Albert Mohler is at it again.
Albert is president of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Ky., which must give him a lot of time to think about the burning issues of the day. Unfortunately, somewhere between the thinking and the saying, there seems to be a major disconnect.
You may recall that Albert is the guy who got his robe in a wad a few years back when the First Baptist Church of Decatur had the temerity to appoint a female as its lead pastor. Albert said at the time that the Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell was qualified for the job, “except for the fact that she is a woman.”
I don’t know about the rest of America, but that didn’t exactly endear him to the female members of the Yarbrough tribe who preach whenever it suits them.
Like a lot of Bible-thumpers, he went to great pains to pull out selected verses of the Bible to make his point about women not being qualified to be preachers. This is the same Bible that says divorce is a no-no (1 Cor. 7:11) but which Albert and his crowd conveniently overlook regarding a certain Southern Baptist televangelist who is divorced.
The last time I checked, the First Baptist Church of Decatur has not experienced a plague of locusts nor has anyone turned into a block of salt. First Baptist Church of Decatur: 1. Albert: 0.
Now, Albert is back. He has decided yoga isn’t Christian. Not, Yogi, as in Berra, but yoga, as in stretching and meditating.
He says he objects to “the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine.” I have no idea what that means. Albert can get a little weird.
In the meantime, currently before the Supreme Court of the United States is a case involving the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. You may have read that these lowlifes demonstrate at the funerals of members of the military, carrying signs saying, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “You are going to Hell” and “Semper Fi F---.” That is their subtle way of saying they oppose homosexuality.
The family of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder of Maryland, who was killed in Iraq in 2006, and had to endure the Westboro clowns at his funeral, sued and the case has made it to the Supreme Court of the United States. Even the justices seem to be appalled at the church’s antics. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, not the most conservative of judges, said, “This is a case about exploiting a private family’s grief.”
The Supreme Court’s job is, however, is not to point out the obvious — that these are disgusting inhuman beings. It is to protect our right of free speech. Public condemnation is in our court.
You would think that Albert would be leading the charge in decrying a bunch of so-called Baptists who exult in the death of young people that died in service of their country rather than harrumphing about the evils of the Lotus position.
What is the difference in members of Islam sitting on their hands while acts of terror are committed in the name of their religion and our looking the other way when religious nutcases intrude on a family’s grief in the most reprehensible fashion possible?
And please don’t split hairs about Independent Baptists and Southern Baptists. In fact, Southern Baptists should be pointing out their differences by condemning Westboro in the strongest possible terms. Albert seems to be able to get publicity whenever he wants. Let’s see him take on this one.
While Albert is at it, he might want to tell me which church he is most proud to call Baptist — the First Baptist Church of Decatur, where their biggest drawback seems to be that a woman is heading it up against his Biblical tenets; or the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., headed up by Fred Phelps, who I am ashamed to say is a man.
Westboro Baptist Church is about as Christian as house flies are canaries, but it would be nice to have somebody of the cloth loudly express disgust at how fringe groups can highjack a faith that preaches love and practice hate instead. Maybe somebody like the Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Instead, he is fretting over yoga.
Albert Mohler is living proof that God has a sense of humor. Only I’m not amused.
E-mail columnist Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org.