Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Washington Post Weighs In On My Prayer

Upon entering office as the first President of the United States, embarking on what would be eight years of service to his country as the Chief Executive of the America, President George Washington prayed the following, public prayer on behalf of our nation - dateline April 30th, 1789.

Almighty God,

We make our earnest prayer

- that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection,

- that thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government;

- and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large.

And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all

- to do justice,

- to love mercy and

- to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.

Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.


The Washington Post religious editor, David Waters, writing for the paper that bears the name of our first President, seems to have read the prayer I offered before the opening of the Oklahoma Senate Session on Monday, March 30, 2009.

David, a man I know as an excellent writer and thinker, is offended with my prayer. He seems to not be able to comprehend how anyone could express a desire that our country be led by only those men and women who have a belief in a just God to Whom all will one day give an account. As for me, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (whom I quote in the prayer) remind us that our greatest leaders in history displayed the moral fortitude and character that comes from personal faith in a just and righteous God.

Oh well, I guess when the writers at the Washington Post consider you a theocratic fundamentalist and some of your fellow Southern Baptists consider you cultural liberal heretic, then you very well might be neither.


In His Grace,



Anonymous said...

David isn't the only one who isn't quite sure "what" you are. In this age of labels, yours is uncertain but we love you anyway. See how inclusive your readers are? We have learned from you. Thanks for being all the things you are.

Anonymous said...

It's not really you, Wade, that Walters has a problem with, it's understanding the character and nature of God, as well as, the foundation on which this United States was built. You are the messenger, and Walters is deceiving himself to believe his critical words will put you in your place. I rolled my eyes when I read his words and thought, "here is yet another man who writes before he thinks!"

Mel S

Alan Paul said...

While I believe a man's personal faith should dictate his actions both in private and in public (as a true Christian, how can it not?), he must be careful that he doesn't impose his beliefs on the rest of us. We all do not believe the same. We do not live in any form of a theocracy either. There should be no "official" mixing of government and religion at all in my opinion. There would not have been the controversy surrounding the gay pastor praying and including his partner had this been the case. This apostate pastor would not have had the opportunity to use our government to promote his views had this been the case. There are really only a few things government should be engaged in and religion is not one of them.

Note: I have heard all of the arguments - every one of them. Most of my friends do not agree with me on this issue. So in advance of anyone who might decide to take me to task because they don't agree, I will have to lovingly agree to disagree with you before you even get to type one word!

But if you must, fire away!

Wanda said...

Wade said:
"I guess when the writers at the Washington Post consider you a theocratic fundamentalist and some of your fellow Southern Baptists consider you cultural liberal heretic, then you very well might be neither."

Ironic, isn't it? Well said Wade.

jasonk said...

Reminds me of a recent editorial in the Tulsa World, on the subject of a Ten Commandments monument being placed at the Oklahoma capitol building.
The writer wondered how it would make non-Christians feel to see a Ten Commandments monument on public property. He asked (I'm not kidding) how it would make a Jewish man feel, seeing the Ten Commandments...I wrote the paper, reminding this brilliant example of journalism that the Ten Commandments actually is a Jewish document, not a Christian one. Sometimes I think the only qualifications these editorial writers have is a keyboard and a medium. Kind of like bloggers, only most of us know where we stand.

John Daly said...

1) I'm with you Alan Paul. What happen when the government becomes a religion that is hostile towards Christians?

2) If I were the Washington Post Religious Editor I would be offended too, I'd be like: "Man, you call that a prayer??" Where's the beef, a Mormon could say Amen to that! (Don't mean to dump on you bro but "I'm just sayin'.")

Ramesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ramesh said...

I wish David Waters read ALL the comments on Pastor Wade's post about this prayer, before he wrote his post. But again, we all commented on the text of the prayer too.
"Only those with a belief in the Creator God, the moral ruler of this universe, from whom all life springs and all life will return have the proper moral foundation and ability to lead citizens of this great state and our United States of America. Others, those with secular or atheistic belief systems are free to seek election, but it is incumbent upon freedom loving people to elect those of you who live by the principles which spring forth from a fountain of faith in God. Let the secular humanists lead the socialists, let the atheists lead the totalitarian governmental regimes, but may only believers in God lead our democracy".
Here is Pastor Wade's comment to the text in question raised by David Waters:
"I think my emphasis was on the fact that true freedom is enjoined by only those who are led by men and women who acknowledge there is a God to whom we all must give an account for our actions ..".
This is what David Waters wrote in the end of his post:
"I've never understood why so many politicians feel the need to sponsor public prayers at non-religious public gatherings. Do they think God can only hear prayers spoken out loud in groups? Is their God hard of hearing?

And why turn secular gatherings into sectarian proving grounds? Are they merely pandering for votes or do they think their particular religious beliefs should supercede the nonsectarian principles enshrined in the constitution?"
I personally feel what the politicians do, is plainly bureaucratic juggling anyway. So prayer helps them, and the significance of the prayer is not for the benefit of God, but for the benefit of the bureaucratic bunglers. Sorry. I have a low opinion of politicians.

In the above post, I like the prayer of George Washington.

david b mclaughlin said...

I suspect you'll be in the Oklahoma Gazette soon.


Stephen said...

Although I disagree with Wade's assertion that only "men and women who have a belief in a just God" should lead the nation, I certainly understand it. The so-called mainstream media accepts the ACLU interpretation that government must be hostile to religion in order to prevent the creation of a theocracy.

Neither the First Amendment nor the constitutional prohibition of a religious test as a qualification for holding public office disallows religious expression by public officials. The Founding Fathers, knowing the positive value of religious plurality, simply refused to give state endorsement of any particular religion. The result was a flourishing of Christianity in the cultural and social fabric of American life. Federal constitutional neutrality did not disestablish religion in any of the states. They retained their state religion, some even into the early 1800s.

To answer the question "Was America founded as a Christian nation?" I lead my students to answer "Yes and no" The U. S. Constitution established a secular government that gave protection for religious expression, which, in turn, produced an overwhelmingly Christian society regarding laws, customs, and cultural expressions.

Unfortunately, Christians seek government endorsement and actions to carry out the mandate that belongs only to us. Keep the Two Commandents (Matthew 22: 37-40; Mark 12: 29-31)

Wade: The inability of people to label you speaks to the goodness of your character. Wear that badge proudly. said...


I absoluely love the manner in which you disagree with me.

If people only understand that the softness of words, kindness of character and genuine expression of Christian love that you display is the VERY thing that would cause people like me to say, "Hmmm" let me rethink some things - then I think civility would rise again in the SBC like a phoenix.

Stephen, you and I may continue to disagree on this subject until Jesus comes and settles it once and for all (grin), but I can guarantee you I look forward to the cooperation for the kingdom's sake with people like you.

In His Grace,


Jim Paslay said...

Alan Paul said:

"While I believe a man's personal faith should dictate his actions both in private and in public (as a true Christian, how can it not?), he must be careful that he doesn't impose his beliefs on the rest of us."

I wonder after two hundred plus years and taking a look at where we've come as a nation, whose views have been imposed on whom? I would submit incorrect interpretations by the courts concerning the 1st amendment has actually allowed a form of secular humanism to be imposed on the rest of us. With groups like the ACLU and Americans United, we have gone overboard on the establisment clause to the actual infringment of the free exercise clause.

Since the 1st amendment has never been changed or altered, how can prayer in school be legal one day and illegal the next? How can the posting of the 10 commandments be constitutional one day and unconstitutional the next? When we removed the 10 commandments from schools, we didn't replace it with anything. Are our schools better for it? I think not!

I am sure I will get lectured on the time honored principle of "separation of church and state." Funny thing, I can't find that phrase in the Constitution.

greg.w.h said...

During a casual conversation portion of a business lunch with some of my co-workers, the subject of faith came up a few years ago. After we discussed faith and our various perspectives on faiths (or faith traditions including non-Christian traditions) for a bit, one co-worker turned to me and asked me this question: "You really do believe that you have a duty to tell everyone that does not believe in Jesus Christ that what they currently believe may not be satisfactory unless they put their full faith in Jesus for salvation, don't you?"

I paused for long enough so that he could tell my answer wasn't just reflex, and told him "yes, I do." That answer--like Wade's prayer--is politically incorrect. In fact, in some nations the effort to evangelize has been criminalized and you can be thrown in prison and executed for the temerity of believing that we have such a duty and that the people we are evangelizing (who have not put their faith in Jesus) believe things that are false and need to be shown both truth and the Truth.

Given Stephen's comment, that the founding father's did not intend to restrict religious expression in public, there is the conflict that occurs when the modern judiciary uses the establishment clause in order to censor religious expression. Should we accept the censorship as a matter of obedience to the authority of government? Or should we continue our public expression of faith unadulterated without concern for the political correctness of or expression and without conern for the public relations problems that follow from that?

My gut tells me that we should not be ashamed of our faith in any public forum and should be prepared to express it and defend it. But that our expressions of faith and defense of faith must avoid the appearance of arrogance and combativeness ("amaxon" to borrow from Benji's question yesterday!!)

If we cannot publicly express our faith and defend it "amaxon", then I would argue we are not mature enough to avoid the appearance of the Pharisee praying aloud about not being like that publican over there. But if we can prayerfully and humbly express faith and defend it, then for the sake of the faith and for the sake of the Republic, we should.

Why? Because the Bible tells us that those who deny Jesus publicly will be denied before the Father. It is a matter of the security of our salvation that we not publicly deny what we believe either through acts of commission (like Peter's) or omission (practicing silence when we could practice a genuine, contrite, wholesome expression of our faith.)

I might be giving Wade too much credit for this, but for some reason I think his prayer fell into the category of a public expression of faith that was done with grace and humility. That he would pray honestly to God for God to raise up his people--Christians--to lead this nation is not an offense against the nation itself. It is a request for God's direct blessing on our land. It is regrettable that anyone would see such a request as offensive--and admittedly, those who call themselves Christians have at various times in history put the lie to the idea that all Christians bless the world with their behavior--but just like my friend was correct that I felt a duty to proclaim truth that inconveniently characterizes other religions as lies, I think Wade has the responsibility as a Minister of the Gospel to pray from a heart that matches God's heart regarding how God can bless our nation.

