The big news out of the Missouri Baptist Convention meeting last week was a major loosening of the stranglehold fundamentalist layman Roger Moran has had on the convention. Moran, the master of guilt by association, has used his Missouri Baptist Laymen’s Association and Project 1000 to solidify control of the convention over the last decade or so.
But last week, all the candidates supported by his group, including Moran himself, lost to loyal, conservative Southern Baptists tired of and often embarrassed by Moran’s heavy-handedness.
In fact, Moran lost the second vice presidency to pastor John Marshall by a whopping 80 percent — 649-160. However, The Pathway, the official news journal of the Missouri Baptist Convention, and Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention public relations effort that pretends to be a news service, didn’t tell readers about this.
An 1148-word news article, vaguely titled “Mo. conservatives vie for office,” by Pathway associate editor Allen Palmeri, did not mention Moran at all.
The editors at Baptist Press ignored the central character in the story too.
A. They fear retaliation by Moran who still has some influence in Missouri and serves on the SBC Executive Committee that runs Baptist Press?
B. They think Baptists are so stupid they will believe whatever they are told by official convention-controlled “news” sources and not look to more reliable secular or religious news outlets?
C. They are more concerned about protecting their own positions than telling readers the truth?
D. All the above.
It is so interesting that the people who claim to believe the Bible more than the rest of us Baptists are so fearful of truth-telling. Maybe Missouri and Southern Baptist controlled presses believe you can’t handle the truth — or perhaps they cannot handle the consequences of telling the truth.
The spin story is here. An honest account by Bill Webb, editor of the no-longer-under-MBC-control Word & Way, is here.