Baptist Press' continued obsession with homosexuality distorted its article on the results of exit polling in the presidential election.
"White religious conservatives chose Bush overwhelmingly, while homosexual and bisexual voters selected Gore by nearly as great a margin," read a Nov. 8 BP article.
The clear message was that true believers voted for Bush and unbelievers supported Gore.
As the information service of the fundamentalist-controlled Southern Baptist Convention, BP is the primary source of articles carried by Baptist state convention newspapers.
BP's article cited information from the Voter News Service exit poll that found "white religious right" voters went for Bush 79 to 19 percent. Homosexuals and bisexuals went for Gore by 71 to 24 percent.
"Protestants favored Bush, while Catholics, Jews and the non-religious went for Gore," read a one-sentence paragraph in the BP article.
BP repeated the same three paragraphs on exit polls in a Nov. 10 article.
A more balanced and fuller picture shows the following results from the Voter News Service exit polls:
--Jews voted for Gore by 81 to 17 percent.
--Black Protestants voted for Gore by 90 to 8 percent.
--Catholics voted for Gore by 50 to 46 percent.
--White Protestants voted for Bush by 65 to 42 percent.
--Americans who attend church weekly voted for Bush by 56 to 41 percent.
--Non-church attenders voted for Gore by 62 to 29 percent.
"Of the 83 percent of American voters who said they were not part of the religious right, 41 percent voted for Bush and 55 percent for Gore," according to a feature story on the Voter News Service report on crosswalk.com.
BP's fixation with homosexuality and chronic attempts to portray one party as more righteous than another party distorted a fair, accurate and complete report of the results of exit polls.
Robert Parham is BCE's executive director.