I was not surprised that the hatemongers of Westboro who go around
protesting at the funerals of dead soldiers carrying signs that say
"God Hates Fags" and "You're Going to Hell" are a Baptist
Church. Or that the hatemongering Dennis
Terry who thought it was appropriate to introduce Presidential
candidate Rick Santorum (a man running to be the leader of all the
people of the United States) with a sermon telling his fellow Americans
to "GET OUT" of America
is a pastor of Greenwell Springs Baptist Church.
Among the large, mainstream
Christian denominations, it's been my experience that it's the
Baptists (around here it's primarily Southern*
who have the most sanctimoniously self-righteous, the most
intolerant and the most hypocritical Christians. It is the Baptists who are
from Jesus' commands to "love one another, just as I love you"
and to "love your neighbor as you love yourself." Instead
of love, what too many Baptists are filled with when it comes to their
fellow man (if that man is different or thinks differently from them) isn't love. It's hate.
Of course, there's Westboro, but when I think of the people in my
acquaintance, I think of the woman who came back from her Bible study
class at a local Baptist church telling me about how they'd discussed
in class what a pity it was
about Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie (two women well known for their
humanitarian acts) ---- how Oprah and Angelina
think they're doing good and helping people, but they're actually not
because Oprah and Angelina are not Christians. Only Christians are
capable of doing good.
What a subject to discuss in Bible study! I thought in their next class
they should have studied the part of the Bible that was Jesus
Christ's parable of the Good Samaritan. Though they may have
hard time comprehending the meaning if they genuinely believed that
Christians can do good. If that's their theology, then, by their
standards, the Good Samaritan hadn't done anything good because he
wasn't a Christian.
It was this same woman who invited me to see her daughter perform in
the church's Christmas play. After the play, we were treated to a
sermon from the pastor about how no one who hasn't accepted Christ into
his/her life can experience happiness. Without Christ, there can be no
So according to the Southern Baptists,
most of the population of the
planet, now and throughout history, has never had a single moment of
happiness or done a single good deed since most of the population of
the planet, now and throughout history, is not and was not Christian.
Hence, are not capable of happiness or doing good.
While, of course,
they, the Southern Baptists, are capable of both.
How's that for
self-righteousness, arrogance and intolerance?
Baptists make me want to quote to them Proverbs 16:18:
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,"
because they are filled with both
pride and a haughty spirit.
But it's the kind of
arrogance I've come to expect from Southern
Baptist theology as I've come to expect hypocrisy from its
The woman who invited me to see her daughter perform? Her daughter was
cast as a toy in a play set in a toy store. Two little girls
were cast as the same toy; that made sense to me as most toy stores
more than one of an item. The
woman had a fit. As far as she was
daughter was supposed to be "the star" of the play and that
another little girl was cast as the same toy caused her to bad mouth
that little girl every time she brought the subject up. She couldn't
say enough nasty
things about the child's performance or the people in the church who
were putting on the play. Now, the woman bad mouthing the little girl
didn't surprise me as she bad mouthed pretty much every child who
played with her daughter. She always had something nasty to say about
other children. So, no, her bad mouthing a little girl at her
surprise me ------ after all, she was a Southern Baptist.
The husband was also a
bigot. I recall a discussion with him where he told me that he thought
it was good that his little girl was learning about different
religions. Well, I've always thought that learning about different
religions is a good thing too. I knew this town has two Jewish temples
and an Islamic mosque. So I asked if his daughter was going to be going
to a temple or a mosque. A startled expression of disgust
his face and then with a snort and a dismissive wave of his hand he
said, "Only real religions."
When I replied those were
real religions, he tried to lecture me on how they didn't worship God
---- a fact that both outraged and amused a Jewish friend when I
discussed the conversation with her. As she said it, "Jews have been
worshiping God since long before the Christians were."
Then there was the Southern Baptist man I worked with. He believed
the earth was 5,000 years old (which sure didn't square with his talk
dinosaurs) and believed that every word of the Bible was the literal
truth. He also didn't believe in drinking (though he drank). When I
pointed out that in the Bible Jesus drank wine, he explained
to me that that was a
mistranslation. It wasn't wine.
It was grape
to him, every word
Bible was the literal truth, except
actually grape juice!????
a man that believed every word in the Bible was the literal truth (a
belief held by many of the Southern Baptist Convention), I wondered how
he could have
married a divorced woman. Because, that's clearly not allowed in the
Bible. (See sidebar.)
are so down on homosexuality because of
what the Bible says, are more
than happy to overlook what the Bible has to say about remarriage after
they're so happy to overlook it because, of the major
Christian denominations, Baptists have the highest divorce rate. I've
known Baptists that were
on their third or fourth marriage and every one of their previous
marriages had ended in divorce. If the Southern Baptist railed against
divorced people remarrying the same way they railed against
homosexuality, they'd lose a large
chunk of their congregation.
same man with the grape
juice fixation who presented himself as such a devout
laughed as he told me about the time he and his friend were out driving
in college and hit some old woman then drove off without stopping. Nice
Christian act, that. Funny too. I could see why he'd laugh about it. Not. On a more petty
level, he liked to
steal tips. Being work colleagues, we would go out to
lunch on occasion.
