Monday, September 10, 2007

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Richard Land supports FDA regulation of tobacco products.

So, lets get this straight, shall we?

A. According to Dr. Land:

We all know the terrible statistics about the toll of tobacco on our families—over 400,000
Americans die every year from tobacco-caused illnesses; hundreds of thousands of others
suffer every year from tobacco-caused illnesses such as lung cancer and heart disease;
and every day over 1,000 of our children become addicted to this deadly product. For us
in the faith community, these statistics are especially tragic because every day we must
bury mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who die early from preventable deaths caused
by tobacco addiction that, more often than not, began at a young age. We, then, are left
with the task of trying to comfort their grieving survivors. I speak this morning from
personal experience. I have sought not only to bring comfort to families and individuals,
but to find comfort for my own loss.

I have too many relatives, particularly paternal uncles, who have had their lives tragically
shortened by their addiction to nicotine. One uncle, who died in his late forties from lung
disease, horribly exacerbated by smoking, still smoked even when reduced to carrying a
portable oxygen supply with him wherever he went in his final months. He was literally
a fire hazard to those around him. I am grateful that both my father and my mother, once
heavy smokers, were able with much difficulty to break their tobacco habit in their late
fifties. And thus, they are still with us at 84 and 82, respectively. If they had not quit
smoking, they would both be long dead by now, a fact they readily acknowledge. They
would have missed their five grandchildren’s graduation from college, if not high school,
and three of their grandchildren’s weddings. Other children have not been as fortunate as
I have been. They lost their parents prematurely to that ferocious killer, tobacco.
Millions of Americans have had their lives snuffed out before their time, often in their
prime—at the peak of their careers, with a spouse and children at home, and with many
other responsibilities and joys before them. The families of America must not continue
to be lured toward futures of incomplete chapters. Men and women deserve to know the
toxic chemicals rolled into every cigarette. Young sons and daughters deserve to enjoy
their youth without being confronted with tobacco marketing tailored to their age.

B. And the SBC is willing to pass Resolution 5 in 2006.

C. But people don't believe the SBC should discuss, much less pass a resolution on gluttony?

Does this make any sense?

Oh, and while we're here, I'd point out this conversation:

Generally, it's about double standards.

Ben asks:

So let me ask a question:

What is the difference between Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. serving on a board that not only lends its tacit approval to gay and lesbian agendas, but a board whose purpose is — specifically — to provide for the cross-pollination of ideas between partnered schools in the Louisville area, and Ed Stetzer serving on a board that seeks to plant confessing Evangelical churches whose commitment to inerrancy is without question?

Why is The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in any partnership with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender affirming schools, and why does that get a pass, when Danny Akin gets excoriated by an Executive Committee member for hosting a prominent emergent pastor at Southeastern’s Chapel?

Should Southern Baptists defund The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary because of this questionable association?

Of course, I don’t think we should defund. And of course I know what Al Mohler’s positions on homosexuality and gender roles are. And of course I know that his board of trustees has no intention of compromising Southern Baptist beliefs on these issues. And of course I know that Southern Baptists have no need to fear a slippery slope toward sodomy at Southern.

I just want to point out the glaring inconsistency in the way fundamentalist sectarians assess their own associations versus those of others. I will anxiously wait for Roger Moran’s or Paige Patterson’s white paper on this very issue.

I would like to add another observation along similar lines, since it was Dr. Patterson who said,

“What you give your name and your money to, you give your tacit approval to.”

“The SBC can no longer afford to be aligned in any way” with such groups.

In his testimony Dr. Land was quite candid:
I am also here as a representative of a broad-based coalition of faith leaders known as
Faith United Against Tobacco. Since it was founded in 2002, Faith United Against
Tobacco has grown to include over 20 national faith denominations and organizations. In
addition to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist
Convention, this coalition includes the General Board of Church and Society of the
United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches in Christ, the Presbyterian
Church (USA), the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, the Seventh-day
Adventists, the American Region of the World Sikh Council, and the Islamic Society of
North America. Other broad-based groups, such as Church Women United and the Health
Ministries Association, which represents thousands of faith community nurses across the
country, have also joined Faith United Against Tobacco.


  1. Gah....

    As an avid pipe smoker, I wonder how this bill would affect pipe tobacco and cigars. It seems like cigarettes are the only thing talked about, even though they use the broad term "tobacco products". Of course, it doesn't seem like the bill is as powerful as its advocates portray. But still...

    On topic, great post Gene. You seem to have all the scoop on the SBC, huh?


  2. Well, truthfully, I just don't like cigarette smoking anyway, but I got this from the WS Journal. All I really had to do was look up exactly what he had to say, after I read about it.

  3. There's always room in the PCA....



  4. There's always room in the PCA....



    So...where do I sign-up? :)


  5. "Churches" uniting with unbelievers to stand against tobacco use? It's stupid to be united with unbelievers for any cause but for tobacco use? Hummm...wonder what sliver of speech Spurgeon would throw their way. :)

  6. Maybe they should rename the organization to Faith United in the Theology of Glory. Or how about Derelict Grace-ender's United for People that Want to Add to the Bible Make New Holy Laws and Want to Use Other Religious Books, Too.

    And we wonder why people call us hypocrites and think we are better than most because it looks like we are always trying to make people be "good".

    I know, I know...I'm not a special person with a special voice so I'm not allowed to say what I did above.

    For now...

  7. What was that thing about making alliances with the nations into whose land you sojourn?

    What confussion it must create in the minds of those needing to hear the gospel if "FAITH" becomes non-descript through cooperative effort, eh?