Short takes for mid January 2004

• The Dallas Morning News editorial staff voted President Bush “Texan of the Year.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that. What Texan has been in the news more? What was disappointing was the verbal gyrations they went through to make sure we knew they weren’t necessarily honoring him. Their version of “fair and balanced” is to make sure they give as many words to criticism as to praise. What a stupid misunderstanding of journalistic objectivity.

• Britney Spears got married and unmarried within a 12-hour span. This may be the first (and last) time the words “Britney” and “Spears” have appeared together in these pages. During the New Year’s holidays, Miss Spears wed a childhood pal after a night of “partying.” Saying the next day that it was a lark, they had the relationship annulled. One comment out of so many possibilities?marriage is not a joke. Annulment, easy divorce, all night (and drive through) wedding chapels, and “marrying Sam” pastors have done more damage to this institution than same-sex marriage advocates ever will.

• The SBC will likely depart the Baptist World Alliance. Our departure is overdue. The BWA has become the Baptist version of the United Nations. Such organizations have their uses but are too slow and timid when the mission is urgent. The things they do well are often available through other, already existing organizations. This will not end our cooperation with Baptists around the world, by the way. We will no doubt continue to work with most of the same people we do currently. There are many advantages to starting fresh with new ways of doing our work together.

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