Articles related to Miguel De La Torre, Women, SBC, Family, Abuse


5 Ways Your Church Can Keep Families Together
5 Ways Your Church Can Keep Families Together

By: Christina Embree
Many churches want to find ways to incorporate more times for families to stay together in worship, but these congregations don't know where to start. Here are 5 ways your church can make it happen.

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6 Ways Your Church Can Get Father's Day Right
6 Ways Your Church Can Get Father's Day Right

By:Julie Ball
In many churches, Father's Day gets scant attention while Mother's Day is a big deal. Many don't get it. Here are six ideas to help your church get it right on Father's Day and throughout the year.

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4 Ways Your Church Can Give Dads Their Due
4 Ways Your Church Can Give Dads Their Due

By: Doug Dortch
Father's Day doesn't get the attention it deserves. Rather than view it as a cultural accommodation, churches can touch on the practical ways that dads might live into their God-given roles and responsibilities.

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7 Actions That Will Nurture Your Distracted Soul
7 Actions That Will Nurture Your Distracted Soul

By: Matt Sapp
Constant updates. 24/7 cable news. Alerts on our smartphones. This information overload hits all of us. Distractedness is killing our souls, but you can take steps to turn it around.

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How Churches Should Reflect Jesus' Radical Ministry to Women
How Churches Should Reflect Jesus' Radical Ministry to Women

By: Kathryn Freeman
We live in a culture that degrades and devalues women. If we are to follow Christ's example, we should lead the charge against destructive messages about the value and worth of women.

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How Christians Can Change Culture. (Hint: It's Not Politics)
How Christians Can Change Culture. (Hint: It's Not Politics)

By: Thomas Kidd
Culture is extraordinarily complex and not susceptible to quick change, especially through politics. While evangelicals can participate in politics, we must remember that politics simply reflects culture.

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Highly Religious Americans: Happier, More Family Oriented, Regularly Volunteer
Highly Religious Americans: Happier, More Family Oriented, Regularly Volunteer

By: EthicsDaily Staff
U.S. citizens who are "highly religious" tend to be happier, to spend time with extended family and to volunteer, a study discovered.

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What Role Does Marriage Play in Poverty?
What Role Does Marriage Play in Poverty?

By: Robert Parham
Marriage plays a significant role in the struggle against poverty. And no civic institution is needed more to advocate for marriage and to equip married couples than the church.

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'Trumbo'
'Trumbo'

By: Ircel Harrison
'Trumbo,' a film about a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, reminds us how easily we turn on those who are different from us. It's particularly interesting in light of our current political climate. (Photo: Bleeker Street Media)

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Easing the Burden on Our Stressed-Out Families
Easing the Burden on Our Stressed-Out Families

By: Matt Sapp
In our fast-paced society, you can either take care of your family financially or you can actually be there to take care of your family. For a growing percentage of the population, you can't do both.

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Inching Closer to Achieve Work-Life Balance for All
Inching Closer to Achieve Work-Life Balance for All

By: Zach Dawes
After two national politicians - one from each party - cited family priorities over their career ambitions, have we finally turned a corner toward a more productive conversation on work-life balance?

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Intergenerational Worship Can Anchor Your Church's Youth
Intergenerational Worship Can Anchor Your Church's Youth

By: Christina Embree
Young people often leave church because they have no connection to the larger church body. While there's no magic bullet, intergenerational worship can provide that link.

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Southern Baptist Leaders Join Growing Tide against Confederate Flag
Southern Baptist Leaders Join Growing Tide against Confederate Flag

By: Brian Kaylor
Southern Baptist leaders joined politicians and corporations who have suddenly changed course this week by publicly opposing the Confederate battle flag.

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9 Ways to Help Children Grow Spiritually This Summer
9 Ways to Help Children Grow Spiritually This Summer

By: Robert Guffey
Summer has arrived, and it's time for kids to play and make memories. Summer also provides time to intentionally help your children - or grandchildren - engage with God's world and grow spiritually.

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Pushy Parents Discourage Children from Team Sports
Pushy Parents Discourage Children from Team Sports

By: Jon Kuhrt
Children learn many positive lessons from team sports, but two studies find children are turned off from participating when their parents behave badly at games or put on too much pressure to win.

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Family, Patriotism Strongly Influence Self-Identity
Family, Patriotism Strongly Influence Self-Identity

By: EthicsDaily Staff
Religious faith is a distant third behind the influence of family and patriotism on self-identity in the United States, a recent survey conducted by The Barna Group says.

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All in the Family
How does your family stack up against Jacob’s? Do you have some of the same dynamics going on? Do you see many similarities? No one inherits a perfect family or develops flawless friendships. Every relationship has its ebb and flow. Misunderstandings are inevitable and feelings get hurt. People and circumstances change and so must relationships. This is normal and natural.
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Old Testament's Deuteronomy Puts Women on Equal Footing
Old Testament's Deuteronomy Puts Women on Equal Footing
By: Claude Mariottini
Israelite laws provided relief to the plight of women and developed a special sense of social responsibility for the poor and underprivileged. The book of Deuteronomy reflects the rise of humanism in Israel.
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Great Expectations
For the most part, people come to know God by observing the lives of his followers. The way we as believers arrange our priorities, spend our money, do our jobs, parent our kids, handle our challenges, problems and temptations, treat our neighbors, react to those who hurt us and respond to those in need reveals the God we worship and serve. [ ]What kind of God do people see as they observe you?
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One Truth at a Time: Creator of Community
It feels like a church service when brothers get together and remember what their parents taught them, and this, I think, is Jesus’ hope: that when we get together as brothers and sisters and remember what he taught us it will feel like a church service, and when we are what he taught us to be.[ ]It will feel like family.
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Let's Offer an Alternative to the Partisan Either-Or Approach on Income Inequality
Let's Offer an Alternative to the Partisan Either-Or Approach on Income Inequality
By: Robert Parham
To make progress on reducing income inequality, we need to abandon either-or propositions and unite on sensible both-and solutions. 
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Jesus Calls Us to Broader Understanding of Family
Jesus Calls Us to Broader Understanding of Family
Even though many of us often hate to admit it and seek to ignore it, Scripture teaches us we are all family, connected by the same heavenly father. When will we live out that truth?
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Collaboration of SBC and CBF Loyalists Hinges on Advancing Common Good
Collaboration of SBC and CBF Loyalists Hinges on Advancing Common Good
It's good for Southern Baptist Convention and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship loyalists to pray for each other, but they can also work together for the common good.
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Richard Land Exits SBC Leadership in Partisan Form
Richard Land Exits SBC Leadership in Partisan Form
Providing a fitting close to his leadership style, Richard Land ended his nearly 25 years of service as Southern Baptists' top ethics spokesman by hitting partisan notes at the SBC's annual meeting.
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Obama's Message to Young Black Men on Target
Obama's Message to Young Black Men on Target
Addressing the nation's only private liberal arts institution dedicated to educating African-American men, President Obama talked to graduating seniors about race and fatherhood.
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Why You Need to Give
Why You Need to Give "Duck Dynasty" a Chance
Even if you're not "Duck Dynasty's" target audience, you'll be hooked after one show. It's one of TV's funniest shows and features a family committed to each other.
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Political Abuse of Power Calls for Moral Critique
Political Abuse of Power Calls for Moral Critique
When government engages in abuses of power, faith leaders should offer a moral critique without regard to political leanings or alliances. Sadly, that doesn't always happen.
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5 Ways Churches Can Curb Pastoral Abuse
5 Ways Churches Can Curb Pastoral Abuse
Pastoral abuse of any form occurs when pastors overstep their boundaries and view church members as a means to an end. Here are five ways the church can respond.
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Time to Reclaim Proverbs 31: It's Not a To-Do List
Time to Reclaim Proverbs 31: It's Not a To-Do List

Proverbs 31 gives us images of a strong and resourceful woman, who isn't threatened or anxious. Too many of us read it prescriptively. It's not a to-do list. It shows a way to live.

