SBC Reactions to the Pope's Address to Congress

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SBC Reactions to the Pope's Address to Congress

Postby Sandy » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:18 pm

http://www.bpnews.net/45555/popes-speec ... ptists-say

Perhaps some of the reactions here are predictable, especially when it comes to what the Pope had to say about certain social issues. On the other hand, I tend to agree with some of the commentary regarding the circumstance itself. It seems that church-state separation is taking a beating from both sides. I don't have a problem with the Pope being invited to sit down in the White House and have a chat with the President, or have dinner with the VP and the Speaker of the House. But to address a joint session of Congress seems to me to be a violation of the establishment clause. My view is consistent on this, since I don't believe we should be involved in diplomatic relations with the Vatican either.

As far as his address to Congress goes, I don't think that was a great example of why this particular pope is so well loved. Catholic theological perspectives and issues statements are sometimes very bland, full of flowery words and lacking in much of substance. I guess I expected a bit more of the common man, and less of the theologian, and of course, taking into account his need to rehearse and polish his English, I didn't think this address did too much to characterize him as Pope Francis I.
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Re: SBC Reactions to the Pope's Address to Congress

Postby KeithE » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:28 am

Sandy wrote:http://www.bpnews.net/45555/popes-speech-troubling-southern-baptists-say


As far as his address to Congress goes, I don't think that was a great example of why this particular pope is so well loved. Catholic theological perspectives and issues statements are sometimes very bland, full of flowery words and lacking in much of substance. I guess I expected a bit more of the common man, and less of the theologian, and of course, taking into account his need to rehearse and polish his English, I didn't think this address did too much to characterize him as Pope Francis I.



I think he is a rock star in terms of advice to Congress and our country. We would do well to heed his advice (on most all he has said, if not all). I’ll expand more maybe this afternoon.
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Re: SBC Reactions to the Pope's Address to Congress

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:54 pm

KeithE wrote:
I think he is a rock star in terms of advice to Congress and our country. We would do well to heed his advice (on most all he has said, if not all). I’ll expand more maybe this afternoon.


Me too Keith. He and I don't agree on everything. (notably women in ministry among others). But his view of the social aspects of the gospel is right on target. If the rest of the Roman Catholic Church were like Francis I could almost be a member of that Church.
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Re: SBC Reactions to the Pope's Address to Congress

Postby KeithE » Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:34 am

I think that the positive moral persuasion the Pope offered on helping the poor/sick, on welcoming the foreigner/immigrant/refugee, religious tolerance, on swing seeds of peace, on environmental caretaking and the fact that they have not been given such audience with Congress are what irks Mohler and Moore the most.

So naturally they will start complaining about separation of church and state. There should not be any prohibition against speaking religiously-informed political views anywhere; the prohibition should between the Institutions and Church and the Institutions of State becoming too chummy or exchanging funding. I’ll have to read the Pope’s addresses to Congress and the UN to see if he is giving moral advice coming from his faith as opposed to spouting off specific Catholic Church religious doctrine. If he said in his address “Jesus says..... so all of you should do the same”, then I might have a slight problem. But Mohler (in the lead-off link) said:
He did not mention Jesus Christ, however, in what Mohler called an "amazing development."

indicating that if Mohler were given such a megaphone he would have evoked Jesus’s name frequently which would have come closer to a breech of the separation of church and state.

Mohler (and perhaps less so Moore) seem to be focussed on abortion and same-sex marriage - wanting a war on such subjects. The Pope showed more religious tolerance on these subjects and focussed on issues that are critically affecting far more people with far larger effects.
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Re: SBC Reactions to the Pope's Address to Congress

Postby Sandy » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:48 am

Well, on social issues he certainly does have "rock star" status, and in most cases, I agree with him. And while he didn't mention Jesus in his speech to Congress, he did in plenty of other places. I thought his speech to Congress was a bit understated, and guarded, perhaps to be expected, though there were still some who got their political feathers ruffled. In his masses, and other public events, he was much less inhibited, I thought.

KeithE wrote:So naturally they will start complaining about separation of church and state. There should not be any prohibition against speaking religiously-informed political views anywhere; the prohibition should between the Institutions and Church and the Institutions of State becoming too chummy or exchanging funding.


I think there's a line when it comes to inviting someone into Congress to speak on "religiously informed political views." Interpreting what is meant by government "establishment" when it comes to religion has always been a fine line to walk, and whether he addressed a Catholic perspective of Christian values or not, the position he represents doctrinally precludes, in my opinion, his being invited to address Congress. Liberals objected to Billy Graham being invited to pray in Congress, because of what he represented from a religious perspective. There'd be a lot of shrieking from the left if any of those who have risen to prominent leadership among Evangelicals, like Falwell, Pat Robertson, or one of the Charismatic movement leaders like Benny Hinn or John Hagee, had ever been invited to address a join session of Congress. I don't think you have to mention Jesus, or be specific in your religious expression, to violate the constitution's establishment clause. And the Pope, by hard core, and very uniquely Catholic doctrine, is the "Vicar of Christ," which carries with it some of the church's strongest sectarian teaching. According him recognition as a church leader requires acknowledgement of that uniquely sectarian perspective, which is exactly what the constitution's authors were trying to prevent.

He did a good job of contrasting Christian principles and values with those things that are considered "worldly," and in so doing, pointed out some glaring inconsistencies in conservative, right wing political views.
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