June 19, 2006


As everyone knows, I am not much of a fan of the Southern Baptist Convention. The fundy takeover of the convention left a bad taste in my mouth--and resolutions emphasizing female subservience didn't help.

Thanks to Carlos over at Jesus Politics for this Baptist Blogger post. While this person is certainly more conservative than I am theologically, Baptist Blogger clearly articulates the problems of politicizing theology and has also noticed that Baptists, now having rid themselves of us pesky liberals, now turn their attention on fellow conservatives.

The rest of the post deals with that and the prohibition measure that passed. But this, I thought, was a particularly eloquent discourse on the melding of American nationalism and Christian faith:

"The incredulity I was experiencing at that moment was compounded within the next hour. I stood at the back of the convention floor listening to Condoleeza Rice, a woman who drinks alcohol and approves of abortion and was praised and prayed for as a true Christian sister by the SBC President. Every time Condi struck a note of political liberty or patriotic freedom, the crowd thundered in applause and rose to their feet in ovation upon ovations.

The Southern Baptist Convention has relegated Christian liberty in Christ to confessional oblivion and those who are willing to engage seriously in a discussion of its meaning and limit are characterized as an ungodly, immoral, unholy, and impure bunch of bootleggers peddling liquid licentiousness. Yet when the stars and stripes are waved, or 'God Bless America' is sung, tears roll down cheeks and hands are lifted high.

We are, it seems, no different that the German Church at the close of the Weimar Republic. Nationalism is our religion. The Gospel is now emptied of its power to set the captives free. This disturbs me more than the resolution itself. In fact, I could have stomached two years of the runner-up much easier than to stand in the convention hall and watch my fellow messengers rise to their feet when the death of Al-Zarquawi is announced. A soul is sent to hell, and we do not grieve. We cheer."

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