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Russell Moore to Replace Richard Land as SBC's Ethics Chief
Russell Moore to Replace Richard Land as SBC's Ethics Chief
Russell Moore, a dean and vice president at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will replace Richard Land as Southern Baptists' new ethics chief.
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Unjust U.S. Prison System Needs Reform
Unjust U.S. Prison System Needs Reform
A disproportionate number of people of color face both prison time and capital punishment, leading groups like Amnesty International to conclude that our judicial system is discriminatory.
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For the World's Ultra-Poor, Hope is Not Apparent
For the World's Ultra-Poor, Hope is Not Apparent
The appearance of hope becomes an obstacle when it maintains rather than challenges the prevailing social structures that keep the poor on the margins. We need hopelessness.
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How to Cook a Turkey
Are you striving to be good in every way? Are you faithful to those who need you to be responsible? Is your love strong enough to see people through their worst times?
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Why No Moral Outrage Over Torture
Why No Moral Outrage Over Torture
The U.S. has delivered prisoners to Syria, now engaged in a bloody civil war, for interrogation. Widespread abuse has been documented in Gitmo. Why no moral outrage to torture?
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SBC Leader Breaks Promise, Endorses Romney
SBC Leader Breaks Promise, Endorses Romney
Despite insisting for years that he would not endorse candidates, the main political spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention officially endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president.
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Boundaries 101: How They Keep Your Church Healthy
Boundaries 101: How They Keep Your Church Healthy
For all the good that clergy do, an unhealthy minister can inflict pain and harm that will carry its poison far into the future. Here's why your church needs to set boundaries.
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More Carnivorous Diets Will Create Global Woes
More Carnivorous Diets Will Create Global Woes
As more people in the world crave a meat-based diet like the United States, some experts envision meat production doubling by mid-century. Can we sustain it?
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Remember Soccer Moms? This Election, It's Dot.Com Moms
Remember Soccer Moms? This Election, It's Dot.Com Moms
Politicians were courting the support of "soccer moms" a few elections ago. Who's influencing advertising, education, religion and elections today? The "dot.com moms."
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How James K. Polk Gave Us the U.S.-Mexico Border
How James K. Polk Gave Us the U.S.-Mexico Border
How did we end up with an 1,800-mile border dividing the U.S. and Mexico? The answer goes back to James K. Polk and an ideology known as Manifest Destiny.
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The Greatest Struggles Christian Women Face
The Greatest Struggles Christian Women Face
A solid majority of Christian women feel "a lot" of joy, spiritual freedom and fulfillment, a new survey says. But you may be surprised by what many call their biggest struggles.
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Will You Eat Less to Reduce Global Hunger?
Will You Eat Less to Reduce Global Hunger?
Eating less can substantially reduce global hunger, not to mention improve the health of those of us in the U.S., where obesity has become a national epidemic.
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Ethical Lessons from Everyday Lives of the Poor
Ethical Lessons from Everyday Lives of the Poor
To focus on the daily existence of the marginalized – as mundane as crossing a river with a bundle of banana leaves – is to critically analyze the good and bad that shapes and forms the daily life of the poor.
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Could Those Who Make Your Shoes Afford Them?
Could Those Who Make Your Shoes Afford Them?
We enjoy our middle- and upper-class lifestyles because of the poor. Yet we seldom consider the connection between our privilege and their economic disenfranchisement.
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Help the Poor? Many Christians Prefer to Blame Them
Help the Poor? Many Christians Prefer to Blame Them
The myth that the poor get what they deserve has been around since Jesus' day. While too many Christians accept the myth, one group is taking steps to help poor women.
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We Teach Children That Incivility is Rewarded
We Teach Children That Incivility is Rewarded
Many were stunned by the bullying that a 68-year-old bus monitor endured from teenagers. Don't be surprised. Every corner of our society tells kids incivility is rewarded.
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Southern Baptists Continue Membership Decline
Southern Baptists Continue Membership Decline
Southern Baptists were supposed to be exempt from the downward trends of other white Protestant denominations, yet membership has declined for the fifth year in a row.
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Baptists Will Address Environment, Religious Freedom, Technology in Chile
Baptists Will Address Environment, Religious Freedom, Technology in Chile
Baptist-Muslim relationships. Sustainable development. Religious freedom. All are on the agenda when global Baptists meet for the Baptist World Alliance gathering in Chile.
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Inclusive Language in Church: Are Women Worth It?
Inclusive Language in Church: Are Women Worth It?
Until the church speaks and thinks of women differently, women will not be treated differently. Gender equity won't be achieved as long as gender-exclusive language is the norm.
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Evangelism – Forcing Doctrine or Reflecting Love
Evangelism – Forcing Doctrine or Reflecting Love
Evangelism must cease to be making the "unbeliever" believe the same doctrines. Instead, we should reveal the Gospel by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick.
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Have Southern Baptists Entered Witness Protection?
Have Southern Baptists Entered Witness Protection?
"Baptist" used to mean freedom, tolerance and autonomy. Now it means bigotry and partisan politics. And that's why so many Southern Baptist churches need to change their names.
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Land Sidesteps Plagiarism Issue at SBC Annual Meeting
Land Sidesteps Plagiarism Issue at SBC Annual Meeting
As Richard Land, Southern Baptists' embattled top ethicist, faced Southern Baptists for the first time since his controversial and plagiarized racial words, he quickly glossed over the issue.
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Ignoring Ethical Questions About Military Drones
Ignoring Ethical Questions About Military Drones
When we fail to consider the ethical ramifications of employing new military hardware, we risk setting a precedent that may create a less stable world as other nations acquire similar technology.
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Prominent African-American Southern Baptist Condemns Mormonism as Racist
Prominent African-American Southern Baptist Condemns Mormonism as Racist
An African-American pastor hopes messengers at next week's annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention will pass a resolution condemning Mormonism as racist.
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Reactions Mixed to Action against SBC's Land for Plagiarism, Inflammatory Remarks
Reactions Mixed to Action against SBC's Land for Plagiarism, Inflammatory Remarks
The decision by Southern Baptist trustees to cancel the radio program of their top ethicist while allowing him to keep his job sparked criticism from some Baptists and journalists.
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If America Has an Obesity Campaign Akin to Smoking Campaign, Will Churches Join It?
If America Has an Obesity Campaign Akin to Smoking Campaign, Will Churches Join It?
Obesity health problems cost up to $190 billion annually. Will a campaign similar to the anti-smoking effort help reduce obesity rates? And will churches be involved?
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A Prayer for People Who Aren’t Trying to Escape
People who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender pose no threat to the institution of marriage. Marriages are threatened by hypocrisy, hatefulness, and self-centeredness.
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7 Ways to Detect Any Type of Fundamentalist
7 Ways to Detect Any Type of Fundamentalist
Whether religious, atheist or political, fundamentalists disdain, dismiss and disrespect those who refuse to blindly accept their particular ideological worldview.
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Did Land Write His Apology for Racially Charged Remarks?
Did Land Write His Apology for Racially Charged Remarks?
Did Southern Baptist Convention agency head Richard Land write the apology statement for racially charged remarks issued under his name, or was it written by African-American Baptist clergy?
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Lottie Moon Defied Male-Dominated Southern Baptists
Lottie Moon Defied Male-Dominated Southern Baptists
Lottie Moon, whose name and likeness are used by Southern Baptists to fuel fundraising efforts for foreign missions, was a "defiant pioneer" who saw no restrictions on women in ministry.
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Do Talk-Radio Standards Justify Land's Plagiarism?
Do Talk-Radio Standards Justify Land's Plagiarism?
A Southern Baptist committee investigating allegations of plagiarism against the denomination's ethics leader suggests journalism and talk radio have different standards. Not everyone agrees.
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Immigrant Abuse Runs Rampant in Border Patrol
Immigrant Abuse Runs Rampant in Border Patrol
A disturbing video of Border Patrol agents beating a Hispanic to death illustrates the rampant abuse of undocumented immigrants. How long will we remain silent?
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Should We Blame God for Tragedies, Deaths?
Should We Blame God for Tragedies, Deaths?
We all face tragedy, misery, illness and death. When seemingly unfair events occur, many of us question if any sense of cosmic justice and mercy truly exists.
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SBC Agency to Investigate Land's Plagiarism
SBC Agency to Investigate Land's Plagiarism
The Southern Baptist agency headed by Richard Land, the SBC's top ethicist, will investigate plagiarism charges against him but suggested that radio shows have different standards.
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SBC Official Issues Apology for Plagiarism
SBC Official Issues Apology for Plagiarism
Richard Land, Southern Baptists' chief ethicist, apologized on Monday for plagiarism during his radio show, saying he "failed to provide appropriate verbal attributions."
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Baptist Blogger Accuses SBC Ethics Agency Head of Plagiarism
Baptist Blogger Accuses SBC Ethics Agency Head of Plagiarism
Richard Land, Southern Baptists' top ethics official, quoted liberally from a conservative writer's column about the Trayvon Martin shooting without attribution, a Baptist blogger says.
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Does SBC Leader's Rant Reflect God's Love?
Does SBC Leader's Rant Reflect God's Love?
Richard Land, a leading SBC official, denounced civil rights leaders calling for justice in the Trayvon Martin shooting. Is this how Southern Baptists demonstrate God's love to people of color?
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SBC Official's Radio Rant Advances No Moral Good
SBC Official's Radio Rant Advances No Moral Good
Richard Land, the SBC's public policy official, made reckless statements about the Trayvon Martin shooting, stoking the fires of anger toward people of color, the media and the administration.
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How the Poor Teach Us About the Divine
How the Poor Teach Us About the Divine
In a dirt-floor hut in a Mexican village, a poor woman's simple action taught students and their professor more about divinity than all of their textbooks could.
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3 Forces Threaten to Change Higher Education
3 Forces Threaten to Change Higher Education
Anti-intellectual politicians, universities too focused on their bottom lines, and the elimination of tenure all threaten to change higher education. And an educated electorate is vital to democracy.
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6 Dramatic Trends Your Church May Be Ignoring
6 Dramatic Trends Your Church May Be Ignoring
Your church may have a trendy coffee bar, but if you're ignoring one or more of these six trends, you may continue to see your membership and your relevance erode.
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What Will Election of the SBC's First African-American President Mean?
What Will Election of the SBC's First African-American President Mean?
The Southern Baptist Convention may elect its first African-American president this year. It would be a powerful symbol, but will the SBC's white power structure allow that symbol to lead to transformation?
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Southern Baptists Mull Whether ‘Southern’ Still Fits
FAIRHOPE, Ala. (RNS) For the Rev. Jerry Henry, pastor of First Baptist Church of Fairhope, being Southern Baptist is a defining aspect of life.
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Book Shatters Stereotypes on Muslim Women, Sex and Love
(RNS) If you think good Muslim women wait for marriage to have sex, think again.
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Arizona Schools Forced to Ban Ethnic-Studies Books
Arizona Schools Forced to Ban Ethnic-Studies Books
Arizona schools that are largely comprised of Mexican-Americans are eliminating ethnic-studies programs to avoid "biased, political and emotionally charged" teaching.
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Pastor Poised to Be First Black to Lead Baptists
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Rev. Fred Luter told his African-American congregation that he will seek to become the first black man to lead the SBC.
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Will New Southern Baptist Name Change Perception?
Will New Southern Baptist Name Change Perception?
While a slim majority holds a favorable impression of Southern Baptists, half of young adults said they would not consider joining a Southern Baptist church. Will a new name make a difference?
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An Accurate Choice for Renamed Southern Baptists
An Accurate Choice for Renamed Southern Baptists
Southern Baptist leaders are weighing a name change for the denomination. With so many choices already taken, one accurate possibility still exists.
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Baptists Join Evangelical Summit Backing Santorum
Baptists Join Evangelical Summit Backing Santorum
Several Southern Baptist leaders joined a meeting of more than 150 conservative evangelicals, who announced former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum as their political savior.
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SBC Official Involved in Political Efforts to Defeat Romney, Obama
SBC Official Involved in Political Efforts to Defeat Romney, Obama
Although he claims to be nonpartisan, a Southern Baptist official is working behind the scenes to defeat President Obama and stop Mitt Romney from earning the GOP presidential nod.
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Remember Why the SBC Left the BWA
Remember Why the SBC Left the BWA
When Southern Baptists withdrew from the Baptist World Alliance eight years ago, SBC leaders issued a series of false accusations. Any reconciliation must begin with the SBC's confession of wrongdoing.
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Despite Affairs, Gingrich Given Political Grace by SBC Leaders
Despite Affairs, Gingrich Given Political Grace by SBC Leaders
Southern Baptist leaders extended support to GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich despite his affairs and divorces. It's a stark contrast to the treatment they gave Bill Clinton.
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Procedure Steamrollers Immigrants' Human Rights
Procedure Steamrollers Immigrants' Human Rights
Instead of deporting undocumented immigrants, we've created an elaborate and expensive legal procedure that violates their basic human rights. Is this justice for all?
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LifeWay's
LifeWay's "Pink Bible" Recall Shows Politics of Association
Rather than continue a partnership that would help fund breast cancer treatment and recovery, a Southern Baptist Convention agency pulled the plug to prevent a perceived link to Planned Parenthood.
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Detaining Immigrants: A Lucrative Industry
Detaining Immigrants: A Lucrative Industry
Because detaining the undocumented is a billion-dollar industry, inmates are often denied basic needs and face abuse. The most vulnerable are at the mercy of corporations that profit by their detention.
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Israelis, Resentful of Orthodox Grip on Society, Fight Back
JERUSALEM (RNS) The Kolben Dance Company’s studio faces a busy downtown plaza, but few passers-by have ever glimpsed one of the troupe’s rehearsals inside.
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As America's Rich Get Richer, Hispanics Suffer
As America's Rich Get Richer, Hispanics Suffer
Even though past generations of Hispanics bought into the American Dream, the economic structures have been – and continue to be – constructed to maintain their disenfranchisement.
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D.C. Tosses Complaint Against Catholic University Dorms
WASHINGTON (RNS) The District has dismissed a complaint against the university that charged the school’s return to same-gender student housing discriminates against women.
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Study Says Religious Services Make Some Women Happier
A new study in the Journal of Religion and Health suggests that there’s a link between optimism and attendance at religious services.
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Religious Liberty – Our Forgotten Baptist Heritage
Religious Liberty – Our Forgotten Baptist Heritage
Speeches by the past and present pastors of First Baptist Church of Dallas illustrate how quickly the Baptist heritage of religious liberty for everyone is soon forgotten – or ignored.
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Economy Transfers Wealth - From the Bottom Up
Economy Transfers Wealth - From the Bottom Up

Our current economic system transfers wealth from the bottom of society to the top, creating a growing income disparity between the rich and poor, many of whom are disproportionately people of color.

