"Southern Baptists' Spite"
Larry Ray Hafley
Richard Vara, "Houston Chronicle Religion Writer," wrote a column which detailed the Southern Baptist Convention's vote "to oppose the legalization of homosexual marriages" (Houston Chronicle, June 14, 1996, 10A). It was a fair and balanced article. However, the headline above the article gave me the chills. It read, "Southern Baptists' spite aimed at gay marriages." Think about that headline. What does it say?
Note the possessive case "South-ern Baptists." Next, define the word, "spite." Webster says that spite is "ill will with a wish to annoy, anger, or defeat: petty malice." Webster gives "malignity, spleen, grudge, (and) malevolence" as synonyms of "spite." Surely, Southern Baptists wish to "defeat" "the legalization of homosexual marriages." However, for the paper to say that their efforts are characterized by "ill will" and "petty malice" is unfair, prejudicial, and a violation of journalistic ethics. In effect, the headline says, "Southern Baptists' ill will, malignity, and malevolence (hatred) aimed at gay marriages."
I do not know if Mr. Vara is responsible for the headline or not. Someone is. That someone needs to be called into account.
"So, what is the big deal?" you ask. What if the Southern Baptists had voted to oppose pedophiles (those who have sex with children)? Would the headline have said, "Southern Baptists' ill will, hatred, spite aimed at pedophiles"? If the Southern Baptists had voted to oppose middle eastern terrorists blowing up airplanes, would the headline have said, "Southern Baptists' ill will, hatred, spite aimed at middle eastern terrorists"? If the Southern Baptists had voted to oppose heroine addicts and their exchange of needles which is a leading cause of the AIDS virus, would the headline have said, "Southern Baptists' ill will, hatred, spite aimed at heroine addicts?" If the Southern Baptists had voted to oppose houses of prostitution within day-care centers, would the headline have said, "Southern Baptists' ill will, hatred, spite aimed at day care centers"? Probably!
The majority of the press, the media, favors homosexuality. According to the media, those who oppose immoral behavior are bigots. Those who condemn homosexual behavior are "filled with hatred." This point is proven and illustrated by the headline cited above. It is typical of the media to represent the morality of the Bible as being an "intolerant," "hateful," and "extremist" view that denies one his basic civil and social rights. Again, the headline demonstrates and punctuates this fact. To uphold the purity and virtue of godliness and holiness makes one a social outcast in the eyes of political liberals.
What the newspapers and others have not considered is the fact that some day someone will come after them, too. One day, a free press willbe seen as a thing of "spite" and disdain. The present philosophical and moral stance of the media guarantees the demise of freedom, liberty, and justice.
When and where men are not expected to govern their lusts and live morally pure, first the homes, then the neighborhoods, then the communities, then society, and finally the nation breaks down. Before licentiousness, masquerading as "openness" and "freedom of choice," is complete, be-fore it has run its ruinous course, the media itself will lose its safeguards, its protections of law. Where there are no moral responsibilities, there will not long be any moral rights.
The press, which is now casting snide aspersions against those who contend for moral principles, will one day see its freedom stripped by the same forces it now endorses. The lawless and disobedient who do not respect God's laws will not sustain the rights of the press once they obtain their way.
Ironically, newspapers then will "pray" for moral principles of justice to be shown to them in their fight to maintain their independence. However, the spirit that will disdain and destroy them is the one they now support in their fight against goodness. Truly, "righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."
Guardian of Truth XL: No. 15, p. 7