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Southern Baptists See New Pope As Pal

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Southern Baptists/Far Right Protestants See New Pope As New Pal


Sunday, April 24, 2005 12:32 a.m. ET


Original story By RICHARD N. OSTLING AP Religion Writer


Edited By BeachOfEden


Now that Americans have had a few days to absorb the election of Pope Benedict XVI, it's clear that conservative Christians, whether Roman Catholic or not ,feel they've won another battle in the nation's culture wars. Liberals agree, but they aren't happy about it. Rev. John Thomas, president of the non-fundamental United Church of Christ, denounced the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. "Cardinal Ratzinger's long tenure in the Vatican has been marked by a theological tone that is rigid, conservative and confrontational," said Thomas, whose denomination will consider the same-sex marriage at its July convention. The pope has lacked "the warm pastoral heart" that bishops need, Thomas charged, his "harsh treatment" of liberal theologians as head of the Vatican's orthodoxy watchdog agency was "profoundly troubling" and his attitude toward non-Catholics has been "narrow," "constrained," "insensitive" and "demeaning." In other words his part of the Religious Right.


A competing assessment: "Faithful Christians ought to be thrilled," declared Charles Colson, the evangelist who's among the best-known members of America's most far right fundamental Protestant group, the Southern Baptist Convention. Colson is especially pleased because, as he sees it, America's cultural minority (aka..the NON-fundamental Christians) are alarmed by the cardinals' choice. He praised Ratzinger's recent sermon against becoming more moderate, which amounted to a papal campaign platform. He also agreed with the pope that Western civilization is doomed if tolerant trends persist. While the pope is no Protestant, conservative evangelicals see him as a powerful ally in such matters and Benedict's track record suggests they're correct. Such matters the Southern Baptists and fundamental Christians would find agreeable to the new Pope's such as denying women from being pastors/priests/elders in the church, Protestanting against gays, and basically claiming to be 'THEE 'TRUE' unsullied church," while others are false or "CULTS." Time will tell when the firendship between these 2 will fade when they will finally use this claim against one another as a weapon.


Be Affraid, Be Very Affraid...


Since the mid-1960s, liberal denominations like Thomas' United Church of Christ have suffered a steady slide in membership, while fundamental groups like the Southern Baptists have continued to expand. And in the past generation, Southern Baptist agencies have actually moved from moderate conservatism to stricter conservatism.

Penn State historian Philip Jenkins noted in his book "The Next Christendom" that the same trend is true globally. While flexible, more tolerant churches stagnate, fundamental and Pentecostal Christianity are growing in the developing world, as is fundamental Islam. These groups have been dogged in promoting rigid doctrinal and moral interpretations of Sacred Scriptures. If Benedict plays to the fundamental Protestants in the United States, he'll be working with the growth explostion of the far religious right world today.

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There are somethings good about Benedict:he's denounced corporate abuses, talked about full employment.


Unfornately, the Archbishop of San Francisco that has his old job is a jertk; he tried to close records of molesting priests and preached intolernce twowards gays.



Edited by TheMeekShall
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