Aaron Gould Shenin of the AJC quotes members from the floor in his post, identifying his comparison of lawmakers to Hitler as beyond the pale. There are many more Baptists than those quoted at the Capitol, many who have long considered Griffin to be Satan incarnate, but I am rather glad to invite others to the party. All are welcome at this table!
On the matter of being Baptist: I have been and cannot imagine myself to ever separate from the title of Baptist, no matter how many Mike Griffins, Jerry Falwells, or Westboro Baptists there may be. In addition to that preference, I also have always loved my scotch neat, I rarely miss a chance to break it down on the dance floor, have been and will forever be solidly pro-choice, and as for my card playing abilities? My middle school girl friends can vouch for the repercussions of our serious games of five card draw.
If you are of the misconceived notion that Baptists are unilaterally characterized by the opposite of the above mentioned actions, I am here to tell you Baptist is a big, broad tent that welcomes sinners of all stripes. Like all Christians, we believe devoutly in the salvation of our souls given mercifully and unconditionally by God. There are some who believe in the sacrificial atonement of sins in the death of Jesus the Christ, and there are some who do not. Yet Baptists go further beyond the belief of merciful salvation and are somewhat unique in our deeply held convictions around full immersion baptism and regarding a term called congregational polity, where every church is self-governed, autonomous from the fold as a whole, and independent. Quakers, Puritans, and many of the congregational churches created in the American colonies were cut from this cloth. Unitarian Universalists, some synagogues, and mosques employ a version of this as well, but Baptists are often the denomination to be identified with this in mainstream Protestantism.
For this reason alone I have deeply held convictions against ANYONE saying they represent all Baptists. We are organized differently for this VERY reason. So for Mr. Griffin to assert he speaks for “us” is to be not only challenging to comprehend, it is organizationally impossible. Continue reading “Mike Griffin: The Baptist Who Will Call You Hitler at the Liquor Store”