Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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A few more thoughts about the Carter/Clinton Baptists

I had a few more thoughts about the Carter/Clinton efforts to unify Baptists who "dissent from" the SBC. Protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, the effort is political, even if not in the most obvious sense. The organizers talk a lot about all the good things they are called to do in the world. Isn’t the SBC also feeding the hungry and providing relief to, say, the victims of Katrina? The difference may be that the SBC is less interested in calling upon government to do more of what it generally does so badly. Stated another way, where CC & Company differ from the SBC is on the prudential judgment about how best to help widows and orphans. This isn’t a theological difference, but rather a political disagreement.

Another thought: while Carter and Clinton may well disagree with the SBC on some of the social issues on which it has taken a stand, it’s not clear to me that, for example, the African-American Baptists are on the same page here. African-American Baptists may well be big supporters of the welfare state, but they’re not necessarily as liberal on social issues as are the other constituents of CC & Company. It’s not necessarily an issue with a sufficiently high profile (for the African-Americans) to be a deal-breaker for this new agglomeration, but if part of the new witness has to do with, say, tilting leftward on gay rights, the arrangement may not last very long.

I’m eager to hear more from Baptist insiders, like Russell Moore and our friend Hunter Baker.

Discussions - 2 Comments

the little confab Carter and Clinton have called for to pursue their alleged goal of Christian unity just happens to be under a week before the South Carolina primary. Isn’t there going to be a Clinton running in Bible Belt South Carolina for something or other next year???

While it’s true that, as surveys show, churchgoing African-Americans are socially conservative, African-American political *leaders* are not. And so to the degree that this *is* just a political move (or is even mostly a political move), I’m not sure Clinton and Carter’s social liberalism would matter much. Or, at least, it hasn’t meant the election of economically liberal, socially conservative blacks until now. (As an aside, that would be a pretty interesting research question - why don’t black representatives reflect black opinions on social issues?)

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