How Many Times Does Jimmy Carter Plan On "Leaving" the Southern Baptist Convention?
Former President Jimmy Carter has once again announced to the world (at least to those who will listen ... now that George W. Bush is out of office, Carter is no longer useful as a thorn in the side to embarass the previous occupant of the Oval Office, so he'll likely go back to being ignored in relative obscurity) that he is "leaving" the Southern Baptist Convention.
Joe Carter (no relation), a Southern Baptist, offers his take at First Thoughts: "Jimmy Carter Quits the Southern Baptists. Again. Sort of."
Up until 5 years ago, I had been a Southern Baptist all my life. I, as well as the vast majority of my family on both my mother's and my father's sides, attended college at the largest Baptist educational institution in the world. My father attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and was a church music minister.
Like President Carter, I, too, was a Southern Baptist deacon. Unlike Carter, however, I hold no animosity toward my former denomination and have managed the severing of ties without raising too much of a fuss. When I decided to become Catholic, at least I had the common courtesy to, you know, actually leave my former Southern Baptist home, and to do so quickly, quietly, and without trashing the place on my way out.
But then, President Carter has always struck me as being something of a scalawag who seems to be lacking at least one virtue highly prized by Southerners: graciousness.