SBC, Land and Palin Deconstructed in NY Rev Books
When you go to this collection of essays you will want also to pay particular attention to the efforts of Joan Didion and Garry Wills, especially Wills Closing flourish.
But here is what's at stake, and where too many numb minded but otherwise good Southern Baptists continue to send their money.
Let's hope here in Alabama Gary Fenton and Bob Terry and Rick Lance will explain why they continue to fund the rascal Richard Land of the SBC ERLC, and maybe in Georgia Susan Shaw will send a letter to the Rome News Tribune, and Jonas Glenn and Tony Cartledge to the Fayetteville Observer.
What is Rob Riley thinking about all this, the Governor's son?
Now, if McCain won, they could claim credit for bringing out the evangelical vote and demand the kind of power they had had in the Bush administration. As for Palin herself, she was almost too good to be true. Her positions on abortion, gay marriage, domestic partner benefits, stem-cell research, abstinence, and the teaching of creationism in the public schools were their own. She was for guns and low taxes, and, as she demonstrated at the Republican convention, she could reignite the politics of populist resentment. She was one of them in a sparkling new package. "Sarah Palin is God's answer," Dobson declared.
The enthusiasm of religious right leaders for Palin had its incongruities. Eight years ago, the Southern Bap-tist Convention, under the leadership of Richard Land and other conservatives, had for the first time adopted the positions that women could not serve as pastors and that wives had to "submit" to their husbands. Then, too, many religious right leaders—James Dobson most prominently—had spent most of their careers insisting that working women, along with permissiveness toward children, had led to the decline of American civilization.
No matter. Palin was a walking advertisement for "pro-life" policies, and, for reasons somewhat mysterious to them, she thrilled the women in their churches. "They were absolutely giddy,"
Land said of the women in his office. "There's something going on in the conservative independent sisterhood that I can't tap into. I can't comprehend it, but it's there." Like other women, many of these sisters were struggling to raise families and to make ends meet with low-paying jobs. Palin, the baby-juggling hockey mom, was both someone they could identify with and the fulfillment of fantasies: a beauty queen who took power by bucking a corrupt male establishment. Here was the new American Idol—and the solution to a problem religious right leaders did not know they had.
And this is pretty strong as well: