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For left-wing Baptist pacifists, such paranoid, heated rhetoric must have seemed like revival. Hall also introduced the documentary Soldiers of Conscience about U.S. military personnel who refused service in the Iraq War, about which Hall remarked: “We now know was based on lies.” The audience hissed and laughed when a U.S. Army ethicist in the film asserted: “You can’t say you support human dignity or human rights if you’re not willing to defend it.” The aroused crowd later heard from Camilo Mejía, the Nicaraguan-American and son of a former Sandinista songwriter who as a Florida National Guardsmen was convicted of desertion for refusing further service in Iraq. Inevitably, one of his attorneys was gadfly former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who helped Mejía argue that service in Iraq was immoral because of U.S. war crimes.
Also speaking to the Baptists was Kim Phuc, who was famously photographed when a girl during the Vietnam War as a naked, escaping victim of a U.S. napalm strike. Her terrifying ordeal iconically portrayed the supposed injustice of U.S. efforts to resist North Vietnamese communist aggression. Now commendably helping other child victims of war, Kim Phuc was more dignified than most of the Baptists’ featured polemicists. It’s no fault of hers that her terror 40 years ago was exploited by North Vietnam to expedite its own totalitarian conquest and greater terror. And she perhaps was unaware of how the Baptist Peace Fellowship would exploit her pleas for peace for its own radical, utopian agenda whose ultimate bitter fruit is greater conflict.
The Baptist Peace Fellowship is concluding their “Peace Camp” with a visit from a homosexual Baptist caucus, which is organizing a prom for ALL as a “way to forgive ourselves for not measuring up in those ‘golden’ day of high school.” Invitees are urged: “Come as you are or as you want to be. Come in drag or come in your PJ’s!” Traditionally, Baptists don’t even believe in dancing, much less cross dressing. But the Baptist Peace Fellowship and its allies offer a new and supposedly more bracing future for fellow religionists.
And the Baptist Peace Fellowship, ironically meeting at a rather staid Mennonite school, was able to combine in its own program virtually all the major bugaboos and obsessions of the extreme Religious Left. Thankfully the vast majority of Baptists will not listen. Professor Irving Wesley Hall ominously and unhappily portrayed the conservative resurgence in the 16 million member Southern Baptist Convention as a virtual Zionist conquest. In other words, most Baptists won’t be inviting Professor Hall into their pulpits.
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