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Thread: The Takeover of a Religion

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    The Takeover of a Religion

    This is not my story.


    I grew up as a Southern Baptist kid, in the north for most of my childhood. The small churches my family attended nurtured me and were our primary source of community. My involvement in the programs this denomination sponsored on my college campus helped me become a better human being and to determine my vocation. When I graduated from college the denomination sent me to teach elementary school in Africa for two years. I had never been on an airplane until I flew from Chicago to Richmond for that job interview, six months before moving to a new continent. The great paradox is that a religious tradition born in support of slavery and steeped in ugly racism was providing me a pathway out of that narrow view of the world.

    Over the next decade I would also earn two graduate degrees from the denominations premier educational institution. All the while a sinister plot was taking place. Two men had come to realize that the rules of the Southern Baptist Convention provided a pathway for seizing control of its institutions and levers of power. A judge from Texas named Paul Pressler and a seminary student named Paige Patterson began the plot called the “conservative resurgence” or the “fundamentalist takeover,” depending the side one chose. By the time my education was finished, the process was nearly complete, and I was left on the outside – banished. I got as far as an interview for what would have been the dream job for someone with my credentials. I was cut from the list because I would not endorse a fundamentalist agenda. I supported the full participation of women in positions of leadership within the church, the full acceptance and equality of gay and lesbian persons inside and outside the church, and reproductive rights for women in American society. It was a hat-trick of unacceptability. The Southern Baptist “controversy” would define the parameters of my adult life.

    In my early thirties I was at sea in a very small boat. I worked hard, had a lot of help, and got lucky. Over the next quarter century new opportunities came along, and I managed to construct a decent career in academia. I carry wounds from that battle, but many of my friends were hurt more seriously. They are scattered about, many in other religious traditions now, and some having left behind the church altogether. Their courage and character has often been the one true thing I could see in the world and the force that has kept me moving forward.

    All of this happened because two evil men figured out how to get power, including how to manipulate the majority of the Southern Baptist Convention using fear, ignorance, and hatred.

    This story has taken a surprising turn in the last year or so. Paul Pressler turned out to be a serial abuser of young men. All of the railing against homosexuality in Southern Baptist life turned out to be a twisted external expression of his own internal struggle.

    Some of the sordid story is here.

    The list of men accusing a former Texas state judge and leading figure of the Southern Baptist Convention of sexual misconduct continues to grow.

    In separate court affidavits filed this month, two men say Paul Pressler molested or solicited them for sex in a pair of incidents that span nearly 40 years. Those accusations were filed as part of a lawsuit filed last year by another man who says he was regularly raped by Pressler.

    Pressler’s newest accusers are another former member of a church youth group and a lawyer who worked for Pressler’s former law firm until 2017.
    From the time these two became prominent figures in Southern, often held up as paragons of virtue, it took nearly forty years for all of this to come out in the full light of the truth. Vindication came too late for some, and it cannot take away the scars that many bear, but those of us still standing can say for them, “We knew the truth all along, and now the whole world sees. There it is.”

    Our nation has been following a parallel, sometimes intersecting path over those decades, and this one is not yet fully exposed. Craven men continue to project their internal monsters onto an external stage, manipulating the masses with fear, ignorance, and hatred. It has been a long, hard road, and we are not at the end of it yet, but we will get there. If you are fortunate to be one who is still standing, say it with me for those who are not, “We have known the truth all along, and soon the whole world will see it. There it is.”

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    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    Amen!

    It's called CONSPIRACY, aka the Deep State, aka illuminati, aka bilderbergers, aka the Trilateral Commission, aka the Federal Reserve, aka Fox News, aka the Zionists, aka Western Philosophy, aka Aristotle, aka 'fill in the blank'
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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    Quote Originally posted by NotAPretender View Post
    Amen!

    It's called CONSPIRACY, aka the Deep State, aka illuminati, aka bilderbergers, aka the Trilateral Commission, aka the Federal Reserve, aka Fox News, aka the Zionists, aka Western Philosophy, aka Aristotle, aka 'fill in the blank'
    Which is why I'm moving this thread from Spirituality & Psyche to Conspiracies & Cover-Ups.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    This is not my story.


