Saturday, January 21, 2006

Masterson the Bonehead and Other Fundie News

Mike Masterson strikes again! He's becoming quite embarassing for a supposed "reporter" In his column this morning in the ADG,(registration r'qred) "Our God Paradox", Mike refuses to research his own ideas. " Our national pledge professes “one nation under God.” Let's review that statement. Between 1924 and 1954, the pledge read: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." The McCarthyist "witchhunts" of the 1950s precipitated a change in the pledge, in order to weed out "godless" commies in America(who MOST certainly would not pledge allegiance under God--as-if naively believing that they could catch commies who supposed could NEVER lie and say the pledge despite reference to God--sheesh what an imbecile!); the change was added "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Mike either wants to avoid that bit of trivia because his presumptive premise that America was once a more "godly" nation who included the phrase "under God" in all forms of patriotic endeavor. WRONG, MIKE!

He quoted serial emailer and Realtor:"Frances Langham recently sent an e-mail my way that recited excerpts which specifically honor God’s role from 50 state constitutions." Mike read the preambles of the "most liberal" states: "

Arkansas preamble: “We, the people of the state of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government. . . .” Minnesota preamble: “We, the people of the state of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty. . . .” California preamble: “We, the people of the state of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom. . . .” Massachusetts preamble: “[A]cknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise. . . and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design. . . .”

Do these facts practically disprove his entire argument that God is being pushed from the public forum? Not to mention that serial emailer Langham has urged email recipients to fight against impact fees and for those, like her, who believe that God himself has commanded that smokers be able to smoke and endanger the health of restaurant workers and the non-smoking public with their meals to vote against the Fayetteville smoking ban. Some source you have there, Mike!

In other fundamentalist news, in the religion pages of the Times and the Morning News, an AP article by Rachel Zoll, the "crusading" hatemongers who ousted the "moderates and liberals" from the Southern Baptist Convention have directed their efforts to oust all who don't follow the religious correctness, which has infected the SBC for decades has been directed at "fellow conservatives" who believe in that tongue-talkin' stuff. The Crusades of the middle ages and early Renaissance managed to kill their share of fellow Christians in attacks on Irish Christians, Albigensian Christians, and Orthodox Christians. A cautionary tale for the hateful folks of the SBC who would purge everyone, except the biggest donors to SBC churches. Says a critic of the conservative takeover of the SBC:

"The Rev. Bill Leonard, dean of Wake Forest Divinity School in North Carolina and a critic of the conservative takeover, said the Southern Baptists are burdened by competing goals: attracting new members, while creating strict boundaries between the convention and other Christians that end up making them appear "mean.""The Southern Baptist leadership is so ideologically driven that it's almost impossible for them not to continually draw lines and narrow the boundaries," he said. "In the early stages, this was publicly evident with the moderates and liberals. Now, when the convention meets annually in June, you wonder who they're going to throw out this year. There's always somebody."

What a "caring, compassionate" church the SBC is molding. As I reported in an earlier blog, the whole issue stems from an attack on Rev. Wade Burleson. Burleson was an object of an effort to oust him from a membership on the Southern Baptist International Mission Board(successfully), an arm of the SBC because he believes in a "gift of the Spirit" speaking in tongues or, as the SBC crusaders describe as "'a private prayer language'", a concept that is sweeping folks targeted by missions efforts worldwide. Burleson runs a blog at kerussocharis.blogspot.com and stated:

"Sadly, the Southern Baptist Convention is now moving toward a time when everyone must look the same, talk the same, act the same, believe the same on the nonessentials of the faith -- or else you will be removed as 'not one of us,'" he wrote in a Dec. 10 entry."

This "crusade" persists at time of a recrafting of the SBC image, as Zoll states:

"Southern Baptists are trying to reverse several years of stagnation in membership growth, partly through an ad campaign called "Caring People" that is meant to soften their image. Complaints of hardball church politics would undermine that effort."

Good luck recruiting fellow hard-right politicos to foster your ideological agenda against our democratic republic, SBC! These are fearful times, which usually precipitate such populist religious furors. Burleson shouldn't whine too much; he played a part in the purge of "liberals and moderates" from the SBC in years past.

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