling to find food and clean water each day, many of whom cling to thier religion as a source of hope and actually extract real meaning from many of their beliefs.

Mike

Perhaps it would also appropriate to wait and see which predominately/exclusively Black churches will roll over like a discount whore and pimp out their pulpits to the Democratic presidential ticket in the summer of '08. Then you could ask question one again.

greg

Mike,

Might there be a difference between a candidate and the actual president? The black churches have a long history of political activism, and with good reason; it's not like they were having tremendous success with other organizations in terms of overcoming white hegemony. The SBC would appear to be without the same sort of historical justification, eh?

greg

Mike,

To follow up, why is it that people with political commitments won't simply answer a question, but rather insist on saying something to the effect of, "look what the other guy is doing"?

fiodax

greg, your last question is funny because it is an example of itself :)

bobstevens

Abstinence is the most effective way to stop the spread of STDs... if not the most widely accepted or practical. I don't see teaching abstinence as a flawed strategy for fighting the spread of AIDS... but it's not going to work without some supplemental guidance for the sexually active. However, the current trend of assuming that everyone is or will be sexually active is a retarded starting point. (Disclaimer: I know nothing about Africa, the equation could be totally reversed there.)

As for pretty much every GWB quote in the above... you can't make this stuff up. It's a good test of whether or not there's a limit on the amount of irony that can be in one situation at any given time.

Mike's point is interesting, though not a direct criticism of anything in the post above. Politics and Christianity will always make for strange bedfellows, no matter what the political context. We can't give anyone a pass for openly supporting a political candidate... but at least black churches aren't making themselves look ridiculous every day with their insistence on associating themselves with a political alignment that doesn't mesh with the traditional goals of their religion.

Zossima

One of the books I like to share with Bush-loving SBC-types as a subversive offering is Brueggemann's Prophetic Imagination, in which he reveals part of the Solomonic achievement to be the domestication of Yahweh at the expense of justice, particularly for the poor and oppressed in our midst.

Mike

Greg,

You wrote in regard to President Bush speaking to a gathering of church people, "He offers no spiritual insight, no practical insight, no wisdom or direction for the denomination, and certainly no spiritual leadership."

Has there been any chief executive who could offer any of those things to the Christian church at large, or to a specific Christian denomination?

This link doesn't provide an exact transcript, but it outlines the type of message that President Bill Clinton delivered to the Church of God In Christ Bishop's Conference in Sept. 2000. I think you'd be hard pressed to argue that this speech was any more spiritual than Bush's speech to the SBC.

And the Clinton speech also illustrates why we should take the actions of candidates as seriously as those of office-holders. President Bush may be able to cheer on Republican support from the Religious Right, but he is a 2nd term lame duck. They can't vote for him. And as of yet, there is no clear successor Republican candidate that he can campaign for.

On the other hand, Bill Clinton is rather explicit in his attempts to shore up Democrat votes by reminding an extremely loyal Democrat consitiuency of just how much the Democrats have done for them during the last eight years. And he is doing this two months before a presidential election.

The same applies to John Kerry stumping in black churches during the summer of 2004. He wasn't speaking about faith; rather, he was the chosen representative of a political party trolling for votes.

And that's why politicians and elected officials speak to religious organizations -- they want their votes. It's as simple as that.

greg

Oddly enough, Clinton had the numbers to back up his claims, whereas Bush seems to have vague references to providence. Hmm...

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