Wednesday, March 30, 2016



Tuesday, March 29, 2016



Obama Girls' Elite D.C. School:


Proposed reg would punish schools for 
‘egregious or persistent disregard’ for sodium limits
SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

The federal government is taking steps to fine schools that do not comply with first lady Michelle Obama’s school lunch rules.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service issued a proposed rule Monday to codify parts of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was championed by Mrs. Obama.
The regulation would punish schools and state departments with fines for “egregious or persistent disregard” for the lunch rules that imposed sodium and calorie limits and banned white grains.
A West Virginia preschool teacher was threatened with fines for violating the rules by rewarding her students with candy for good behavior in June 2015. The teacher ultimately did not have to pay, but the school had to develop a “corrective action plan” with training on the policies.
The government now seeks to make fines enforceable by regulation. Section 303 of the law requires that the federal government “establish criteria for the imposition of fines” for all the Department of Agriculture’s child food programs.
“Under section 303, the Secretary or a State agency may establish an assessment against any school food authority or school administering the Child Nutrition Programs if the Secretary or the State agency determines that the school or school food authority failed to correct severe mismanagement of any program, failed to correct repeated violations of program requirements, or disregarded a requirement of which they have been informed,” the proposed rule states.
The government insisted that fines would be limited only to schools, school food authorities, and state agencies that have “failed to correct severe mismanagement of any program, disregarded a requirement of which it has been informed, or failed to correct repeated violations of program requirements.”
“It is important to note that the statutory scheme only anticipates assessments be established in instances of severe mismanagement of a program, disregard of a program requirement of which the program operator had been informed, or failure to correct repeated violations [emphasis in original],” according to the proposed regulation. “These criteria suggest that violations that would result in assessments would be egregious or persistent in nature, remaining unresolved after the normal monitoring and oversight activities have failed to secure corrective action.”
The Food and Nutrition Service is targeting schools that refuse to comply with Mrs. Obama’s lunch rules and said monetary penalties are a “useful tool” to get non compliant cafeterias in line.
“However, there have been cases, albeit few, where program operators have failed to correct Program violations through the normal administrative review requirements and technical assistance,” the agency said. “This proposed rule would provide both the Department and State agencies the authority to establish an assessment after the normal monitoring and oversight activities have been unsuccessful in correcting program violations.”
“The Department anticipates assessments would be established only on rare occasions in securing corrective action,” they added. “However, it should serve as a useful tool when egregious or persistent disregard of Program requirements occurs.”
The fines would be the latest consequence of the healthy eating law that Mrs. Obama lobbied for in 2010. More than 1.4 million students have left the lunch line since the rules went into effect, as students have complained of small portions and unappetizing fare. The standards have been blamed for cafeteria workers losing their jobs, and some kids have even resorted to creating black markets for salt to add flavor.
Calling the fines an “assessment” against a school, the agency said the fines would amount to 1 percent of the total amount the school was reimbursed for lunches for the first fine. A second fine would equal up to 5 percent of the total meal reimbursements, and 10 percent for a third or subsequent fine.
The fines could be hefty if an entire state agency were flagged for persistent violations. For instance, Alabama received $210,937,195 in cash payments through the school lunch program in 2015. One percent would total $2.1 million. A 10 percent fine would cost $21 million.
The Food and Nutrition Service did not respond to a request for comment on the proposed rule, or how much the estimated fines would total.
The agency said in the proposed regulation that the fines are “intended to improve the integrity.”
The proposed rule would also apply to private organizations participating in federal childcare nutrition programs, including “institutions, sites, sponsors, day care centers, and day care providers.”
The agency said they would allow schools to appeal the fines “given the fiscal consequences of this provision.” The rule would also give the agency the authority to terminate any school’s participation in the National School Lunch Program if they do not pay the fines.
Increased monitoring of state agencies as a result of the rule would cost states $4.3 million in 2017, and $22.7 million over five years.
The rule will be open for public comment for 60 days once it is officially published in the Federal Register on Tuesday.

Michelle Obama announced Tuesday at the White House new school nutrition rules

Students Give Michelle Obama's
School Lunch Initiative An F
Published on Apr 7, 2014
Alex discusses the extremely flawed Michelle Obama school lunch initiative on the heels of a recent Blaze article in which countless tweets with pictures show the sad cafeteria trays of many disgruntled students and parents. 

