From the June 18, 1923 edition of the Gainesville Sun
200 Hooded Klansmen Attend Services At Jacksonville Church
Jacksonville, June 17– (By Associated Press) — When 200 robed and hooded members of the the Ku Klux Klan filed into a tabernacle here tonight to hear the farewell sermon of Dr. W.A. Hobson, for 23 years pastor of the First Baptist Church, many of the approximately 2000 present mounted the benches to obtain a better view of the unexpected visitors: The klan members, who, it was said, attended as an endorsement of the speaker’s subject, “Americanism,” occupied benches in the rear. After Dr. Hobson had concluded, the Rev. A.C. Shuler, in a brief talk, expressed pleasure at the attendance of the klan members, declared the Ku Klux Klan was not anti-Catholic, anti-Jew or anti-anything, except hell and the devil. His remarks were greeted with bursts of applause.
A few days after George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004, the Rev. Jay Dennis, pastor of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, offered a resolution at the meeting of the Florida Baptist Convention that called on legislators and citizens to support “a statewide constitutional marriage amendment that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman…” It was unanimously adopted.
Dennis has written a letter to his 8,700-member congregation urging them to vote yes and another letter to Polk County pastors, asking them to “promote Amendment 2 to the people you serve.”
Fred Thompson confers with Dr. Richard Land
From various reports quoting Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), the public policy entity of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“I take a back seat to no one when it comes to religious freedom and religious belief and the right to express that belief, even beliefs that I find abhorrent,” said Richard Land, president of SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, on his weekly radio program. “But what I don’t do is I don’t say that religious freedom means that you have the right to build a place of worship anywhere that you want to build them.” – TPM
“I defend the right for Muslims to have places of worship in lower Manhattan, but not at Ground Zero. The right to religious freedom doesn’t include the right to have a religious worship place wherever you want it.” – TPM
“There is a Japanese Shinto shrine, I am told, blocks from the USS Arizona,” Land said. “That isn’t appropriate even 60 years later. Three-thousand Americans died there and they died at the hands of people acitng on behalf of the Japanese Empire.” — TPM [There isn’t one, by the way.]
OK. If you’re scoring at home: Jews, Catholics, and Blacks? Check. Gays? Check. American Muslims? Check. Japanese? Check. If you feel left out, don’t worry, they’ll get around to you eventually, unless you’re a Christian Confederate. You’ll never hear any Southern Baptist raise a fuss about those monuments to white Christian terrorism in every town square in the South. Why might that be?
Seriously, I think it’s clear that the Southern Baptist Convention, as an institution, is incapable of shame. But I know many individual congregants who are extraordinarily decent and thoughtful people. I hope they’ll consider this record – and their role in it – and encourage Pastor Dennis to sermonize about it.
I won’t hold my breath, though.