Thursday, March 15, 2007

Is Your Baby a Bigot? What if You Could Know? What if You Could Do Something About it?

Albert Mohler, the President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY is catching it from all sides after his comments about the potential for dictating a baby's sexual preference. His article, titled, Is Your Baby Gay? What if You Could Know? What if You Could do Something About it? stirred up the radical religious right because of the warning that we may have to accept that homosexuality is biologically based and not a "choice," undercutting a linchpin in the argument that homosexuality is evil, sinful etc.

Not to worry, choice or not, Mohler assures us that it is in fact sin-whether or not God made you that way is an inconvenient detail. He is, however, tickled pink by the prospect that perhaps in-womb interventions will open the door to both knowing a child's orientation prior to birth and changing it. That's the bit that got him into trouble with the rest of us. It has me wondering whether there is, perhaps an in-the-womb fix for bigotry and wishing that there had been when Mohler came along.

A quick scan of Mohler's website and blog make it clear that he is preoccupied with homosexuality. Fascinated, I would say. Not only are there a number of articles on the subject, but, do me a favor: put your Freudian hat on and look at his picture on the left side of this page.
Besides the obvious reasons for outrage, this is personal for me. I was a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1981-1985. Both of my children were born in Louisville during those years. I'm betting that Mohler was a contemporary of mine, though that is about all we would have in common.

The mid-1980's was about the time when the infidels were engaged in their hostile takeover of one of the richest denominations in the world, the SBC, and were poised to use it as the evangelical spearhead of the political movement that gave us George Bush, Tom DeLay, Karl Rove, Ted Haggard et. al.

I know that it is hard to believe, but when I was a student there, Southern was widely respected as the most scholarly and liberal of all the Southern Baptist seminaries, though at that time all of the SBC seminaries were protective of academic freedom, a cornerstone of Baptist history. (I know, it's hard to believe, but it is true. Baptist's colleges were the first in the New World to embrace academic freedom. Those who are persecuted often end up thinking that freedom is a good thing.) I loved what that school once was, a place where scholarship mattered and hard questions were confronted without the expectation that there would be an easy, politically correct answer. All that is left now are the buildings.

In 1984, I remember sitting in Paul Simmons' Christian Ethics class at Southern and hearing him argue that the Bible did not, in fact, support the notion that homosexuality is sin. Of course, he was one of the professors they were out to get. You see, part of the plot to take over the SBC hinged on taking over the boards of the seminaries, and that was accomplished largely by engaging in a McCarthy-style witch hunt aimed at 'exposing' "heretical" faculty. Men in cars with cash sent students into classes to tape lectures of the targeted professors. As a result, great minds like Simmons, Frank Tupper, Andrew Lester and others moved on to teach and serve in other places. Now, seeing someone like Mohler at the helm of what was once a great institution is a bit like seeing George Bush in the White House. In fact, it is just like that.


Someone said...

God bless Amy Morton. That's all I've got to say.

Oh, I forgot--I'm also supposed to pray (especially in Lent) for those who seek to do us wrong. I guess that'd be Mohler. Sheesh.

Amy Morton said...

No kidding.....

Tina said...

These folks are so concerned about sex that they seem to have largely forgotten stuff like feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and other important tasks incumbent on those who are supposed to love their neighbors. It's really easy to be virtuous if virtue = looking for the mote in the other person's eye.