Mark Levin: Michelle Obama’s school lunch rules have cost cafeteria worker jobs

Michelle Obama’s prison style school lunch

Michelle Obama’s School Lunch Program Is Food Tyranny




They've got $1 trillion in annual profits to protect

SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

Big Pharma is spending like never before to make sure patients take their drugs. Investors recently committed $172 million for “smart pills” being developed jointly by Proteus Digital Health and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. After a pill is swallowed, a microscopic device within the pill relays ‘health data’ to a patch worn by the patient, then to a smartphone, and then (if the patient wishes) to doctors and/or pharmaceutical companies.
Likewise, an inhaler for patients with lung diseases to record the date and time of every use is being developed by mobile chip giant Qualcomm with heavy investment from Novartis, which runs research and development in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Drug makers lose billions annually when patients don’t fill, refill, or take their prescriptions. So, besides developing smart pills and smart inhalers that tell whether meds have or haven’t been taken, Big Pharma is also finding other ways to ‘nag’ patients into taking every pill their doctors prescribe.Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk works with HealthPrize to reward ‘drug-adherent’ patients with gift cards or charitable donations to their favorite 501(c)3. There are also smart phone apps that remind people to take their pills, talking engagements to teach people how to take their meds properly, and even payment programs to patients willing to tout drugs personally. Biogen, e.g., pays patients to talk about positive experiences with the company’s MS drug Tecfidera.
Big Pharma is lobbying the Feds for permission to pay pharmacists to encourage patients to take their pills – no conflict of interest there! Joel White, president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, an advocacy group that works with the industry, says that “we’re not pushing pills here, we’re pushing adherence.” But Matt Lamkin, Assistant Professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law who has studied the issue, recognizes a financial motive.
Lamkin says that Big Pharma is using medication adherence programs as marketing tools – but instead of saying they’re boosting drug sales, they reframe that goal as “drug adherence.”
Although failure to take prescribed drugs can cause worse health conditions and drive up medical spending in the US by nearly $300 billion each year, drug taking is a complex issue, with many drugs needlessly prescribed to begin with.
Some patients don’t have the money to fill their prescriptions. Others are finding other, better alternatives to prescribed drugs. Sometimes, prescriptions simply don’t work, are painful to take, or have side effects that are worse than the condition being treated. The doctors prescribing the drugs don’t know that the drugs are failing their purpose, nor do the patients.
The manufacturers know full well, but they’re not telling. It’s part of a modern medical scandal. In some cases, the placebo effect has been found to be more efficacious than a prescription. Eli Lilly recently spent $30 million to ‘re-brand’ a drug that wasn’t working as well as a placebo!
Tom Hubbard, vice president of policy research at the pharma-oriented Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, says that drug companies in the past weren’t as likely to have strong views about telling doctors which drugs to prescribe their patients. But these days, he says, the consideration is considerably greater. Well of course, with so many billions on the line.
Consider GlaxoSmithKline’s recent tactics. The London-based drug maker has enrolled 3,000 of its employees, retirees, and their relatives in North Carolina in a pilot program to “better coordinate their health care” (i.e., take their meds). GSK’s program uses sophisticated analytics to determine who’s not taking their medication. Those individuals can get one-on-one health counseling with a pharmacist or case manager, according to Matt Rousculp, a senior director of health outcomes research for GSK.
Industry giants like Merck, Pfizer, and Sanofi, along with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, are backing a lobbying campaign to allow all manner of programs that would help push drugs on patients, from calling them directly, to using pharmacists as go-betweens.
Big Pharma will stop at nothing to make sure it keeps its power hold on the global economy. The worldwide market for pharmaceuticals topped $1 trillion in sales in 2014. The world’s 10 largest drug companies generated $429.4 billion of that revenue.
Five of the top 10 companies are headquartered in the US: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Abbot Laboratories, Merck and Eli Lilly. Over 1,100 paid lobbyists make sure your government is doing this industry’s bidding as well.
This article first appeared at


Hollywood Urges Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to Reject Religious Liberty Bill
Georgia Governor Bows to Pressure From NFL to Veto Religious Freedom Bill
SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has vetoed a religious liberty bill after the NFL and other large corporations pressured him to make the decision.