He never left a tip. Instead he would move someone else's tip close to
his plate. But, damn,
if he didn't think of himself as one true
and devout Christian.
Baptists like that would
do well to remember these words from their savior, Jesus Christ, in
19 "Every tree that
does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
21 "Not everyone who says to
me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one
who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
or what Jesus said in Matthew 15:
8 "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from
they go about so sure they've been "saved" and so certain they're going
the possibility that they are trees that do not bear good fruit, that
they are people who only honor Jesus with their lips while their hearts
are far from Him is a thought that would never occur to them.
Living in the South as
long as I have, here in the middle of the Bible
Belt, I'm surrounded
by Baptists. Any time I meet someone
and they're sanctimoniously self-righteous, very public in
simply public about it, but almost to the point of arrogance, certainly
point of superiority.........yet their actions aren't very
when I inquire, that person has always turned out to be
a Baptist. Now I'm not saying all Baptists
are like that. I've
met ones that are not. Individually, there are some perfectly
nice Baptists. But it says something about the denomination
met a person like that, that they've always been a Baptist.
*Note -- Black
Baptist churches are not usually Southern
Baptist as the
Southern Baptist Convention was founded on the issue of slavery. The
Southern Baptists wanted slavery while the Northern Baptists did not,
the Southern Baptists split off. After the Civil War, Black Baptists
formed their own churches.
Addendum 7-29-2012: When a church made headlines this week for refusing to marry a Black couple because they'd never had a Black wedding, I was sure it would turn out be a Baptist
church and it was (First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs,
Mississippi). The oh-so-Christian members threatened to fire the pastor
if he performed the ceremony. Yet, as sure as I was that would be a
Baptist church, I'm equally sure those members think that
they are fine, upstanding examples of Christianity who are saved and
going straight to heaven. If they make it there, I think Jesus Christ is going to have a few words to say to them about the hatred in their hearts.
What Jesus Christ Had to Say
Divorce & Remarriage
Jesus' Words on Divorce & Remarriage:
Any man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits
adultery; and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
2 Some Pharisees came to him and tried to trap him. Tell us,
they asked, does our Law allow a man to divorce his wife?
3 Jesus answered with a question, What law did Moses give you?
4 Their answer was, Moses gave permission for a man to write a divorce
notice and send his wife away.
Jesus said to them, Moses wrote this law for you because you are so
hard to teach. 6 But in the beginning, at the time of creation, God
made them male and female, as the scripture says. 7 And for this reason
a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, 8 and
the two will become one. So they are no longer two, but one. 9 No human
being must separate, then, what God has joined together.
10 When they went back into the house, the disciples asked Jesus about
11 He said to them, A man who divorces his wife and marries another
woman commits adultery
against his wife. 12 In the same way, a woman who divorces her husband
and marries another man commits adultery.
5:31-32 (Sermon on the Mount)
31 It was also said, Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a
written notice of
divorce. 32 But now I tell you: if a man divorces his wife for any
other than her unfaithfulness, then he is guilty of making her commit
adultery if she marries again; and the man who marries her commits
3 Some Pharisees came to him and tried to trap him by asking,
Does our Law allow a man to divorce his wife for whatever reason he
4 Jesus answered, Haven't you read the scripture that says that in the
beginning the Creator made people male and female? 5 And God said, For
this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with
his wife, and the two will become one. 6 So they are no longer two, but
one. No human being must separate, then, what God has joined together.
7 The Pharisees asked him, Why, then, did Moses give the law
for a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?
8 Jesus answered, Moses gave you permission to divorce your
wives because you are so hard
to teach. But it was not like that at the time of creation. 9 I tell
you, then, that any man who divorces his wife for any cause other than
her unfaithfulness, commits adultery if he marries some other woman.
10 His disciples said to him, If this is how it is between a man and
his wife, it is better not to marry.
11 Jesus answered, This teaching does not apply to everyone, but only
to those to whom God
has given it. 12 For there are different reasons why men cannot marry:
some, because they were born that way; others, because men made them
that way; and others do not marry for the sake of the Kingdom of
heaven. Let him who can accept this teaching do so.
are directly on point what Jesus had to say about
remarriage after divorce.
(If you'd like to see every verse in the Bible that mentions divorce, click here.)
Jesus' Words on Homosexuality:
Yes, that's intentionally blank. In the Bible, Jesus never says
anything himself along
the lines of not lying with a man as with a woman, etc.
(If you'd like to see every Bible verse on homosexuality, click here.)
something that Jesus Christ never
explicitly spoke on or
condemned himself (though it is condemned elsewhere in the Bible), the Baptists
But remarriage after
divorce, something that Jesus Christ did
speak on and condemn himself, the
Baptists are fine with.
I'd ask someone to explain that to me, but I've already heard enough of
their self-rationalizing, self-justifying malarkey.