For those who think Conservative Baptist are the only Baptists who are political, Mark Tooley writes about a interesting speech delievered to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, where the speaker was reading from his Democrat Party talking points.
Excommunicating Fox News
By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 13, 2006
The head of what used to be the main voice of ecumenical Christianity in America has made Fox News the target of his latest jeremiad.
Bob Edgar, former Democratic congressman and former seminary president is now an ordained Methodist minister and general secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC) -- but his religion is often politics by another means. Edgar warned a gathering of "moderate" Baptists last month against the challenges of "fear, fundamentalism, and Fox News." instead urging his faithful to "walk in the footsteps of Jesus."
Edgar cited the supposed threat posed by Fox News while speaking at the 15th anniversary luncheon of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s (CBF) General Assembly on June 23. The CBF was founded by "moderate" Southern Baptists as a counterweight to the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative leadership. About 1,800 local churches support CBF out of the 40,000+ congregations of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The CBF churches remain within the Southern Baptist Convention but channel much of their funding through CBF rather than official Southern Baptist ministries. Although professing to be "moderate," the CBF’s choice of the left-wing Edgar as a speaker confirms the suspicions of conservative Southern Baptists about the CBF. Edgar himself admitted he was an unusual choice for the "moderate Baptists."
The NCC hyped it when Fox News briefly reported Edgar’s anti-Fox remarks to the Baptists. The number one rated news network asked "Fox Fans" to e-mail their response to Edgar’s denunciation, which were forwarded to the NCC. The NCC, in turn, boasted Edgar’s comments had "hit a nerve" with Fox editors. "Predictably, many of the responses from the network's predominantly conservative fans disagreed with the NCC leader's assessment of Jesus' call to action," the NCC lamented.
However, it irrationally bragged, "a surprising number said Edgar's list of priorities might be just what the nation needed. Of the 279 emails received by NCC from 'firstname.lastname@example.org' 48 supported Edgar or were critical of Fox News," the NCC celebrated. In other words, fewer than 20 percent of the Fox e-mailers sided with Edgar.
NCC leftist-in-chief Edgar has targeted Fox News before; it was not even the first time he had used this alliterative phrase. In a Washington, D.C., speech to left-wing religious activists at "Ecumenical Advocacy Days" in March, Edgar said he expected "each of us to work ecumenically to confront fear, fundamentalism and Fox Television, with a renewed commitment to seek peace, end poverty and heal our fragile planet earth."
Edgar has solidified the NCC as a political instrument of the Religious Left since taking the helm six years ago. When founded nearly 60 years ago, the NCC was the voice of mainstream American Christianity. Now funded more by left-wing philanthropies than by actual churches, the NCC is more interested in expanding the welfare state, hyping global warming, and demonizing U.S. foreign policy than in Christian unity. Thirty five denominations representing more than 40 million American church goers belong to the NCC. But the NCC is largely inconsequential to local churches, many of whose members watch the dreaded Fox News.
He has explained to reporters that he wants to redefine "moral values" to include left-wing perspectives on poverty, the environment, and health care among "middle-church, middle-mosque, and middle-synagogue" voters. It was the usual refrain from Edgar. In his speech last month to the CBF, he described the updated Jesus. "As I study the scripture, I have found five directions to walk with Jesus in 2006: Peace, Poverty, Planet Earth, People’s Rights, and Commitment to Pluralism," he explained. In other words, following Jesus means opposing the Bush administration. "The persons who would be Jesus’ disciples will be found standing in defense of human rights, believing that such dehumanizing acts of racial or gender discrimination, torture, invasion of privacy are an affront to the will of God for his creation," he declared.
posted by Arkansas Razorbaptist at 7/13/2006 04:44:00 AM