I appreciate the Washington Post bringing this up for a dialog. I hope, Wade, that you will write a letter to the editor in response and seek its publication. It's a great discussion for the lead newspaper in our seat of national government to host.

Greg Harvey

Kevin Bussey said...

I like it. I guess if you can get press for a prayer you are doing a great job!

Anonymous said...


I applauded you when you prayed that prayer.

I am not surprised by the reaction of the writer for the Washington Post. His writing reflects the position held by many in this country.

That includes individuals and groups that do not formally address church/state issues, as well as groups that do, for example - Americans United for Separation of Church and State, People for the American Way etc.

Interestingly, the WP view (contrary to the views you expressed) is probably the one held by many Baptists who believe in a very rigid secular view of public life. Americans United's former Executive Director, Bob Maddox (Baylor, SWBTS grad) and now pastor of Discipleship at a United Disciples of Christ Church in Maryland (he left his Baptist church as pastor along with 54 members and became a member of his current church in 2006), would not care at all for your prayer. James Dunn, formerly of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs (who was on the Board of Directors for People for American Way) would not care for your prayer either.

These guys used to be some of the primary spokesmen for Baptists in public life when it came to church and state issues.

The folks over at Ethics Daily might also not care for your prayer. I think they referred to you as a "Young Fundamentalist" when reporting on the Greensboro Convention.

The views in your prayer are more consistent with the views held by Francis Schaffer (RIP), Fr. Richard Neuhaus (RI) and Richard Land.

Thanks for praying as you did!


Alan Paul said...

I thought you might find this tidbit about the "prayer" in your post Wade. THis from a friend who did a little research:

"The source I read quoted "The Encyclopedia of United States History, which stated that it was part of a letter that he wrote to the governors of the states before his departure, and that, while he mentioned God - as in "I pray that God will do this" - it was not directed towards God Himself, as in "dear God please do this." It maintains that a later re-writing turned it into a prayer.

Ramesh said...

Off Topic:

The Baseline Scenario > The Department Of Justice Is On Line Two.

I don’t generally overreact to news (from the NYT this morning, on the AIG-Goldman connection that runs through Edward Liddy’s stock ownership), but this has gone far enough.

Have we completely lost of sense of what is and is not a conflict of interest? Have we really built a system in which greed fully overshadows responsibility? Is it not time for a complete rethink of what constitutes acceptable executive behavior?

One of our country’s leading corporate attorneys made a telling point to me on Wednesday night, “the only way to control executive behavior is to criminalize it,” i.e., civil penalties do not change behavior - the prospect of jail time has to be on the table. His broader point was that antitrust action can make a difference in today’s world, but only if this includes potential criminal charges
NPR > Fresh Air with Terry Gross > Fighting America's 'Financial Oligarchy'.
Fresh Air from WHYY, April 15, 2009 · Former International Monetary Fund chief economist Simon Johnson has advised many countries in financial crisis. When it comes to America's current economic woes, Johnson says that U.S. suffers from "financial oligarchies" — government officials and elite members of the financial sector that run the country like a profit-seeking company.

In his article "The Quiet Coup" in the May issue of The Atlantic Monthly, Johnson explains that the close connections between government officials and financial leaders are a major part of the U.S.'s economic problems:

"We face at least two major, interrelated problems," Johnson writes. "The first is a desperately ill banking sector that threatens to choke off any incipient recovery that the fiscal stimulus might generate. The second is a political balance of power that gives the financial sector a veto over public policy, even as that sector loses popular support"
NPR > Suggesting Story Ideas to NPR.

Stephen said...

Wade: Thanks for the kind words. Most importantly, we agree on the lordship of Christ and His calling on our lives.

Jim Pasley: You are correct about the interpretation of the courts. The 1st Amendment has been perverted by the courts. The ACLU and its allies have forgotten about the “free exercise” part. I’ll suggest another way to view the issue: Perhaps we should not be so concerned that the 10 Commandments and prayer have been removed from the schools and instead be concerned over the free exercise by students. The problem is not that the 10 Commandments have been removed. The problem is that the free exercise of religion by individual students and teachers has been removed. The free exercise of religion by a student constitutes such things as being able to share his or her faith, the freedom to express their faith in the classroom as part of an educational dialogue, and the freedom to pray at any time and in any place unless it is disruptive to class or other students. Asking the Lord’s blessing over lunch should never be punished, but it has in some cases. Concerning teachers: I hope they are Christian, but I hope more that they are competent in their field. When my daughter told me that one of her teachers shared the gospel with the class, I cringed. I didn’t send her to school to receive religious instruction. That is my job and I will not allow a public school to endorse any religion. The danger is that the next teacher might share some other religion. (By the way, my son goes to a private Christian school, by his choice.) Will putting the 10 Commandments make our public schools better? I doubt it….unless we wish the schools to be arenas of religious instruction. Hopefully, we will reject that notion and keep religious instruction where it belongs: in the home and in the church. Separation of church and state? You are right – it is not in the Constitution, but more importantly, the Scriptures assign the practice of our faith to us, not the government. In fact, the “give unto Caesar” commandment endorses limited government. You imply something else that is also central to the issue. If we actually adhered to the Constitution, the federal government would be limited and judges would not legislate from the bench. Perhaps we should address the issue of government from a constitutional perspective instead of a religious perspective. Limited constitutional government offers the best protection of our religious freedom, and is really what the Founding Fathers envisioned. That said, I would prefer an atheist who embraced limited constitutional government (specifically the free exercise of religion) rather than a Christian who wanted to impose a theocracy. Unfortunately, there are few in the former category and many in the latter.

Greg w. h.: You are to be commended for your faithfulness. No, we should never allow the government to censor our religious expression. Refer to the above statements about limited government. It pains me to see the ACLU and the Religious Left show little regard for the free exercise clause. It also pains me to see the Religious Right become a voice for the Republican Party. About Wade’s prayer – it is a shame that anyone would take offense at it. Wade is exercising his pastoral call. God help us to resist any government coercion of religious expression. Regarding God blessing our land – maybe the way He wants to bless our land is for us to exercise our faith. Doing this, however, requires us to be political incorrect and politically involved to retain our religious freedom.

Louis: Richard Land? The SBC theocrat and chief lobbyist. See my earlier statements. said...

Alan Paul,

If you read my "prayer" in full -

You will see I did the exact same thing.

I spoke to Senators (not governors) and only prayed the "last sentence" to God.


Anonymous said...

Breaking News: Jesus Missing From Obama's Georgetown Speech
White House asked university to cover symbol
Thursday, April 16, 2009
NBC Washington Reports: "Amidst all of the American flags and presidential seals, there was something missing when President Barack Obama gave an economic speech at Georgetown University this week -- Jesus.
The White House asked Georgetown to cover a monogram symbolizing Jesus' name in Gaston Hall, which Obama used for his speech, according to"

Gram said...

Wade was asked to give the opening prayer for the Oklahoma Senate Session in March, 2009. He did just that. He did not IMPOSE his beliefs on anyone. His prayer expressed his own heart and convictions. Anyone within earshot has the capability to agree or disagree with what was prayed. And as for "not being quite sure what label applies to Wade" -I am sure that the only label that even matters is "Christ-follower".

Anonymous said...


I read Dr. Land's book last year about religious liberty. I don't remember the title.

I really enjoyed it. The book seems to track much of what you have written here.

Land's book does a really good job of summarizing early Baptist history and their impact on church/state issues.

I can tell that you don't like Dr. Land by your reply, so I doubt you will read his book. Still, you might be surprised how the two of you think alike.

I know that Wade's prayer expresses Dr. Land's thoughts, as stated in that book. That was my point.

And I think that Dr. Land does a better job of representing how most people and churches in the SBC feel about church/state issues. That's why he and Wade are so close on this thing.

Of course, actually, you are close to Dr. Land on this too.


Alan Paul said...

Wade that was more a commentary on whether or not washington uttered them as a prayer or not and whether he uttered them at all or how much the content has been changed by others. Not your prayer. I dont mix religion and govt but am still appreciative of you and your ministry and your positive influence.

Stephen said...

Louis, my brother, I realize there may be similarities between the theology of Land, Wade, and myself. Please note that I do not personally dislike Richard Land. That would be unChristian. Based on your suggestion, perhaps I will read his book. If he and I were as close as you suggest, either he would have a different job within the SBC or I would be a chief advocate for the Bush-Obama Faith Based Initiatives program. I assure you the latter is impossible.

Anonymous said...

The "breaking news" on Obama is old news. See the last post. Or you can go back and listen to Obama's rhetoric during the campaign.

Either way, this is no surprise. He is right on schedule.

May God help us through this time and may He have mercy on us for electing him.

greg.w.h said...

That Baptists in Virginia participated in influencing the colony to reject a state church is a fact. That the state argued against a national/state church and for the first amendment is also a fact. That all American Baptists prefer free religious expression with no government interference is a fair summarization of Baptist practice since the beginning of the Republic.

That free religious expression may require separation of church and state in order to protect that free expression is a theory that is central to the establishment clause from what I understand and consistent with Baptist political influence since well before Dunn and Valentine. That we don't pay taxes to a national church in part because of the establishment cause is a fact. That 1960s and 1970s Southern Baptists opposed enforced prayer in New York schools in part because of Roman Catholic influence (supposed or actual) is another fact.

That Southern Baptist leaders prior to the Conservative Resurgence were very careful about preserving religious liberty and paid attention to separation of church and state is a provable conjecture and might even be so strong as to be considered evidence rather than conjecture...i.e. facts.

The CR efforts to permit free exercise of religion in the public square are the counterpoint to the concerns regarding enforced--especially ritualized--public prayer. The right of freedom of religious expression does not extend past the nose of the common person, however, and I think the American people intuitively are skeptical of "free" religious expression in schools under the "guidance" of administration and teachers who know their purpose in life is to provide social instruction in the interest of creating not just students but citizens of the republic.

I am conflicted as to whether we should fight over the right for our children to express in a CLASSROOM setting their religion because children make choices in a complicated dance between pleasing adults and finding themselves. Providing time for religious expression within the facilities of the school seems less intrusive and less coercive (we had a club of Christians at our otherwise quite Californian public high school where we brother was more involved in it than I was in part because I was the church youth group president--nominated and elected by a group of youth that I had must met the same week--and also had a pretty rigorous senior year of college preparatory classes.)