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How Language Use Forces Minorities to the Margin
How Language Use Forces Minorities to the Margin
For many Hispanics, once their "broken" English is detected, they are relegated to the margins, facing hostile congressional laws and proposals unless they can certify they belong.
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U.S. Evangelical Zionists Misuse Bible, Harm Palestinian Christians
U.S. Evangelical Zionists Misuse Bible, Harm Palestinian Christians
Following their end-of-the-world beliefs, Christian Zionists in the U.S. misuse the Bible to theologically justify displacing and oppressing Palestinians, thwarting efforts for Middle East peace.
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Christian Women Take on Leadership in Arab World
Christian Women Take on Leadership in Arab World
Times are changing in the Arab world as more Christian women assume positions of leadership. But, as two women point out, more women need the courage to step out of their comfort zones.
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The Real Class Warfare: Protecting the Super-Rich
The Real Class Warfare: Protecting the Super-Rich
Those who question the disparity of wealth in the U.S. are often accused of promoting class warfare. But the real class warfare is being waged by politicians protecting the super-rich – and they're winning.
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Dominionism: A Danger in Churches and Politics
Dominionism: A Danger in Churches and Politics
Dominionism, the belief that Christians should take control of the government and all of society's institutions, is a misguided theology that seeks to turn Christ into a political messiah.
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Media's Too Liberal? Try Too Lacking Diversity
Media's Too Liberal? Try Too Lacking Diversity
Many often bemoan that the media is too liberal. A far greater and more accurate concern is that most newsrooms have little to no diversity, and that affects their coverage.
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Lottie Moon: The Facts and Myths about Her Life
Lottie Moon: The Facts and Myths about Her Life
Some stories about iconic Southern Baptist missionary Lottie Moon were fabricated to aid fund-raising efforts after her death and to camouflage her advocacy for women's rights. Her real story is better than the myths.
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Women Show Deep Drop in Church Attendance, Survey Says
(RNS) Women, long considered the dominant pew dwellers in the nation’s churches, have shown a dramatic drop in attendance in the last two decades.
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Christians Divided on Belgium’s Burqa Ban
(RNS/ENInews) Belgian Christians expressed mixed reactions to the country’s new “burqa ban,” as Belgium joined France in criminalizing the Islamic veil.
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Are SBC Leaders as Spineless as Land is Shameless?
Are SBC Leaders as Spineless as Land is Shameless?
Are Southern Baptists leaders once again ignoring the latest reckless rant – that President Obama "lives like a playboy" – from the head of their public-policy office?
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Battling Over the Meaning of the Bible's Words
Battling Over the Meaning of the Bible's Words
As language continues to evolve and as biblical scholars help us better understand the meaning of ancient words, Bible translations need to be updated. This presents a problem for those who adhere to inerrancy.
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Southern Baptists Wrestle with Gay Hoax
(RNS) Officials of the SBC say they were the victims of a hoax when a group claiming to be them announced it had started to support gay marriage.
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SBC's Contentious Debate over
SBC's Contentious Debate over "Amnesty" for Undocumented Immigrants
Marring the racially inclusive image that Southern Baptists attempted to present through their annual meeting, a resolution on immigration sparked a lively debate over a proposal that critics called "amnesty."
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Southern Baptists Look to Minorities to Jumpstart Growth
(RNS) Southern Baptists adopted a plan to try to boost minorities in their top leadership posts as they face continuing reports of declining membership.
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Myth Busted: U.S. Not Founded as Christian Nation
Myth Busted: U.S. Not Founded as Christian Nation
The popular myth that the Founding Fathers were followers of Jesus who desired to start a Christian nation is a convenient fiction that threatens our democratic ideals of liberty and freedom.
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Climate Change: How Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Differ
Climate Change: How Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Differ
More than two-thirds of evangelical pastors doubt global warming is real and manmade while Catholic leaders issued a call to action to address the problem. Why are evangelical leaders in denial?
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Jewish Newspaper Erases Clinton from Photo
(RNS) An ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper in Brooklyn deleted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from a White House photograph.
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Pope Says Comatose Can Still Feel Presence of Family
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI told a mother that her comatose son can feel her “presence” and “love.”
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Cookbook Preserves Family Recipes Lost in Holocaust
(RNS) The last time Regina Finer’s mother cooked the soft, dense potato dumplings called kluskies, Regina couldn’t have been more than 12.
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French Ban on Full-face Veils Takes Effect
PARIS (RNS) Police arrested several and protests continued to spread as France’s controversial ban against the full-face veil came into force.
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How Some Christians Fight Human Trafficking
How Some Christians Fight Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is alive and well in today's world. Women and children are trafficked for sexual purposes and as unpaid labor – even in the United States. And some Christians are doing something about it.
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Young Mormons Advised not to Delay Marriage
(RNS) Single Mormon men who are postponing marriage should get to it right away, church President Thomas S. Monson said.
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What Politicians Mean When Extolling U.S. Exceptionalism
What Politicians Mean When Extolling U.S. Exceptionalism
When politicians talk about U.S. exceptionalism, their rhetoric implies that the ethical and moral imperatives keeping other nations in check don't apply to us because the United States is the "greatest country on earth."
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Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Fuels Violent
Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Fuels Violent "Solutions"
When politicians ramped up their anti-immigrant rhetoric to garner votes, violence against Hispanics increased 40 percent. Is it any surprise that even Hispanic U.S. citizens are fearful?
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Widow's Mite Condemns Culture of Religious Greed
Widow's Mite Condemns Culture of Religious Greed
The story of the widow's mite is generally idealized as an example of Christian behavior for the poor. Instead, Jesus is denouncing a religious social structure that cons the widow out of what little she has.
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Obama Drops Defense of Anti-gay-marriage Law
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration announced it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
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Obama Lost Egypt? When Did It Belong to Us?
Obama Lost Egypt? When Did It Belong to Us?
The radical right-wing media is blaming Obama for losing Egypt, but for one nation to lose another nation implies ownership. They prefer a U.S. that functions as an empire, not as a defender of global democratic movements.
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SBC Leader Quits Group Promoting Religious Liberty
SBC Leader Quits Group Promoting Religious Liberty
Richard Land, head of Southern Baptists' Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, quit a group that defends Muslims' religious liberty rights – a move that caps months of his wavering on the issue.
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Southern Baptist Leader Resigns Coalition Supporting Mosques
(RNS) A top leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has resigned from a new interfaith coalition.
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State Department to Leave Mother and Father on Documents
WASHINGTON (RNS) Secretary Clinton has ordered changes to a proposal to remove the terms “mother” and “father” from records of overseas births.
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Anti-Hispanic Assault Shifts to State Governments
Anti-Hispanic Assault Shifts to State Governments
The real threat to the freedom of Hispanics is shifting to state governments. Some state lawmakers are proposing to limit access to public colleges and to seize the property of those who "harbor" the undocumented.
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Technology Unites Missionaries, Families Around the World
(RNS) Janine Winkler loves reading books to her 2-year-old grandson Judah, but he’s usually half a world away in Nigeria.
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Two Kinds of Baptists, Same Kind of Problem
Two Kinds of Baptists, Same Kind of Problem
Two pastors – one Southern Baptist, the other an independent Baptist – are linked to a mortgage scheme in which many people lost their homes. Both Baptist bodies lack an effective system for clergy accountability.
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Poll Finds Family, not Jesus’ Birth, at Heart of Christmas
(RNS) While nearly all Americans celebrate Christmas, most focus more on family than religious traditions, a new survey shows.
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House GOP Appointments Are Bad News for Hispanics
House GOP Appointments Are Bad News for Hispanics
The recently announced committee chairs for the 112th Congress clearly indicates that the new GOP House leadership is detrimental to the well-being of the Hispanic community.
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Georgia Baptists' Anger over Women Pastors
Georgia Baptists' Anger over Women Pastors
The Georgia Baptist Convention has ousted a church from their ranks because the congregation has a woman as co-pastor. If the state's Baptists really have a problem, perhaps they should have voted God out.
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Honoring the Sabbath When You're Out of Work
Honoring the Sabbath When You're Out of Work
In the Scriptures about the Sabbath, gainfully employed Christians focus on the day of rest. But there's another interpretation. Minorities, for whom the jobless rate is higher, are eager to honor the Sabbath with six days of work.
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Would Tyler Clementi Be Loved By SBC Churches?
Would Tyler Clementi Be Loved By SBC Churches?
Following several suicides by gay teens, a Southern Baptist leader said evangelical churches' response to homosexuality has been rooted in fear and ignorance. Will churches' actions speak louder than his words?
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10 Observations about the Future of Baptists
10 Observations about the Future of Baptists
During these changing times in our world, there is much that impacts the Baptist movement. Here are 10 predictions and observations about what the future may hold.
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CBF Poised to Be Home for Progressive Christianity
CBF Poised to Be Home for Progressive Christianity
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was born 20 years ago, and moderate Baptists began their slow Southern Baptist Convention exodus. Today, the CBF is poised to create a home for a brave, progressive Christianity.
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Tea Party May Regret Getting Government It Wants
Tea Party May Regret Getting Government It Wants
The angry rhetoric from Tea Party members may demand a greater say in how they're governed, but the rise of "strict constitutionalists" will threaten centuries of democratic advancements.
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Mainstream Baptist Group in Georgia Shuts Down
Mainstream Baptist Group in Georgia Shuts Down
As another Mainstream Baptist group comes to an end, it's a sad reminder that historic Baptist distinctives, such as the priesthood of all believers and church-state separation, have lost their appeal for many Baptists.
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Archbishop of Canterbury Criticizes European Burqa Bans
NAGPUR, India (RNS/ENInews) Rowan Williams deplored attempts to prohibit Muslim women from wearing body-covering burqas in public.
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Study: Faith May Help Black Women Keep Fit
(RNS) Adding faith to the exercise regimen of African-American women may prompt them to be more fit, a UCLA study shows.
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Canadian Court Says Judges Will Decide on Veiled Witnesses
TORONTO (RNS) Ontario’s highest court has ruled that female witnesses may testify in court while wearing a face-covering burqa or niqab.
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Israeli Court Rules Against Segregated Sidewalks
JERUSALEM (RNS) Ultra-Orthodox leaders removed barriers separating men and women after Israel’s High Court ruled that the tall screens were illegal.
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Southern Baptists Honor Foe of Church-State Separation
Southern Baptists Honor Foe of Church-State Separation
Southern Baptists' Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission gave its John Leland Award, named after a Baptist preacher who championed church-state separation, to a man who is dismantling Leland's legacy.
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Definition of Family Shifting, Scholar Says
(RNS) The definition of who makes a family is shifting in the minds of Americans to include more same-sex couples, new research shows.
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What I Learned as a Christian Reading the Quran
What I Learned as a Christian Reading the Quran
Unlike those who keep misquoting the Quran in order to frame Islam as some type of terrorist religion, what if Christians took the time to read it as a way to seek dialogue with those who are also seeking the face of God?
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Your Invitation to Be a Born-Again Vegan
Your Invitation to Be a Born-Again Vegan
When we consider the damage that humans inflict upon the earth because they choose to be carnivorous, it makes sense that the original order of vegetarianism should be seriously reconsidered.
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Christian Women Prefer Sunday Services to Shopping, Study Says
(RNS) Protestant and Catholic women in the United States have grown unhappier since stores have stayed open on Sunday.
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Western Wall to Feature New One-way Partition Between Men, Women
JERUSALEM (RNS) Jewish authorities hope to replace the existing partition that separates the men’s and women’s prayer areas.
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Religious Right Linked Politics, Conservative Christianity
Religious Right Linked Politics, Conservative Christianity
Key early organizers of the Religious Right convened secret meetings in the mid-1970s to link their political agenda with conservative Christianity. Their goal was to elect Christian conservatives and build a “Christian Republic.”
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Politicians Employ Hate and Fear to Oppose Mosque
Politicians Employ Hate and Fear to Oppose Mosque
To equate a mosque with terrorists is either the height of ignorance or depth of callous manipulation. It shows how hate and fear, two powerful political motivators, have been employed to rally the worst in Americans.
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Catholic Adoption Agency Loses Fight over Gay Parents
LONDON (RNS) A Catholic adoption agency has lost its fight for the right to continue its policy of refusing to place children with same-sex couples.
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Anniversary of Bailey Smith's Harmful Moment in Baptist-Jewish Relations
Anniversary of Bailey Smith's Harmful Moment in Baptist-Jewish Relations
Bailey Smith, then president of the Southern Baptist Convention, claimed 30 years ago that God "does not hear the prayer of a Jew." Today, other Southern Baptist leaders have rhetorically followed his lead.
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A 'Transformative Moment' in SBC Political Activity
A 'Transformative Moment' in SBC Political Activity
Ronald Reagan, then the GOP nominee for president, joined a who's who of conservative Christians on a Dallas stage 30 years ago, convincing many Southern Baptists and other evangelicals to join the Republican cause.
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Religious Groups Push Action on Prison Rape
WASHINGTON (RNS) Marilyn Shirley was raped in 2000 by a guard at the Texas prison where she was serving time.
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Calif. Judge Lifts Stay, Permits Gays to Marry Aug. 18
(RNS) Same-sex couples can begin marrying in California again on Aug. 18 pending another appeal.
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Study Finds Prayer Aids Relationships
(RNS) The old adage “couples who pray together stay together” may be true, especially for African-Americans.
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Thirty Years of Baptist Religious-Political Attacks
Thirty Years of Baptist Religious-Political Attacks
Thirty years ago, Baliey Smith, then Southern Baptist Convention president, stood in the Oval Office and attacked Jimmy Carter's religious beliefs because of political differences. Today, Baptists continue to follow that model.
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Appeals Court Sides with Prison in Headscarf Case
WASHINGTON (RNS) A court has sided with a prison system whose policy forbids Muslim women from wearing headscarves.
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Is Sen. Webb Right? Whites Are Victims of Racism?
Is Sen. Webb Right? Whites Are Victims of Racism?
U.S. Sen. James Webb argued that present-day diversity programs have made whites the real victims of racism. His position would be laughable except a growing number of Euro-Americans seem to agree.
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Young Ministers Speak to the Baptist Future
Young Ministers Speak to the Baptist Future
What do the younger generation of Baptists think about where we are headed? While no Baptist speaks for another, these voices of influence will be among those who will one day define what it means to be Baptist.
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Mural's Ethnic Diversity Draws Politician's Ire
Mural's Ethnic Diversity Draws Politician's Ire
An elected official in an Arizona community took offense at a school mural featuring different ethnic children, questioning why the biggest picture was a black person. But, as the councilman tells it, that doesn't make him racist.
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Is the SBC Pivoting Toward a New Future?
Is the SBC Pivoting Toward a New Future?
Has the SBC pivoted away from its position over the past 20 years of fidelity to angry fundamentalist leaders and faithfulness to the political right? Are the results of the SBC's annual meeting an aberration or a new positive trend?
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Taking Aim at Baptist Bureaucracies
Taking Aim at Baptist Bureaucracies
The Southern Baptist Convention and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are looking at restructuring. Such efforts can be accomplished with clenched fists or open hands.
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Lot's Wife: Vain? Materialistic? Or Just Human?
Lot's Wife: Vain? Materialistic? Or Just Human?
Lot's wife has been dismissed throughout history as a vain and materialistic woman who deserved her punishment. Maybe we should see her as we see the rest of us: a human who falls short of the glory of God.
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How Long Until Southern Baptists Stop Abusive Clergy?
How Long Until Southern Baptists Stop Abusive Clergy?
Sooner or later, Southern Baptists will learn the lesson that pious preaching won't protect kids against clergy child molesters. What we don't know is how long the lesson will take.
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SBC's Anti-Public School Crusade is Off Course
SBC's Anti-Public School Crusade is Off Course
The Southern Baptist Convention is criticizing public schools as bastions of anti-Christian attitudes and urging churches to foster private schools or home schooling. It is past time for the SBC to reverse its course.
