Monday, June 29, 2009

Broadway Baptist Church Chapel Choir Not Welcome In Kentucky

At the last minute, the Southern Baptists Of Kentucky have formally disinvited my church's youth choir from performing or working in their state. The kids were going there on a choir tour and mission project to fix up low-income housing in Appalachia.

Let me give you some background:

The Broadway Baptist Church Chapel Choir is a world-class choral group. These kids are good.
They've sung the National Anthem at I-don't-know-how-many Big League baseball games. They've sung in the National Cathedral. I think they've done a 4th of July concert at Pearl Harbor.
They don't just sing. When they go on choir tours each summer, at least one week of the trip is spent on a mission project. Sometimes it's a Habitat For Humanity house, sometimes it's remodeling other low-income housing, and sometimes it's doing fixup projects on Indian reservations.
The Aggie is a 6-year veteran of these trips and projects, so she can now hang sheetrock and particle board like a pro.

The choir was going to stay at Kentucky's Cumberland University for a week or so during this year's choir tour and mission trip, working with a University housing program called Mountain Outreach. Think Habitat For Humanity in Appalachia.

Here's a link from the College, now known as University Of The Cumberlands, about a previous Broadway Baptist Youth trip back in 2005 when they helped Mountain Outreach build a home for a low income family. (Something tells me that this link might be taken down by the end of the day, so I'm saving it here, just in case.)

It looked like a good relationship, but that was then and this is now.

The kids have now been officially disinvited. The contact person called with the news yesterday, wanting to give plenty of notice. The kids were supposed to leave on the trip in less than a week. Not only that, but several of the Kentucky churches where they were scheduled to sing have also cancelled performances. Why?

It is because our church welcomes gay and lesbian people. (This recently got us kicked out of The Southern Baptist Convention, which you can read about by going here, reading my rant, and then clicking "previous post" and repeating until your eyes bleed.)

The University Of The Cumberlands has the right to invite and disinvite whoever they choose. Perhaps Sixteen-year-old Singing Sheetrockers are a legitimate threat to the doctrinal purity of The University. But they've invited all sorts of people to speak on campus recently. This is from Cumberland's Wikipedia entry:

The university has in recent years, through its Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership, brought several notable guests to speak on campus. In the spring of 2006, in a "Moral Leadership" program, Roy Moore, the so-called "Ten Commandments judge" spoke at the school, and in March 2007, in a "Patriotic Leadership" program, the university hosted Zell Miller, former governor of Georgia and United States Senator. The April 2008 program featured bestselling author Stephen Covey in a "Principle Centered Leadership" program, while the April 2009 program featured Ben Stein in a "21st Century Leadership" program.

This diverse group of speakers was apparently acceptable for the doctrinal purists at the University Of The Cumberlands. So let's look at them one by one.

1) Here's Georgia Democrat senator Zell Miller, speaking at the 2004 Republican National Convention. (He changed sides back when it was fashionable.) Baptists reading this are probably familiar with the apostle Paul's "Roll Call Of Faith". Well, go to the 1:03 mark in this video to hear Zell Miller's "Roll Call Of Funding".

I'll let the rest of the speech stand alone, after asking the brief question "Who Would Jesus Bomb"?

I bet Zell doesn't go to church with any Gays or Lesbians. I'm just sayin'....

2) One of the other guys they've invited to speak is Ben Stein. I like Mr. Stein a lot, and wish I could've been at the University Of The Cumberlands to hear him. I think he's a brilliant economist, a good actor, and he was a fun game show host. His monthly column in The American Spectator gets sorta sentimental, but I read it all the same.
There's just one little problem if you're going to invite Ben Stein to speak at University Of The Cumberlands, but then disinvite The Broadway Baptist Church Chapel Choir because of religious differences....

It's not something I have a problem with, and Broadway Baptist Church sure doesn't have a problem with it because we've often held services with the synagogue next door.

I hate to bring this up, but Ben Stein is Jewish, AND HE DOESN'T BELIEVE IN THE DIVINITY OF JESUS ! ! !

I REPEAT, THE GUEST SPEAKER FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP PROGRAM HAS COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY REJECTED CHRIST ! ! ! (Is this clear? The Broadway Baptist Church Chapel Choir calls itself "Christian". Ben Stein makes no such claim.)