I offer these somewhat disconnected thoughts just as some of my musings over the problem of determining where to draw the line of separation not just between church and state, but also the far more important line between free expression and establishment. The wall of separation of church and state is a useful theory for guiding thedrawing of the line between free religious expression and religious establishment, I think, but I think it makes a better guideline than a "law".

But there are not very many steps from disdaining public religious expression to criminalizing it. I've frequently argued with opponents of free religious expression that there is no freedom FROM religion in the public square. They assertively (if not vehemently) disagree. And that is the source of the battle between those who desire religious liberty and those who believe all religious expressions should be private, not public.

I firmly believe that as Christians giving up the freedom of public expression of faith is tantamount to denying our faith. But there is room for civil discussion on how to practice our faith publicly in such a way that it is not apparently coercive. But we have to realize that some come to that discussion with the objective of forcing expression of faith out of the public square. That must not be permitted to occur.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...


That's pretty good.

Sorry to suggest the book. I hate it when people tell me I ought to read such and such a book.

But I was surprised to hear some of the opinions expressed in that book.

I talked to him a couple of years ago and we were talking about the various things he does, including TV appearances. He said that lots of TV shows that have church/state discussions are itching for a lively debate that they try to find people on at the polar opposites of issues. He says that they call him, but that sometimes his church/state position, while accommodationist in orientation, is not as extreme as they often want, so they go to other people. I thought that was ironic.

Have a great day.

I agree with Wade. You express yourself very well.


Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

Thanks, Louis. Although those who post on Wade's blog do not always agree on the varying issues, I find this to be a great and rewarding form of Christian fellowship.

God Bless You.

Alan Paul said...

Jim Pasley-

Thanks for the feedback - you have definitely given me some things to think about.


Rick Boyne said...


I read the Post article. I also read all the comments below it. If they weren't so sad, I would have laughed at some of the comments left.

People just don't get it.

Unfortunately, Christians have done such a poor job of BEING Christians, that any expression of Christianity is immediately dismissed as Fundamentalism (as you have been labeled in the Post comment section) or dismissed as irrelevant.

May God have mercy on us all.

Chris Ryan said...

I think these words from a Pastor friend of mine are quite appropriate to the questions being discussed:

"Back to the question one more time: Is America a Christian nation or not?

Today, in the Kansas City Star, columnist Michael Gerson speaks directly to the question with this observation, "Christian America has always been a heresy, a historical error and a blunder." ["Shifts in Christianity Show Change, Not Decline," 4/17/09]

He explains it's a heresy because "no human kingdom, however admirable, can be properly identified with the Kingdom of God." Back to my point that people not nations are capable of making a commitment to follow Christ. Jesus never set his sights on leading a political movement represented by a nation state and it's difficult to explain how the actions of our government might represent God's kingdom. If that were so, how do we explain the state of the poor, the overpopulation of our prisons, and the state of our health care system with millions of citizens having little access to adequate medical care - all concerns of Jesus and at the heart of his mission in the world?

Gerson claims a Christian America is a historical error. From the beginning, the founders created a federal government that was "wisely nonsectarian." As Christians, do we want to rule (lord) over all other religions? What would that mean? Would we show favoritism to Christians but not to other religions? Would we imply the state religion would be Christian and all other religions would necessarily go underground? Four centuries of Baptist history would go to naught for this idea - if so, we would need to cease calling ourselves Baptists in my estimation.

Finally he claims a Christian America is a blunder. He should have said a major blunder. James Dunn says it repeatedly: "The cross never looked good wrapped in red, white and blue" (or something to that effect); meaning, the cross was never meant as an endorsement for any nation or government. Nor should any nation think adopting the word "Christian" as an adjective anything but a direct assault upon the primacy of God. We should be wary of any use of the word "Christian" as an adjective without considering whether we've crossed over and manipulated the holy by turning it into an idolatry."

Alan Paul said...


Do tell.


Ramesh said...

ABP > Book review: Wade Burleson’s Hardball Religion By Benjamin Cole and Marty Duren.
ABP > Authorities expose blogger who has been hounding FBC Jacksonville.

Alan Paul said...

Thy Peace, watchdog's site is down...

Ramesh said...

It is working now, here. I did not check earlier, maybe it was down or you might have clicked on a wrong link.

Ramesh said...

Yes. I see the problem. The link quoted in the ABP article is not correct. Try the one in the above comment.

Anonymous said...

wtreat here:

"I guess when [some]consider you a theocratic fundamentalist and some of your fellow Southern Baptists consider you cultural liberal heretic, then you very well might be neither"

Ah Yes, reminds me of my seminary days. In a 30 minute period a student told me it was liberals like me that were ruining the SBC and then one told me it was fundalmentalist radicals like me that were ruining the SBC.

I agree with every word of the presidents prayer.

In His Service

Tom Kelley said...

You're just too kind in saying that David Waters is an excellent writer and thinker. I read Waters "Faith Matters" column regularly when he was with the Memphis Commercial Appeal. He's a decent writer, I suppose, but certainly no great thinker. I once wrote a letter to the editor of the Commercial Appeal(which they published, to my surprise) stating that it might be too much to hope that the paper's primary religion writer hold to basic Christian beliefs, but it would be nice if he had at least a decent understanding of them. His response to your address and prayer before the OK Senate is exactly what I would have expected from him.

Word verification: singical = the Church of Christ version of a musical.

Anonymous said...

I feel I have a duty to report this in relation to Wade's new book:

"Thus, readers who are unfamiliar with the events recorded do not always receive full background or sufficient context. In some instances, Burleson’s omissions leave the work void of a needed interpretive framework. In others, the author renders facts and events with varying degrees of chronological accuracy.

At times, Burleson's recollection of events is vastly different from our own, and some of the details he provides cannot be corroborated by our own archives of e-mails, letters and blog posts. Indeed, we regret that Burleson, in his haste to publish the book, has demonstrated a certain degree of carelessness in citing his sources, checking his facts -- and imputing motives to his subjects."
Needless to say I was shocked. This review of Wade's book was done by 2 of his former friends. I am simply beside myself in what to believe. Are his former friends stabbing him in the back? Or did Wade attend to poor scholarship and simply write a really, really long blog rant sandwiched between 2 red covers which is described in this review as containing "factual errors"? I don't know. But I do know that if 2 men close to Wade, and close to the issues he raises call Wade's integrity into question, then I, and you must read this book with caution lest we fall prey to satanic sensationalism (alliteration added for effect) :)

I only set this out there because I am now finished with my undergrad career and will have nothing to occupy my time for the next 6 weeks before I start my non-SBC MDiv career at Covenant Seminary.

Final thoughts: In the previous thread I mentioned Dr. Akins SEBTS Chapel message on Thursday which I believe to be the SBC Sermon of the Year. I will be blogging on this sermon and dissecting the "12 Axioms" over at "Divine Deposits" this weekend. This is what SBC historians will one day call The Official Rally Cry to the Great Commission resurgence. But does Dr. Akin go too far in his demanding of certain Baptist Identity principles??? Finally, be thinking of what you would call this new SBC. Akin calls for a new name. I will be running a poll next week with a few of my ideas. The SBC is changing...from Wake Forest to Enid to Oakland…


Sterling Dir. said...


I just finished "Hard Ball" yesterday. I found it an easy and interesting read. In fact, I loved it. I also just read the review you mentioned. It didn't strike me as it did you. You mention these two men are friends of Wade. There is no index at the end of the book - I just looked again to make sure. Frankly I don't remember either one of those men even being mentioned in Hard Ball. I may have missed a mention or two of them, but I can assure you it can't be more than once or twice if that. Yet, they claim in the review to be at Wade's side at every step of the way. Either those guys suffer from inflated egos or they may be upset that they are not given credit in the book. Regardless, I loved the book.

Anonymous said...

Thy peace:

Sounds like this situation is just as bad as FBJax......what say you?

Anonymous said...

thy peace

Here is the correct link

RKSOKC66 said...


Who are the people who wrote the view of Wade's book that are you quoting? Where is that review located?

I read the Hardball book myself and it seems to me like there is a pretty solid documentary record that is testable based upon how it jives with currently extant primary documents such as blogs, emails, transcripts of phone calls, and correspondance.

Is anyone doubting the accuracy of Wade's transcription of the taped phone calls in the book? Is there evidence that Jerry Corbaley did not really send out that 153 page document?

Do you happen to know what the purported "errors" are in Wade's book that these guys are raising?

Anonymous said...

Marty Duren and Ben Cole over at ABP.

Thy Peace.
Some serious action by our Fascist President.

Only By His Grace said...


When I finished the second grade in Pike County, Kentucky, my mother appeared out of no where to take me to live at High Point, Maryland. She left me when I was eighteen months old, and we had not heard from her since she left.

Maryland was something like seventy percent Roman Catholic in the fall of 1948. The first day of School at 8:00 AM Mrs. Kerr said everyone please bow your head. We did, but I peeped. I saw her reach into her desk; pull out what I thought was a black necklace with a cross on it. The first words out of her mouth as we all prayed was "Hail Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners all in this hour of need..."

If that had happened to my child, I would have pulled him or her out of that school before you could say, "Scat." I would do the same if it had been a Baptist praying a Baptist prayer.

I agree with the old Baptist adage, "When Government gets involved in religion, it corrupts the government; when religion gets involved in government it bastardizes the religion."

We better not forget that or we will all lose our freedom.

Phil in Norman.

Anonymous said...


I am not calling into question Wade's honesty or integrity. I have not read the book but hope to over the next 6 weeks. I just find the ABP report to be interesting. Why would Ben Cole call Wade's integrity into question?

It’s just awfully strange to me.


RKSOKC66 said...


Holy Toledo!! (I mean the place in Ohio not Spain)

I went over to ABP and read the review. Marty is probably the "godfather" of SBC blogging. Ben Cole was close to the action since he was on the staff at Emmanuel during much of the time that the events were unfolding.

My reading of the review is that Marty and Ben largely corrobrate Wade's account while at the same time raising the point that some details are different than their own recollection of events and/or the documents they have at their disposal.

