Saturday, July 03, 2004

Southern Baptists Say Bush Deserves Eternal Damnation 

This is speakingcorpse once more.

I have some good news. The Southern Baptists, one of the nation's largest evangelical churches, whose membership consists almost entirely of old-fashioned Bible-belt Bush supporters, has rejected the Bush campaign's recent efforts to get hold of church membership lists so as to appeal directly to Christian Republicans. The campaign has 22 "coalition coordinators," people who work for Bush, and who are paid to go back to their personal churches and get out the vote. According to a campaign memo, the coordinators are supposed to:

*Send your church directory to your state Bush-Cheney '04 headquarters or give to a BC04 field representative.
*Identify another conservative church in your community who we can organize for Bush.
*Recruit 5 people in your church to help with the voter registration project.
*Talk to your pastor about holding a citizenship Sunday and voter registration drive.

Many liberal congregations have criticized the Bush campaign because if churches participate in this stuff, they may eventually have to have their tax-exempt status revoked. The campaign people insist that this won't happen, that participation will not turn churches from religious into political organizations. But the law is not clear. Anyway, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, says in this article that the Bush people have crossed a line: "It's one thing for a church member motivated by exhortations to exercise his Christian citizenship to go out and decide to work on the Bush campaign or the Kerry campaign. It's another and totally inappropriate thing for a political campaign to ask workers who may be church members to provide church member information through the use of directories to solicit partisan support." Well this isn't really telling Bush to go to Hell, but it is a rebuke. Hopefully, this will take a few votes out of Bush's so-called "base."

The man of sorrows, the atonement accomplished, his life ebbing...
Why was he forsaken?


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