Oh well. Mr. Stein's views on gays and lesbians must have been acceptable to Cumberland. First things first.

3) Then there's Stephen R. Covey, author of "7 Habits Of Highly Effective People". Covey is a great speaker and "7 Habits" is a great book.

But for the doctrinal nit-pickers, there should've been a glaring problem with Covey. He believes that Joseph Smith found some golden tablets in upstate New York, put on some magic Ray-bans, and used them to translate The Book Of Mormon into a bad imitation of King James English. Yep. Covey is a Mormon. He also believes in wearing the holy undergarments at all times, and he believes that an old guy in Salt Lake City is a prophet.
Another dirty little secret.... Mormons dance. Enough said.
Mormons are acceptable to the University Of The Cumberlands. Sixteen-year-old Baptist kids who want to help build low-income housing in Appalachia (and who, for the most part, accept gays and lesbians) are not permitted.
4) Last, we have judge Roy Moore, the famous Alabama judge who displayed a 5,300 pound monument to The Ten Commandments inside his courthouse - a clear violation of the separation of church and state principle.
All the members of the Broadway Baptist Chapel Choir are sane and in their right minds. The unfortunate Roy Moore is, in my opinion, click here to continue....
I'm sure that some other churches will eventually come through with performance opportunities for the kids. Give them a gym floor to sleep on for a week anywhere near a Habitat For Humanity project, and you'll be amazed at what they can do. Shunning these kids is a huge black eye for the University, Southern Baptists, and a loss to whoever would've been helped on the mission project.
The University Of The Cumberlands upholds a religious standard that allows them to tolerate Georgia Turncoat Politicians, Brilliant Jewish Economists, Mormon Motivational Speakers, and Alabama Theocrat Judges.
But hosting tolerant Baptists teenagers? You've got to draw a line somewhere. What if it starts spreading?


TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Yep... It's a good thing they're going to eschew the help of those evil tolerant youths! The poor folks of Appalachia were getting too soft, what with them getting their indoor water and their trail being the fake alibi for that S.C. GOP Governor.

Good thing they stick to inviting Mormon guests (who think that the Bible is only half baked) and Ben Stein, who as you noted, is not all that keen on Jesus AND supported both Gay GOP Congressman Mark Foley AND Pro-Choice Senator Al Franken.

I guess they can stand around and look worshipfully at the three ton Ten Commandment statue and pronounce it too holy to move, per their judge friend... Oh wait, what's that say on the statue?

II. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Yeah... Good thing - for your kids. I hope your youth choir finds a great place to serve. They deserve it!!

Dr Ralph said...

The Southern Baptists are bound and determined to strain their gene pool thinner and thinner.

At this rate it won't be long before they all have 6 toes and prehensile tails.

This was news to youngest son at 6:30 this evening.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Al Franken, the only SNL alum who was never, ever funny, is now a U.S. Senator.
I'm still in shock.

I think an alternative project in the middle of the choir tour has presented itself, not too far from the original site, and one that doesn't involve sleeping on a gym floor.

Dr Ralph said...

WS - I'm sure the Reverend Ms. Sepulchre has been scrambling like mad to put together alternate plans. The more I read about Cumberlands the more I think the youth are good to be rid of them (my take here).

At the risk of shocking you further, I'd have to agree Senator-elect Franken wasn't one of the funnier SNL alums. Still, a man is entitled to a mid-life career change. After all, this is the state that gave us an ex-pro wrestler for governor. Who says Minnesotans don't have a sense of humor?

Browncoat Libertarian said...

I lost all respect for Ben Stein when he did that shamelessly dishonest "Expelled". I can't even look at that guy anymore.

Dr Ralph said...

Browncoat -- I'm with you.

While I wasn't a fan of his politics, I used to think Ben Stein was pretty funny. "Expelled" pretty much did it for me. The worst sort of cynical, right-wing bullshit.

Robert J. Moeller said...

Hey, I randomly found your blog today and I'm glad that I did. Very interesting stuff. I am a conservative blogger and grad student from Chicago ( Keep up the good work. God Bless.

Cedric Katesby said...

I have to say that I'm surprised that you have any respect for Ben Stien.
This is a guy who is firmly anti-science and a well-known shill for Intelligent Design.