Pass the Popcorn! Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention Versus Pat Robertson

This story comes from one of Ed Brayton’s regular features over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, Wingnut on Wingnut Crime.

We all know Pat Robertson.  Host of The 700 Club and all around lunatic, Pat routinely opens his mouth only to have absolute batshittery escape.  From suggesting that the Haitian earthquake was God’s judgement on an ancient Haitian pact with the Devil to blaming 9/11 on feminists and secularists, you can always count on Pat to bring the crazy and leave moderate Christians thinking “Why won’t this guy just shut up?”

How out there is Pat Robertson?  Well here is an op-ed in The Christian Post by Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention, an organization that puts the “nut” in “wingnut” and the bigotry back in Christianity absolutely blasting Robertson.  This is the definition of getting raked over hot coals:

I am taking a deep breath here and reciting Beatitudes to myself. I had promised never to mention Robertson here again. Every few months he says some crazy scandalous thing. He blames 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina on gays and lesbians, cozies up to the Chinese coercive and murderous one-child policy, counsels a man that he can divorce his Alzheimer’s-riddled wife because she’s “not there” anymore.

Let me just say this bluntly. This is not just a statement we ought to disagree with. This is of the devil…

The issue here isn’t just that Robertson is, with cruel and callous language, dismissing the Christian mandate to care for the widows and orphans in their distress. The issue is that his disregard is part of a larger worldview. The prosperity and power gospel Robertson has preached fits perfectly well with the kind of counsel he’s giving in recent years. Give China a pass on their murderous policies; we’ve got business interests there. Divorce your weak wife; she can’t do anything for you anymore. Those adopted kids might have brain damage; they’re “weird.” What matters is health and wealth and power. But that’s not the gospel of Jesus Christ. For too long, we’ve let our leaders replace the cross with an Asherah pole. Enough is enough.

And with that op-ed, there is now at least one thing I can agree on with the Southern Baptist Convention.  For those keeping score at home:

Times I’ve agreed with certain wingnuts and/or wingnut organizations:

Pat Robertson:  1  (Here’s the link for those shaking their heads in disbelief.)

The SBC:  1

Which one will break the tie first?  Will Pat Robertson respond to this vicious attack by the SBC on his insanity?  Will the butter on this popcorn ruin my keyboard?

Stay tuned!

Southern Baptists: We May Have a Black President, But We’re Still Bigots!


A day after electing their first African American president in a historic move that strives to erase its legacy of racism, Southern Baptists passed a resolution opposing the idea that same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue.


Why?  Because being gay is a choice, dontyaknow?

The Rev. Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, was one of the authors of the same-sex marriage resolution.

“It’s important to sound the alarm again, because the culture is changing,” he said.

McKissic, who is black, said it was “an unfair comparison” for gays to equate same-sex marriage with civil rights because there is not incontrovertible scientific evidence that homosexuality is an innate characteristic, like skin color.

“They’re equating their sin with my skin,” he said.

I didn’t have the time earlier to properly comment on this piece, so I figured I would add a bit now.  Better late than never?
Anyway, claiming homosexuality is a choice is a common tactic of bigots.  If you remember back in October, Herman Cain made the same claim in an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan:
MORGAN: First of all, let’s talk about homosexuality because — and is that wrong? Do you think it’s a sin?
CAIN: I think it’s a sin because of my biblical beliefs and although people don’t agree with me, I happen to think that it is a choice.
MORGAN: You believe that?
CAIN: I believe that.
MORGAN: You believe people — seriously, you think people get to a certain age and go, I think I want to be homosexual?
CAIN: Let me turn it around to you. What does science show? You show me evidence other than opinion and you might cause me to reconsider that.
You can find that exchange many places on the web, I grabbed it from Jezebel because I like giving them traffic and they have the follow up to that exchange that I wanted to quote.  One stop shopping, you might say.  Sex advice columnist Dan Savage (who coined the alternate meaning of Santorum) wasn’t about to let this slide:
Dear Herman,
If being gay is a choice, show us the proof. Choose it. Choose to be gay yourself. Show America how that’s done, Herman, show us how a man can choose to be gay. Suck my dick, Herman. Name the time and the place and I’ll bring my dick and a camera crew and you can suck me off and win the argument.
Very sincerely yours,
Dan Savage
(And although I just quoted it from Jezebel, you can also find it on his blog at The Stranger.  And if you don’t know who Dan Savage is, I urge you to read his column, either at The Stranger or my choice, at the Onion AV Club)
What about the science?  Do Cain and the Southern Baptists have a leg to stand on?  Well, although the science is not as clear cut as many LGBT advocates would like on what exactly causes a person to be homosexual, there is agreement that choice has little if any bearing on sexuality.  This next part comes from the American Psychological Association:
There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.
If you want further reading on the subject, I recommend Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation.
Myself, I’m puzzled by the claims that homosexuality is a choice.  I’ve been around homosexuals for the majority of my life, and personally have never really cared what someone’s sexual orientation was.  But as gay positive as I attempt to be, and as open minded about the lifestyle as I am, actually having sex with another man is something I could never do.  (Of course, if you have a million dollars or so and really want a blow job from me for some reason, we can talk.  We can even haggle the price a bit.  But that doesn’t make sexuality a choice.  Lots of people do things they personally find distasteful for the right price.)
Which of course makes me wonder about those who make this claim.  I’ve always thought that the most homophobic people, to put it bluntly, want the cock.  (Note:  I have no science to back me up on that, and anecdotes do not equal evidence.  I’m sure people are homophobic for many reasons other than because they secretly want the cock.  Religion, for instance, and flat out bigotry come to mind.)  My question to those who claim sexuality is a choice is similar to Dan’s challenge.  Why are you so sure it is a choice?  Is it because it is a choice you could make?