In any event, this whole IMB "narrowing of parameters" affair is over. I don't think it is any longer helpful to have any more post-mortems over this stuff. There may be a few atmospherics here and there that people see different about what transpired. But in any case it is time to move on.

Kevin: You mentioned Dr. Akin's address yesterday at Chapel of Southeastern Seminary. I listened to it also yesterday via podcast. To me Dr. Akin's 12 Axioms for a GCR is the clearest call for moving forward in the SBC that I've heard in at least the last decade. The key axiom to me is number 12 which has to do with forgiveness and repentance.

Picking up on the idea of repentance and forgiveness, I think there is quite a bit of unfinished business in the SBC in terms of people burying the hatchet. Take a listen to Dr. Ranier's SEBTS chapel address from a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Ranier mentioned a fight (not quite literally but close) he had with Dr. Stetzer when they were both at Southern. He shared how liberating it is to "set things right" with your brother -- even if the you know that other guy is wrong. It's even more liberating when in retrospect you see that the "blame" is at least 50% on your side.

I admit it. I've been like a guy at the Friday night fights in the front row watching this stuff. Well, I'm leaving the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium. I'm going over to the Pike and breath some fresh salt air. Maybe even ride the Cyclone Racer.

Dick Lane may still be calling these fights but I won't be tuning in.

Only By His Grace said...

Who are yo calling a Nazi? President Bush or President Obama?

I think the article you reference is an attack on the Obama Administration for not pursuing criminal charges against Bush and Chaney for the war crimes of torturing prisoners and breaking the laws concering wire taps on American Citizens and elected Congressmen and the like.

What am I missing in your comment?

It is probably me. I have been up since six this morning and it after 1:00 AM

Anonymous said...

Only by His Grace
Read the article again!
The point is that Obama is worse on that issue then Bush.
Even Slate makes that point.

John Daly said...

The SBC should have changed its name years ago, talk about antiquated. I propose the Christian Baptist Convention but some may feel more attached to "Southern" than Christian.

Anonymous said...

How bout the Reformed Baptist Convention?


Only By His Grace said...


I understand that, but your words (copy and paste),
"Thy Peace.
Some serious action by our Fascist President."

I was just asking who you are calling a Nazi? Three Presidents are a possibility: BC President, George Bush and Barack Obama.

Nazi is a strong term for anyone to be using.



Only By His Grace said...


The link you provided leads to an article which comments on Salon's Greenwald's criticism of the Obama Administration giving blanket immunity to prosecution for breaking wire tapping laws and the torture of prisoners under our care.

That is why I asked what I asked.


Alan Paul said...

I vote for dissolving all conventions (renaming is just putting a new spin on the same old crap) and for churches to get off their butts and begin forming their own partnerships with other churches and like-minded mission orgs. and ministries. Perhaps then, as the church actually DOES something instead of just existing for itself, God will begin blessing them for their efforts instead of letting them disintegrate into irrelevancy and finally, mercifully, death.

Anonymous said...

Only By His Grace are correct. I am a supporter of EFF. If you will notice even those on the right also agree this is a huge power grab by Obama and much worse then Bush/Cheney. A lot of talk of a unitary executive.....translation: King Obama or Fascism.

I am not surprised!!!!

Tom Parker said...


You call President Obama a "Fascist President." What descriptor would you give President Bush?

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker:
Bush is not the President now. I try to stay relevant!

Ramesh said...

NYT > Opinion > It’s 2009. Do You Know Where Your Soul Is? by Bono.
It’s Lent I’ve always had issues with. I gave it up ... self-denial is where I come a cropper. My idea of discipline is simple — hard work — but of course that’s another indulgence.

Then comes the dying and the living that is Easter.

It’s a transcendent moment for me — a rebirth I always seem to need. Never more so than a few years ago, when my father died. I recall the embarrassment and relief of hot tears as I knelt in a chapel in a village in France and repented my prodigal nature — repented for fighting my father for so many years and wasting so many opportunities to know him better. I remember the feeling of “a peace that passes understanding” as a load lifted. Of all the Christian festivals, it is the Easter parade that demands the most faith — pushing you past reverence for creation, through bewilderment at the idea of a virgin birth, and into the far-fetched and far-reaching idea that death is not the end. The cross as crossroads. Whatever your religious or nonreligious views, the chance to begin again is a compelling idea.

I come to lowly church halls and lofty cathedrals for what purpose? I search the Scriptures to what end? To check my head? My heart? No, my soul. For me these meditations are like a plumb line dropped by a master builder — to see if the walls are straight or crooked. I check my emotional life with music, my intellectual life with writing, but religion is where I soul-search.

Tom Kelley said...

Convention of Baptist Christians.

Ramesh said...

Book Review–Hardball Feeling the Fury of Fundamentalism by Kevin Bussey.

Ramesh said...

Also, here is the list of book reviews linked:

Book Reviews
Hardball Religion
Feeling the Fury of Fundamentalism

Tom Parker said...


What are you going to do when thanks to the great track record a Republican may never in your lifetime be President again??????

Marty Duren said...

"This review of Wade's book was done by 2 of his former friends. I am simply beside myself in what to believe. Are his former friends stabbing him in the back?"I do not consider myself a former friend and doubt that Wade has thrown me out, either. There is no stabbing in the back.

"Frankly I don't remember either one of those men even being mentioned in Hard Ball. I may have missed a mention or two of them, but I can assure you it can't be more than once or twice if that. Yet, they claim in the review to be at Wade's side at every step of the way. Either those guys suffer from inflated egos or they may be upset that they are not given credit in the book."I am indeed in the book. Wade refers to me as the grandfather or granddaddy of SBC bloggers and quotes twice from the blog I used to run called SBCOutpost. Perhaps in your rush to get to the index you missed Ben and me. BTW, Ben is also mentioned in the body and in a footnote. Also, it's "Hardball."

As is clearly stated in the review, the book is Wade's story, not a full history and it does not claim to be such.

Thanks for pointing out what, indeed, was the substance of the review. I'm sorry you had to play Captain Obvious for those who either cannot understand a book, a review or both.

Anonymous said...

To all:

Any time "Nazi" and "Fascist" are used to describe any U.S. President, we have jumped the shark.

The horror visited on the world by those groups is truly unspeakable.

We sound really silly when we use those terms to describe modern political issues.


Anonymous said...

You guys may not know this, but there was talk of changing the SBC's name probably 80 years or so ago.

We need a change, especially if we ever want to plant churches effecitvely in the north, northwest etc.

LifeWay's name change was a great thing and I believe broadens the appeal of those stores.


Anonymous said...


In addition to finding out this week that James Dunn served on the Board of Directors of People for the American Way a few years ago, I also learned that the Christian Life Commission under Foy Valentine was sending $1000per month to People for the American Way. The person I found this out from said that the trustees did not know it, and when they found out almost became unglued.

They found out in 1985 or so, and it was just a few months later that Valentine said he was moving on due to a heart ailment, so the matter was not pursued.

Had you guys ever heard this before?


Ramesh said...

My thanks to Robert for the EFF blog post link:

EFF DeepLinks Blog > Boston College Campus Police: "Using Prompt Commands" May Be a Sign of Criminal Activity.
On Friday, EFF and the law firm of Fish and Richardson filed an emergency motion to quash [pdf] and for the return of seized property on behalf of a Boston College computer science student whose computers, cell phone, and other property were seized as part of an investigation into who sent an e-mail to a school mailing list identifying another student as gay. The problem? Not only is there no indication that any crime was committed, the investigating officer argued that the computer expertise of the student itself supported a finding of probable cause to seize the student's property.

Should Boston College Linux users be looking over their shoulders?-

In his application, the investigating officer asked that he be permitted to seize the student's computers and other personal effects because they might yield evidence of the crimes of "Obtaining computer services by Fraud or Misrepresentation" and "Unauthorized access to a computer system." Aside from the remarkable overreach by campus and state police in trying to paint a student as suspicious in part because he can navigate a non-Windows computer environment, nothing cited in the warrant application could possibly constitute the cited criminal offenses. There are no assertions that a commercial (i.e. for pay) commercial service was defrauded, a necessary element of any "Obtaining computer services by Fraud or Misrepresentation" allegation. Similarly, the investigating officer doesn't explain how sending an e-mail to a campus mailing list might constitute "unauthorized access to a computer system."

During its March 30th search, police seized (among other things) the computer science major's computers, storage drives, cell phone, iPod Touch, flash drives, digital camera, and Ubuntu Linux CD. None of these items have been returned. He has been suspended from his job pending the investigation. His personal documents and information are in the hands of the state police who continue to examine it without probable cause, searching for evidence to support unsupportable criminal allegations.

Ramesh said...

Some more interesting links from EFF:

US Government Rules that Use of Proxies Need Not Merit Extra Jail Time.
As Schoen told the Commission, "While proxies may be an advanced technology, using a proxy is often no more difficult than using Microsoft Word. Many kinds of people use proxies for all sorts of legitimate purposes, so only a court can reliably assess which uses are truly employed as a 'sophisticated means' of committing a crime and which are for privacy, free speech or some other innocent purpose.".
In Warrantless Wiretapping Case, Obama DOJ's New Arguments Are Worse Than Bush's.
Again, the gulf between Candidate Obama and President Obama is striking. As a candidate, Obama ran promising a new era of government transparency and accountability, an end to the Bush DOJ's radical theories of executive power, and reform of the PATRIOT Act. But, this week, Obama's own Department Of Justice has argued that, under the PATRIOT Act, the government shall be entirely unaccountable for surveilling Americans in violation of its own laws.

This isn't change we can believe in. This is change for the worse.
iPods, First Sale, President Obama, and the Queen of England.
President Obama reportedly gave an iPod, loaded with 40 show tunes, to England's Queen Elizabeth II as a gift. Did he violate the law when he did so?

You know your copyright laws are broken when there is no easy answer to this question.

And all of this even before you start asking what happens when the Queen connects her new iPod to her computer, thereby making even more copies (the UK, after all, lacks a fair use doctrine)... UPDATE: Prof. Michael Froomkin points out that the Queen enjoys sovereign immunity under UK law because she is, well, the sovereign.

Of course, no one thinks that copyright owners are going to send lawyers after either President Obama or the Queen over this. But none of us should want a world where even our leaders--much less the rest of us--can't figure out how copyright law operates in their daily lives.
Surveillance Self-Defense.

