For years now, Religious Right leaders have been whipping up hysteria by claiming that, should marriage equality become the law of the land, conservative churches will be forced to host same-sex marriage ceremonies.
If there were a prize for unmitigated gall, it would be awarded today to Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Moore, speaking during a recent panel discussion at the Evangelical Leadership Summit, an event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., told the crowd that they need to “reclaim” the phrase separation of church and state, a term he admitted that “we long ago tossed overboard.”
When the Religious Right started to become a prominent force in American politics in the late 1970s, its advocates had a major impact on the country’s largest Protestant denomination: the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
Younger readers may be surprised to read that the SBC, which claims 16 million members, used to be fairly moderate on social issues. It strongly supported the separation of church and state, citing historical Baptist leaders like John Leland and Isaac Backus.
A claim that someone is being persecuted by a government is not something to be taken lightly, but that accusation rings hollow when it comes to the Roman Catholic hierarchy and Religious Right’s fight for exemption from the Obama administration’s birth control mandate.
Wendell Berry is a Kentucky farmer, poet and essayist best known for his advocacy of responsible stewardship of the environment. He has offered compelling critiques of strip mining and other excesses of our over-industrialized, war-mad planet.
Some folks consider Berry a modern-day Henry David Thoreau, but last week he sounded more like an Old Testament prophet railing against injustice. Addressing a Baptist pastors’ conference at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., he took on the issue of marriage equality for gay couples.
The Religious Right makes it seem like nearly every pastor in America would endorse political candidates from the pulpit if only the pesky tax code didn’t prohibit it, but a new survey shows that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Notorious Southern Baptist lobbyist Richard Land has announced his retirement. I’d break out the champagne, but I fear that this is a mere change of personnel, not policy.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) was once a staunch supporter of church-state separation. But in 1979, fundamentalists orchestrated a takeover that moved the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in exactly the opposite direction.
It seems that Americans have heard just about enough about religion in political campaigns.
A new survey released by the Pew Forum On Religion & Public Life found that 38 percent of Americans said politicians have spent too much time expressing their religious faith and praying. That’s up from 2010, when 29 percent of Americans said there was too much religious expression by political leaders.
During this election cycle, a lot of candidates have been pandering incessantly to the Religious Right under the assumption that wearing one’s religion on one’s sleeve will mean more votes.
Turns out they’re wrong.
A survey conducted by LifeWay Research, which is the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, found that just 16 percent of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate who speaks regularly about his or her religious beliefs.
Do Religious Right zealots want to take “dominion” in America and govern according to their version of biblical law?
Of course they do. But all of a sudden, leaders of the movement say they don’t. Stung by a series of articles exposing the dominionist agenda, they are desperately trying to rebrand themselves as moderates.
Take Chuck Colson, for example.
In a Sept. 7 column, Colson heatedly denied that he and his camp want a fundamentalist Christian theocracy.