Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Cancer of the Southern Baptist Convention

This article appeared in the Atlanta Journal this weekend. Shorter University has always been a respected institution of higher learning in Georgia, but now, under the iron fisted rule of the now right wing Southern Baptist Convention, it may very well begin losing its prestigious standing. "Pledges" have become the weapon of choice for right wing nuts to use against their followers to attempt to keep them under "control." They mean little, but easily serve as a tool of retribution against anyone who might fall out of favor.

This kind of regressive thinking is beginning to permeate the SBC and its institutions of higher learning. Some very prestigious schools, including Wake Forest and, Mercer Universities, have managed to assert their independence from this cancer that is spreading fast. Others, like Shorter haven't been so fortunate. A relative of mine, a science professor, was recently terminated from a position at a small SBC school in southern GA, as the school fights for its life amidst a switch from liberal arts to the hard line Bible rhetoric that the SBC is adopting. A nearby small Baptist school recently touted its new creationist research center.

It will probably be only a matter of time before these schools adopt even harsher codes of conduct, prompting students to begin reporting on each other and staff. Even worse they will begin witch hunts to "cleanse" gays and lesbians from the campus, along with anyone else that they determine to be a "non Christian."

It is sad to see good institutions fall under the spell of such Dark Ages thinking. In the end the institution will be the loser along with graduates, who may very well become ashamed to admit being an alumnus.