Good news

by Ted on July 3, 2004

The comments on the recent post about Focus on the Family’s distribution of Michael Moore’s home address have occasionally drifted into anti-Christian sentiment, which was very much not what I was hoping for. For a more heartening look at conservative Christianity:

The Southern Baptist Convention, a conservative denomination closely aligned with President Bush, said it was offended by the Bush-Cheney campaign’s effort to use church rosters for campaign purposes.

“I’m appalled that the Bush-Cheney campaign would intrude on a local congregation in this way,” said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission…

The Bush campaign defended a memo in which it sought to mobilize church members by providing church directories to the campaign, arranging for pastors to hold voter-registration drives, and talking to various religious groups about the campaign…

But on Friday, Land said, “It’s one thing for a church member motivated by exhortations to exercise his Christian citizenship to go out and decide to work on the Bush campaign or the (John) Kerry campaign. It’s another and totally inappropriate thing for a political campaign to ask workers who may be church members to provide church member information through the use of directories to solicit partisan support.”

I disagree with the Southern Baptists on many things. At the same time, I have great respect for this enthusiastic defense of the boundaries between church and state from a religious organization . Furthermore, their apparent acknowledgement that it’s just as legitimate for congregants to feel moved by Christian principle to work for Kerry as Bush is highly welcome. My heartfelt thanks to the Southern Baptists for this bit of culture war disarmament.

P.S. More on Focus on the Family here (funny!) and here (not funny; it’s a FOTF ad).

AND ANOTHER THING: A small point about that ad- who is that sad little boy supposed to be? In context, it only makes sense if he’s supposed to be a boy raised by gay parents, upset because he doesn’t have both a father and a mother. How, exactly, is a constitutional amendment preventing his parents from marrying each other supposed to help him?

‘Argue That’

by Brian on July 3, 2004

At first I thought this was a bad typo, but perhaps it’s just a quirk of American English that I hadn’t noticed before.

bq. Though few would argue that children should be protected from exposure to Internet pornography, COPA, the law designed to protect them has been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. (“NewsFactor Network”:–First-Amendment-Covers-Online-Porn&story_id=25722.)

In my idiolect, _argue that p_ means put forward arguments in support of the truth of _p_. Here it seems (unless I’m really misinterpreting the paragraph) to mean something like dispute that _p_. Is that what the phrase means in American?