Anonymous said...


Here are 10 reasons that Obama is a Fascist:

1)Obama’s desire to criminalize political dissent (if he could) or marginalize dissenters as ‘extremists’ or ‘enemies of the state’

2)The firing of the head of GM and the purposed takeover of major sectors of the financial economy including banks and life insurance companies and deciding whether a company can declare bankruptcy or not and telling producers what kind of products they must produce by passing onerous laws such as cap and trade and telling people how they should live or what they can buy in a glorified nanny state

3)accusing business leaders of being the primary cause of the financial meltdown and economic crisis and treating them as bogeymen

4)Obama is the only thing standing in the way of ‘pitchforks’; the presence of a powerful leader to maintain law and order rather than relying on the rule of law (Hitler perpetrated the same strategy on the German people by citing the Jews and the Communists as a threat to personal and national security)

5)the Messiah complex that inspires blind loyalty and stirs up embittered hostility towards smashing the political opposition and utterly destroying it

6) the use of the power of government to orchestrate the destruction of private individuals (Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin); does any one doubt if not for the Constitution Obama would make their lives far more precarious and throw the full force of government into taking them down

7)the desire to undermine personal initiative and independent freethinking creativity and replace it with the production and distribution edicts of czars and the majority of individuals being completely dependent on government handouts and instructions and becoming as Mark Levin says ‘drones’

8) the use of Goebbel’s big lie and his propaganda techniques to undermine and destroy the credibility of the opposition. Alinsky’s views on taking out one’s political opponents is just updating Goebbels to the broadcast technology of today and just adds more fuel to the fire.

9)The MSM being in complete agreement and harmony with Obama’s agenda and acting as if its journalists and pundits are on the ogvernment payroll acting as spokesmen for or disciples of the Messiah

10)an orchestrated effort by Obama to diminish the role of God in the life of the nation (America is not a Judeo-Christian nation) and replace it with a false goal of a secular Utopia or a uncompromising faith in secular solutions and encouraging its citizens to live casually by indulging their insatiable appetites and becoming increasingly amoral and Narcissistic

Those who do not want to label Obama a Fascist are simply burying their heads in the sand.

What more proof do you need: when Obama establishes his own private army, when he takes away your guns or when he erects detention camps and concentration camps to house ‘right-wing’ extremists’ such as those tens of thousands who attended the tea parties today.

technopeasant on April 15, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Ramesh said...

NYT > Editorial > The Torturers’ Manifesto.
To read the four newly released memos on prisoner interrogation written by George W. Bush’s Justice Department is to take a journey into depravity.

Their language is the precise bureaucratese favored by dungeon masters throughout history. They detail how to fashion a collar for slamming a prisoner against a wall, exactly how many days he can be kept without sleep (11), and what, specifically, he should be told before being locked in a box with an insect — all to stop just short of having a jury decide that these acts violate the laws against torture and abusive treatment of prisoners.

In one of the more nauseating passages, Jay Bybee, then an assistant attorney general and now a federal judge, wrote admiringly about a contraption for waterboarding that would lurch a prisoner upright if he stopped breathing while water was poured over his face. He praised the Central Intelligence Agency for having doctors ready to perform an emergency tracheotomy if necessary.

These memos are not an honest attempt to set the legal limits on interrogations, which was the authors’ statutory obligation. They were written to provide legal immunity for acts that are clearly illegal, immoral and a violation of this country’s most basic values.

Anonymous said...

Thy peace:
In case you have not figured it out
Obama is now the president. buck stops with him relevant.

You have to read this!!! Written by a Pastor's wife: Brilliant

When you forward this, try to include at least one of the liberals that voted for this guy. One by one, they, too, will open their eyes....This is a must read, although it portrays a sad state of affairs in our once-great country.

And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of the land called America having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as The One. He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but He hypnotized the people telling them, "I am sent to save you. My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence. For I shall save you with Hope and Change Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout the land that he who preceded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he has built must be destroyed."

And the people rejoiced. For even though they knew not what The One would do, He had promised that it was good; and they believed.

And The One said "We live in the greatest country in the world. Help me change everything about it!"

And the people said, "Hallelujah!! Change is good!" Then He said, "We are going to tax the rich fat-cats,"----

And the people said "Sock it to them!" "---- and redistribute their wealth."

And the people said, "Show us the money!"

And then He said "Redistribution of wealth is good for everybody"

And Joe the Plumber asked, "Are you kidding me? You're going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats??"

And The One ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe's personal records were hacked and publicized.

One lone reporter asked, "Isn't that Marxist policy?"

And she was banished from the kingdom! Then a citizen asked, "With no foreign relations experience and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?"

And The One said, "Simple. I shall sit with them and talk with them and show them how nice we really are; and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!"

And the people said, "Hallelujah!! We are safe at last, and we can beat our weapons into free cars for the people!"

Then The One said, "I shall give 95% of you lower taxes."

And one, lone voice said, "But 40% of us don't pay ANY taxes."

So The One said, "Then I shall give you some of the taxes the fat-cats pay!"

And the people said "Hallelujah!! Show us the money!"

Then The One said, "I shall tax your Capital Gains when you sell your homes!" And the people yawned and the slumping housing market collapsed.

And He said, "I shall mandate employer-funded health care for EVERY worker and raise the minimum wage. And I shall give every person unlimited healthcare and medicine and transportation to the clinics."

And the people said, "Gim'me some of that!"

Then he said, "I shall penalize employers who ship jobs overseas." And the people said, "Where's my rebate check?"

Then The One said, "I shall bankrupt the coal industry and electricity rates will skyrocket!"

And the people said, "Coal is dirty, coal is evil, no more coal! But we don't care for that part about higher electric rates."

So The One said, "Not to worry. If your rebate isn't enough to cover your expenses, we shall bail you out. Just sign up with ACORN and your troubles are over!"

Then He said, "Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted. Let's grant them amnesty, Social Security, free education, free lunches, free medical care, bi-lingual signs and guaranteed housing..."

And the people said, "Hallelujah!!" And they made him King!

And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers. Others simply gave up and went out of business and the economy sank like unto a rock dropped from a cliff. The banking industry was destroyed. Manufacturing slowed to a crawl. And more of the people were without a means of support.

Then The One said, "I am the The One - The Messiah - and I'm here to save you! We shall just print more money so everyone will have enough!"

But our foreign trading partners said unto Him, "Wait a minute. Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung! You will have to pay more..."

And the people said, "Wait a minute. That is unfair!!"

And the world said, "Neither are these other idiotic programs you have embraced. Lo, you have become a Socialist state and a second-rate power. Now you shall play by our rules!"

And the people cried out, "Alas, alas!! What have we done?"

But yea verily, it was too late. The people set upon The One and spat upon him and stoned him, and his name was dung. And the once mighty nation was no more; and the once proud people were without sustenance or shelter or hope. And the Change The One had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed them and like a whirlwind that consumed all that they had built.

And the people beat their chests in despair and cried out in anguish, "Give us back our nation and our pride and our hope!!"

But it was too late, and their homeland was no more.


You may think this is a fairy tale, but it's not. It's happening RIGHT NOW.

Anonymous said...


Ron Paul calls Obama an economic fascist

Jim Paslay said...


I had not heard about the payment from the CLC to the PFAW, but it is true that James Dunn was on the Board of Directors for PFAW. I could never understand why some in the SBC continued to support him in spite of that revelation. Lear's group is about as liberal as you can get.

Another little tidbit about Valentine. He was a member of the group Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights. Up until 1985, we could never get the CLC to recognize "Sancitity of Human Life" Sunday. They wanted a concern for life day in April. The reason is Valentine and others within the CLC supported abortion rights. Neither Dunn nor Valentine represented the typical Baptist in the pew. That is why the CR continued to gain force in the 80s.

Anonymous said...


Even Jonah goldberg is talking about how
Obama is a liberal fascist....from National Review Online

Anonymous said...

Captain Obvious?????

Are you 7 years old Marty?

How much did you and Benji get paid to go on a liberal baptist site and bash Wade's book to clearly draw sympathy for his cause driving up sales?

Ramesh said...

From my reading of the ABP book review by Ben Cole and Marty Duren, it seemed balanced.

From my recollection, Pastor Wade always maintained, he learns much from his critics and that he normally ignores praise.

Ramesh said...

ie:missional > Hardball Religion, Book Review

Ramesh said...

To get a perspective of Pastor Wade's views on praise and criticism, please listen to his sermon, #9. Flattering Speech (Psalm 5:8-9), of the series The Long Reach of Your Speech. If you watch the video, it's titled "Pierces of Swords or Reckless Speech: Flattering Speech", September 7, 2008 - Part 9 of series.

Marty Duren said...

I haven't heard about any money; you wanna send me some? I was asked to help with the review; not by Wade.

I hope Wade does sell more books, but I won't see any money there either. Maybe he can take Rachelle to dinner with the royalties we generate. At Ruth's Chris.

If you would stop trying to find a conspiracy where none exists, you'd see the review is fair on its face as others in this thread (and elsewhere) attest. Since that has to be pointed out for you, Captain Obvious had to don his tights once again...

Anonymous said...

I believe the silence of Pastor Wade on the review speaks volumes. He has often said in his messages that if you have nothing good to say, say nothing.

I have read the book and immensely enjoyed it. Of course, I'm a member of Emmanuel and am biased. Interestingly, the entire book follows factually what he wrote on his blog. What is curious to me is the allegation by Mr. Duren and Mr. Cole of a "few" factual inaccuracies without giving examples.

Proper review etiquite always requires specifics; otherwise it becomes an aspersion on the author's integrity. I'm sure that is not what Mr. Cole and Mr. Duren intended.

Bill said...


It is probably just a matter of perspective. Five people can be eyewitnesses to the same train wreck and you'll get five different stories as to how it happened. Perspective varies.

Anonymous said...

"If you would stop trying to find a conspiracy where none exists"


The crux of Wade's book, Cole's life, and whatever it is that you do is hell bent on exposing your own conspiracy theories within the SBC.

Right or wrong, we all have our theories.


Ramesh said...

Jax News > Readers respond to detective's investigation of critical blogger.
News that the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and First Baptist Church teamed up to uncover a blogger critical of Pastor Mac Brunson has caused an outpouring of emotion in the community.