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Civility Requires More Than One-Way Street
Civility Requires More Than One-Way Street
A well-meaning covenant on civility is meaningless when the most uncivil people of all refuse to have anything to do with it. The U.S. right wing is not interested in dialogue. They want only victory.
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The Plight of One Undocumented Family
The Plight of One Undocumented Family
The story of God's people is the story of aliens. Throughout the biblical text we are reminded of God's concern for the alien and the stranger who reside among us.
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SBC's Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Pushes Christian Academies, Home Schooling
SBC's Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Pushes Christian Academies, Home Schooling
Missing from criticism about the final report of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, intended to reorganize the stagnant Southern Baptist Convention, is concern about the statement's anti-public school agenda.
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Denominations Must Align with Constituents
Denominations Must Align with Constituents
People give to those things they believe in and value, but they must hear the story and become engaged. If they chose not to support what we are about, maybe we are about the wrong things.
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Tea Partiers Colorblind to Arizona's Fascism
Tea Partiers Colorblind to Arizona's Fascism
Arizona recently passed the most fascistic law imaginable. Heaven forbid if you are a Latina or Latino who left your papers in the hotel room. So why aren't tea party activists protesting? Maybe because fascism is selective.
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Catholics and Baptists Have Different Sacraments but Similar Child Abuse Scandals
Catholics and Baptists Have Different Sacraments but Similar Child Abuse Scandals
Conservative columnist Cal Thomas wrote that the sexual scandals in Catholicism and Protestantism were different, but Catholic and Baptist leaders have more similarities than differences on the child-abuse front.
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Extreme Rhetoric May Set Stage for Violence
Extreme Rhetoric May Set Stage for Violence
The rhetoric of the Tea Party members and others, who were unable to make their will mandatory through the electoral process, is crossing a dangerous line into a social activism that condones violence.
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Failed Border Policy Causes Migrants’ Deaths
Failed Border Policy Causes Migrants’ Deaths
As tens of thousands are expected to descend on Washington, D.C., this weekend to call for comprehensive immigration reform, we must not forget the deaths caused by the government’s current border policy.
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Beck's Claim at Odds with Jesus' Teaching
Beck's Claim at Odds with Jesus' Teaching
Glenn Beck claimed that churches used "social justice" and "economic justice" as code words for Nazism and Communism. But many churches silently agree with him as they worship at the altar of personal piety.
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Breaking Barriers: Reading the Bible in Spanish
Breaking Barriers: Reading the Bible in Spanish
The language in which our Bibles are read can have more of an influence on the theology we derive from the reading than we are willing to admit. Reading in Spanish can offer a different interpretation than English.
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Megachurch Pastor Decries Tax System
Megachurch Pastor Decries Tax System
Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Ed Young Sr. recently devoted a sermon to the problems with the American tax system. However, several claims made by the former SBC president were inaccurate.
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Why a Journal on Race, Ethnicity and Religion?
Why a Journal on Race, Ethnicity and Religion?
Why do many scholars of color find it difficult to get their articles published or gain tenured employment? Perhaps the academic community's call for diversity is more for political correctness than intellectual prowess.
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Why is Pat Robertson So Quick to Condemn Haiti?
Why is Pat Robertson So Quick to Condemn Haiti?
The earthquake in Haiti will certainly not be the first time that we look around us and wonder why evil triumphs. But why are some Christians, like Pat Robertson, so quick to condemn in the name of God?
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British Government: Family Policy's Focus on Marriage
British Government: Family Policy's Focus on Marriage
The British government's new family policy will acknowledge the importance of marriage, highlighting how much better children fare if their parents stay together.
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Lessons from Niebuhr Put Obama at Odds with Poor
Lessons from Niebuhr Put Obama at Odds with Poor
Back in 2007, Barack Obama proclaimed Reinhold Niebuhr as one of his "favorite philosophers." But what the president took away from Niebuhr puts him at odds with the world's poor and oppressed.
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Baptist College: Faculty Must Affirm Faith Statement
Baptist College: Faculty Must Affirm Faith Statement
A small Baptist college in Georgia will require faculty to express public allegiance to the Southern Baptist doctrinal statement, reinforcing how Southern Baptist education has changed to be more about isolation and indoctrination.
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Southern Baptist Leaders Offer Erroneous Global-Warming Claims
Southern Baptist Leaders Offer Erroneous Global-Warming Claims
World leaders gathered in Copenhagen to negotiate the details of an accord to combat global warming, and Southern Baptist leaders voiced their opposition with erroneous claims.
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How to Determine When War is Just or Unjust
How to Determine When War is Just or Unjust
Just war theory is based on the assumption God condones wars that are conducted to destroy evil and rectify injustices. But we must ask: Who gets to define evil and injustices?
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Who's the Real Enemy of Immigration Reform?
Who's the Real Enemy of Immigration Reform?
When it comes to meaningful immigration reform, the marginalized have more to fear from political allies, who often are quick to profess solidarity but slow when they fear votes could be lost. Shame on them.
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SBC Leader Labels Obama as
SBC Leader Labels Obama as "Very Dangerous"
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, recently called President Obama "very dangerous" and claimed Obama was damaging America.
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Christian Ethics Must Address Nation's Real Problems
Christian Ethics Must Address Nation's Real Problems
We live in a dangerous age. Ethics have been discarded for the sake of political ideology and we are much the worse for this, with some even calling for the violent removal of President Obama from office.
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Why Christ's Euro-American Image Afflicts Hispanics
Why Christ's Euro-American Image Afflicts Hispanics
Just as Euro-Americans have for centuries worshipped a Christ in their own image, it becomes significant for Latinas and Latinos to see the Divine as an ethnic Hispanic. Here's why.
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North Carolina Baptist State Convention Severs BCE from Budget
North Carolina Baptist State Convention Severs BCE from Budget
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina voted last week to deny churches the opportunity to give through the convention to the Baptist Center for Ethics, thereby ending an almost 20-year partnership.
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Missing the Mark: Eight Flaws in Quiverfull Theology
Missing the Mark: Eight Flaws in Quiverfull Theology
Advocates of quiverfull theology believe any kind of contraception or any desire to prevent the conception of a child during the coital act is a sin against God. Here are eight ways they miss the target.
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 If Women Ruled: Great Examples Always Have Exception
If Women Ruled: Great Examples Always Have Exception
Some recent inspiring stories in the news have indicated that this world might indeed be a better place if women ruled it. Of course, every rule has an exception. Bosnia's Iron Lady proves it.
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Flash Forward: Sushi Dinner Foreshadows Family's Future
Flash Forward: Sushi Dinner Foreshadows Family's Future
A dad, in town on business, took his freshman daughter out to dinner. As I watched them share tapas and sushi, I leaped 20 years into the future when I'll be picking up the check for my own daughter.
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Republican Senator Graham Supports Climate Change Bill, Breaks with SBC
Republican Senator Graham Supports Climate Change Bill, Breaks with SBC
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham broke with fellow Southern Baptists once again when he joined Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to urge a bipartisan effort to support climate change legislation.
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No Samaritans Allowed: U.S. Prohibits Helping Migrants
No Samaritans Allowed: U.S. Prohibits Helping Migrants
If America truly is a nation based on Judeo-Christian values, why does the U.S. prohibit us from being Good Samaritans to people desperate to migrate here? It repudiates Jesus' teachings.
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 Invention of Lying? SBC Head's Nazi Analogy Offensive
Invention of Lying? SBC Head's Nazi Analogy Offensive
A Southern Baptist leader evoked images of Hitler and the Holocaust to thwart health-care reform. It is a brutal insult both to the victims and survivors of that Holocaust. His handlers should silence him.
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Abusers Distort Bible to Justify Domestic Violence
Abusers Distort Bible to Justify Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is still shockingly common and found too often in the church. Such violence is not an issue of anger management or marital strife; it is ultimately a matter of power.
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Who's Really Hurt by America's Travel Ban to Cuba?
Who's Really Hurt by America's Travel Ban to Cuba?
Cuba is the only country in the world to which the U.S. bans its citizens from travel. The only ones suffering because of the embargo are Cuba's people, not Castro. Will 50 years of failed policies come to an end?
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Face in the Crowd: One of the Uninsured Millions
Face in the Crowd: One of the Uninsured Millions
The phrase "30 million uninsured Americans" doesn't really connect with those of us who have access to health care unless we know an uninsured American. I did. He was my father.
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The America Glenn Beck and Company Long For
The America Glenn Beck and Company Long For
Right-wing pundits and politicians as well as angry citizens at town-hall meetings have called for a return to their America. But what kind of America do they really want?
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Dealing With Son's Prison Sentence Only Way I Know How
Dealing With Son's Prison Sentence Only Way I Know How
Where do you start to explain how the high school quarterback, the kid most everybody from his hometown really liked, could end up breaking our hearts? Two words sum it up.
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Southern Baptist Leaders Split on Abortion Reduction Bill
Southern Baptist Leaders Split on Abortion Reduction Bill
Some Southern Baptist leaders are divided over whether to support legislation designed to reduce abortion and drawing support from pro-life and pro-choice advocates.
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Today's Generation Jettisons Relics of Ministries Past
Today's Generation Jettisons Relics of Ministries Past
Today's young adults have no patience for local church intrigue or denominational domination. They want to serve God in the most meaningful way possible.
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 Immigration Reform Slides to Obama's Backburner
Immigration Reform Slides to Obama's Backburner
Rather than tackle the humiliations of being Hispanic today in this country, the president announced that legislation to overhaul immigration laws will be delayed until next year.
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The Family's DNA
There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, coercive about what I’m going to invite you to do now. It’s just this: in silence to recognize and to focus on your Ultimate Parent who makes you a part of an all-inclusive family, whose DNA is love, to recognize that God is strengthening you through the power of God’s Spirit to be a lover and someone who has the capacity to care not just for yourself but for others, to receive Christ into your heart again today, to let his DNA work within you so that you can recover and reclaim your own essential DNA, and to recognize, through the eyes of faith, that you are being rooted and grounded in love.
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Health Care's Two Masters: Healing and Making Profits
Health Care's Two Masters: Healing and Making Profits
We will never reform the health care system until we acknowledge the white elephant in the room. The system's current purpose is not to restore health but to make a profit.
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Is Blaming Men for Inequitable Treatment of Women Good Theology?
Is Blaming Men for Inequitable Treatment of Women Good Theology?
It's not just the leaders of the male-dominated Southern Baptist Convention that stifle women. Those who disagree but remain silent are also culpable.
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Defining Words' Meaning is Path to Control
Defining Words' Meaning is Path to Control
Humpty Dumpty's smarter than we think. To win control, you need to be the one to define what words mean – even if you have to take them out of context.
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First Rule of Falling Leaders: Blame Something
First Rule of Falling Leaders: Blame Something
Rather than accept responsibility for setbacks, some leaders prefer to pass the buck to external factors or other people. (At least, that's what the liberal media want you to believe.)
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Gender-Role Beliefs Affect Family Communication
Gender-Role Beliefs Affect Family Communication
Gender-role ideology significantly impacts how evangelical families communicate, a study says. Egalitarians focus on conversation; complementarians on conformity.
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Breaking the Addiction to Being Southern Baptist is Tough
Breaking the Addiction to Being Southern Baptist is Tough
Those of us raised Southern Baptist continue to engage them, even when we've left the convention. Our relationship to this group we no longer claim is dysfunctional and enmeshed. How do we break the addiction?
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Southern Baptist Leaders Exalt Non-Essential ‘Pet Doctrines’
Southern Baptist Leaders Exalt Non-Essential ‘Pet Doctrines’
Conservative leaders within the Southern Baptist Convention have exalted "pet doctrines" and personal opinions to the status of dogma. Those who disagree risk condemnation and expulsion.
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SBC's Expulsion of Texas Church Reinforces its Negative Image
SBC's Expulsion of Texas Church Reinforces its Negative Image
The SBC's decision to expel Broadway Baptist Church is a missed opportunity for the denomination to reverse its regressive slide and reinforces the negative, intolerant image of the SBC in American public life.
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Seminary Heads' Answer to Declining Baptisms: Have More Kids
Seminary Heads' Answer to Declining Baptisms: Have More Kids
Southern Baptists have watched their baptism totals decline, and two seminary presidents know who's to blame. The birthrate has also been declining among Baptist families. These leaders think Baptists need to have more kids.
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SBC Agencies Asked to Investigate ‘Cussing Pastor’
SBC Agencies Asked to Investigate ‘Cussing Pastor’
Five motions offered by SBC messengers called for investigations into the influence of targeted leaders.
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Young Leaders Staying Home From SBC's Annual Meeting
Young Leaders Staying Home From SBC's Annual Meeting
When the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting begins today, leaders expect one trend to continue: Few young leaders will attend. One young pastor says many of his peers don't want to be associated with the SBC brand.
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SBC Executive Committee Recommends Disfellowshipping Church
SBC Executive Committee Recommends Disfellowshipping Church
The executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention voted unanimously June 22 to recommend ending its more than 125-year relationship with Broadway Baptist Church in Forth Worth, Texas.
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Who is this Family?
If we truly believe in Christ, it has to include prayer because we want to talk to Christ. We want to know how Christ would lead us. If you are including on your short list the things that are absolutely essential for church, be sure to include relationships because there is no church without the relationships of common believers and believers who share together, people who lift each other up, people who pray for one another and encourage each other. Not one single person among us has everything that we need to be the Christian that God has called us to be. But when you start putting us together, I find that what I lack is made up by somebody else. What you lack is made up by someone else. We all come together and find that God gives us the resources to be who he has called us to be.
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 Would a Baptist Church by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?
Would a Baptist Church by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?
Some churches have removed Baptist from their names, but others seek to reclaim the meaning of the name. Many principles of historical Baptist theology and polity offer a solid basis for citizenship in a free and diverse society.
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Claiming Colorblindness: A Myth That Needs to be Debunked
Claiming Colorblindness: A Myth That Needs to be Debunked
Sen. John Cornyn, as well as many Euro-Americans, perceives the ideal response to racism is to claim colorblindness. As noble as this may sound, it is a policy that is detrimental to communities of color.
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SBC Program Is Virtually All White, All Male; ABC Program Is Multi-Cultural
SBC Program Is Virtually All White, All Male; ABC Program Is Multi-Cultural
If the Southern Baptist Convention believes that actions speak louder than words, then its action of having a program of virtually all whites and all males places a big question mark over the convention's 2009 meeting logo.
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Southern Baptists Continue Crusade Against Public Schools
Southern Baptists Continue Crusade Against Public Schools
Southern Baptists have moved to the right in their critique of public education. One video, featuring three Southern Baptists, urges the rescue of children from "pagan, godless schools" and uses footage of Hitler and Nazis.
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Pastor and Former SBC Vice Pres Prays for President's Death
Pastor and Former SBC Vice Pres Prays for President's Death
Wiley Drake, former second vice president of the SBC, let it be known that he was praying for President Obama to die. Is praying for someone's death consistent with the values and truth that Jesus embodied in his life and ministry?
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Surprise Package: Some SBC Churches Drop
Surprise Package: Some SBC Churches Drop "Baptist" from Name
Why are some Southern Baptist churches reluctant to use Baptist in their name? To the church-hunter who has already disavowed the denomination, it's like the joy from receiving a pretty package – until you see what's inside.
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Southern Baptist Convention Top Exec Boosts Anti-Public School Agenda
Southern Baptist Convention Top Exec Boosts Anti-Public School Agenda
The Southern Baptist Convention's chief executive officer advocates the launch of a Christian alternative to public education. Rather than retreat from public education, however, goodwill Baptists must speak up for public schools.
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Inerrancy Was Battle Cry for SBC Takeover, Not Rallying Point for Growth
Inerrancy Was Battle Cry for SBC Takeover, Not Rallying Point for Growth
