Palin: President, OK…but not Pastor

This is simply amazing.  I’m not sure where to begin.  Watch the video… This would almost be funny if it wasn’t so sad.  Actual thought is obviously discouraged at this institution of higher indoctrination.

I struggle for words here.  Several jokes come to mind.  I could express my amazement at how delusional very intelligent human beings can be.  I could talk about how sad I feel for the young woman in the video who has been brain-washed to the point of denying the very image of God in which she has been created.

I guess I’ll simply say how thankful I am to be a part of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship knowing my daughter will be encouraged and supported in whatever calling she chooses to pursue.

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Sarah Palin scares the HELL out of me…

This is a lazy post because I’m going to point you to another blog.  Scott Cole is a friend in Birmingham, AL.  I like reading his blog, Southern Sojourner…It is an eclectic mix of theology, politics, music, food, etc.  I respect him and value his friendship (despite his obvious character flaw: a love of University of Alabama football).  A recent post of Scott’s collected several video clips of Sarah Palin being interviewed by Katie Couric and Charles Gibson.  Theses clips are chilling.  (click the link above and check them out).

One of the scarier things about this whole Sarah Palin fiasco is the fact that so many people will believe absolute unsubstantiated lies about Barack Obama and yet dismiss her very own words as “attacks by the liberal news media.”  To anyone who would claim her words were taken out of context, there is no context imaginable that can excuse such obvious and absolute ignorance.  This is truely scary.

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Women Pastoral Candidates…

The topic of women serving as senior pastor of a church has come up a lot lately at my church.  We are currently in the process of looking for a pastor and many conversations have been initiated by our search team with various groups within our church.  Without any prompting, this issue has come up several times.  This particular blog entry is not to “air our laundry” in public (I’ve actually been very proud of our church members on this particular topic…pleasantly surprised!).

A couple of preface statements…

  1. I am totally supportive of and harbor absolutely NO theological objections to women serving in any position of leadership/ministry role/etc. within the church–this is one of the top reasons I am proud support and participate in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
  2. While CBF is supportive ordaining and promoting women in pastoral roles, I believe the reality of individual churches giving equal opportunity to female candidates is FAR FROM BEING A REALITY.  (I’ve read this very observation made by die-hard Southern Baptist fundamentalist leaders who are totally against women serving in pastoral roads…they have named our hypocrisy.)
  3. All that being said, I don’t want a pastoral selection made based merely on a political/social statement.  (That’s easy for me to say as a male, it probably sounds like a cop-out to female pastoral candidates…more churches need to take initiative in this area).

I’ve heard some form of this statement articulated many times over the last several months (not just with our church): “I’m totally supportive of having a woman pastor, but I just don’t think our church/town/region is ready for that yet.” My purpose is not to criticize that reality as much as to ask a sociological question: What does that mean?  Why are we “not ready?”  What is going on within our religious life/institutions in 2008 that makes us not ready for female pastoral leadership?

I’ll just point out one thing…we, “the Church” (universal), are so self-absorbed in our own very small reality that issues such as this can linger…for years!  I recognize that systems such as institutional religion are very slow and resistant to change.  Ultimately that really is a cop out.  My friend Sam wrote and interesting post on his blog about this issue that I believe to be one step toward moving out of this malaise.  I think his offering of “skipping a step” is insightful and introduces a fresh way of thinking into our crotchety system.  However, its time our crotchety system take responsibility and show some leadership in this area.  There are some really big issues the church should be concerned with in our world.  The role of women in leadership should be one (of many) in which the church is leading/modeling from the front.  Rather, we are woefully behind.

Check out Stormy Weather, Dry Ground, and Preaching Womengreat post from my good friend Ed.

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…just a community organizer…

Palin/Giuliani et. al. provided a fantastic illustration of how out of touch the Republican Party is with the poor and marginalized in our country.  To mock the work of community organizing was was almost funny if it wasn’t so sad.  You see the job of a community organizer is to bridge the gap between people who have no voice or power within the political landscape in which they find themselves.  Obama’s work on the southside of Chicago was to unify the voices of those out of work and devoid of influence or representation in the halls of the political machine.  What Palin and Giuliani smugly mocked and what a room full of middle to upper middle class white people laughed at last night were the efforts of a well-educated upper middle-class leader (Obama) to bring these “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” (see poem below) into the process of our great country. That is nothing to be mocked. That is what brave men and women have fought and died for through out the history of our great country. The American idea is not about how we can live secure on our little “island” detached from all the worries of the world. The American idea is to be a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world.  At least that’s what I thought it was supposed to be.  Remember the poem on the statue of liberty?

“The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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