File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_2000/nietzsche.0006, message 50


Subject: Fall-far, Fall-hard, Fal-well
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 14:17:24 CDT


Hello all.  Another lurker decides to speak...First, a friendly caveat 
regarding this email:

Don't shoot the messenger.


Now to the uglier business.  I know (hope!) I'm not the only one with my 
dander up over the recent redefinitions of the Southern Baptist Convention 
(although, being from Memphis, I should note that I'm relieved by the ending 
of Adrian Rogers' reign as President, and somewhat amused to find that 
Memphis has been replaced as the SBC seat of power in favor of the new 
President's home in , get this, Snellville, GA).  Really, at this point, the 
only thing that I can think of that is more disturbing than the SBC is the 
"Left Behind" series of evangelical novels (if you haven't heard of 
"dispensationalist premillenialism" yet, find out what it is... the enemy 
you know is better than the enemy you don't know!).  Anyway, you should all 
read the "feature article" rather sneakily entitled "The Bible as 
Controversy" on Jerry Falwell's website (at www.falwell.com).  Among its 
other defenses of the SBC's decision to be officially misogynist and 
homophobic (but not racist!)is a peculiarly drawn out explanation of 
Divinely-inspired and distinctive roles for men and women.  Falwell argues 
that the old separate but equal line... just because God doesn't want women 
to lead the church doesn't mean there aren't plenty of other significant 
things for women to do as defined in Scripture (most of which, I might add, 
involve some version of women witnessing men doing something important).

My favorite part is where Falwell equates men playing in the NFL with 
women's childbearing responsibilities.  Fair is fair, right!


In a rather sloppy attempt to relate this to the group, however, I would 
like to point out that regardless of how much I loathe the methods and 
motivations of the SBC, I am repeatedly astonished by their political 
brilliance.  Or more specifically, the SBC's ability to so totally conflate 
the political and the personal as to enable them to simultaneously embrace 
and exile their constituents.  Also, the rather ho-hum reception that the 
recent convention has been given by national media suggests that there is a 
certain national perception of the Southern Baptist political arena as 
little more than a particularly annoying fly on the back of the... 
uh...elephant.:)

Some might hastily write off the Southern Baptists as resent(iment)ers, weak 
decadents, "mob thinkers," but I think this is a gross underestimation of 
the subtlety of what is happening here.  After all, and even by their own 
admission, the SB's are *not* a mirror of mainstream thought.  It is 
frightening how much some of their methodology reflects what could be 
interpreted as Nietzschean principles and methods of strength.  (Even down 
to the evangelical eschatology... the non-Baptists will not return???)

I know there are the obvious objections to this interpretation, but humor 
me.  It's a scary thought, right?  I'm not alone here, am I?


Sorry for the rant, but if you are at all interested and want to get a 
discussion going, please respond.

To quote Johnny Cash:

"It was some of the worst pain I've ever experienced.  But there were two of 
us, so it was only half painful."



leigh


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