Like the behemoth General Motors, which was once too big to fail, the titanic SBC is taking on water, and its current leadership knows not what to do to salvage the ship. The one thing they could do is a crystal-clear biblical teaching.
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Southern Baptists Dragging Feet on Urgent Global-Warming Issues
Southern Baptists Dragging Feet on Urgent Global-Warming Issues
While some younger Southern Baptists are ready to climb on board the environmental bandwagon, they are still dragging their feet – just as their elders did on the race issue.
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Sotomayor's Privileged Critics Hurl Clueless Charges of Racism
Sotomayor's Privileged Critics Hurl Clueless Charges of Racism
Critics of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor suggest her remarks in a 2001 speech reveal her racism. In fact, their criticisms disclose that those with power and privilege have no concept of what it means to be marginalized.
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Society's Structural Sin Oppresses Marginalized Communities
Society's Structural Sin Oppresses Marginalized Communities
Sin is not only a personal act. It also manifests itself socially through laws and regulations that permit the few to live in privilege and the many to live in want. That's why our society must move away from structural sins toward a more just society.
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From a Biblical Perspective, Is the Church Really King?
From a Biblical Perspective, Is the Church Really King?
Any discussion about the nature of the denominational structure that does not begin with a biblically precise view of the church is bound to lead to more, not less, misunderstanding.
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Oregon Protects Kids from Sexual Predators. Why Can't Churches?
Oregon Protects Kids from Sexual Predators. Why Can't Churches?
Oregon lawmakers passed a law prohibiting schools from making deals that hide the sexual misconduct of teachers who resign. The practice is called passing the trash. Why can't Southern Baptists do something similar?
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Land's Torture Turnabout Shows No Regret for Past Support
Land's Torture Turnabout Shows No Regret for Past Support
Today, the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land condemns torture. But for years, he has mirrored the knee-jerk Republican conservatism of his SBC constituency and used it to his own political advantage.
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Richard Land Substantially Alters Position on Torture
Richard Land Substantially Alters Position on Torture
The head of Southern Baptists' Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission made news recently when he denounced waterboarding as torture. Virtually ignored was why he shifted his position and why he had not spoken out sooner.
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Who Do We Really Worship? Prince of Peace or Tsar of Torture
Who Do We Really Worship? Prince of Peace or Tsar of Torture
Something is seriously wrong with American Christianity when more than half of white evangelicals believe that torture is often or sometimes justified. No matter how we try to manipulate the Scriptures, we simply can never reconcile Christ with torture.
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Three 19th Century Women Offer Inspiring Examples of Motherhood
Three 19th Century Women Offer Inspiring Examples of Motherhood
For pastors, Mother's Day presents the most challenging sermon of the year. However, the stories of three mothers from the 19th century offer inspiring examples of Christian women who followed their convictions and made the world a better place.
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SBC Leaders Launch Effort to Turn Around Flagging Numbers
SBC Leaders Launch Effort to Turn Around Flagging Numbers
Hundreds of Southern Baptist leaders are calling for a 'Great Commission Resurgence' to address declining numbers. It's hard not to laugh when you recall that years ago they claimed that evangelism would reign supreme once they were in control.
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The End of Christian America? Not By a Long Shot
The End of Christian America? Not By a Long Shot
With more people saying they have no religious preference, does it spell the end of Christianity? Maybe they're growing weary of religion and angry religious politics. One can only hope.
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Dominant Culture Influences Our Reading of the Bible
Dominant Culture Influences Our Reading of the Bible
The minds of many people of color have become accustomed to seeing reality through the lens of the dominant culture. The horror is when they accept this false reality as truth.
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Fundamentalists Wage War on Science, Climate Change Facts
Fundamentalists Wage War on Science, Climate Change Facts
A Southern Baptist Convention official repeated yet again his claim that the earth was cooling. If he were alone, one could dismiss his comment as another half-baked claim.
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Be Creative and Pastoral in Financial Crunch
Be Creative and Pastoral in Financial Crunch
We all run current events through filters. Take the economy. When we heard of a recession on both coasts, we Texans barely raised an eyebrow. Our economy was robust and diverse. When the market crashed and the recession hit our state, we began paying attention.
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Burleson Details Ethical Shortcomings at IMB
Burleson Details Ethical Shortcomings at IMB
The forthcoming book by a former trustee of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board exposes several ethical shortcomings in the management approach of IMB trustee leaders.
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Everybody Was Somebody to Studs Terkel
Everybody Was Somebody to Studs Terkel
Studs Terkel was born to a Russian Jewish tailor, Samuel Terkel, and Anna Finkelin in New York City. They moved to Chicago when he was a boy. Elder Terkel and his wife ran a boarding house where Studs met people from everywhere and cultivated an interest in all types of people.
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SBC Delays Action to Remove Broadway Baptist Church from Membership
A motion made at last year’s Southern Baptist Convention to remove Ft. Worth’s Broadway Baptist Church from membership in the SBC over the issue of homosexuality was discussed today by the denomination’s executive committee, which delayed action until the completion of further study.
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Churches Must Be Strengthened, Not Captive, to Past
Churches Must Be Strengthened, Not Captive, to Past
The greatest lesson we can learn from our experience in the SBC is to embrace the good experiences and to try to avoid duplicating the bad experiences. The old saying that “those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it” is appropriate, but once one has studied history, he or she must take action in the contemporary world.
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Know What Matters Most to You
Know What Matters Most to You
Recently, I endured a bit of "down time" as I recovered from surgery. My normal routine seldom provides much in the way of down time. I can't say I enjoyed the experience, but it did have an up side: With time on my hands, I began to reflect on what matters most to me.
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Starving on Plenty
Starving on Plenty
Living in this great land of opportunity might make the temptations more attractive, but it also provides great possibilities for incredible transformations. We can make healthier choices for our lives, more loving choices for our communities and more caring and serving choices for our neighbors.
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Stop the Export of Terror
Terrorism, as a political tool, is abhorrent to all people of good will. Civilized nations have a moral obligation to eliminate the use of terror. We as a nation, due to our rhetoric of expounding the virtues of democracy, are held to a higher standard in ending the terrorism that is imported and exported.
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Caution Needed on the Information Superhighway
Once, we just taught our children to look both ways before crossing the street. The busy intersections available on the Internet are proving just as dangerous. While none of us would want to go back to the horse and buggy, we also have learned the importance of safety precautions.
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New Leadership and Theological Transformation Might Reverse SBC Decline
Reversing the Southern Baptist Convention’s decline and loss of influence will demand new leadership and theological transformation, two very unlikely possibilities in the next decade. The SBC’s numerical slide and besmirched image took some 30 years to achieve and cannot be undone by a quick makeover.
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Nashville Faith Leaders Oppose English-only Campaign, SBC Leaders Are Silent
Many of Nashville’s faith leaders are expressing opposition to an effort to make English the only language in which the city government can offer services, considering “it to be unjust, inhospitable, and detrimental to the wellbeing” of the community. Missing in moral action is the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention and its state affiliate, the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
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Roaches and Rats: A Nativity Reflection
I must have been about three years old when this image was burned into my mind, and probably it will be the last thing I recall when I lay on my death bed as an old man.
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Baptist Leader Misstates Environmental Data
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, recently made inaccurate claims that the earth is cooling instead of warming. As he made his claims during the Nov. 22 broadcast of his radio program "Richard Land Live!," Land mocked Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore and others who warn of the dangers of climate change.
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The Southern Baptist Convention is not a Cult, We Just Sometimes Act Like We Are
Over this past weekend, the most read article on Foxnews.com was entitled "Magazines Featuring Female Pastors Pulled From Shelves, 'Treated Like Pornography.'"
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SBC Leadership Not Interested in Rejoining Baptist World Alliance
The Southern Baptist Convention, which four years ago withdrew from the Baptist World Alliance over theological and relational differences, isn't likely to return to the fold any time soon, the denomination's leaders indicated Tuesday.
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Report: LifeWay Pulls Magazine Featuring Women Preachers
LifeWay Christian Stores reportedly pulled a Christian magazine from its racks because five smiling women on its cover are pastors.
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Moderate and Conservative Southern Baptists Differ on Race at Three Points
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary doctoral student David Roach is writing his dissertation under the working title of "The Southern Baptist Convention and Civil Rights, 1954-1995." These bookend dates begin with the Supreme Court's ruling against the segregation of public schools and conclude with the SBC's resolution apologizing for current individual and systemic acts of racism. When he asked if he could interview me, he said that he knew my response would be cordial and candid.
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Palin Pick Prompts Debate About Wives Working Outside the Home
Sarah Palin's nomination as vice president has sparked debate in conservative religious circles about whether a mother with young children ought to work outside the home.
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9/11: A Day That Lives in Infamy
Not to sound trite, but 9/11 is indeed a day that will live in infamy. On this day a sovereign democracy was savagely attacked by a terrorist organization.
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Missouri Baptist Editor Says Southern Baptists Shouldn't Rejoin Baptist World Alliance
A Baptist state newspaper editor hopes leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention won't take steps to rejoin the Baptist World Alliance.
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Politician Palin Forces Theological Revisionism
The nomination of Sarah Palin changed Southern Baptist fundamentalism quicker than Eve tempted Adam to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden, metaphorically speaking. The Republican Party's first woman caused Republican Party's first-line male clergy to revise their theology about women, while claiming they never meant what they said earlier.
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SBC Leader Promotes Demonization of Muslims
A Southern Baptist leader credited with rejecting the demonization of Islam has a track record of promoting and offering derogatory statements about Muslims. Although Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has been praised for avoiding hateful attacks on Muslims that other Southern Baptists have offered, he has at times refused to repudiate such remarks and has offered his own problematic comments about Islam.
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Omitted Titles in New Baptist Hymnal Reflect Theological Shift (Corrected)
Songs sung in church are more than words and music. They are teaching tools and a record of a congregation's values and beliefs. A new hymnal, just released by LifeWay Christian Resources, aims to set those standards in Southern Baptist churches for a generation--a generation that follows a seismic theological shift often called the "conservative resurgence."
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SBC Leaders Nervous About Election
Southern Baptists on Sept. 24 are launching a 40-day Prayer Vigil for Spiritual Revival and National Renewal. The daily prayers will include requests for God's guidance in voting, for the election of more "godly" Christians, for God to "help churches find ways to help Christians get to the polls" and for public officials to be protected "from the attacks of Satan."
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Converting the Church
I must have been about 10 when I first went to Disneyland in Southern California around 1968. Going to Disneyland was a dream come true for me. My parents scraped and saved to make this trip possible.
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Wiley Drake Takes Up Prayer Call for Rainout of Obama Event
A Focus on the Family Action broadcaster has apologized for a tongue-in-cheek video asking people to pray for rain during Barack Obama's outdoor speech at next week's Democratic National Convention, but a former Southern Baptist Convention officer quickly took up the cause.
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Moral Amnesia about SBC's Withdrawal from the BWA Is No Virtue
When the Southern Baptist Convention began the process of defunding the Baptist World Alliance and bore false witness against it, some Southern Baptists, who claimed to support the BWA, were publicly silent. They dared not challenge openly, if at all, the fundamentalist leadership. They engaged in collusion with wrongdoing, and that helped the SBC's abandonment of the Baptist global commons.
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What's the Buzz? Seminary President Discusses Sin, Death and Mosquitoes
There may have been mosquitoes in the Garden of Eden, says a Southern Baptist seminary president, but they didn't become a pest until after Adam and Eve committed Original Sin.
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Professor's Views on Spouse Abuse Don't Square With SBC Statements
Recent comments by a Southern Baptist seminary professor that abused women are at least in part to blame if they refuse to submit to their husband's God-given authority don't square with official teachings of his denomination.
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Church as Family
What do you think of when you hear the term church?
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SBC Leader Misstates Environmental Impact of Oil Wells
While promoting more domestic drilling for oil, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has repeatedly offered false claims about the environmental devastation of oil wells in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
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Academic Credentials of Conservative Canadian Leaders Questioned
Top leaders of a conservative activist group often quoted in Canadian media as representing Judeo-Christian moral values pad their resumes with degrees from unaccredited schools.
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Mohler, Dobson Bash Obama
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler warned that electing Sen. Barack Obama as president would send America on a trajectory toward "normalization" of homosexuality and gay marriage.
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Theology of Southern Baptist VBS Song Questioned
Critics say a song being sung this summer in Southern Baptist Vacation Bible Schools across the country includes faulty theology about the Trinity and the Bible.
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An Open Letter to Dr. Bruce Ware
It saddened me to read excerpts in EthicsDaily.com from your sermon from a series on "Biblical Manhood and Womanhood" delivered at Denton Bible Church. Therefore, my husband and I went on line and listened to the entire sermon to understand the context.
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Confusion Reigns for Southern Baptist Professor
Bruce Ware, professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., actually does know why husbands abuse their wives.
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Show Me a Sexist; I'll Show You a Racist
Ah! The good old days--when men were men and women were kept in the kitchen; when being white was right for America.
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Texas Church Says 'Egalitarian' View Not an Option for Evangelicals
Allowing women to become pastors and act as elders is a "cancer" that is pushing evangelical churches toward liberalism, a Texas pastor warned in a recent sermon defending "Biblical Manhood & Womanhood."
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SBC President Gives Blessing to Ties With Tennessee Temple
Southern Baptist leaders including the convention's new president Johnny Hunt are involved in a quiet move to bring the Tennessee Temple University into the fold of Southern Baptist schools.
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The Strange Sexual Obsessions at Southern Seminary
I don't think there's anything weirder than religious sexual obsession. Sex is tough enough without layering our obsession about it with some bizarre religious viewpoint.
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James Dobson Preaches a False Gospel
For the past eight years, James Dobson's brand of Christianity has been normative in the land. Dobson has preached a Christ acceptable to the present Bush administration. When George W. Bush and company get down on their knees, they pray to the same Christ to whom Dobson turns for guidance in making moral decisions.
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Federal Sentencing May Turn Up Heat on Fraudulent Seminary Degrees
Maintaining muteness this week about the Southern Baptist Convention president's honorary degrees from two diploma mills will become much more difficult for denominational officials, given the federal sentencing on Wednesday of the owners of a diploma mill. Mainstream media coverage and the blogosphere commentary about degree factories will likely spike.
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Southern Baptist Scholar Links Spouse Abuse to Wives' Refusal to Submit to Their Husbands
One reason that men abuse their wives is because women rebel against their husband's God-given authority, a Southern Baptist scholar said Sunday in a Texas church.
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Top Ten Questions Never To Ask a Hispanic Who Is Visiting Your Church
Over the years I have had the pleasure of visiting many predominant Euro-American churches. Without fail, some well-meaning person would usually approach me and ask a question that literally left me speechless.
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Baptist Press Misleads Its Readers with False Subheading
Baptist Press falsely labeled a Baptist Center for Ethics' DVD screening at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's annual meeting last week in Memphis with an inaccurate subheading and lead in a news story, leading one to wonder if the editor actually read the story. Perhaps the editor wanted to say what the actual text as reported in the body of the story did not say.
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SBC Leader Says Dominion, Not Exodus, Key to Fixing California's Public Schools
A member of the Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee says they did not recommend a resolution this year calling for a boycott of California's public schools, because the committee believed Christians need instead to "retake" the school system.
