Famous Baptist Politicians

Not too long ago former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton made it known that they were interested in launching a new Baptist denomination that would serve as an alternative to the Southern Baptist Convention. Both men, members of Southern Baptist churches have been famously out of step with the conservative majority within the world’s largest Protestant denomination. Many Southern Baptists would be happy to show the former presidents the door. Their positions on homosexuality, abortion, and Mr. Carter’s appalling affection for dictators and the PLO having made them something along the lines of the crazy uncle who lives in the basement. They are, at best, a curiosity among Southern Baptists.

In this month’s issue of National Review two more famous Baptist politicians are referred to.

“Dick Gephardt started out pro-life but switched his position in time to run for president. Addressing an abortion-rights banquet, he blamed his past on the misfortune of having been raised in a ‘working class family of Baptist faith.’ John Edwards, today’s Democratic tribune of the working class, is using his religious background the same way: to protect his left flank. He says that same-sex marriage is the hardest issue he has to deal with. He is against it, he told George Stephanopoulos: ‘Because I’m 53 years old. I grew up in a small town in the rural South. I was raised in the Southern Baptist church and so I have a belief system that arises from that. It’s part of who I am. I can’t make it disappear…Do I believe they should have the right to marry? I’m just not there yet, me, I’m not there.’ Edwards has transcended parts of his past: He has said that he does not believe homosexuality is immoral. But nobody votes on that question, while same-sex marriage remains unpopular. We’re guessing that the operative word in his answer is ‘yet.’”