The Republican governor vetoed House Bill 757, a bill aimed to protect faith-based believers from being forced to participate in gay weddings, saying it was “discriminatory.”
During his announcement Gov. Deal slammed religious Georgians for their belief in traditional marriage and insisted that the “character” of the state was at risk. Deal went on to claim Georgia is a “welcoming state” that stands against discrimination against gays even at the cost of the loss of religious freedom.
The veto comes on the heels of campaigns mounted by numerous members of the entertainment industry such as Cocoa-Cola, Disney, Time Warner, and even sports concerns such as the NCAA and the National Football League — all of whom warned that they would cancel further projects planned for the state if the religious liberty bill was signed into law.
The NFL in particular warned it would eliminate Georgia from the running for future Super Bowls while the NCAA said it may ban playoff games from being played in the Peach State.
“NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites,” the NFL said in a statement last week.
In fact, Gov. Deal’s office already reported that two development deals were canceled over the threat of the law but did not detail what projects he meant.
Still, only minutes after the veto was announced, State Senator Mike Crane called for the upper chamber to override the governor’s veto.
Senator Crane said Deal’s veto “is another example of how the political class is bought and paid for by corporations and lobbyists. Rather than standing up and protecting the 1st Amendment, the political class would rather sacrifice those rights to keep the money flowing.”

Anne Hathaway's Mother speaks 
Uploaded on May 24, 2009
Anne Hathaway's Mother speaks FOR GAY MARRIAGE at NEW YORK'S EQUALITY AND JUSTICE DAY 2009 in Albany for all the LGBTQ bills for the year.

Anne Hathaway at 2008 HRC Los Angeles Dinner

Georgia’s GOP Governor Vetoes Religious Liberty
Report Starts at 5 Minute Mark

Anne Hathaway, Weinstein Company Among Those Urging Georgia's Governor to Veto a Bill That Threatens the LGBT Community
SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

As Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal decides whether to approve the controversial "religious liberty bill" that would allow faith-based business owners to cite religious beliefs in denying services to same-sex couples, the outcry from Hollywood has been swift and decisive: veto or say goodbye to the "Hollywood of the South." 

On Thursday, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest organization supporting the LGBT community, issued an open letter signed by nearly 40 Hollywood heavyweights telling Deal they would no longer work in the state if the recently passed House Bill 757 is signed into law. 

"We pride ourselves on running inclusive companies, and while we have enjoyed a positive partnership on productions in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere if any legislation sanctioning discrimination is signed into state law," the letter states. 

Its signers include Anne HathawayJulianne MooreMatt BomerLee DanielsSeth MacFarlaneRyan MurphyAaron SorkinMarisa TomeiHarvey Weinstein and others who also pointed out the financial ramifications of losing their support. 
"As you know, Atlanta is often referred to as the Hollywood of the South. During the last fiscal year, at least 248 films and television productions were shot in Georgia, adding at least $1.7 billion in direct spending to the state's economy. 

"Only two states – California and New York – have a larger entertainment industry footprint and both have statewide non-discrimination laws on the books," it continued. 

The bill landed on Deal's desk on March 16 after Georgia lawmakers signed the bill after more than three years of legislation. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the bill would allow faith-based businesses to deny services to those who are not in line with their "sincerely held religious belief," as well as the right to fire employees who do not concur with their views. 

Conservative groups including the Faith and Freedom Coalition are urging people to contact the governor to support the bill, which has been condemned by the state's pro sports franchises and leading tech corporations, including Apple, Intel, PayPal and Yelp. 

Hollywood has been particularly outspoken in its opposition to the bill. In addition to Thursday's letter, The Weinstein Company issued a statement vowing to cease production of the latest Lee Daniels film if the bill passes. 

"The Weinstein Company will not stand behind sanctioning the discrimination of LGBT people or any American. We have plans in place to begin filming Lee Daniels' new film in Georgia later this year, but will move the production if this unlawful bill is enacted. We hope Governor Deal will veto bill HB 757 and not allow sanctioned bigotry to become law in Georgia," a company spokesman said Thursday. 

The company joins Disney, Viacom, Starz, 21st Century Fox and Lionsgate in speaking out against the bill. 

"Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law," a company spokesman said Wednesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter

AMC, which films its hit series The Walking Dead in the state, also condemned the measure while stopping short of boycott promises. 

"As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible. We applaud Governor Deal's leadership in resisting a previous version of this divisive legislation and urge him to reject the current version as well," it said per THR

Deal has until May 3 to sign the bill. Although he has yet to comment on it since it was passed by the state legislature, he expressed concerns about it earlier this month – and is well aware of the pressure he's receiving from corporations who oppose it. 

