January 15, 2007

Let's just add this to the list of why I am no longer Southern Baptist.

SBC officials reject Carter, unity talk, but not all Southern Baptists join chorus:
"Southern Baptist blogger Jerry Grace, a Republican layman from Satartia, Miss., was one of many commentators who dismissed the New Baptist Covenant as the political machination of the two former presidents.
"To be consistent, I despise both of these men," Grace wrote Jan. 11 on sbcouthouse.blogspot.com. "Jimmy Carter may be the most naïve man on the planet…. "

Yes, by all means, despise Jimmy Carter. Show your true colors. A man who has lived his life with his faith on his sleeve--who has worked for peace in the most difficult areas of the planet--who has worked to alleviate poverty and suffering. Despise him! Yes, go ahead. And Bill Clinton? Of course, that is easy for a Southern Baptist. His sins are sexual and those are the worst in your Bible. George Bush may start unneccessary wars that get thousands and thousands of people killed, but you will despise Clinton and Carter.


But all is not lost. Thankfully, there are even Southern Baptists in this article who reject the hate wing:
"I am not surprised to see a response movement beginning to develop to provide balance to the fundamentalist tire-slashers who have managed to arrest the microphone of public witness among Southern Baptists," Cole said in a statement to ABP. "Neither am I surprised to read the prejudicial criticisms already being lobbed at Carter and Clinton by some of my fundamentalist brethren."
"Southern Baptists had better be careful when it comes to criticizing efforts to unite people of faith who seek social justice for the poor and oppressed," said Cole, a Southern Baptist pastor in Arlington, Texas "The role of the Levite or the priest in Christ's parable of the Good Samaritan is not one to be preferred. It could be that men whom the Southern Baptist fundamentalist elites regard as undesirable are the very ones who gain heaven's blessing in their efforts to bind up the wounds of those in our society who have fallen among thieves."
Lets hope that these voices become the voices of the Southern Baptist convention rather than the Russell Moore's of the religious right.


Tony said...


I agree with the tenor of this post and Jerry Grace, well, I don't think Christ despised anyone. His commentary is galling.

Nevertheless, this really can only be interpreted as a political maneuver to gain the votes of disgruntled conservative voters and not some kind of mission project.

I mean, if for instance, Bush and say, Bob Dole (I don't know his religious stripe or if he has one at all, I use him for example purposes only), got together and decided to form some kind of splinter denomination, both of them being first and foremost political leaders, how would you interpret that?

Streak said...

I understand your point, but am not sure I agree. I think people like Carter genuinely want to rescue the faith from the GOP. I can see distrusting Clinton, but not sure why conservatives have such deep dislike for Carter.

Is everything political? Under Bush, everything from birth control information to the environment and intelligence has been political, but not everyone does that. Clinton did some of that, to be sure, but few have politicized things the way Bush has.

Carter, on the other hand, has a pretty good record since he left office of being a good servant.

Tony said...

Yeah, I see where you are coming from. Carter does have that track record behind him and let the record show I have a great deal of respect for both Clinton and Carter.

Unfortunately, what this argument ultimately boils down to is the moderate vs. conservative debate all over again...because Carter and Clinton are both CBF'ers.

Nevertheless, it still looks a bit reactionary to me. Only time will tell.

Streak said...

I hear you, Tony, and can completely see where the politics come in. And you have to remember my own experience with the SBC colors my approach.

Nicole said...

Yeah, the SBC, just isn't a place for me. Often in classes we are required to tell our faith heritage. I always say something along the lines of, "I grew up Southern Baptist, and that's exactly why I no longer am. I decided being a Christian was more important."

Tony said...


I am not overlooking that. Just don't hold it against me if I'm holding out hope for the SBC... :)

I think you and I have known one another long enough that the Mohlers, Moores, and this Jerry Grace are not my opinions.

And, I don't know, why does everything have to be political? Some of my conservative friends have already begun blogging on this (I haven't) and are saying that Clinton's "disgusting" morals disqualify him from leading a denomination.

I don't think that is what he is trying to do though.

BTW, I started reading Kuo's book.

Streak said...

Nicole, I completely understand. I left the SBC a long time ago and am still not sure why I bother with it. But then people like Tony remind me of what the SBC can be.

Tony, I hear you. I know you are not one of those, and I hope there are more like you in the SBC. That gives me some hope as well.

Let me know what you think of Kuo's book.

Jerry Grace said...


Thanks for your fine compliments. For the record, I had no idea the ABP would pick up my comments about Carter and Clinton.

I voted for Jimmy Carter, I worked for his campaign thirty years ago. The reason I so dislike Carter and Clinton are their court appointments, the most antiChristian, proabortion judges in the entire Federal Court System. The nutcases in the ninth circuit in California, the guys who declared under God to be unconstitutional, were the gifts of my Baptist brother.

As to your comments about Carter working for peace. If finding favor with every antiAmerican despot on the planet is regarded as seeking peace, then I guess so.

You might be surprised that on many issues I'm actually quite liberal, not on abortion. These two guys took us miles down that road with their court appointments. If you disagree with that, it's your perrogative.

Chavez is a sworn enemy of the U.S.; Carter's actions on his behalf are indeed regrettable. Maybe you still buy your gas at Citgo, not me.


Jerry Grace

Streak said...


I am not sure how sincere your comment is here. Do you really want to discuss this, or are you trying to repeat your rant against Clinton and Carter?

Tony said...

Mr. Grace,

Thanks for the return comment. I do still see your commentary as quite galling. How can you justify using such inflammatory rhetoric, that you despise someone? Those are very strong words, sir.

You may be correct on your commentary and assessment, but there is a significant contingent of Southern Baptists that disagree with how you say what you do.

Also, your naivety in assuming that the ABP would not pick up on your story, is well, self-defeating. Whenever a stalwart Southern Baptist mouths off against someone and particularly one of their own, or at least in the world's eyes as one of their own, then surely the ABP is going to pick it up. Just ask Wade Burleson.

Or perhaps this is just more rhetoric.

Streak said...

I followed jerry's blogger profile to his own blog and found more of his rants against Clinton and Carter. Fine.

One thing, Jer, you might want to recall, is that while you beat your breast with great pride that you stand against abortion, there are many issues that you might want to consider. One, under the hated Bill Clinton, abortions declined. Two, while you despise all these people because, as you noted, at least Southern Baptists have been consistent on this issue, you might want to read some history on that. As Randall Balmer demonstrated, the coalescing force for your political movement came well after Roe, and was not about Roe. All you Southern evangelicals forged your political bonds fighting to protect the racist policies of Bob Jones University.

So, be proud. Be ever so proud.