Is America too damn religious?

If you ask the audience polled after a recent debate between Barry Lynn, Alan Wolfe, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Susan Jacoby, Albert Raboteau, and William Galston, the answer is yes.

To hear the fifty minute debate for yourself, click here and download the MP3 file.

And to whet your appetite, here is what Alan Wolfe had to say about Southern Baptists:

“In 1973, when the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade, the decision that presumably started the American culture war, the Southern Baptist Convention was fully in support of Roe v. Wade. Baptists distrusted the state. They distrusted state intervention. If the state could tell a woman what she could do with her body, then it could tell a believer what he or she could do with his or her mind.

By the 1980s, the Southern Baptist Convention completely had changed its position, repudiated its earlier support, and become the major force besides the Catholic Church in America to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Now I submit that between 1973 and 1983, God did not change his mind on the question of abortion. But Baptists did. Why did they change their minds? They changed their minds in part because they believed that America had become too decadent a society, but they also changed their minds because they saw an opportunity. And they opted for political power.

And it was the direct result of this change in the Southern Baptist Convention, our largest Protestant denomination, that created the Southern Republican Party, and that eventually resulted in the election of George W. Bush with the ecclesiastic support of people associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Precisely because the Republican Party has been so successful politically, it is incumbent upon people who oppose them to expose their use of religion for political purposes…to protect religion in America against those, the single greatest abusers of religion in America: the Republican Party, the Christian conservatives, and other people who are degrading everything meaningful, serious, and spiritual in the tradition that they claim to represent.”

2 thoughts on “Is America too damn religious?

  1. If the question pertains to religion alone, then yes. America’s religion is damnable. If the question is relating to the saturation of the Christian faith in America, the answer is America is not Christian and that is the problem. Barry Lynn is no friend to Christians. He is no friend to the state. Of course, he is, in fact, very religious.

    For the record, abortion is, was, and always will be the coldest form of murder. It is true that in 1971 the SBC condoned it. We are guilty. I believe you are correct that some have used the abortion issue as an avenue to power, both in government and in the SBC.

    I believe the whole Bush family of presidents are cowards about human rights, not only about abortion but about the rape, murder, and slavery of women and children all over this world. I also do not hear any “so called” SBC leaders calling the President a coward and that includes Richard Land whom we pay to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. He has become comfortable with his portrait and new hair.

    Just so you will know, my fight about abortion was never about SBC politics. It was and is about murder of innocent people. Believe it or not.

    We really are cowards in the SBC about human rights. That is true. Some of our leaders cannot determine right from wrong. For that we may be damned as a denomination. That also is true. At the same time, I must say, the position of Barry Lynn and his cohorts is just as damnable.

    Religionist, as a whole are damnable. Only Christ Followers are not damned. Our problem is we are cowards for a great variety of reasons. Our lack of true concern is damnable. We should be yelling in the streets at both Republicans and Democrats for thier lack of concern. The problem is we have become like them and we are very comfortable with each and every photo op. That, too is damnable.

    My prayer is that young guys like you will stay the course and cry foul both from the SBC convention floor and from the floor of the state house. What say ye brother? Are you guys going to let us continue in our damnable way? No matter what any of us old guys think or do not think, it is your generation that will tell the tale.

    May God call your hearts to war with Hell in a greater way than the world has ever know. And may you guys make the Devil take the hindmost parts because that is all you leave him.


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