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Hunt's Biography Updated, Canadian Religious Leader Comes Under Criticism for Diploma Mill
Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt's Web site has been updated to include two honorary degrees in his biographical sketch from schools identified by EthicsDaily.com as diploma mills.
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Southern Baptists Affirm War on Christmas
Last Wednesday messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis passed six resolutions. As a Southern Baptist, I usually brace myself for the backlash created by offensive resolutions. I've done this since 1997 when I was awakened by a phone call from a Lutheran friend that began, "What's with you Southern Baptists and Mickey Mouse?" I was unaware that the messengers voted on a resolution to boycott Disney because of its policies toward homosexuals.
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Despite Setbacks, Study Says Baptist Women Making Gains in Ministry
Despite the Southern Baptist Convention's declaration eight years ago that the Bible forbids women from serving as pastors, the ranks of ordained Baptist clergywomen in the South are growing faster than ever, according to a new report.
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Southern Baptists Criticized for Failure to Speak Out on California Schools
Advocates of Christian schooling criticized the Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee for declining to bring a resolution condemning a California law that critics say requires public schools to indoctrinate children into accepting homosexuality.
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SBC Resolution Encourages Political Involvement
The Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday passed a resolution urging political involvement by churches.
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SBC Leaders Recommend Against National Database of Clergy Sex Offenders
Local churches, and not the Southern Baptist Convention, must take responsibility for ridding the denomination of sexual predators, the head of the SBC Executive Committee said Tuesday.
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Johnny Hunt Wins Six-Way Race to Become SBC President
Georgia mega-church pastor Johnny Hunt won a surprise first-ballot election as next president of the Southern Baptist Convention in the most wide-open race in many years.
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Former SBC Leader Declares Denomination in 'Free Fall'
A former Southern Baptist Convention president warned of denominational decline in a national gathering of pastors. "We have reached a place that our spiritual forefathers feared," Jimmy Draper, former head of LifeWay Christian Resources, said Monday at the SBC Pastors Conference in Indianapolis.
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Baptist Clergy Sex-Abuse Case Settled Out of Court
A Texas Baptist church and its pastor have reportedly settled a lawsuit with a woman who claimed the minister molested, raped and got her pregnant when she was a minor.
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SBC Enters Age of Decline, Not Promised Golden Age
Southern Baptist leaders promised years ago with their takeover of the convention's agencies and seminaries a golden age. They have delivered an age of denominational decline, division and dishonesty.
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Scholars Say Submissive Wives Decree More Theory Than Practice in SBC Churches
Ten years after adopting a controversial declaration that the Bible teaches that women in marriage should be submissive to men, the Southern Baptist Convention's "complementarian" view of gender roles remains more theory than fact in churches, says a new white paper released on the eve of the SBC annual meeting.
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Southern Baptist Denies Signing 'The Evangelical Manifesto'
A Southern Baptist listed as a charter signer of "An Evangelical Manifesto" statement released May 7 says he was asked the review the document but never consented to include his signature.
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Focus on the Undocumented Family
Family values have arisen as battle cry among Christians, specifically conservative Christians. During past presidential elections, family values were indicated as being a decisive factor for the electorate in arriving at the decision for whom to cast a vote.
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Proposed SBC Resolution Calls for Exodus From California Schools
A new resolution proposed for consideration at next month's Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting urges parents in California to withdraw their children from public schools at least until the state repeals a law that social conservatives decry as homosexual indoctrination.
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The Devil Is In the Doing of Evil
Reading sacred texts about an all-loving and all-powerful God raises questions and concerns when that image is compared to the realities of life. All have faced, or will face, tragedy, misery and death. Events will occur that appear unfair, leading most of us to question if any sense of cosmic justice truly exists.
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The Unsatisfied Womb
My choice for the title of the book I just read is the "Unsatisfied Womb." This is one of the sub titles found in the work.
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Let's Question Winner's Circle Theology
After the failed vote on Sunday at Nashville's Two Rivers Baptist Church to expel church members, one of the targeted members gave God the credit for the vote which allowed her to remain a member.
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Another Vital Statistic: Is the SBC On the Brink of Financial Decline?
LifeWay Christian Resources' recent annual statistical study demonstrated in rather clear fashion that the Southern Baptist Convention, which had long defied the trends of mainline denominations by continuing to grow, appears to have peaked and begun a gradual decline. Baptisms continue a steep slide despite fervent efforts to prop them up, and even the amorphous "membership" category showed a dip in 2007.
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Prominent Baptist Church Votes Not to Expel Dissident Members
A prominent Southern Baptist church in Nashville, Tenn., narrowly voted to retain 71 members in what would have been one of the largest church-member expulsions in recent history of the Baptist faith.
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Leader Says 'Conservative Resurgence' Failed to Produce More Evangelism in SBC
A movement launched in 1979 to purge the Southern Baptist Convention of so-called "liberalism" failed in its promise to deliver a more evangelistic denomination, according to an SBC statistician.
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Southern Baptist Mission Board Sponsors Exhibit for Messianic Jews
The Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship, a ministry formed in 1990 to preach the gospel to Jews, will for the first time have a booth this year in the exhibit hall at the Southern Baptist Convention.
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Environmental Racism: Another Inconvenient Truth
Most Americans are coming to terms with the environmental peril facing our planet. Documentaries, books, media attention and scientific research are raising consciousness to this very important issue. For this we should all be grateful. However, there exists an inconvenient truth within the present environmental movement. The greatest levels of environmental derogation exist where people of color live.
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Southern Baptist Leaders' Comments Echo 'Biblical Patriarchy' Theology
Thoughts about subordination of women that brought censure to a female presenter who critiqued them in a recent apologetics conference at Midwestern Baptist Theological seminary find some parallel in recent history of the Southern Baptist Convention, according to an analysis by EthicsDaily.com.
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SBC Reports Membership Decline
Total membership in the Southern Baptist Convention dropped nearly 40,000 last year, prompting one official to declare America's second-largest faith group officially a "denomination in decline."
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Speaker Chastised Over Criticism of 'Biblical Patriarchy' at SBC Seminary
A speaker at an apologetics conference at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has been rebuked for comments critical of prominent Southern Baptists who believe God ordains for wives to be subordinate to their husbands.
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Facts Don't Back Up SBC Leader's Non-Partisan Claim
A Southern Baptist spokesman who once asked the Republican Party for a "wedding ring" for the Religious Right accused a recent North American gathering of Baptists of being too partisan.
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The Bible and Pedophilia
I have been pondering this issue of sexual predators in the church. Much of the conversation has revolved around larger denominational structures, rather than local churches. I think that has happened for at least two reasons. Pedophilia was for the most part perceived as a Catholic issue. It was too convenient to ignore the imagery of non-married clergy and altar boys. Huge court cases and enormous financial settlements only served to reinforce our prejudices. It has now become apparent that issue is an iceberg in the Baptist ocean as well.
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Gilyard Faces More Charges
A former Baptist pastor in Jacksonville, Fla., previously charged with lewdness in connection with text messages he allegedly sent to a teenager now faces two additional charges, including one that he fondled a child.
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Canadian Baptist Leaders Dispute SBC President's Gay Marriage Claim
Canadian Baptist leaders said they were puzzled by Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page's statement that in Canada a pastor can be jailed for speaking out against homosexuality.
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SBC President Says Media Liberal, Biased Against Christians
A liberal and anti-Christian media is helping America slip toward moral ruin, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention said in an American Family Association webcast.
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What Do Obama, Clinton and McCain All Have in Common?
What do Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain have in common? All three are ontologically white males. No one can become the leader of the world's most powerful country (empire?) unless they are committed to what male whiteness symbolizes within the colonial process.
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SBC Leader Has Penchant for Name Calling
A prominent Southern Baptist leader often engages in personal insults and character assassination in sermons, interviews and radio programs instead of merely explaining his disagreement on the issues, according to an analysis of his comments by EthicsDaily.com.
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Climate Expert Challenges Southern Baptist Leader's Global Warming Claims
A leading scholar on global warming says a letter sent last week to all 100 United States senators urging defeat of a measure to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is factually wrong.
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Misogyny in America: A Culture of Violence Against Women
If you think females have achieved equality in the United States, just scan the headlines. Misogyny is alive and well.
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SBC Leader Claims Earth Not Getting Hotter But Colder
Southern Baptist Convention leader Richard Land apparently thought he had good reason for refusing to sign a recent statement by fellow Southern Baptists calling for action on global warming. He believes the Earth is getting colder.
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Abuse Arrest Prompts Resignation of Alabama Baptist Music Minister
A prominent Cooperative Baptist Fellowship church in Alabama has dismissed a popular minister of music under arrest on charges of child abuse and third-degree sex offense stemming from events alleged to have occurred several years ago in Maryland.
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Organizers Defend Environmental Statement
Organizers of the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative defended their statement released Monday urging Southern Baptists to take better care of the environment and fight climate change.
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Headlines Mislead Public About SBC Shift on Global Warming
Untruth anywhere harms truth everywhere. Misleading headlines misdirect public opinion. False charges cover up flawed documents. No matter how noble the cause, wrongful means damage the desired goal.
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Southern Baptist Leaders Release Environmental Statement
Nearly 50 Southern Baptists leaders are issuing a declaration today urging Southern Baptists to take care of the environment and fight climate change. The Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative released its environmental statement entitled "A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change," which cites Scriptures and the Baptist Faith & Message of 2000 to support its environmental message.
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SBC Leader Pleads Ignorance in Use of Jewish Slur
Southern Baptist Convention leader Richard Land claims he didn't know he was using a word that some consider crude or obscene when he called Sen. Charles Schumer a "schmuck."
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Reaction Mixed to SBC Leader Calling Jewish Senator a 'Schmuck'
Should a Southern Baptist Convention leader resign for using a Yiddish slur against a Jewish senator, or is it "much ado about not much?" That's the range of reaction to Monday's EthicsDaily.com story quoting Ethics & Religious Liberty head Richard Land calling New York Senator Chuck Schumer a "schmuck."
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The Ethics of Waterboarding
On Feb. 22, the Justice Department revealed that an internal ethics review conducted by the Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the CIA's use of waterboarding.
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Richard Land Must Go
Now we have a chance to see what the Religious Right is made of--if it truly stands for ethics and values, as its leaders profess, or whether its leaders can continue to engage in gutter politics and get away with it.
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SBC Leader Uses Obscene Slur to Describe Jewish Senator
A Southern Baptist leader lecturing at Criswell College used a gutter word to describe a Jewish U.S. senator.
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Advocate Says Theology of Submission Hampers Southern Baptist Response to Sexual Abuse by Clergy
The Southern Baptist Convention will have a hard time addressing either the problem of sexual abuse by clergy or domestic violence as long as its leaders persist in the theological view that women are subject to men, a victims' advocate says.
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Richard Land Misrepresents Baptist Groups
A Southern Baptist official who has been a frequent critic of the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant inaccurately attacked the Celebration and those present for not focusing on evangelism. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, claimed that the Baptist bodies at the Celebration were not growing because they were not evangelistic.
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Article Says Preacher Charged With Killing Wife a Sexual Predator
A Texas magazine is reporting that a former Baptist pastor accused of murdering his wife and staging it to look like she committed suicide has a long trail of allegations of sexual abuse.
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Judge Says Sexual Abuse Case Involving Repressed Memory May Proceed
A judge in Jacksonville, Fla., has said a second lawsuit can move forward accusing a Baptist mega-church in the city of harboring a longtime former pastor now alleged to have been a pedophile.
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SNAP Leaders Ask Patterson to Apologize for 'Evil-Doers' Remark
A self-help group for victims of clergy sexual abuse is asking the head of a Southern Baptist seminary to apologize for calling their organization "evil-doers." The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests also requested a face-to-face meeting with Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
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Executive Committee Still Studying Feasibility of Clergy Sex-Offender Database
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention isn't yet ready to respond to a motion referred from last year's convention calling for a feasibility study of a denomination-wide database of clergy sex offenders, a work group studying the proposal said Tuesday.
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SBC Seminary President Labels Clergy Sex-Abuse Victims' Group 'Evil-Doers'
A Southern Baptist Convention leader described a support-and-advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by clergy as "evil doers" who are "just as reprehensible as sex criminals."
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Christian Groups Call for Boycott of California Public Schools
Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum and an organization that advocates Christian schooling as an alternative to public schools are part of a new coalition calling on California parents to remove their children from public schools.
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Gilyard Pleads Not Guilty to Lewdness Charge
Former Baptist mega-church pastor Darrell Gilyard pleaded not guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct at his arraignment Tuesday in Jacksonville, Fla.
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See No Evil
Many people feel my blog about a pastor in Florida charged with sending obscene text messages is a private church matter that should not be talked about and that speaking out is wrong. Some feel it is really sinful and slanderous.
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Constantinian Christianity
Erick Prince, founder of Blackwater, testified last fall before the House Oversight and Government reform committee concerning his company's activities in Iraq. Steeped in conservative Christian traditions, the Prince dynasty has deep Republican roots whose fortunes were freely spent to support religious causes like James Dobson's Focus on the Family or provide seed money for the Family Research Council, ran by former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.
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Life Lessons From Father to Son
After 31 years as a parent you would think I would have some sense of competence about the task. Well, I don't. If anything, as time goes along, I feel more perplexed than ever.
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Southern Baptist Youth Minister Indicted on Molestation Charges
A grand jury in Tucson, Ariz., has indicted a Southern Baptist youth minister arrested Jan. 11 on eight counts of sexual abuse of a minor, a local television station reported Friday.
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Huckabee Speaks Via Phone to Church, Despite Clergy Sex-Abuse Scandal
A day after canceling a Sunday-night sermon at a north Florida Baptist church facing pending lawsuits that allege molestation and cover-up, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee decided instead to address the congregation live via telephone.
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Huckabee Not Speaking at Church Mired in Sex-Abuse Scandal
Mike Huckabee will not be speaking this weekend at a north Florida Baptist church facing pending lawsuits that allege molestation and cover-up. His campaign says he never agreed to it in the first place, contradicting a press release sent out by the church, while a support group for victims says he backed out after they complained.
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Huckabee Schedules Campaign Stop at Church in Center of Clergy Sex-Abuse Scandal
Mike Huckabee's scheduled Sunday night campaign stop in Florida will be in a Baptist church at the center of a nearly two-year-old scandal involving alleged sexual abuse by clergy.
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It's Not About Sex
Thinking that clergy sex abuse is about sex is like thinking the Bataan Death March was about marching.
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Help Wanted: Black Friend
The great modern-day theologian--Steven Colbert of the popular Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report"--recently began accepting applications for the position of his very own "black friend."
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Mohler's New Book Advocates Exit Strategy from Public Schools