    I grew up as a Southern Baptist kid, in the north for most of my childhood. The small churches my family attended nurtured me and were our primary source of community. My involvement in the programs this denomination sponsored on my college campus helped me become a better human being and to determine my vocation. When I graduated from college the denomination sent me to teach elementary school in Africa for two years. I had never been on an airplane until I flew from Chicago to Richmond for that job interview, six months before moving to a new continent. The great paradox is that a religious tradition born in support of slavery and steeped in ugly racism was providing me a pathway out of that narrow view of the world.

    Over the next decade I would also earn two graduate degrees from the denominations premier educational institution. All the while a sinister plot was taking place. Two men had come to realize that the rules of the Southern Baptist Convention provided a pathway for seizing control of its institutions and levers of power. A judge from Texas named Paul Pressler and a seminary student named Paige Patterson began the plot called the “conservative resurgence” or the “fundamentalist takeover,” depending the side one chose. By the time my education was finished, the process was nearly complete, and I was left on the outside – banished. I got as far as an interview for what would have been the dream job for someone with my credentials. I was cut from the list because I would not endorse a fundamentalist agenda. I supported the full participation of women in positions of leadership within the church, the full acceptance and equality of gay and lesbian persons inside and outside the church, and reproductive rights for women in American society. It was a hat-trick of unacceptability. The Southern Baptist “controversy” would define the parameters of my adult life.

    In my early thirties I was at sea in a very small boat. I worked hard, had a lot of help, and got lucky. Over the next quarter century new opportunities came along, and I managed to construct a decent career in academia. I carry wounds from that battle, but many of my friends were hurt more seriously. They are scattered about, many in other religious traditions now, and some having left behind the church altogether. Their courage and character has often been the one true thing I could see in the world and the force that has kept me moving forward.

    All of this happened because two evil men figured out how to get power, including how to manipulate the majority of the Southern Baptist Convention using fear, ignorance, and hatred.

    This story has taken a surprising turn in the last year or so. Paul Pressler turned out to be a serial abuser of young men. All of the railing against homosexuality in Southern Baptist life turned out to be a twisted external expression of his own internal struggle.

    Some of the sordid story is here.



    From the time these two became prominent figures in Southern, often held up as paragons of virtue, it took nearly forty years for all of this to come out in the full light of the truth. Vindication came too late for some, and it cannot take away the scars that many bear, but those of us still standing can say for them, “We knew the truth all along, and now the whole world sees. There it is.”

    Our nation has been following a parallel, sometimes intersecting path over those decades, and this one is not yet fully exposed. Craven men continue to project their internal monsters onto an external stage, manipulating the masses with fear, ignorance, and hatred. It has been a long, hard road, and we are not at the end of it yet, but we will get there. If you are fortunate to be one who is still standing, say it with me for those who are not, “We have known the truth all along, and soon the whole world will see it. There it is.”
    I am confused? Who's story is the one not in quotes?

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    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Which is why I'm moving this thread from Spirituality & Psyche to Conspiracies & Cover-Ups.
    that might work...

    I was reading the book DD suggested...damn by the time I was finished with it, I was nearly a believer. Something I heard, it should ring a bell: "The Texas Solution"
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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    Quote Originally posted by Maggie View Post
    I am confused? Who's story is the one not in quotes?
    I will link for you. It's the same site as the other one, but a different diary.

    Here you go.

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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    I will link for you. It's the same site as the other one, but a different diary.

    Here you go.
    thanks.

    It's so similar to all the religions where priests and pastors "rule". They are voicing puritanical stands and hiding their vile intentions and threatening the victims of their evil. I hope this is the end times for religion. I am not meaning spiritual seeking and god but these mouth pieces between us and our divine connection.

    I can only expect that this is evidence of when everything is revealed. That is the Apocalypse.

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    Agree Maggie > all truths n not just the ones we wish, tis been ma learning of late.

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    When I was a Bat babe, in our small southern Alabama town you were either Southern Baptist or a heathen. We heathens did notice that all the hardest drinkers, meanest partyiers, best poker players, most liable to get into a saturday nite fight/brawl/knife fight, be a member of the White Citizen’s Council, or run away with a 14 year old daughter of a deacon were Southern Baptists.

    So I don’t think two bad eggs took down the SBs, they were down there already...

    ...just saying...
    "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the object of your anger to die” ~ Anon
    "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." ~Yogi Berra
    "You can observe a lot by just watching." ~Yogi Berra
    “When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.” ~Will Rogers
    "If life gives you melons...you might be dyslexic" ~ Aixelsyd Dnarber

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