Naomi Schafer Riley: The Baptist All-Stars

Perhaps the only thing worse than Al Gore’s tedious 90-minute slide presentation on global warming is the same presentation interspersed with slides quoting from Scripture. But that’s just what the audience of 2,500 at the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant paid $35 a head to see on Jan. 31.

Mr. Gore, a featured speaker at the gathering here, was introduced as a “prophet.” Like all prophets, he “is not welcome in his hometown,” at least according to Robert Parham, executive director of the Baptist Center of Ethics in Nashville. Mr. Parham noted with disappointment that the people of that city failed to “recognize” Mr. Gore’s recent Nobel Prize victory. Talk about a cross to bear.

Mr. Gore’s presentation was officially closed to the media, because, according to a Covenant spokesman, the former vice president didn’t want the slides of those Bible passages “getting out on the Internet.” What would his friends in the secular blogosphere think about the fact that he said “In the beginning, God created Heaven and earth” as a picture of our planet from space was displayed? Or that he used the story of Noah to explain why we should work to save more endangered species?

But in Atlanta, Mr. Gore was preaching to the converted. Welcome to what might have been the largest gathering yet of the so-called religious left. A self-described “informal alliance of more than 30 racially, geographically, and theologically diverse Baptist organizations,” the three-day celebration demonstrated how difficult it will be for religious liberals to unite, let alone get under the same tent with secular liberals and become a political force.

Read it all.


Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, Other Churches

3 comments on “Naomi Schafer Riley: The Baptist All-Stars

  1. Rick in Louisiana says:

    This is a dreadful article that seems to determined to present the NBC meeting in the worst possible light. Two of my ministerial colleagues attended and although they are not “conservative evangelicals” nor would I characterize them as “religious left”. Yesterday one of those colleagues and I were eating lunch together and she shared with me what Bill Clinton said in his closing remarks. Just because Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter show up does not in and of itself automatically make this a “religious left” gathering. It is absolutely must be pointed out that Southern Baptist leaders *were invited and they refused the invitation* so it is not like the gathering was designed to be an “alternative to the SBC”. Give me a flying break.

    For the record – I consider myself a “moderate” and no longer “Southern” Baptist. I have no axe to grind here except a concern for getting it right.

  2. magnolia says:

    uh, could we get an accurate and balanced report of what actually happened?? come on now, this was really the gracious and genteel ann coulter guest reporting using a pseudonym right?

  3. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Just as genteel and cultured as JimBob and SlickWillie, the headliners, besides the Nobel prized and incorrect Algor Ithm. (see

    But, really, folks, they could have just admitted they were really the “free will” component on all the ‘crucial’ issues and that they freely and willfully endorse the positions of their keynoters as a sign of their “with-it-ness”.