A seminary president and recently announced candidate for president of the Southern Baptist Convention says in a new book that Christians should have an exit strategy from public schools.
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Arizona Baptist Youth Minister Charged, Former Texas Deacon Sentenced, for Sexual Abuse
A Southern Baptist youth minister in Arizona was reportedly placed on administrative leave following his arrest last Friday on nine charges of sexual misconduct and abuse of a 13-year-old girl.
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Former Pastor Arrested on Charges He Sent Lewd Text Messages to 14-year-old Girl
An African-American Baptist preacher once promoted by past Southern Baptist Convention presidents Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines and the late television preacher Jerry Falwell surrendered to police in Jacksonville, Fla., Monday afternoon on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a 14-year-old girl.
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Southern Baptist Leader Says In-Vitro Fertilization Immoral
A recently announced candidate for president of the Southern Baptist Convention who has in the past said he would support treatment to change the sexual orientation of pre-born infants from gay to straight and called it sinful for married couples to remain childless by choice has once again injected his opinions into the womb.
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Face-Based Religion
"God is in His Heaven, and the hypocrites are in His church." Now before you send me hate mail about being anti-Christian, I am only paraphrasing the results of a LifeWay Research survey on church affiliation. LifeWay is part of the Southern Baptist Convention headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.
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Moderate Leader Says Huckabee Lied About SBC Statement on Wifely Submission
Baptist Press reported that Mike Huckabee said he "stands by" a Southern Baptist statement on wifely submission, but a moderate leader says the former Arkansas governor misrepresented what the statement really says in last Thursday's GOP presidential debate in Columbia, S.C.
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Paige Patterson Denies Turning Blind Eye to Clergy Sex Abuse
A Southern Baptist seminary president called charges by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests that he turned a blind eye to allegations of clergy sex abuse "snap judgments" that are "misinformed and inaccurate."
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Baptist Pastor on Trial for Molestation Gets Boost When Witnesses Recant
The trial of a Southern Baptist pastor charged with molesting two stepdaughters and raping one of them is moving forward, even though his lawyer says the two star witnesses have recanted.
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SNAP Calls for Suspension, Investigation of Seminary President's Link to Accused Predator
An advocacy group has called on Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to suspend its president and investigate newspaper reports from 1991 that he ignored allegations of sexual misconduct by a preacher friend now accused of sending lewd text messages to minors.
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Blog Solicits Reports About Accused Preacher Predator
A woman who says she resisted unwanted advances 17 years ago by a pastor now under investigation for allegedly sending lewd text messages to two underage girls believes there are other victims and has started a blog urging them to come forward.
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EthicsDaily.com Tracks Clergy Sex Abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention
EthicsDaily.com reported 11 arrests, three convictions, two lawsuits and one suicide involving alleged sexual abuse by clergy in 2007.
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SNAP Leader Says Sex Offender Database Might Have Stopped Accused Predator
A victims' advocate says a Florida pastor accused of sending obscene text messages to a minor might have been stopped if the Southern Baptist Convention had a database of sexual abuse by clergy.
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Sexual Abuse, Gore Nobel Prize Top EthicsDaily.com Headlines in 2007
An ongoing expose of clergy sex abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention dominated news coverage by EthicsDaily.com in 2007. Other top stories included Baptists and the environment, plans for a Baptist confab in 2008, the role of faith in politics and a homemaking degree at an SBC seminary.
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Huckabee Linked to Controversial Bible Teacher Bill Gothard
Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has ties to a controversial Bible teacher known for authoritarian views that critics say border on spiritual abuse.
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One-Time SBC Rising Star in Spotlight for Sexual Text Messages
Once the most sought-after African-American on the Southern Baptist Convention preaching circuit before sexual misconduct marred his ministry in the 1990s, Pastor Darrell Gilyard has taken a leave of absence from his Jacksonville, Fla., mega-church after a woman told police he sent obscene text messages to her daughter.
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The More Things Change, the More They Change: A Christmas Memoir
As a child I would go to bed on Christmas Eve so excited I could hardly sleep. Of course, part of the problem was that the last words I heard from Mama before I went to bed were "Go to sleep now; Santa Claus won't come if you're awake." So I went to bed terrified that I wouldn't be able to sleep and certain that if I didn't sleep then there would be no gifts for me.
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Second Former Minister From Austin Southern Baptist Church Convicted of Molestation
A prominent Southern Baptist church in Austin, Texas, may see its second former minister go to prison for sexual abuse of a child.
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Baptist Children's Home Exec Sought No Prison for Clergy Sex Abuser
The head of an Illinois Baptist ministry that specializes in work with abused and neglected children says he stands by his decision four years ago to ask for leniency in the sentencing of a pastor who confessed to criminal sexual assault of a teenage girl.
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Southern Baptist Seminarian Faces Molestation Charges
A seminarian in North Carolina was arrested last week on charges of sexual molestation of children.
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Southern Baptist Study Puts Women in Their Place
In 2000 the Southern Baptist Convention made headlines with theological arguments including women cannot be pastors and wives must submit to their husbands. Next year those controversies come to local churches in a new study by LifeWay Christian Resources.
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Clergy Pedophile Suits Against Florida Mega-Church Tossed Due to Statue of Limitations
Judges have thrown out two of six child-molestation lawsuits against a Florida Baptist mega-church, saying they were filed after a statute of limitations had expired.
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Paul Pressler Endorses Fred Thompson
Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson picked up a rare endorsement from a religious leader--a Southern Baptist layman credited with rescuing the nation's second largest faith group from what he and others viewed as a liberal drift.
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Pastor Accused of Domestic Violence Resigns
A Southern Baptist pastor charged last month with domestic violence after a fight with his wife resigned from his Atlanta-area church on Sunday, according to media reports.
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Pastor Regrets Testimony on Behalf of Confessed Child Molester
Stung by criticism since appearing as a character witness for a former church youth worker who confessed to child molestation, a leader in the African-American Baptist community Asheville, N.C., pledged to find ways to help churches protect children from sexual abuse.
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First Baptist Church Jacksonville Considering Christian School
A prominent Florida mega-church is scheduled to vote tonight on whether begin a Christian academy, joining a grassroots strategy to eventually build a large network of Southern Baptist schools to compete with public education.
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Good Samaritan Holds Lesson for Treatment of Clergy Abuse Victims
Many Southern Baptist Convention leaders, including President Frank Page, have indicated they don't think a predator database would help prevent clergy child molestation.
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California Grandmother Leading Two-Day Boycott of Public Schools
A California grandmother is spearheading a two-day boycott of the state's public schools to protest new laws that social conservatives decry as homosexual indoctrination.
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State Convention Resolutions Indicate Increased Awareness of Baptist Clergy Sexual Abuse, Victim Advocate Says
Recent Baptist state convention resolutions indicate growing awareness of the reality of sexual abuse of children in the Southern Baptist Convention, says a victims' advocate, but they don't go nearly far enough to ensure that all churches in the nation's second-largest faith group are safe places for kids.
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Southern Baptist Pastor Charged With Domestic Violence
The pastor of a Southern Baptist church in suburban Atlanta is on administrative leave after being arrested on charges of simple assault and obstruction of a 911 call after an altercation last week with his wife.
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Does EthicsDaily.com Matter?
No Baptist media source has given more timely and thorough attention to the issue that almost every Baptist preacher wants to avoid than EthicsDaily.com. The issue is child-sexual abuse in Baptist churches.
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Support Group Urges Alabama Baptists to Adopt Tougher Policy on Clergy Sex Abuse
A victims' support group urged the Alabama Baptist State Convention to follow the example of the smaller Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in adopting a strong policy aimed at breaking the cycle of molestation by clergy.
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Southern Baptist Scholar Warns Against 'Giulianiazation' of Evangelical Politics
A Southern Baptist scholar says Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani signals a larger "Giulianiazation" of evangelical Christianity that he views as dangerous.
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Former Southern Baptist Leader Calls for Boycott of Pat Robertson
A former vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention has called for a boycott of CBN and the "700 Club" until founder Pat Robertson "repents" of endorsing Rudy Giuliani for president.
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Dobson Denies He is Endorsing Huckabee; SBC Leaders Voice Support
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson denied in Monday's radio broadcast an Internet report that claimed he is on the brink of endorsing Mike Huckabee for president.
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Accused Pedophile Baptist Preacher Dies
The former pastor of a Florida Baptist mega-church charged with sexually abusing 21 women and one man when they were children won't face his accusers in court. Bob Gray, 38-year-pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., died Saturday, just days before his criminal trial was scheduled to start.
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SBC Mission Board Suspends Trustee for Blogging Dissent
The Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board has censured a trustee for writing about trustee business in a Web log that board leaders said reflected poorly on fellow board members and violated a policy requiring trustees to speak only in "positive and supportive" terms about actions of the board.
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Sexual Abuse Scandal Hits Prominent Southern Baptist Church in Florida
A prominent Southern Baptist church in Florida once picketed by homosexual groups for its opposition to gay marriage is now in headlines for the arrest of a volunteer youth minister accused of sexually abusing teenage boys he met through the church.
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Alabama CBF Passes Policy Regarding Clergy Sexual Abuse
A state Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has adopted a policy for reporting sexual abuse by clergy that a victim advocate hopes will become a model for other Baptist bodies.
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Baptist Seminary's Homemaking Degree Doesn't Go Far Enough
Just as exciting as Messiah College students being able to take classes from yours truly, this fall also brought undergraduates at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary the opportunity to concentrate in homemaking while earning a humanities degree.
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What You Can Do About Rape Crisis in Eastern Congo
It's been about two months since I returned home from my last trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and, since life is busy no matter where you are, I'm still reconnecting with friends. Out last weekend with a friend from college, I described my experiences in that beautiful, haunting country. We talked about the unreal scale of poverty (half of households in the city of Goma have a daily income of 45 cents) and the ongoing conflict that has once again flared up. As our conversation came to an end, I threw out another fact: "Oh," I said, "and the soldiers there gang rape 6-year-olds."
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SBC Leader Labels Mormonism 'Fourth Abrahamic Faith'
Southern Baptist Convention leader Richard Land called Mormonism "the fourth Abrahamic faith" in a discussion of controversy over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's religious affiliation.
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Moderate Baptist Leader Says SBC Neglecting the Hungry
The one-time director of hunger concerns for the Southern Baptist Convention said a downturn in giving to an annual hunger offering indicates the nation's largest Protestant denomination has turned its back on the poor.
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Presidential Candidates Risk Spiritual Smack Downs When Visiting Baptist Leader
Unless presidential candidates want a spiritual smack down, they should avoid talking to Southern Baptist Convention president Frank Page, who failed to retain the pastoral confidentiality of two conversations and then boasted to other pastors about his soul-winning ways. In both cases, Page elevated his own evangelistic credentials and degraded the spiritual character of candidates.
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SBC President Says He Offered to Pray with Giuliani to Accept Christ
The president of the Southern Baptist Convention says he offered to pray with Rudy Giuliani to accept Christ as his savior, but the Republican presidential candidate declined.
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Former Southern Baptist Pastor Charged with Rape, Sexual Battery of Teenage Boy
A former Southern Baptist pastor in Cordova, Tenn., has been indicted on charges of rape and sexual battery by an authority figure involving a teenage boy.
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Southern Baptist Leader Attacks Gore, Says Christians Should Save Souls, Not the Earth
The environment is a second-tier concern for Christians--in part because the Bible teaches that the world is coming to an end, anyway--and the church's top priority is saving souls, according to a Southern Baptist Convention leader.
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An Expert on Baptist Polity?
As the Missouri Baptist Convention's lawsuits against five ministries continue in pre-trial stages after more than five years, the state convention recently announced individuals it considers to be experts in Baptist polity. The two individuals are expected to be deposed in the upcoming months.
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An Open Letter to Pastors: Have You Ever Preached A Sermon About Domestic Violence?
Pastors, have you ever preached a sermon against domestic violence? Odds are you haven't. I've listened to approximately 4,000 sermons and have yet to hear a pastor condemn domestic violence from the pulpit.
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SBC's 'Public Theology' Failed to Win Support for Iraq War, Scholars Say
The Southern Baptist Convention spoke with a unified voice in support of the war in Iraq but failed to persuade Americans outside the denomination to join them in supporting an increasingly unpopular war, according to an article analyzing public statements by convention leaders.
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What Happens When You Fry Baloney?
Ever wonder what happens when you fry baloney? I expect puzzled looks from my students every time I ask this question. Why would anyone in their right mind fry baloney? Still, usually a few students provide the correct answer: it bubbles up.
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The Biblical Call for Liberation
What guidelines, if any, can be derived from the biblical call for liberation? The past years have witnessed an attempt to come to terms with the presence of undocumented aliens. Regardless of the shape future legislation may take, as Christians, there exist moral guidelines by which our handling of undocumented aliens can be judged.
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The Alien is Jesus Among Us
On Aug. 22 a prayer vigil showing solidarity for Elvira Arellano, and all of the other families in risk of separation due to our inhumane immigration system, was held in Denver.
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Conservatism Not a Choice
A recent study released by the Baptist Journal of Behavioral Science concluded that conservatism is not a choice, but rather a genetic trait.
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Do Southern Baptists Really Support 'Biblical' Marriage?
God bless you Paige Patterson! It is men of courage like you who will save the Southern Baptist Convention and the nation.
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For Southern Baptists, Racial Reconciliation Must Go Beyond Words to Deeds
Racial reconciliation can never be confused with the white dominant culture shedding crocodile tears while offering deep felt apologies. Unfortunately, this has been the pattern employed by my denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention.
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LA Police Attack on Hispanics Provides Civics Lesson From the Margins
Imagine you are part of a group of concerned citizens frustrated with Congress placing timetables on the military spending bill. Your group of mainly white, middle- and upper-class residents decides to hold a rally, partly to protest Congress' recent actions but also to support the president's handling of the war.
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Why the Latino Community Isn't Defending Gonazales
Poor Alberto Gonzalez. President Bush's embattled attorney general is fighting alone for his political survival.
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Mr. De La Torre Goes to Washington
I am honored today to participate in a press conference in our nation's capitol. Basically, I, along with several hundred clergy from around the nation, gather to urge Congress to pass two pieces of legislation before them: the hate-crime bill and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
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The Color of Money in America
Just as First World conditions exist among the elite in the Third World, Third World conditions exist in the First World.
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Lack of Racial Diversity Harms White Students
Until the 1950s, racial segregation in public schools was the norm throughout the United States.
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Living in the Borderlands
From Tijuana on the Pacific Ocean to Matamoros on the Gulf of Mexico runs a 1,833-mile border separating the United States from Latin America. Around the halfway point on this border is Ciudad Juárez. Flowing southeastwardly from Ciudad Juárez to Matamoros is the Rio Grande, literally the Big River.
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Moral Ambiguities and Guantanamo
Thinking about the moral ambiguities associated with the activities at Guantanamo, we usually concentrate on how prisoners are treated or the legal procedures employed for processing prisoners.
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God and Country
"Beside the rivers of the Potomac we sat and wept at the memory of our homeland, leaving our conga drums by the palm trees…. 'Sing,' they said, "some Mambo." How can we sing our rumba in a pagan land? Mi patria, if I forget you, may my right hand wither" (Ps. 137).
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The Chickens Come Home to Roost