Some say Detective Robert Hinson, also a member of the church and Brunson's security detail, was right to disclose the blogger's name to the church despite finding no criminal activity had occurred. Others say it was unethical for Hinson to even conduct the investigation, let alone release Thomas Rich's identity to the church hierarchy.

The resulting banishment of Rich and his wife from the church has outraged some and pleased others.

The Times-Union asked readers recently to e-mail their views of the issue. About 50 responded. Here are some of those responses, many of which have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Crowder: Forgive me for being blunt but are you blind??? Every single thing that we have been saying is going to happen over the last three years has. Right down to the numbers going down. It was also stopped due to the exposure of them. Give me a break! It doesn't take a prophet, just common sense.

Anonymous said...


You are forgiven.

Btw, who is "we."

And so what? You want a cookie for being right from your perspective???

And who cares about the numbers. Who cares about the ills of some? Who cares if you don't like PP.? Who cares if somebody said one thing and did another? We are sinful people. Standing back and crying foul every time someone is hurt or offended is Satan’s way of diminishing the ministry of some (many) who I will not name. (Or at least rendering their ministries less effective.) I do not agree with everything PP does, but are YOU blind??? Many young Godly men look to PP and the ministry of SWBTS for their earthly port in the storm. As well they should. I look to my own God given mentors for just the same.

The crusades are over. I love the preaching ministry of Wade and could soak up his direct and powerful preaching all day long. But how ‘much more better ‘his witness could be if he focused on writing books to invigorate the pew, to uplift the pulpit, and to disciple young men from all over the country in practical theology.

I am a little tired of all the banter. We need substance that gives pragmatism the boot!

K said...


You wrote: "I wonder how ‘much more better Wade's witness could be if he focused on writing books to invigorate the pew, to uplift the pulpit, and to disciple young men from all over the country in practical theology."Let me update you on a couple of things that may be of interest to you. I am currently working on finishing the manuscript on my new book entitled "The Long Road From God," an exposition of Jonah, which we hope to publish next spring. My book, "Happiness Doesn't Just Happen," published in 2004 and built around the principle found in Phillipians 4:11 - "I have learned in whatever circumstances I am in to be content" - is now out of print (sold out), and we should have it republished by fall.

Also, a book called "Christian Civility," the section entitled "Civility on the Internet" having been written by me, is being distributed nationwide this summer.

Finally, I do agree with you that discipleship is important. That's one of the reasons I meet weekly with two groups of men that I am discipling, independent of the Sunday and Wednesday teaching times, which as you know, encompass I John and a topical series on "Eternal Punishment."

I say all that to point out to you, Kevin, that you are exactly right! My time is better spent on things other than the SBC.

The one small disagreement I may have with you is your tendency to assume something about me, as evidenced by your comment above, without having any ability to know the reality of my situation.

In His Grace,


Anonymous said...

Well dang nabbit Wade, you sure make it tough on a person to find fault with you.


My comment however was not designed to imply that you are not engaged in ministry but rather that your "ministry of exposure" could better be spent doing things which I now realize you are most certainly involved in.

k said...

Kevin, obviously, I don't necessarily disagree with you. Unfortunately or fortunately (however you look a it), I made a promise not to sit on the side lines in the SBC if and when I see something I believe needs correcting.



Lydia said...

"LifeWay's name change was a great thing and I believe broadens the appeal of those stores."

Especially since they added all those Jesus trinkets, plastic fish for the car and the 'religious' home decor lines. Not to mention 'Your Best Life Now' and Velvet Elvis displays.

You can even buy magazines that are kept under the counter like at 7/11.

Yes, you can say 'broad appeal'. It fits.

ka ching

Lydia said...

"What is curious to me is the allegation by Mr. Duren and Mr. Cole of a "few" factual inaccuracies without giving examples. "

I agree. Without at least one example that comment is meaningless and unprofessional.

Lydia said...

Kevin, If you are sick of it, go away. Get married. Or something.

Personally, I have to disagree about PP. If he has taught his strategies to young men by his actions and words then he has lead many astray. Not a port in the storm. Just look at how many young men will treat women horrible because of his actions against Klouda. (Not to mention his advice to an abused woman that he is so proud of... and we all know how PP tells tall tales. He has for years)

They will look to him a a guide for such things. The list of very very bad behavior is quite long and goes back to the 1980's and even to carrying a type writer into a dying man's hospital room to get him to change his will.

He has constantly been one step of the firing squad for his shenanigans always calling in his chits to get one more gig out of the SBC. (He is an embarrassment. What to do with him because he was such a big CR star! Fire PP and you have to admit there were serious problems with the integrity of some of the CR celebs)

PP has not been good for the SBC. Quite the opposite no matter what the BI folks, or you, say. We have to ignore so much to say he has been good for the SBC.

What is it with you guys who want to overlook bad behavior and the ends justify the means type of thinking? Where did you learn this?

Junia said...

"What is curious to me is the allegation by Mr. Duren and Mr. Cole of a "few" factual inaccuracies without giving examples. "

Lydia, you call Mr. Cole's and Mr. Duren's actions unprofessional and meaningless. I say not giving examples, but acting as if people should trust their unproven conclusions is both thoughtless and arrogant.

Ramesh said...

Mainstream Baptist > Podcast: Wade Burleson Interview.
We talk about Burleson's transition from being a trusted foot soldier in the post-1979 Southern Baptist Convention to being a dissident blogger against SBC fundamentalism. His blogging proved so controversial that he became the only Southern Baptist trustee to ever be "recommended for removal or officially censured."

Anonymous said...

What a terrific interview. Thank you for posting this link Thy Peace.

Anonymous said...

Mainstream Baptist
Are they not the Dregs of even the moderate baptist groups!
Wonder why Wade has no say in the SBC.
Just look at the company he keeps now.

Anonymous said...

Robert: No they are not, and it's that kind of statement that has no place in a Christians life, let alone a Southern Baptist, if in fact you are Southern Baptist. It's this kind of talk that needs to be purged from our denomination.

Robert: I'm going to be blunt now(again), but there are changes occurring in the SBC, why do you think that is, even if you don't admit it out loud?

Kevin: The We is me and others(I did have another blog before the one I have now) who spoke out against policies, the way the Convention was run, etc for three years.

Tom Parker said...


At least Wade has some company!!
Your bitterness I'm sure drives people away from you and reduces your circle of friends.

Only By His Grace said...


I hope you are much younger than I fear you are. Your sense of history is about on the eighth grade level and your sense of government is about on the fifth grade level of a child reared in some skin head biker's home.

Nazi and Fascist are completely two different historical and governmental terms. You now call President Obama Fascist? Make up your mind. You called him a Nazi in an earlier comment.

Nazism is linked with the Hitler regime forever; fascism is the corporate control of a nation. For calling President Obama a Nazi you should hang your head in shame until you study a little about Nazism. Your name calling shows that you know little about Nazi Germany murdering twenty million people, a country by the way with two state religions, Lutheran and Roman Catholic; very cultured, very industrialized, very educated, very Christian and very evil.

Do you know such terms as racial cleansing, death marches, eisengruppen, Kristallnacht, sterilization, gas chambers, gas ovens, Zyclon B; or such places as Auschwitz, Treblinka, Bergen-Belsen, Sobibor, Belzec, Majdanek, Theresienstadt, Dachau, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Ravensbrueck, and I can give you fifty more?

Nazis are the reason that the United Nations was set up, the Nuremberg Laws, the Geneva Convention and refining the rules of warfare covering the treatment of both civilians and prisoners, and not just so called "prisoners of war."

The Nazis were responsible for the deaths of
6.5 million Jews
.5 million Gypsies.
4 million Poles,
5 million Russians.
1 million Germans including political prisoners, the unproductive elderly, the mentally retarded, homosexuals and some I forget.
4 million Slavs, French, Hollanders, Austrians, Hungarians, Balkanians and so forth. These people were not killed in battles of war, but executed in cold murder.

If I am not mistaken President Obama just closed down the black hole prisons in Europe and fully intends to shut down the concentration camp in Cuba. He is tearing them down not building more.

You call him a Nazi? Shame on you! As President Bush was my President, so is President Obama my President.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if Obama is a facist or Nazi or whatever.

But I saw a great tee shirt the other day that I thought was right on.

It had a picture of Obama and below it said "Welcome Back, Carter".

Now I can't get that tune out of my head everytime I see him.


Tom Kelley said...

I just did a search for the words Nazi and fascist on this comment thread, and, as best as I can determine, Robert first referred to Obama as a fascist, and then you asked him why he called him a Nazi. So, unless I missed something, it looks like you were the one who first equated the two.

Not that I am defending Robert, just trying to clear up an misunderstanding of who said what.

I agree with you that Nazi and fascist are two diffferent things -- the former is but one expression of the latter, and the former involves much more than the original fascist ecomonic theory (which, by the way, was praised by FDR as implemented by Mouselini). But since WW2 both terms have had some pretty negative connotations.

From what little I have read about fascism as an ecomonic theory, there are some troubling similarities between it and some of President Obama's policies.

Ron said...

I am surprised you had not heard about James Dunn being on the board of PFAW until last week. You must not have been very involved in the CR in the early 80s. This was a big deal and reported in Baptist Press as well as the subject of several resolutions at state conventiions as well as the SBC. Here is what James Dunn said about his involvment.

“The board brought together church leaders and corporate leaders who care about religious liberty and sat them down together on the same board. That had not been true anywhere else….I am convinced that it was proper for me to know what they were doing and to participate in the activities of People for the American Way, as a citizen concerned about First Amendment issues, relating to them in the same coalition way that we relate to all the other major factors on religious liberty issues on the Washington scene.”

There were peoplelike Norman Lear on the board that Dunn said he disagreed with on most issues but was willing to sit with him on the board to work on religious liberty issues. The board had no dealing with other moral issues such as abortion or homosexuallity. In fact Father Hesburgh, the President of Notre Dame, was also on the board as well as several other non Baptist religious leaders who were considered fairly conservative on moral issues. Dunn refused to serve a second term on the board because he said it was not worth the controversy it was causing.