According to the AJC, the Baptist Republican governor said early this month that he would reject any measure that "allows discrimination in our state in order to protect people of faith." 

"I hope that we can all just take a deep breath, recognize that the world is changing around us, and recognize that it is important that we protect fundamental religious beliefs," he also said. "But we don't have to discriminate against other people in order to do that. And that's the compromise that I'm looking for."
March 24, 2016 Office of the Governor 206 Washington Street 111 State Capitol Atlanta, Georgia 30334 

Dear Governor Deal, As leaders in the entertainment industry, we have deep concerns about H.B. 757, which would sanction discrimination against LGBT people and others in Georgia. As you know, Atlanta is often referred to as the Hollywood of the South. During the last fiscal year, at least 248 films and television productions were shot in Georgia, adding at least $1.7 billion in direct spending to the state's economy. Additionally, the entertainment industry helped to bring more than 100 businesses to Georgia through relocation or expansion in the past fiscal year. Only two states -- California and New York -- have a larger entertainment industry footprint and both have statewide non-discrimination laws on the books. Unfortunately, Georgia not only lacks such a law, but could soon move from a bad situation to worse with H.B. 757. We pride ourselves on running inclusive companies, and while we have enjoyed a positive partnership on productions in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere if any legislation sanctioning discrimination is signed into state law. We urge you to veto H.B. 757 and send a strong message that Georgia will not tolerate discrimination against citizens, employees and visitors to the state. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this urgent issue. Sincerely, Ali Adler, Writer and Producer Greg Berlanti, Writer and Producer Matt Bomer, Actor & Simon Halls, Publicist Dustin Lance Black, Screenwriter and Filmmaker Bradley Bredeweg, Executive Producer and Showrunner, Kristin Chenoweth, Actress and Singer Diablo Cody, Writer, Producer and Director Bruce Cohen, Producer Lee Daniels, Producer and Director Lucy Fisher, Co-Head, Red Wagon Entertainment Dana Fox, Writer and Producer John Goldwyn, Producer James Gunn, Writer and Director Anne Hathaway, Actress Alan Hergott, Entertainment Attorney Kevin Huvane, Talent Agent Nina Jacobson, Producer Dan Jinks, Producer Kathy Kennedy, Producer Zoe Kravitz, Actress Bryan Lourd, Talent Agent Seth MacFarlane, Writer, Producer and Director Laurence Mark, Producer Frank Marshall, Producer and Director Brendan Mason, Producer Neil Meron, Producer Julianne Moore, Actress Ryan Murphy, Producer Max Mutchnick, Producer Peter Paige, Executive Producer and Showrunner Rob Reiner, Actor, Director and Producer Sarah Schechter, Producer Adam Shankman, Director and Producer Aaron Sorkin, Writer Marisa Tomei, Actress Gus Van Sant, Producer and Director Bob Weinstein, Producer Harvey Weinstein, Producer and Film Studio Executive Doug Wick, Co-Head, Red Wagon Entertainment Craig Zadan, Producer and Director.

Governor Deal Caves to Perverts, Hollywood, and Big Business!

SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

Don Boys, Ph.D.
 Governor Nathan Deal permitted himself to be bullied, badgered, and blackmailed into doing a shameful, sordid, and senseless act. He vetoed legislation (House Bill 757) that would have protected churches, Christian schools, mission boards, etc., from militant, mad, and malicious homosexuals. Contrary to published reports the bill would not have protected Christian-owned businesses in their refusal to advance a perverted lifestyle.
 Neal looked pathetic in his office with a disreputable gaggle of left wing activists figuratively standing beside him twisting his left arm behind his back as he vetoed the bill. The twisting was done by Georgia’s homosexual community, pathetic transgenders, the Hollywood crowd, the ACLU, Disney, Coca-Cola, the NFL, Democrats, and other far leftists.
 Deal, now known as “the pathetic puppet of the perverts,” made an obviously untrue statement when he declared: “I do not respond very well to insults or to threats. The people of Georgia deserve a leader who will make sound judgments based on solid reasons that are not inflamed by emotion.” Nathan caved to some of the most despicable people on earth proving his statement to be a lie. Georgia does not have such a leader in him. His veto was not one of “sound judgments” or based on “solid reasons.” This action smells of the foul odor of capitulation, cowardice, and corruption.
 The Governor said that one reason he vetoed the bill was because people of faith don’t have to worry about discrimination because of the “broad protections of the First Amendment of the United State Constitution.” Nathan must have been living in a cave for the last few years. The first amendment has been skewed and twisted like a pretzel to where Christians have lost what protection they used to have. That’s exactly why this bill was so important! Without this bill, preachers and Christian school administrators will be made criminals because of their biblical principles. That is pre-Bill of Rights days.
 A news report declared, “Republican majorities passed the bill to broadly protect people acting on their religious beliefs. It would have protected clergy who won’t perform gay marriages and people who won’t attend a wedding for religious reasons. Churches and affiliated religious groups also could have declined to serve or hire someone based on their faith.”
However, the bill’s adversaries said it would permit discrimination and could trample local ordinances protecting LGBT people. In this up-side-down world where right is wrong and wrong is right, it has become acceptable, even desirable, to take rights away from Christians and favor the discriminators who try to force us to change our deeply held beliefs.
Furthermore, the bill had been “watered down” where it offered no protection to a business person with biblical convictions being permitted to refuse to celebrate or endorse any kind of perverted behavior. It would have only protected churches, Christian schools, mission boards, etc., so Deal’s veto was even more disgraceful, despicable, and deplorable than at first glance.
Money speaks and politicians listen. The Metro Atlanta Chamber, a business powerhouse, was a major player in this sell-out. So were Atlanta’s three professional sports teams. It was simply a cold, cruel, and cynical decision made disregarding the decent people of Georgia. The proponents of perversity used undisguised threats of boycotts to control the Governor. Now, maybe it’s time to boycott Coca-Cola, Disney, all three Atlanta sports franchises, the NFL, Time Warner, and all Hollywood movies. We should hit them where it hurts: their cash registers.
The powers-that-be made it clear that Atlanta would have no chance of hosting the Super Bowl if Bill 757 became law so Deal made a deal and sold his birthright for a bowl of porridge. How ironic it would be if Atlanta did not get the Bowl. At least Deal got his.
Deal said, “Our people work side by side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way. For that reason, I will veto HB 757.” That is the reason! What is “that”?  What does the color of one’s skin have to do with the freedom of Christians (or other religions) to simply practice their faith as they have done for centuries? Deal is trying to project himself as doing a brave and salutary act when he is more like the piano player in a whore house pretending he is totally innocent of what’s going on upstairs.
Deal failed to “keep it that way.” What he did was continue the status quo for a homosexual to require a Christian to cater to his perverse lifestyle such as bakers being forced to bake a cake celebrating homosexuality;  photographers forced to photograph “gay” weddings; etc. He further failed to protect pastors who refuse to “marry” homosexuals. He failed to protect school girls who want to shower without a horney boy watching them.
I doubt Deal will sleep well tonight knowing he betrayed decency, decorum, honor, morality, the Scripture, and thousands of years of civilization. Deal chose to stand with the likes of the ACLU, LGBTQ, every Democrat in the General Assembly, the transgenders, the National “gay” rights groups, the Big Business Boys, and other totalitarians.
But his sleep will also be disturbed by courageous Republicans who plan to override his veto, and his pastor should make immediate plans to bring him under church discipline. He told Republicans to “recognize that the world is changing around us.” But I will remind him that God doesn’t change.
The Governor showed himself to be a weak, wishy washy, wimp trying to ingratiate himself to the most radical groups that are a scab on the face of civilization.
I think the Governor needs to make an appointment for a spinal transplant but he will need to get in line behind Governor Pence of Indiana.
Boys’ new book was just published by Barbwire Books; to get Evolution: Fact, Fraud, or Faith? click here . An eBook edition is also available.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives; ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis, wrote columns for USA Today for eight years; authored 15 books and hundreds of columns and articles for Internet and print media publications; defended his beliefs on hundreds of talk shows. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are and and Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)

Follow Dr. Boys on Facebook at CSTNews and TheGodHatersTwitter, and visit his blog.