September 11 is a day burned into the consciousness of many. On that day a democratically elected government woke up to a violent act committed by a foreign power. These terrorists succeeded in bringing about the tortuous death of 3,200 citizens. These acts against humanity occurred in 1973.

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What I Learned from Tommy
Tommy, not his real name, was a good friend of mine. We met in the '80s at our local Southern Baptist Church, where I served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. At the time we were both young, single and took our faith seriously.
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Their Terrorists and Ours
A bomb explodes aboard a plane, downing the airliner and killing all on board. At a hotel in a busy tourist section of the city another bomb explodes, killing and wounding vacationing Europeans. These acts were committed by those wishing to topple a form of government they hold in contempt, a form of government whose leader is often referred to as the great Satan.
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Columbus Day No Reason to Celebrate
Women were raped. Children were disemboweled. Men fell prey to the invaders' swords. Within a generation, the lives and cultures of the indigenous people of the Americas were forever changed. Avarice for gold and glory took its course and decimated the population.
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Baptists and Alcohol: What Would Jesus Do?
Thank the Almighty for men of God like Brad Reynolds, professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina and pastor of Gravel Hill Baptist Church in Clarksville, Va. A man who is not afraid to stand firm on the Word of God, come what may.
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Catch an Illegal Alien
Wonder why some of us insist that the present Republican-led debate on immigration is a race-based attempt to win votes during the upcoming close election?
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Breaking Down Walls
Paul's epistle to the Ephesians provides an excellent illustration of tearing down walls that separate according to power and privilege.
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Justice and Peace Must Kiss
In 1985, Andean Indians wrote a letter to Pope John Paul II, signed by leaders of several Indian organizations.
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The Sin of Sodom
United States' history has proven that most of its presidents, congressional leaders and Supreme Court justices have been guilty of the sin of Sodom. Many of the religious leaders today, specifically conservative evangelicals, are also guilty of Sodom's sin. If truth be known, this writer is also guilty of the sin of Sodom. So are most readers of this column.
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Rhetoric Kills
Rhetoric kills--specifically the war rhetoric emerging from Washington D.C. to justify the invasion of a country which posed no strategic threat to the United States. As we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, we can expect many politicians to throw around slogans like "fighting for freedom," "protecting our liberties" or "freedom isn't free."
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The Myth of Color-Blindness
For the past half millennium, racial and ethnic forms of economic oppression were normalized and legitimatized in the eyes of the overwhelming majority of Euroamericans, an entrenched understanding that found legal (eugenics was constitutional upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court) and religious justification.
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Speaking in Tongues
"Then Gilead cut Ephraim off from the fords of the Jordan, and whenever an Ephraimite fugitive said, 'Let me cross,' the men of Gilead asked him, 'Are you an Ephraimite?' If he answered 'No,' they said, 'Then say Shibboleth.' He would say 'Sibboleth,' since Ephraimites could not pronounce the word correctly. Thereupon they seized and slaughter him by the fords of the Jordan" (Judges 12:5-6).
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Bananas
They come here to take away our jobs and use up our social services. They come in search of the American Dream hoping to find a better life for themselves and their families. These are the two most common answers given when asked why They cross the border. Yet, the real reason They keep coming is bananas. Yes--bananas. And our refusal to honestly deal with the role of bananas contributes to much of the misinformation surrounding the current immigration debate.
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Christian Justification of Torture is Satanic
We all heard of Abu Ghraib, where prisoners were sadistically abused by U.S. military forces. We were told by our government that these abuses were an aberration conducted by a few rogue soldiers who have sullen the good name of all Americans.
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Happy Anniversary
Number of years since the U.S. invaded Iraq: 3. Number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq: 2,520.
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Selling Civil Rights
Andy, say it isn't so! Tell us you didn't sell your legacy for a pot of pottage! I simply cannot believe that you, who had walked with Martin Luther King, who had fought for justice, who had defended the marginalized, could possibly sell out not only to corporate America, but by far, one of the most abusive corporate entities.
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Racial Profiling is Everyone's Business
When I was in my mid-20s, I decided to spend a spring weekend in the Big Apple.
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SBC Leaders Endorse Plan for Increased Funding
A new challenge unveiled by Southern Baptist Convention leaders to increase support for the Cooperative Program unified giving plan would have disqualified from leadership at least seven of the 13 "conservative resurgence" SBC presidents elected since 1979.
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A Biblical Budget
After reviewing President Bush's $2.77 trillion budget for 2007, I am convinced that he is a man who reads the Bible literally. Specifically Matthew 25:29: "For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."
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Resegregating America's Schools
One of the greatest accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement focused on a desegregated education. Until the 1950s, racial segregation in public schools was the norm throughout the United States.
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The State of the Empire
The president of the Northern Kingdom strutted toward the podium. Tonight he would address the empire, sharing his impression of the state of the union.
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A 'Spanglish' Christmas
As all good theologians know, Heaven is a lot like a tropical island in the Caribbean, where cool gentle breezes refresh the land and the soul from the heat of the day. Hence Christmas is best celebrated in shorts and a tank top, preferably at the beach. Forgive me, but I do not dream of a "white Christmas."
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'Full-Quiver' Theology Appeals to Race
In a July 27 column in Baptist Press, Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (my alma mater) insists that couples who choose childlessness are guilty of "rebellion against parenthood [that] represents nothing less than an absolute revolt against God's design."
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Justice for Tookie
On Dec. 13, Stanley Tookie Williams has a date with death. He sits in California's Death Row. The only thing that now stands between him and the executioner is a final appeal for clemency from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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Columbus Day No Reason to Celebrate
Women were raped. Children were disemboweled. Men fell prey to the invaders' swords. Within a generation, the lives and cultures of the indigenous people of the Americas were forever changed. Avarice for gold and glory took its course and decimated the population.
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Group Asks Southern Baptists to Stop Efforts to Convert Jews
A leading Jewish organization condemned a proposed Southern Baptist Convention study on formally recognizing a "messianic" fellowship as an "evangelistic mission entity" to Jews.
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Recipe for a Perfect Storm
The recipe for a perfect storm is when an economic policy that is devastating to the poor is mixed together by an administrative kitchen of incompetency.
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Equal in God's Eyes, but Not in the Media
No doubt we are all familiar with Natalee Holloway. She's the blond, blue-eyed graduating honors student from Mountain Brook High School in Birmingham, Ala., who was participating in a senior trip with classmates on the Caribbean Island of Aruba when she disappeared.
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Shaking Off the Dust
"The spirit of the Lord is upon me, and has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor, proclaim freedom to the captives, provide sight to those who cannot see, bring liberation to the oppressed, and proclaim the Lord's year of jubilee!"
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Teaching the Bible in Public Schools
I'm concerned that public schools are debating the inclusion of a book in its curriculum that has disturbing sections. Should our young children be exposed to certain stories? Below is a section of a book that I'm sure will disturb many Christians:
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A Crusade for National Power
When tempted by Satan in the desert, Jesus was promised all the kingdoms of the earth in exchange for worshipfully bowing down to the Prince of Darkness. Jesus refused Satan's temptation of political power.
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How to Promote 'Diversity' Without Really Trying
Snap! Flash! Employees, board members, citizens and students of color are being followed around as they work, shop, study or play. But this time it's by camera-toting public relations folk eager to catch them in the act of representing the organization's commitment to diversity.
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Prophets of the King
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and Ahab, king of Israel, joined forces to make war against the king of Aram. But before marching off on their holy crusade, Jehoshaphat insisted on consulting the word of God.
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Which God is Dead?
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) made the scandalous proclamation that "God is dead" in one of his well-known works, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882).
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Illiterate Ethicist
My mother was illiterate and never had a chance to go to school. She fled Cuba for the United States during the political turbulence of 1958 with her infant son.
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God Loves Gays as People
To my gay bothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. I've received numerous communiques demanding an apology for a previous column I penned. And I agree. But if any apology is due, it should be to be made to the gay community.
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Quotations Track Church's Anti-Woman Legacy
"I am not giving permission for a woman to teach or to tell a man what to do. A woman ought not to speak, because Adam was formed first and Eve afterwards, and it was not Adam who was led astray but the woman who was led astray and fell into sin. Nevertheless, she will be saved by childbearing" (1 Ti 2:12-15).
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Wrestling With Controversy
Shortly before being murdered, Archbishop Romero said, "Those who have voice must speak for the voiceless." This is what it means to raise consciousness, raise awareness.
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When the Bible Is Used For Hate
Are you ready, kids? Whoooo lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Absorbent and yellow and porous is he. SpongeBob SquarePants!
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'Uncircumcised' Hispanics Problem for Dominant Church Culture
When the pope made a papal visit to Miami in 1987, delighting Miami's large Hispanic community, a local enterprising Euro-American shirt-maker decided to capitalize on the event. He made thousands of shirts which in Spanish were suppose to read "I saw the Pope."
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Debate Over Creationism a Luxury for the Powerful
Euro-American evangelicals, supposedly empowered by the recent election, are demanding that public schools teach the religious concept of creationism (a literal reading of Genesis 1-2).
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Advent and War
This past Sunday at church we sang the familiar hymn, "Angels, from the Realms of Glory" by Henry Thomas Smart (1867). The words of Verse 3 led me to write this article.
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Moral Values and Torture
We, as a country, are attempting to make history without God. And although we've been flaunting the previous election as the triumph of "moral values," in reality we have exchanged the biblical mandate for justice for a human mandate determined to secure the power and privilege of the world's few at the expense of the world's many.
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Working Together on Abortion
Considering the depths of rancor existing between those advocating pro-life and those advocating pro-choice, we are left to wonder if common ground can ever be found.
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A Post-Election Prayer
Oh Lord, my Lord, how majestic is your name in all of the earth. For it is you and you alone, my God, to whom all power and honor and glory belongs. In obedience to your Holy Word, I lift up this prayer as a sweet offering for those who rule over us.
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It's Time to Choose
Late-night comedian Jay Leno described our present presidential election as extremely diverse--a contest between a rich privileged white man from Yale running against a rich privileged white man from Yale. During a recent conference I attended, Martin Luther King III, son of the slain civil rights leader, described the contest as a choice between Bush and Bush Lite.
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Something is Rotten in the State of Florida
When the ghost of Hamlet's father appears before his son, the faithful officer Marcellus sums up the reason for the apparition's appearance in his famous line, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
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Forgive and Forget
Many marriages run into trouble because of a lack of communication between the spouses.
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Chicken Hawk Affirmative Action
For the past two weeks, John Kerry has been hounded by an attack on his Vietnam record by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. And even though he still carries shrapnel in his body, he has been portrayed as a liar, a coward and an opportunist.
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Biblical Morality and Tax Cuts
Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama is a Bible-quoting, tee-totaling, Republican businessman who as a congressman represented a mostly rural district.
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Pop Quiz for Bible Believers
Here's a pop quiz for all who believe the Bible should be taken and followed literally:
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Trumping the Gospel
Every human--regardless of their race, gender, economic class, nationality, religious faith or sexual orientation--is created in the image of God, what theologians call the imago Dei. My Native American friends are teaching me to include the animal and plant nations among life that also contain the imago Dei, a lesson I am still trying to learn and incorporate.
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No Credible Evidence
PRESIDENT BUSH (2/8/03): "Saddam Hussein has longstanding, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks. Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document-forgery experts to work with Al-Qaeda. Iraq has also provided Al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training. And an Al-Qaeda operative was sent to Iraq several times in the 1990s for help in acquiring poisons and gases. We also know Iraq is harboring a terrorist network headed by a senior Al Qaeda terrorist planner. This network runs a poison and explosive training camp in northeast Iraq, and many of its leaders are known to be in Baghdad."
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The Reagan Legacy
When we speak of the Reagan Legacy, we must first describe the old system being overthrown.
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Generation Ñ
Generation Ñ among the Hispanic young serves as a counterpart to the Euro-American Generation X.
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Iraq By The Numbers
According to Gen. Tommy Franks of the U.S. Central Command in Iraq, "We don't do body counts." But because God cares when even a sparrow falls, God counts bodies.
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Is CEO Greed Fueling U.S. Industry?
Two weeks ago Johnson Controls, following a trend all too common throughout the United States, announced it was shutting down its operations in my small town of Holland, Mich., and moving to Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, where they can employ workers for $80.77 a week.
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Teaching Outside the Ivory Tower
Teaching Christianity is useless if it is restricted solely to the classroom.
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Marginalized View the Cross Through Different Lens
I recently watched Mel Gibson's film "The Passion," a powerful interpretation of the last hours of Jesus' human life, which I'm sure will resonate with the dominant culture.
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Waiting for Castro to Die
A common joke among Cubans in Miami revolves around a pair of tortoises which were given to Fidel Castro for his 75th birthday. El jefe inquires as to the life expectancy of tortoises. An aid informs Castro that they have been known to live in excess of 150 years, to which Castro responds: "That's the trouble with pets. You become attached to them and then they die on you."
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Christians and the Creation
If the Creation story describes humanity's appointment as steward of the earth's resources, then as caretakers, humans are called to protect, preserve and safeguard those resources so that all can benefit and enjoy its fruits.
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President or Pitch Man?
Those of us old enough to remember the 1980s can never forget the television character Joe Isuzu, the slimy car salesman who would say anything, no matter how outrageous the lie, in order to sell a car. Fortunately, as Joe Isuzu spoke, a by-line appeared at the bottom of the screen providing the truth. I was reminded of Joe Isuzu while watching the State of the Union address, and kept waiting for that by-line to appear as Bush spoke. If it had, it might have looked something like this:
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Capital Punishment and Race
Are those with darker skin more likely to commit crimes than those with lighter skin? Is it because they are genetically prone to violence? Or is it because of how we have been taught to see them?
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'Merit' Scholarships Shifting Funds to the Wealthy
Kelly Ryan, a "B" average student at the University of Georgia, used her college trust fund to purchase a new Honda, trips to Italy, Switzerland and Argentina, and to invest (and lose) in the stock market. Enough was left over to possibly purchase her first piece of real estate upon graduation. Likewise, Kristin McKenna, whose parents' income is over $200,000 a year, used her college fund to purchase a Ford.
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Feliz Navidad
Under our Christmas trees, among the multitude of conspicuous gifts, we usually have a nativity scene. The baby Jesus rests comfortably in a crib, while angelic cows gaze upon the miracle. The proud parents (Mary and Joseph) survey the sanitary scene as kings and peasants come to worship.
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Feliz Navidad
Under our Christmas trees, among the multitude of conspicuous gifts, we usually have a nativity scene. The baby Jesus rests comfortably in a crib, while angelic cows gaze upon the miracle. The proud parents (Mary and Joseph) survey the sanitary scene as kings and peasants come to worship.
Read More ...
Wal-Mart: Always Low Wages?
On Dec. 20, 2002, a federal jury in Portland, Ore., found Wal-Mart guilty of forcing its employees to work unpaid overtime. These employees were pressured to clock out after working 40 hours, but continued working in violation of the Federal Labor Standards Acts, which requires employees to receive time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40. Employees in 27 other states have similar class-action suits pending.
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The Fox Is Regulating the Hen House
According to Republican Senator John McCain, who chairs the Science, Commerce and Transportation Committee: "The United States government is responsible for 25 percent of the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. It is time for the United States government to do its part to address this global problem, and a discussion of mandatory reductions is the form of leadership that is required."
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Race a Variable in Euthanasia Debate
Race and ethnicity play a significant role in determining who is, and who is not, insured. African Americans are twice as likely as whites--and Latina/os three times as likely--to lack health coverage.
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'Soft Money' Links Regulators' Interests to Companies
During the 2002 midterm elections, television icon Art Linkletter, of "Kids Say the Darndest Things" fame, informed the public, in 30 second-spots, that their congressperson "has been fighting for real prescription drug coverage."
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Christianity Demands Reflection on Hard, Lite Torture
Can Christians engage in committing acts of torture? And if so, how is the act reconciled with the basic message of the gospel?
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'Neoliberal' Economic Policies Widen Gap Between Rich, Poor
We recently observed Labor Day with news from the Department of Labor that our nation lost 700,000 manufacturing jobs since Labor Day 2002. In fact, since Bush II took office, 2.5 million jobs have been lost, about 80,000 a month.
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Is U.S. 'Purveyor of Violence'?
The United States has given the world the gift of noble concepts like democracy, and it has the potential to be a light to a hurting world. While appreciating what this country offers the rest of humanity, I refuse to worship this culture as though it were a god, incapable of doing any wrong.
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A Statement Concerning the Crisis in Our Nation
We recognize that no individual or organization can speak for all Baptists. The following represents the concern, confession, commitment, and appeal by the majority of the messengers meeting in Houston, Texas, June 5, 1968.
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