I consider it at least as wrong if not more so for cr leaders such as Pressler, Patterson, LaHaye and several others to be on the board of the Committee on National Policy as for Dunn to have briefly been on the board of PFAW. It is even worse that Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, Wiley Drake and other cr activists had a long term relationship with Sun Myung Moon and helped him organize many of his publicity meetings and appeared with and accepted money from him. In fact, it is possible Liberty University would have gone under financially several years ago without Moon’s money. Why do the cr leaders never mention these things? Is there a double standard?

I am not aware of the contribution by CLC under Valentine to PFAW. If that is true, he was wrong but I would have to see some documentation.

Here is another interesting story concerning Dunn. In 1990 I was on a plane returnng from the New Orleans SBC and sat in front of a NAMB trustee who was a strong supporter of the cr. He proclaimed in a loud voice I am thankful that we defunded the BJCPA because their leader James Dunn has bragged that he is friends with Hugh Heffner. I told him I did not believe that was true and he said it was definitely true. I tried to find out who his source was but he just said everybody knows it. I told him I would ask Dunn whom I consider a friend. I did ask him and he told me that he had never met Hugh Heffner or talked to him on phone or had any contact with him. In fact in his entire life he had never bought a Playboy Magazine except one time when it had the famous interview with Jimmy Carter but when he got home his wife threw it in the trash before he could read the article. That is why I never believe any claim by the cr unless I can prove it is true.
Ron West

Anonymous said...

Only By His Grace:
Read my post again......stop misquoting me.
I never called him a Nazi.
You must not have listened to Ron Paul on CNN. He called Obama an economic fascist....he was right.
You better go reread what a Fascist truely is. can be a fascist w/o having fascism as the form of government.

for some interesting reading go to Michelle Malkin and read the comments concerning the Chicago tea party and the CNN report. Tons of good dictionary defintions of all flavors and how Obama fits the definition of a Fascist.

Tom Parker
I am not bitter ....I just oppose all fascist.

I am a Southern Baptist and no one pulls my strings but I dont like the CHAINs you want for the SBC.

Got a nice comment from someone who appreciated the points I have been making concerning Wade.

Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that Obama leans toward facisim from his own actions because he wants to basically nationalize certain industries.

The problem is that we are no longer a moral and virtuous people and our system cannot survive. We are even seeing that in our churches!

They blew it on AIG and were found out. Sen Dodd wrote in the huge bonuses in the bill and that embarassed the Obama folks when it was found out. Their reaction was typical: Promise them the money in the bill then tax them 100% when it was found out.

But, I do not expect much since our Treasury Sec did not have to pay interest and penalties for all the taxes he did not pay all those years. That is reserved for us peasants. He was still confirmed by the Senate.

What did I hear about Obama wanting control over the internet? Maybe he will start pulling a Mac Brunson with all his detractors.

Tom Parker said...


You just keep saying the same thing over and over about President Obama but it does not make it so.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Well, I guess I didn't know everything about James Dunn, huh?

I personally would not want any SBC leader to be on the board of directors for People for the American Way.

James Dunn's explanation for why he was on the Board of People for the American Way and why he didn't stay (was causing more trouble for him than it was worth) are his own explanations that he will live with.

If he needed to explain it, fine.

How could anyone in Baptist life show such poor judgment? What was he thinking?

I read the Wickipedia page for People for the American Way and then for the Council for National Policy, and looked at the various board members etc.

I can see why more people in the SBC would be more concerned about an agency head being affiliated with People for the American Way than they would the Council for National Policy.

I have heard people on this page say that the council is trying to take over the world.

That's black helicopter talk in my book. No offense is meant. But it sounds just like what you hear from time to time about the Council on Foreign Relations, which included everyone probably from G.W. Bush, to the Pope, to Barney the stuffed dinosaur.

You or others might not agree with that, and that's fine. Different people have different feelings.

I don't know as much about Reverend Moon as you do. Whatever happened to him? Is he still around?

I think he or his church owns a controlling share in the Washington Times, or maybe it's some other paper.

I also think that the Mormons own a lot of stock in Pepsico?

I will buy Pepsi, read the Times (when articles are on-line from time to time), but don't think that will cause me to become a Mormon or join the moonies, or advance their agenda.

If I drank beer, I would also think about drinking Coors, but might not agree with whatever they are doing.

Oh, by the way, I also learned this week that Dr. Valentine was a member of the ACLU. Unbelievable.

I am sure that I should have known that, too.

That sort of an affiliation just shows how tone deaf these guys were to their own constituency.

It would be like Richard Land also being on the board of Bally's or some big gaming company.

The real problem was not just symbolism.

Some of the goals of these organizations (not all of their goals, but some of them) have obviously been hostile to Christians and Christian interests.

It's no wonder that most Christians, SBC or not, see the People for the American Way and the ACLU as unfriendly (in the main) to their interests.

Why a leader of a socially conservative Christian organization like the SBC would join, let alone serve on the board of these organizations is beyond me.

Are you a member of either of these groups? You don't have to tell me, but I am sure hoping that you are not.

On the other hand, if Dunn and Valentine (who also was a supporter of abortion rights - see Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights and NARAL) were members of something like "Celebration of Religion in America" that also included people of other faiths, I would not criticize them for that.

I never heard anyone connect James Dunn to Playboy.

I have heard that the Christian Life Commission under Valentine did have a seminar on sexaulity where he asked Anson Mount (sp?) Playboy's writer, to come and speak.

Again, what planet was this guy living on?

I wonder what kind of an hononrarium they paid?

That would be like Richard Land asking Bob Guccionne (sp?) from Penthouse, or Hugh Hefner from Playboy or Larry Flynt from Hustler to come and speak at an SBC event to give perspective.

Maybe Dr. P can have them speak at SWBTS chapel. Think anyone would complain?

Did these guys have no PR people?

I would go balisitc if Land did that, and I hope you would, too.

Finally, I take it that the idea that Dr. Valentine sent money to People for the American Way (I heard it went to John Buchanan, board member) without trustee knowledge would be bothersome to you. That would bother me.

I have no interest in digging that up, even if the proof is available (which I doubt) - canceled checks from 1985? Somehow I doubt those are around.

Take care.

Off to my meeting of the local swingers club!

Later meetings this month include Code Pink, the Weathermen (we still have a secret chapter) and Counsel on American-Islamic Relations.


Only By His Grace said...

I apologize for saying you called Obama a Nazi; the difference between Hitler and Mussolini or Hitler and Franco.

You are to the right of Ron Paul who knows very well that "Liberal Fascist" is a logical contradiction. Liberal governments would include those to the left and Conservative governments include those to the right. Fascism has always been considered right wing as has Nazism; whereas socialism and Communism are considered left wing governments.

Fascism believes in the government control of corporations to the place that the corporations control both government and labor. In one way, Socialism and Communism are the same as Fascism on the left with the roles reversed in that Labor controls both labor and business. It is why Fascism is described as "corporate government."

Hitler was put in power by the great corporations of Germany who thought they could control this funny looking college flunk out who was " a great corporal" in WW I. Many of these same corporate CEOs ended up as political prisoners in concentration camps if they opposed him in any way. The corporations of Germany survived to this day. Where is Hitler? Bayer aspirin developed Zyclon B and is still in production with none of their people ever being brought to trial.

Obama is no Fascist. He is much too pro-labor and left wing for that, and again, you and Ron Paul know that, don't you?


Ron said...

Don’t worry I do not belong to PFAW, if it still exists, or the ACLU and never will.

You said, “I personally would not want any SBC leader to be on the board of directors for People for the American Way.” Louis, I personally do not want any SBC leader to be on the board of directors for the CNP. Every reason given for one not to be affiliated with the PFAW can be given for the CNP. The only difference is that it is coming from the right instead of the left.

You said, “I can see why more people in the SBC would be more concerned about an agency head being affiliated with People for the American Way than they would the Council for National Policy.” If that is true, it is to the shame of Southern Baptists. The PFAW had members we Southern Baptists would disagree with greatly on many social issue. The CNP has many members in controlling positions that we not only disagree with on social issues but on spiritual and moral issues as well. In addition the CNP has deliberately distributed literature and propoganda that is misleading and dishonest. You said it was wrong for the CLC to send money to the PFAW and I agree. I also supect the the CNP has financed many of the activities of the cr. I think that is a dangerous thing. I have no evidence of that but I suspect it is true.

James Dunn will have no trouble living with his decision to join or to leave the PFAW. I am in no way defending Coy Valentine in either his support for the PFAW or for abortion. In fact I think it was embarrasing and wrong. Actually, Valentine’s support for abortion is no different than W.A. Criswells support for abortion and Roe vs. Wade right after it came out. He at that time said what a woman did was her own business and that a fetus didn’t become a person until after it was born and began to breath and that he supported Roe vs. Wade. He didn’t change his tune until it became obvious that he would lose support from a segment of Southern Baptists if kept saying that. Why doesn’t Roger Moran mention that when he is former SBC leadres? Why doesn’t he mention Jerry Falwell’s support for Sun Myun Moon?

Your statements about black helicopters is a reference to the claim by right wingers that the UN had black helicopters that they said were being used in an effort to take over the US. It also reminded me of the old Trilateral Commission fears by right wing nuts who claimed it was a conspiracy to form a one world government. I think the paranoia has been far more evident on the right that the left.

Your comments affirm to me again that the cr is about power and control and not theology. They will criticize any mistake, no matter how small or big by those who are not apologists for the cr but ignore actions that are just as wrong by members of their own political coalition. In other words all actions are done to support their politics not their theology.

Louis, you asked me if I belonged to either of those organizations I had not problem telling you or in fact telling you of any political or theological affilitation I have. You once mentioned that you were once a trusteee for a small SBC entity. I would be interested in knowing what entity that was and when you belonged. That would help understand some of your statements. Of course, if you do not wish to give this information I understand. I would be willing to give you my email address if you wished.
Ron West

Anonymous said...

Ron West:
Mr David Atchison told me that you were wrong in saying that he was appointed by his father....actually it was Fred Wolfe!
He is an elder in my church.

Tom Parker said...


You said--"He is an elder in my church."

Are you a Pastor?

This question comes from the reference by you to--"my church."

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker:
No .....I simply meant the local Southern Baptist church I attend here in Nashville.

Ron said...