The Baptist-on-Baptist fight within Georgia’s ‘religious liberty’ debate

SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

BIll Coats – Pastor – First Baptist Church – Gainesville, Georgia
April 2, 2016 
Gov. Nathan Deal announces that he was vetoing religious liberty legislation at a Monday press conference in his ceremonial office. Bob Andres,
Very seldom do you hear governors wax theological. Even then, they usually stick to the noncontroversial basics: Thou shalt not steal, honor thy father and mother, and beware of demagogues with comb-overs.
But if you were among those packed into Nathan Deal’s office last Monday, you saw something different. Tucked within the governor’s veto message on “religious liberty” legislation was a solid blow struck in the 35-year-old fight over what it means to be a Baptist in the South.
House Bill 757 was intended to offer legal protection to opponents of same-sex marriage. In his rejection of the measure, the governor went old-school Baptist. Danbury Baptist. Jefferson-and-the-wall-of-separation Baptist.
“I find it somewhat ironic that today some in the religious community feel it necessary to ask government to confer upon them certain rights and protections,” Deal said. “If indeed our religious liberty is conferred by God and not by man-made government, we should heed the ‘hands off’ admonition of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
When it comes to religion, even when legislatures try to do good, Deal said, “the inclusions and omissions” in the laws they draft can lead to trouble. “That is too great a risk to take,” he said.
If you were raised anything other than Southern Baptist, there’s a good chance you didn’t hear that dog whistle. Others did.
In the immediate aftermath of the veto, the governor was called a minion of the Antichrist and worse. But perhaps the sharpest criticism came from Albert Mohler, the president of the Louisville, Ky., seminary that serves as the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In one of his daily podcasts, the seminary president declared Deal’s veto to be “fueled by a theological agenda,” as well as an economic one.
Mike Griffin (right), the public affairs director for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, steps away as Timothy Head (at podium), national executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, speaks against the veto. Conservative groups held a press conference Tuesday to address Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of the religious liberty bill. Bob Andres,
Mohler pointed out that the First Baptist Church of Gainesville, where Deal and his family are members, was among those that split from the denomination during the great Southern Baptist schism, a series of battles for the institutions of the denomination that rocked Georgia congregations from the 1980s through the turn of the century.
The seminary president also noted that when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned state bans on gay marriage, Deal’s pastor, the Rev. Bill Coates, opined that whether Baptist clergy conducted same-sex ceremonies was a matter that should be left to individual congregations.
“It is all of a piece,” Mohler concluded. Never mind that the deacons of the governor’s church voted not to allow them.
The Southern Baptist schism erupted in clashes over inerrancy — is the Bible the literal word of God or open to interpretation? — and the role of women in church leadership.
“Fundamentalists” rejected the ordination of women. “Moderates” embraced it. In each case, the key point was whether these positions should be decided congregation by congregation or were an inviolable part of being a Southern Baptist.
Fundamentalists won: Literalism and a ban on female clergy became part of Southern Baptist orthodoxy. Moderate churches, whose members included President Jimmy Carter and Governor Deal, departed and formed the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
One byproduct of the fundamentalist victory — the winners now prefer the term “conservative resurgence” — was a shift in the denomination’s detached attitude toward government and political activity, which had its roots in that letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association endorsing “a wall of separation between Church & State.”
The Southern Baptist Convention quickly became a major force for social conservatism within the national Republican Party — and remains so today.
In that sense, the Georgia fight over same-sex marriage and religious liberty has become another chapter in Baptist vs. Baptist argument.
In the state Capitol, lobbyists for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board have served as the primary force driving the issue. Other major denominations have declined to be involved. The state’s Catholic bishops, including Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, this week reiterated their opposition to any legislation that discriminated.
Backers of HB 757 now realize that their main opponent, Nathan Deal, is a member of a Baptist denomination that still prefers a wall of separation between church and state.
The Rev. Bill Coates, the governor’s pastor, took a few days off last week. The Easter holiday can be hectic. But we reached him by email and asked him whether the governor’s veto reflected the values of the First Baptist Church of Gainesville.
“My perception is that the great majority of our congregants are very supportive of Governor Deal’s veto of this bill — primarily for two reasons,” Coates replied. “First, we hold to the strong historical Baptist principle of separation of church and state.
“The second is personal: We know Nathan Deal the man, the strong Christian who has held numerous positions of leadership and influence in this church and who worships faithfully.”
Coates characterized his most prominent congregant as a conservative Christian who knows he can’t always govern the state through his own personal beliefs.
“For example, some years ago he supported a measure which expanded the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays even though he personally does not drink at all,” Coates wrote.
On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston said they wouldn’t back a legislative override of the governor’s veto. But they intend to bring the issue back next year.
It will be a somewhat refined debate in 2017: Legislators will be asked to decide which Baptist brand of religious liberty they prefer.