President Carter commenting last week on the religious right:
I was pleased by the election of Frank Page [to head the Southern Baptist Convention]. I am sure that he adheres to the basic conservative positions of SBC, but his victory indicates that many members object to the tight control of a few powerful men.
The increasingly narrow definition of an acceptable Christian re Calvinism, speaking in tongues, etc. has caused some unprecedented internal debates, which is encouraging.
It has been somewhat encouraging the last few months to see a trend of aversion to these distorted fundamentalist interpretations of Christianity. Recent decisions within the Southern Baptist Convention have shown that there is a practical limit to extremism.
More and more traditional believers are speaking out, and a number are coming together to strengthen our common voices. In addition to publishing my book, [Our Endangered Values]I have been involved lately in a coalition of North American Baptist organizations, all members of the Baptist World Alliance, who comprise more than 20 million members and include blacks, whites, and Hispanics. We are planning a major convocation next year, just
- to strengthen our collective influence and
- to demonstrate that there are those who oppose torture,
- still worship the Prince of Peace (not Preemptive War), and
- believe in freedom, justice, and equality.
And on an economic issue:
My hope is that Americans like you, who have suffered from present policies, will see the need for a special effort to participate in the coming elections. One key example is among workers whose income has been frozen for ten years at the minimum wage of $5.15 per hour while the congress members have increased their own salaries by $30,000 per year. The lowest minimum wage among other industrialized nations is $9.70 per hour. Many states are increasing the level on their own.
This is from an email from Al Gore:
In all my years in public life, I have never seen leaders that act with the contempt for the truth as I have witnessed in George Bush’s administration.
The evidence now makes it hard to avoid the conclusion that George Bush has repeatedly and insistently broken the law and the corrupt Republican Congress has shirked its constitutional duty to hold him to account.
In my view, a president who breaks the law poses a threat to the very foundation of our democracy. As Americans with a stake in the future of our country, we must act quickly and decisively.