I am not aware if I said he was appointed by his father. That would be impossible. Fred Wolfe did not appoint either. He was elected by the convention. I think he was nominated because of the influence his father has had in the past and maybe now also has in the cr. Most appointments and nominations are made because of who you know and who knows you. I did say that for many years in Arkansas no one was appointed to an SBC position without the approval or suggestion of Joe Atchison.

Anonymous said...

nominated is the word I meant!
Your word contradicts his word to me. again he said Fred Wolfe nominated him.
It seems like you like to spin the facts to fit your story.

Ron said...

I am not trying to spin anything. I am sorry if I am not saying this clearly. He was the convention recording secretary. That is not an appointed position. You are nominated at the annual convention meeting and then elected by the convention. It may be that Fred Wolfe nominated him. I have no idea. You said that I said that his father appointed him. I do not remember saying that and do not believe I did because his was not an appointed position. If you meant to say nominated that is fine. I do not believe I said his father nominated him because I did not know who nominated him. I think I said in the previous post that I was refering to Arkansas when I was talking about appointments. I merely pointed out to Louis that Joe Atchison's son was elected recording secretary of the SBC and that was a sign of the influence he has had in our convention. Please tell me what facts I am trying to spin and if I stated something incorrectly tell me so I can apologize or determine if we just have misunderstood each other.

I am sure David Atchison is a fine person and did a fine job as recording secretary. I was merely trying to show how positions are given because of influence and to correct some inaccurate information that Louis had stated about David's predecessor Matin Bradley. Martin Bradley was defeated by David Atchison not because of anything unethical or wrong that Martin had done but because David was on the cr good list and Martin was on the cr hit list.
By the way what church do you belong to in Nashville. Is Louis a member of your church also? You both seem familiar with the Atchison family.

Ron said...

Okay I went back and looked up what I said about David Atchison. Here it is. This was in response to Louis's statements about Matin Bradley.
I am sure you know that his son David was the one who took Martin Bradley’s place as recording secretary of the SBC. I have already pointed out to you the dishonest charges against Bradley that Paul Pressler used and that even though Bradley was a conservative and doing a good job the CR people put in Joe’ s son in as reward for being a loyal CR supporter.
I said cr people put David in as a reward for being loyal cr supporters. I did not say David's father appointed him or nominated him. You may disagree with my statement that he was put in place as a reward for being a loyal cr supporter but it is hard to believe that there is not at least a little truth to that. If that is spin I am guilty.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your reply.

I am going to decline your request to name my church, the board I served on, my friends etc. When we meet one day, I will be glad to tell you all that. I appreciate your sensitivity and suggestion of a personal email.

The things that I share on blogs are my own thoughts, not those of my church, friends etc. So, I want my statements and such to stand or fall on their own.

The same stands true of the Board I once served on.

I will tell you that it was in the early 90s, and that it was NOT a seminary, the CLC, the Public Affairs Committee. It was a very sleepy agency. We did our work and that was it. And the leader of the agency was a prince of a man. He never got involved in SBC politics. He ran the agency as a true professional. I suspect that his sympathies were on the moderate side. But he saw his job as running the agency efficiently, and not campaigning for or against candidates (unlike Dr. Dilday and Dr. Parks when they publicly backed Winfred Moore and maybe others later) or calling for Holy War (unlike Dr. Honeycutt). Even when the conservatives became the majority on this board, they liked him because he was so transparent, friendly and honest.

I do not know much at all about the Council for National Policy. Wickipedia says is it "an umbrella organization and networking group for social conservative activists." The list of members on the Wickipedia site includes people like Ed Meese (former attorney general) and religious leaders like Tim LaHaye. I don't know what church General Meese belongs to. I believe Tim LaHaye is in the SBC.

I don't sense anything nefarious about the group from the Wickipedia site. It is private, and there are some critics. But that's all I know about it.

It is a private group, I think. I don't think that they have ever been investigated or are suspected of breaking the law or anything like that.

I do some legal work in the water and sewer industry. I saw a speech one time on the internet by a guy who was a member of the counsel who believed that water should not be fluoridated. He actually believed that the fluoridation of public water was a plot to poison people and keep our population down. He was nutty, in my opinion.

But I don't know that the group wants to get rid of fluoride in our water.

So, I am sure that there may be eccentric people in that group, as there are in any group, and that the opinions of various members on one subject may not be shared by the entire group, but that they have some common goal.

All I can tell is that the group's purpose is to promote social conservatism, which is a description of everyone on this blog. And as we do, the various members might think that means different things to different people.

I can't change your mind about what you suspect about that group financing the CR. But I would encourage you to wait until you really see something before you suspect things like that. It would be like me suspecting the ACLU backed the moderate cause, even though I have no proof. We could do that with about any organization. All I know is if someone was financing the CR, when do I get my check?

I also think that it is unfair to suggest that Dr. Criswell switched his views on whether abortions should be prohibited by law for SBC political purposes. That really gets into reading motives, in my opinion.

I know a lot of Baptists his age. Their anit-Catholocism was a primary driver in their thinking on abortion. In fact, I think that most Baptists didn't think that much about abortion (except as a Catholic issue) until Francis Schaffer and others began writing about it in the mid 1970s. Dr. Valentine never could come to a pro-life position, and always referred to it as the "Catholic position."

Whether that fits Criswell, I do not know. I do applaud him, however, for coming to the correct position. That's the important thing. Especially for a man of his age.

While I do not know much about the Council for National Policy, given my business, I do know quite a bit about the People for the American Way and the ACLU. They are public groups. The founding of those groups (you really should read about this history of the ACLU) and their purposes and activities are widely reported on.

I agree with the free speech angle, generally, that these groups have. It's just the applications they advance, and the other goals and projects they have been involved in. Not enough time to list them all. Here are a few.

Abortion. Both groups support this, even to the point of public financing and striking down parental notification laws and consent laws.

Age of consent. The ACLU has been heavily involved in reducing the age of consent in many states. This has huge implications for statutory rape and other things.

Gay marriage, gay adoption, treatment of gays as a special protected class, such as minorities etc. This has huge legal implications, as well, relating to the 5th and 14th amendment application to government. action.

Pornography. They both are against restricting the sale and distribution of pornography. The ACLU has been at this for decades. The prevalence of porn in our country has truly degraded our culture, in my opinion. The have been several attempts to restrict the display of porn so that minors cannot see it (at stores, on the internet etc.) The ACLU is involved in almost all of these cases. And they also lobby against such laws before they file the lawsuits.

I believe that the ACLU (or one of their chapters) has in the past advocated legalizing prostitution. I know that Justice Ginsburg, former ACLU counsel, has written that the right to prositute oneself is, she believes, a constitutional right.

Alcohol sale and distribution. Same position. In our state, the local ACLU has been involved for years on the freedom manufacture, sell and consume alcohol. They also opposed efforts (which ultimately were successful) by MADD and other groups to raise the drinking age and increase penalties for alcohol abuse.

Drug sale and distribution. The ACLU has been at the forefront of loosening drug laws in the various states where that has been done (California, for example).

Lotteries. The ACLU has faught for these hard in our state. I know that you are opposed to those. Same is true of gambling interests. The ACLU sees the right to gamble as an exercise in freedom.

License tags to celebrate life. States that try to pass personalized plates saying "Choose Life" or something like that, have all been opposed by the ACLU.

Voluntary prayer by students at school, graduations etc. The ACLU is involved in almost every major church state issue. They almost always side with restricting the exercise of traditional religion (e.g. See you at the Pole events, voluntary prayer at graduations by valedictorians. The presence of FCA on high school campuses, etc.

The capture and prosecution of terrorists, both domestic and foreign. I know that this issue is a bit tricky and that good people can disagree on these issues (as they can on many issues). But the ACLU efforts have been consistently directed toward giving captured terrorists more rights. And their efforts have been consistenly aimed at restricting government techniques for locating and capturing terrorists. I agree with the ACLU from time to time, but disagree with them more often. Perhaps my biggest concern is the direction that we are headed with regard to war and POWs or enemy combatants captured in war. My father guarded Japenese prisoners in WWII. I cannot imagine giving all those prisoners or the ones the Eisenhower had in Europe a right to jury trial in the U.S. That is where we are headed, I am afraid (based on the case law so far), and it is because of groups like the ACLU.

The primary acitivity of People for the American Way that I am aware of is the attempted destruction of conservative judicial nominees. Judge Bork was the first. Efforts have continued against people like Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, and Justice Thomas. The PFAW tried to smear every one of these candidates.

Here's another one you might know about - Judge Pickering (sp?) from Mississippi, I think. A Baptist layman. A moderate during the CR, was destroyed by this group.

You don't know if the PFAW is still active. Well, I suggest that you do a quick search of their website and a quick Lexis/Nexis search of what they have been up to.

I don't have the time to go on much further. Let me just say that after 22 years of practicing law, being aware of the various legal issues that come up in my state and nationally, that the positions and applied activities (not just theory, e.g., "I believe in free speech, freedom of religion etc.) of the national and local ACLU chapters, and the PFAW, are not consistent with what what most Southern Baptists believe or want for their societies.

Thanks for your thoughts on these and other subjects.


Ron said...

Thanks Louis. I have no problems with your statements about the PFAW or the ACLU and don't believe they have had much effect on the SBC. I do know of one instance where the CNP financed a cr campaign but it would take a lot of time to give all the details and I believe this post has run its course unless Robert cares to share with my where I have spun the facts.

Anonymous said...



Have a great day.

Btw, I DO NOT live in Geneva!


Anonymous said...

I attend Grace Community Church here in Nashville.

The spin I was talking about was the impression that you gave that david atchison was nominated for recording secretary because his father wanted it to happen.
ironically I find him to be very apolitical.

Ron said...

That is not what you originally said. You accused me of saying his father appointed him. Then you accused me of saying his father nominated him. I did neither. Now you have changed your story to say that you were actually accusing me of saying his father wanted him to be nominated and that was a factor in his nomination. Finally you found a true statement. You caught me. If that is spin, I plead guilty.

Ron said...

Actually Robert even that is not what I said. I only said he was nominated because he and his father were loyal cr supporters. I did not say he was nominated because his father wanted it to happen. I do believe that but I didn't say that. Robert be honest. Who is putting a spin on things? How many times did you change your story on this?