Holden, Kerry, Windermere have something in common
Don HinklePathway Editor
April 13, 2004
Gov. Bob Holden, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and the Windermere Baptist Conference Center have something in common. Here’s a hint: it is related to the so-called “wall of separation” between church and state.
No matter whether Southern Baptists in Missouri agree with them or not, we must acknowledge that the theological and political left make sure the separation of church and state issue stays in our forefront. Just lead the crowd in a prayer before kickoff of your homecoming football game and you’ll have American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyers descend upon the place like locusts.
While the legal, political and media battles rage in Humansville over a plaque bearing the Ten Commandments that has hung in the high school cafeteria for six years (see related stories on pages 3, 10 and 11), two other recent incidents – and one forthcoming – in Missouri beg for explanation from the separation of church and state “experts” on the left.
The first incident occurred in early March when Holden appointed the Rev. Wallace Hartsfield of the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City to the six-member state highway commission. Could someone on the political or theological left explain why such an appointment is not in violation of their revered “strict wall of separation” between church and state? Where is the outrage? Can you imagine the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth the left would be doing if it were a theological conservative – uh fundamentalist – from the Missouri Baptist Convention that was appointed?
The second incident happened a few weeks later in St. Louis when presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Kerry used the pulpit at the New Northside Missionary Baptist Church to do some campaigning and theologizing. Now this is the same Kerry that supports abortion and is willing to give homosexuals the same legal standing as heterosexual married couples.
Kerry began by praising the largely African-American worshippers in attendance.
“Thank you for telling the truth here,” Kerry said as the crowd shouted in agreement. “And as the Bible also tells us, the truth shall set you free.”
Kerry then launched attacks against President Bush’s administration – without calling Bush by name. Instead Kerry let accompanying U.S. Rep. William L. Clay, Jr., do his dirty work for him.
“Now that we’re in God’s house, I won’t tell you who to vote for,” Clay told the attendees. But just as the Bible is “based on eternal truth, I think you should demand that anyone who really wants to lead our nation should tell you the truth.” And that means, Clay added, “a real leader would tell you the truth about protecting your social security. A real leader would tell you the truth about why our schools are falling apart.”
I’ll spare you the rest of Clay’s “sermon.” I think you get the picture.
Then there were the stunning comments of Bishop Willie James Ellis, Jr., New Northside’s senior pastor.
“We are with him (Kerry) 100 percent,” Ellis told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Although we are not able to endorse anyone as a church, we can give our moral support.”
I wonder if the leftist Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which has a chapter in St. Louis (counted among its leaders is the Rev. Rudy Pulido, pastor, Southwest Baptist Church, who once referred to MBC conservatives as “The Taliban”) might send a threatening letter to Northside demanding its members change their “evil ways” or risk being reported to the Internal Revenue Service? Don’t think for one second Americans United are not capable of such of thing. Just a few years ago they sent that very kind of threatening letter to the First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls, Texas, because the pastor encouraged the congregation to vote against city council members supporting the placement of pro-homosexual books in the children’s section of the public library.
Of course the other intriguing aspect about Kerry’s calculated stop at New Northside was the senator sidestepping a possible confrontation with the St. Louis region’s new archbishop, Raymond L. Burke. Burke had said in January that he would refuse to give Kerry, who is Roman Catholic, Communion because the senator supports abortion.
The third incident is scheduled for the Windermere Baptist Conference Center June 11-13. That is when the Missouri Department of Conservation will host a women’s outdoor weekend event. Windermere’s renegade leadership likes to crow about how all Baptists are welcome (they will take our money, but reject being accountable to anyone but themselves). Funny, I did not realize that being a Baptist was a prerequisite for state government employment.
Windermere claims to be “a place people, saved and unsaved, want to come and experience God” and “a place God and people can meet, making decisions to become Christians, missionaries, pastors, youth leaders and more.”
According to the April 2004 issue of Missouri Conservationist magazine, published monthly by the Missouri Department of Conservation, “Fresh air, sparkling water and the company of other outdoors-loving women will make the Missouri ’s Outdoor Women gathering June 11-13 a weekend to remember. Workshop offerings will include basic fishing, canoeing, archery, map and compass skills, primitive skills, fly fishing, shotgun shooting, rifle/handgun shooting, watercraft operation and nature hiking.”
I guess we can assume there will be no Bible studies, evangelistic events or prayer meetings. But of course there is that “wall of separation” between church and state that must be respected – that is of course you want to make a few bucks off the backs of Missouri taxpayers.
So I am confused.
Since they are the “experts” on the so-called “wall of separation” between church and state, I need the political and theological left in this state to explain why they are not alarmed at these three incidents. Why is it they scream bloody murder when school children want to pray, hang the Ten Commandments on their cafeteria wall and include “under God” when they recite the Pledge of Allegiance?
I’d like some answers, but I’m not holding my breath.