If you want to know why so many young adults view organized religion with great skepticism, look no further than the monumental strangeness of this week’s Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans. A quick history lesson: Shi’ite Babtists (as Molly Ivins used to call them) were not only founded on 19th century support for slavery –– they finally apologized for that in 1995 –– they also helped lead the charge against civil rights progress in the South for a big chunk of the 20th century. Well, the Southern Baptists did two things this week: Elected their first black president (congrats on entering the 1960s, guys!) and then promptly used that tardy enlightenment on racial matters to declare that gay people don’t deserve equal rights because “homosexual rights activists have misappropriated the rhetoric of the civil rights movement.”
We shall overcome! (Except for the queers).
Um, how should we qualify this bit of bizarreness? Two steps forward and one step back? “Gay is the new black” for Southern Baptists? Luckily, no one has ever looked to Southern Baptists for wisdom, compassion, or common sense, so the reaction seems to have been “consider the source.”